As a teacher, would spraying a can of shaving cream under another teacher's door get me fired?As a teacher, would spraying a can of shaving cream under another teacher's door get me fired?

Expert Answers
booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Perhaps if you need to ask the question, the idea is not a good one. This is how I measure my own behavior: like, if you can't tell your mother, is it really a good idea? The biggest problem here is that it is unprofessional, and the reality is that it would be a disruption, even if the other teacher does not have a class, and ultimately, someone will have to clean it up. If this were a great friend of mine, I would take the joke outside of the school.

It may seem pretty harmless, but I have found, too, that some people employed in education (regardless of whether they are in the classroom or not) do not take well to this kind of thing. And somehow, educators and administrators, etc., have memories like elephants—they NEVER forget anything! Jobs are tight. Education is under fire already from so many different fronts. And somethings end up traveling home to parents…and that opens a whole new can of worms. If it were me, I would keep a low profile, do my job and never give anyone "ammunition" that might be used in a break room or lounge to make you "appear" less than professional. Once that is gone, you can never get it back.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This kind of seemingly good-natured chicanery is certainly frowned upon these days, since teachers are supposed to be as robotic and unemotional as possible. I suppose the proper punishment would depend on several things. If a teacher was tenured, then such an act would probably earn him/her a reprimand of some sort; a first-year teacher may not be so lucky. It would also depend upon the teacher's principal. I've had several principals who might consider it a funny prank, especially if it was on the last day of school; several other former principals would consider it the an act of educational blasphemy. It no doubt had very little place in a classroom setting and shows an immature side that the teacher would be best keeping under wraps.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I doubt you'd get fired, at least not under the State of Washington's Code of Conduct for teachers.  The most relevant provision in that code says that you can't do anything that would endanger the personal safety of a colleague.  It seems unlikely that this action would constitute enough of a danger to your colleague's safety to warrant firing.

However, it seems like an extremely juvenile thing to do.  I cannot imagine that any administrator would be particularly impressed by such behavior.  You probably wouldn't get fired, but it might either A) get you a reprimand or B) get you in the principal's mental file for teachers who should get the crappy assignments and less preferred treatment.  So I can't imagine doing this myself...

stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would not recommend the activity. Previous responses have addressed a number of reasons why this might not be a good idea. In addition to those comments, I would be concerned from a safety standpoint. Shaving cream could make a tiled classroom floor very slippery. Causing a teacher or student to fall and injure him/herself could open up a whole different set of reasons for a bad outcome to the prank. There may also be individuals who are allergic to something in the shaving cream or who may have breathing issues that would be affected by the aroma.

Find another way to celebrate the end of the school year (if that's your reason for the practical joke).

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I doubt it, unless the atmosphere at your school is extremely rigid and stuffy.  Shaving cream wouldn't ruin anything (on the contrary, it is GREAT for getting stains out of carpet...learned that from a custodian friend), and would most definitely add some hilarity to the school day.

However, our society seems to be increasingly sue-happy and crazy about control issues.  If you know the colleague well, and are fairly sure he/she would react in the anticipated jolly manner, you will probably be safe.  If you are in any way uncertain of his/her reaction, you might save it for another time or setting.


ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Are you serious? Why would this question even come out of the mouth of a professional educator. One problem many teachers struggle with in schools today is the lack of professional boundaries between teachers and other teachers and between teachers and students. School is a professional environment and while their should be camaraderie among colleagues, interactions among staff--at school--should remain professional. What you do on your own time is your choice, but at school, I would expect teachers to conduct themselves at a higher level of maturity than the students.

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would consider another action as, as other posters have said, how such a deed is taken can be very subjective. We had a student suspended at our school for spraying deodorant in a classroom when a staff member who was allergic to the product came in. The deed was directed at another student (who hadn't showered after PE) and no- one was aware of the staff members allergy, but the student was not a popular one and the staff member was a feared one...

Maybe keep the practical jokes outside the workplace?

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I must agree with the other posts.  Like any prank that one plays, they must first scrutinize the person on whom they are playing the prank.  I would not suggest doing it to someone who you are not on very good terms with.

As for getting fired, again, I must agree with the other posts.  I do not think that one would get fired, but depending upon the strictness of your district, you may face being written up for inappropriate behavior.

kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It all depends on your principal and the atmosphere at your school.  But I don't think you'd get fired, maybe disciplined, maybe they'd throw a letter in your file, something like that.  I wish teachers could have more fun and do things like that, but as some of the responses show, it probably would be frowned upon because humor and practical jokes are clearly not approved of anymore.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gone are the days when people could just act silly or do frivolous things.  Having light-hearted fun after work used to be a stress reliever, but nowadays with the snitch system as a means of promoting oneself, even innocuous actions outside of regular hours are "monitored" by those who fail upwards in education.

Take the advice of posts #2 and #3

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Probably not, but I am not sure why you'd do it.  I'd say it depends on the other teacher.  If the teacher is a good friend and enjoys the prank, you'd be ok.  If the teacher is not going to like it at all, he or she may complain and could get you in hot water.  Fired?  I don't think so.

adibuddyboy | Student
you being a teacher yourself i dont think you will do such a thing to your colleague. however if you do such a thing there are only two ways by which your job might survive. you have a good reputation with the principle and trustees. no one gets to know you have done it
adibuddyboy | Student

well you being a teacher yourself i dont think you will do such a thing to your colleague. but if you do i think your job would only continue if either you have a very good reputation in front of the principle and trustees or if no one gets to know you have done it

geek10 | Student

Well,your firing depends on the reaction of the teacher you did it on.if she's your really good friend and she knows that you did it, then she'll just take it as a joke.But if she is not, then first understand wheather she's that fun loving person or a sreious person.If she's fun loving,then just admit your mistake and you might get a good friend too.But if she's serious then better don't let her know it or you might really get screwed.Anyways, that is a really good question!!!:)