"What teachers do in their own time is none of your business."

Seeing your school teacher in public is one of the most traumatising and confronting things that can happen to you as a kid.

As the daughter of a school teacher, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve rounded the aisle of a grocery store with mum by my side and come face-to-face with a startled primary school child.

Kids whose eyes always pop out of their skulls as soon as they see someone who is usually confined to the classroom clutching paper towels and a loaf of bread in a supermarket on a Saturday afternoon.

As you get older though, you start to realise your teachers are not pod people who power down in the classroom at night and then proceed to dream sweet dreams about correcting your maths homework.

And let’s be honest, given the crazy things our kids get up to… can you blame them? Post continues after video…

Apparently, this realisation has yet to dawn on parents from the Cumbre del Noroeste Institute, who recently became enraged when they spotted viral video footage of one of the school’s teachers twerking in a bikini.

The 24-year-old teacher was on an Easter break in Cabo San Lucas, a 15-hour drive and ferry ride away from the school in the northern Mexican state of Sonora where she had taught for three years.

The teacher, who is identified as just “Carla” has publicly stated she was forced into quitting her job after numerous students and parents spotted the footage online and filed complaints.

Dancing…with a group of consenting adults…while presumably not charged with keeping any children, animals and plants alive. That was her crime. The act that lost her her job and may even have ended her career.


In an era of social media and camera phones, we’re all too well aware that misbehaving on social media could cost us our jobs. We know that potential employers check out our Facebook pages and that one inappropriate Tweet could cost us our dream job.

We're all too well aware that misbehaving on social media could cost us our jobs. (Image via iStock)

But there's a stark difference between being caught in an illegal act online and having your students see you enjoying your holidays, blissed out in the sun and having a few drinks with friends.

When I was in primary school my brother and sisters and I always attended the school where our mother taught, meaning that more than once a year we'd see how our teachers behave outside of their natural habitat.

It was before the age of social media, so they knew they were safe from prying online eyes, which is probably why they were a little bit more fast and lose with their behaviour once the final bell rang.

At private functions we'd see our teachers dancing, knocking back drinks and sharing jokes and stories with each just like any other group of colleagues who were bonding and letting off steam would.

Even as little kids we were able to grasp the fact that teachers were just regular people, and were not scarred by the fact that we're partial to a boogie and red wine.


Are kids today really not able to do the same?

Are teachers not allowed to have fun on the weekends?

The truth is that what teachers do in their own time is none of your business, providing they're not breaking the law.

They're going to have online dating profiles, they're going to post funny pictures of themselves out and about with their families and friends and they're probably going to dance on tabletops after a few drinks, we've all been there.

I remember one weekend on the Gold Coast, many moons ago, when a friend of mine who happens to be a primary school teacher and I danced the night away. We consumed way too many margaritas and downed vodka shots and then tore down the beach as it began to rain, jumping into the ocean with the rest of our merry group and allowed our messy, drunken bodies to be tossed about in the surf.

As we flayed about in the water, some of us still clad in our Saturday night outfits while a few others had decided that clothes weren't really for them at the moment, I remember thinking that this wild, wonderful girl was as far away from the idea of a 'traditional school teacher' as you could get.

Yet, she is a wonderful teacher.

A teacher who loves her little students, who opted out of our Sunday afternoon hangover lunch because she was busy lesson planning, who rocked up to her classroom on Monday morning to a room full of kids and parents who adored her, fully prepared for the week ahead.

If those same parents had seen snaps from our Saturday night escapades or a viral video of our late night beach run, would they have changed their minds about her?


Was she less of a teacher because of it? A bad influence on her young students or a disgrace to her school?

Absolutely not.

I've never stepped into a classroom as a full-fledged teacher, but one of the ways I paid my way through university was as a speech and drama teacher working through one of Queensland's largest primary schools.

As I helped my shyer students gain the confidence to step on stage, worked with the future movie stars of tomorrow on their character technique and helped classrooms of students produce plays, I could say with absolute certainty they were always safe in my hands.


I wasn't setting a bad influence for them, regardless of how I spent my spare time. Whether it was watching endless episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or knocking back shots at a uni toga party.

Both things that I did then with great regularity, but never once affected my ability to be a good teacher, even if they had been captured on film and put online.

"Whether it was watching endless episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or knocking back shots at a uni toga party." (Image via iStock)

As "Carla" told Mexican newspaper Reforma, "I knew there were mobile phones but I never imagined this would go viral and anyway, I'm not doing anything bad."

"It was a dance competition, something like this doesn't define me as a person, it was my free time and we're in the 21st century."

"It's not something to be afraid of, I'm not naked, I'm not having sex or taking drugs or disrespecting anyone."

So, if you're scanning the inter-webs and come across your child's teacher shaking their hips like there's no tomorrow, feel free to move on.

It's what happens in the classroom, not on the dance-floor, that really counts.