We all had that one teacher who made our lives a living nightmare. Well, we can thank our lucky stars that we never had teachers as bad as the lunatics in the stories below. With them, getting sent to detention is like a vacation!
1. Keep It In The Family
My kindergarten teacher was also my Aunt. She used to yell and discipline me for no reason. When my brother started school she gave him the same treatment and we both became terrified of her. We found out later as adults that she didn’t like our mom and was taking it out on us. I was so young but these memories still haunt me.
Another time, I remember she also forbid the class from talking to another girl because she spilled water. The whole class got upset because the little girl didn’t understand why no one would talk to her. I don’t even know why people like her get into teaching. As I’m typing this I’m shaking with anger at the memory.
2. Advanced Awareness
My twelfth-grade advanced English teacher was terrible. He had this elitist attitude about him and thought he was above everyone, including other teachers. It was painful listening to him every day. Only he knew what real meaning of books or poems and anything that people interpreted was wrong unless it was his interpretation.
He considered himself an adult who had all the answers and would lecture us about life choices, and then call kids out for not living up to his expectations. He was notorious for making people change paper topics or ideas because they didn't interest him regardless of how the student felt about that topic. He told us that “we’re advanced students” and should “ figure it out."
3. The Beat Of The Issue
I developed a drumming nervous habit in fifth grade that two of my teachers didn’t approve of. My teacher in fifth grade would follow me around, outside of the classroom, and correct me for drumming. It gave me terrible anxiety because I didn’t know when she would leave me alone or magically appear. This constant stress made me transfer out of the school.
I thought my next school would be better—I was so wrong. My math teacher was seriously triggered by my habit as well. One day when I was drumming in class, he lost his cool and threw my pencil into the wall, smashing it. He would constantly email my parents telling them I was lazy and didn’t try to succeed. Eventually, I was transferred to a different classroom.
4. Lose-Lose Creep
My high school Spanish teacher would ask me to leave class and speak to him in the hallway because my shirt made him feel uncomfortable. He thought it was too low and distracting. As my mom would say I’ve always been blessed, but I would never wear something inappropriate. I apologized and went back to work. I had a female teacher for my next class.
Before class started, I asked her if anything was wrong with my shirt and she said no. As an adult, it’s weird that she didn’t ask me why I was asking. The next day, I wore a sweatshirt specifically in his class so he wouldn’t say anything and he asked me to stay after class. He told me it’s not appropriate to wear a sweatshirt to cover my shirt in his class.
5. A Cosine To Teach
I had a trigonometry teacher who was a great teacher for students that were already good at math. In our school, trigonometry was mandatory, so it didn’t matter how you had done in math before. I was excited to take the class because one of my math-savvy friends was taking it. The class was split with students getting straight A’s and those who were barely passing.
I immediately start failing this class and he has no idea how to teach me because I'm seriously not meant to be taking this subject. After a certain point we both gave up on my learning and I started drawing on the back of my tests. He would pass me based on my art, not my ability to do any of this math that he was supposed to be teaching me.
6. Ebb And Flow
My high school writing teacher circled the word "ebbed" and wrote in the margin "not a word!" in bright red ink. They were grading my creative writing assignment and when I showed her it was a word in a thesaurus she got defensive. She asked what brand the thesaurus was and never liked me after that. I still don’t understand why.
7. When The Going Gets Tough
In third grade, we were making motivational posters. The teacher gave a few examples of motivational phrases but said we had to think of our own. I heard the phrase “never give up when the going gets tough” in a song, and it made sense to me. I assumed that this was an existing phrase adults said, not just on the radio and got to work.
I drew a picture of someone trying to cross a ravine to get a prize on the other side. My teacher failed the assignment because she said it didn’t make sense. At the time I didn’t question her, but it’s bothered me constantly since. I have to wonder how it could have been any more clear and what was lost in translation on her.
8. E For Enunciate
My sister had an English teacher who would still pronounce certain words wrong or use a phrase in the incorrect context. My sister thought she was being helpful and would correct her. I guess she felt disrespected or embarrassed by a 15-year-old correcting her English and got her petty revenge through my sister’s grades.
When my sister graduated at the end of the year, she received a B in written English despite her getting As the entire semester. The teacher said the B was justified because my sister used a common figure of speech and the teacher claimed it wasn’t a real expression. We went to different high schools and I was grateful to avoid her classroom.
9. A Parallel Universe Of Children Reading
My worst teachers were the ones who would take books away from me and hold them up to ridicule me in front of the class. It was easy to make the other kids make fun of just because they didn't approve of the genre. I was always into science fiction and horror and a lot of my teachers didn’t consider it true literature worthy of reading. When I look back on it, it's so messed up.
One time my dad had to come to my defense and I was so overwhelmed with gratitude. The book in question was Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, which my dad pointed out was on the required reading list of major universities. He didn’t mince words and chewed out the teacher and principal for having the temerity to try to stop any student who wanted to read.
10. Keep Your Opinion On The Shelf
The school librarian and I would constantly clash on what I was and wasn't allowed to read. My speech therapist had reached out to her because part of my therapy was taking out a lot of books. The school I went to had a limit on how many books a fifth or sixth-grader could sign out at once. My therapist didn’t know she had to tell the librarian the genre of books I would be reading.
The librarian assumed I would be using the picture books reserved for the special needs kids and younger grades, but I was reading young adult fiction at a higher grade level. She was so stubborn about not letting me sign out these books that I would sit in the library during recess and an hour after school, just to read through the entire section on my own.
When my school introduced mandatory "reading quizzes" to gauge the reading level you could check out, I got a poor score and the librarian used this as proof against me. The books were Black Beauty and Anne of Green Gables. I hated those books with their boring storylines and couldn't be bothered at the time to memorize plots for the quizzes, but there was no alternative.
11. Tap And Trigger
My high school band director easily lost his temper. He once threw the loudspeaker at us during marching band practice and would yell at us after a competition if he didn't think we performed well. I went on to major in music education in college with the hopes of teaching music at a high school level. Every professor I had reminded me of that band director.
I still got my degree but I was worried about becoming one of them and didn’t go into teaching. It doesn’t justify losing your temper on children but from the other side, the frustration of teaching ungrateful hoards of teenagers on top of listening to the same pieces played year after year could make monsters out of anyone.
12. Strike It From The Record
In my seventh-grade math class, there was a kid who wouldn’t stop talking in class. The teacher had repeatedly asked him to stop. Finally, he was sent to the principal’s office but the kid refused to leave. So the teacher just...snapped. He picked up a thick textbook and threw it at the door. I and the rest of the class saw it almost hit another kid in the head.
That night, my classmates told their parents about what had happened. Our entire lesson the next day was spent telling us he had never picked up a book. He said he had never picked up the book and if he had it hadn’t come close to hitting anyone. He repeated it until we all agreed with him. He was a good teacher and helped me understand math.
13. Don’t Be A Quitter
One time during class, everyone was quiet and either listening or not actively disrupting things. The teacher stopped mid-sentence, threw his coffee mug against the chalkboard, and angrily said, "Learn it yourselves" and stormed out. Everyone just looked around trying to figure out what had happened. Five minutes later he came back in and started teaching again.
14. Handed Into Thin Air
I had a teacher who "lost" my assignment work. We did not get on at all, because for most of the year I was lazy. I got my act together and worked hard to complete the paperwork and practicals. I submitted everything and pressed for a reason when I got an F. The teacher said my practical work was a B, but my design drawings were not handed in.
15. Physical Intelligence Education
My gym teacher sprung a test on us without warning. She said none of us paid attention and she had told us about this quiz last week. There were twenty-five students in the class so we knew she hadn’t. After a few weeks, one of my classmates asked for the test results and she said that we all scored zero on the test so she threw it all out.
16. It’s A Knot Of Trouble
The worst teacher I ever had tied me to my chair. I was a hyperactive five-year-old and it was torture. I remember she also held my hand during morning assembly and squeezed so hard my knuckles would crack. I would try to pull my hand away and she would hold it tighter. She had this scary way of asking me if it hurt while she was smiling. I shudder thinking about it now.
17. Growing Pains
I had growing pains in grade one that were extremely painful. My teacher assumed I was crying over having to do the assignment she gave us. The assignment was to gather work we were proud of to show our parents, which is a separate tragic childhood memory. In reality, my skin and muscles were being stretched, and my bones were growing too fast.
18. Shine Bright
In 1993, my middle school English teacher tried to explain to me that the Sun wasn’t a star. I argued back and she got mad. She explained that the “sun” is not a “star.” I wish I had followed through instead of being quiet. I would have loved watching her explain to her boss and any other adults what she was teaching.
19. Teachers Pick
I knew my English teacher was giving me low grades but had no way to prove it. Finally, I gave one of my papers to the “Teachers Pet” for review. They couldn’t believe how similar our work was except they got a mark in the 80s and I barely passed. The smarter kids starting grilling the teacher on the methods of how he evaluated.
20. Charcoal Clarity
In art class, our teacher would grade our work and provide feedback on the spot. My charcoal drawing of a fruit bowl received several negative comments and a low grade. A friend of mine hadn't done his homework, so we just erased my name and added his. His charcoal drawing got positive feedback and a higher grade.
21. Write Down Your Feelings
I had a teacher in eighth grade who hated me for no apparent reason. I remember the first assignment in class was a journal. I was brand new, starting mid-year, and she just gave me a composition notebook and told me it was due every Friday, and to put it on this shelf as the full instruction. I asked another student, but they left some things out.
I did my best and handed it in, on Friday and the right shelf. The next Monday, I got in trouble for skipping the assignment. She refused to believe that I had handed it in and told me I could buy another notebook if I had lost mine. Things went quickly downhill and she called in my parents to complain about my behavior and poor work results.
Fast forward to the end of the year, and she came up to my desk and dropped a notebook on it—the same one I turned in from that first assignment. She didn’t apologize or anything just dropped it and said, “Here, I found this. I checked the work and added it to the grade book.” I opened it and in red pen across the whole freaking page was a D.
22. Think Before You Speak
I was the new kid in my class in third grade. One day soon after I started, the teacher asked us to take out our spelling notebooks. The other kids started doing the assignment in identical little brown notebooks, you know those small packets of lined paper you get for exams sometimes? Obviously supplied by the school.
I asked the teacher if I could have a spelling notebook, as it was the first time this assignment came up since I had started. The teacher sneered at me and said, “You need this, you need that,” in the most mocking voice she could manifest. She got me a notebook but made it seem like it was an obnoxious, selfish thing to ask for.
I know it wasn’t as horrifying as others, but that incident was the beginning of decades of shame and low self-confidence for me. After hearing her say my name, I’ve never liked it much since that day. If anyone is reading this as a teacher, take a second to realize the impact you have on kids, even in small ways. It causes damage.
23. Hot Tip
I don’t know if this was my worst teacher, but I was a business major and taking macroeconomics. My professor told me I was a bad person for working in the car industry and only cared about getting the upper hand on people. I was a valet for the service department at the time, and don’t remember how this related to school.
24. Failure Form
In my high school gym class, we were doing some kind of push-up test. The teacher decided he was going to watch me the whole time and not lay an eye on anyone else. I attempted a couple of push-ups and he tells me my form is wrong. My form stayed incorrect for thirty push-ups, with no corrections. Afterward, he failed me.
25. Is This Thing On?
My university lecturer was the most incompetent man I've ever met. He taught information technology, but I still cannot figure out how he got his job. On the first day of classes, he asked us to sign up to Twitter, to share lesson content. He also asked that if we had questions we tweet him or a classmate. We ignored that and used the secure university intranet.
The way he taught classes was through Powerpoint presentations. Each slide had a paragraph of text, which he would read out loud while staring at the screen. After he read it once, he would turn to the class and repeat it, but with less confidence. To top it off, he took four weeks off in our first term and asked the class to help book his tickets.
26. Multiple Choice Purgatory
My worst teacher made their exams multiple choice. On each question, they wrote, “All of these answers are correct, but you must choose the most correct one.” It took away from the course content because you were trying to look for loopholes or grammar clues instead of facts. This made me think they didn’t want to see anyone succeed.
Their class had a reputation for being difficult. On top of the multiple-choice style exams, they would automatically fail you for three grammatical or spelling errors in a paper. They would also fail students for missing two classes without valid prior written approval. That wasn’t even the school policy, and they still got away with it.
27. Lost In Hydration
I’ve suffered panic attacks since I was a kid but didn’t know what they were called when I was younger. My worst teacher experience happened in fourth grade. I had thrown up at school and was in a lot of stomach pain. The school nurse and my teacher thought I was faking being ill so they forced me to eat and stay at school.
At home, my mom always told us if we didn’t feel well to drink water, but this is what had led me to be sick at school in the first place. After I tried to drink from my water bottle again, my teacher took it from me and threw it in the trash. She said I was drinking too much and made myself sick earlier. I remember thinking I would have to ask my mom for a new one.
On the last day before winter break, I ate way too much during our Christmas party and started feeling sick with anxiety. I tried to take sips from the water fountain but the same teacher thought I was being dramatic again. She decided to swing me around and all the kids watched it happen. The only way she would stop was when I bit her.
28. It’s Not Permanent
My worst teacher was a substitute in third grade. I was eight years old and she expected total silence all the time. If you asked the person next to you for a pencil, the whole class would get punished for the noise. If she left the room she would stop at the office and eavesdrop on us through the PA system. She told us we had disappointed her.
29. Son Of Sam Signature
My eighth-grade sociology teacher took one of my tests and put it on display via the projector. My name and perfect score are bright and visible to everyone. I assumed it was to tell everyone the right answers as they reviewed the test, and maybe to brag about my unpopular, uncool, dorky outcast butt. I was so wrong. He said, "Hey class, look at this handwriting. This handwriting belongs to a future pyschopath."
He then unceremoniously turned off the projector and finished teaching the rest of the class.
30. One Plus One Equal Two Tears
When I was in high school, my grandfather passed. I went to a boarding school, so I left campus and went home for a week. I dutifully emailed all my teachers and my Dean that I would be missing my classes. All but one replied with sympathy and a generic, "No problem, you'll get caught up when you get back." I didn’t think much of one missing response.
When I returned to school, everything was fine until my math class, the missing response. When I stayed after class to ask for the homework I missed, my teacher started laying into me about how it was my responsibility to stay on top of things. He said I couldn't just cut class and then expect him to help me out. Since I was 14 and raw from grief, I burst into tears.
I managed to sob out, "I emailed you about my grandfather" but mostly I just sniffled. The teacher at least had the courtesy to look like he felt bad, and said he'd get me the work later. Compared to other people’s experiences it doesn’t sound that bad but he wasn’t great at teaching math and he was the only teacher to ever make me cry.
31. Separated By Clay
My teacher in elementary school had our class make clay animals for our parents at Christmas as an art lesson one day. Well, I happened to be the only child who had divorced parents in the class. She gave a really small amount of clay and specifically said it was for both parents. I asked her what I should do because they don’t live together and can’t share the gift.
I felt self-conscious because everyone else had started their assignment and I was hoping she would just give me extra clay. Instead, she bent down and said, “Well, you’ll just have to pick your favorite parent then.” Why would anyone say this to a young child? I don’t remember what I made in art class but I ran home crying after school.
32. The Key of F
Our high school orchestra got a new leader halfway through the school year. She came in strong getting everything to her standards. On her first day, she picked the locks on everyone’s instrument cases and re-arranged everything in there to her liking. Next, she forced everyone to go on a mandatory field trip during our school’s test week.
Scheduling the field trip meant we had to do all our tests over the weekend which made me furious. But she saved the worst for last—specifically the last day of school. We did a concert for the whole school that included the band playing with us. She cut out all the background music for our music, which sounds bad as a jazz unit.
She also decided that chairs were overrated and gave all ours away to the band department even though they had plenty. She directly asked if we could stand and play, but finally decided we should sit down on the ground the entire concert. We were humiliated in front of the whole school. It didn’t even make sense with how to hold our instruments.
33. Riddle Me This
My worst college teacher spent 80% of her time digressing and the remaining 20% talking in riddles. Her course had one of the lowest grade averages but was also considered the easiest by other teachers. They thought because the course was about how to research history so for those that already had a good teacher, it was simple.
Turns out if a teacher tries as hard as humanly possible to make her class hard then it will be! The moment I realized how bad she was was when we actually went to ask older students for advice on how we can succeed and they didn’t have an answer. Even after surviving the class themselves they only had a few words of wisdom.
They told me to "Just roll with it. She has never made sense while teaching and she never will." The fun part is that if I write her name on google she actually appears as a successful person but she either has zero clues on how to teach students or she likes to make their lives difficult. She was the only teacher I ever met with this style.
34. I Learned A New Word
My ninth-grade math teacher told me my voice was irritating and I didn’t know what that word meant so I just said, “Thank you!” with a smile. She looked at me like I was unhinged and kept teaching. Then my classmate next to me passed me a note saying that what the teacher said was messed up, and they told me the definition.
After reading the note, I began to cry. I felt embarrassed, wondering why she would say that. The teacher asked me why I was crying and thought I was getting bullied. She told the class she would get to the bottom of it and there would be consequences. Then I told her I was crying because of what she said to me, and she apologized.
35. Frozen Disappearance
Back in sixth grade I got in trouble for some reason and was sent outside. Our classroom was in a portable building, so that meant literally out into the cold in the dead of winter. I went to grab my coat and the teacher screamed "NO!" so I just went outside in the middle of a snowstorm without a coat. That's messed up, but just wait: He forgot me for an hour. When my parents complained the school did nothing.
The same teacher constantly told me I was missing assignments even after I had handed them in. He was gone for a day with a meeting and when our substitute wasn't looking I found a stack of my “missing” assignments. I took them out of his desk and turned them in, again. I never had another assignment disappear after that.
36. Verbal Infruriation
My family transferred to another state when I was young and I got enrolled in a new private school. My third-grade teacher was shouting at us a lot and using foul language. It was not a casual thing, and I remember feeling afraid in her classroom. I had never experienced anger with adults before but didn’t want to say anything because I was the new kid.
One time, she accused me of cheating, and then another time, she accused me of being too noisy. I was a quiet child and certainly did not cheat. I am an introvert and seldom talk in class. I felt it was discrimination because I was new and came from a more conservative culture. I always tried to take the blame for others' mistakes but could not figure out why she disliked me.
I forgot what the last straw was but I finally decided to tell my mom. I told her casually and that I did not want her to confront my teacher. I hated conflicts. My mom tried to follow that by going to the school and asked to speak with the teacher while I was outside. While they were chatting, my teacher straight up denied it with a smile on her face.
When I came back from recess my mom was standing there smiling and saying it must have been a misunderstanding. This teacher locked eyes with me and glared at me, which felt like a silent warning. I had other experiences at this school but never told my mom again. I think this was the moment I learned to be secretive with my problems.
37. This Won’t Keep Me Here
My teacher was also the principal of the Independent Baptist Fundamentalist Christian school I attended for five years. During classes, we had to fill in these workbooks and then take a test to move on in our lessons. My mom had made it clear that I wasn't coming back the following year. This meant the school was losing another tuition check, and they were close to closing.
I was on my last English workbook, which was my best subject. This teacher/principal failed me on purpose meaning I had to work extra hard and until the last day to do that whole workbook again. They were 40 pages of his designed curriculum that was self-scored. This turned into a process of marking the mistakes, correcting them, and re-scoring.
38. Must Like Dogs
My elementary school combined two grades into one classroom. This meant I had the same teacher for third and fourth grade. The first time she taught me, she was very exciting and nice, and I was happy to be in her class. In the summer before fourth grade, she was attacked by a dog that she was watching. We had substitute teachers until she recovered to return.
When she came back, she was, for the most part, the same person. But I assume that the trauma she suffered from the dog attack made her more aggressive. There were some times the class would act up and she would yell at us. We weren’t used to her being like this, and the fact that I was, and still am, scared of yelling didn’t help.
There became countless times I would hold back tears in her classroom. My parents threatened to change my school if she yelled again, which she did. When I told my parents she was continuing to yell, they decided to talk to the principal instead of switching my school. The principal talked to the teacher, and luckily none of us were yelled at for the rest of the year.
39. A Lack Of Chemistry
My ninth-grade chemistry teacher. So I belonged in a class that had a bunch of trouble makers and what not. Not everyone was like that, however. Some of us prefer to not join in on their festivities as we know how disruptive it can be. During our first week of chemistry class, a bunch of the "cool kids" kept doing stuff that would disrupt the class; like making noise, transferring seats etc.
My teacher at the time, got mad, stormed out of the room, and didn't came back that week. We only had chemistry on Tuesdays and Thursday so we don't see him often anyway. Second week came, he was still furious at us, and wouldn't talk to us at all. All of us just sat there in silence, because we knew we (by "we" I meant the "cool kids" but since we were a class we all had the same treatment) were at fault, and to just let him cool off. But no—this was just the tip of the iceberg.
The thing is, he was perfectly fine with every other class, and is pretty much cheery in theirs. We thought it would be best to apologize (even though none of me nor my friends did anything wrong at all but whatever). So we did. He didn't even acknowledge it. A month passed by, nothing changed. Second month came, he sort of started doing class.
I say sort of, because all he did was write down the page of the activities on the board and we'd have to do them for the whole class. By the end he'd just have everyone pass their papers on the teacher's table and he'd be on his way. He won't discuss anything, nor correct us with our work. He'd just give us the task then leave.
He wasn't like this with other classes though. He'd actually go through their work, and discuss the topics in depth for them. This went on for the four months we had that class. By the last month, we were preparing for our final exams for that class. Instead of actually discussing however, he just berated us because only few people would get the work right.
He condescendingly commented that we would fail, and pretty much expressed how much he hated us. Thing is, even though our class was considered "the worst," that's not because everyone there was dumb. We just had the most amount of trouble makers in our class that year. If you take those away, our class is pretty good.
The top 10 in academic performance in class was mostly comprised of me and some my friends, and a few others outside our group. I was a former honors in elementary school, and just chose to not do as well because I dislike being part of the "honors class" because of how alienated I felt in my first year there. My friends weren't bad either.
They were responsible, took initiative, and studied hard. My one friend was the same as me. She purposefully didn't do as well so she wouldn't end up there because of the pressure. Great minds think alike I suppose. The top singer at our school was also our classmate, so she had a lot of recognition too. All in all, our class had a lot of potential, it's just that the trouble makers had a louder voice.
During our last month in Mr. Jerk's chemistry class, he just kept babbling on how much he disliked us, pointed out our poor performance, etc etc; despite him not even reading out a single page in our chemistry book. All of us were just silent as he kept going on in his annoyingly sarcastic and mocking tone. He would speak to us like he was like a Karen complaining about something so trivial.
Finally, he said the infamous, "If you don't like my class, the exit is at the back." But at least he got what was coming to him: My friend, who was a strong independent guy, who always stood up for himself and would even talk back to the loudest jerks, got up and walked out the door and slamming it shut. My teacher didn't expect that. The look on his face said it all.
We were all just seated there in shock. We all praised my friend for it. The rest of the day was a blur. In the end, I ended up passing chemistry, and we never saw that pathetic excuse for a teacher again. Pretty sure my friend went to the principal's office to complain. Not sure though. Might ask him after this. All we know is that our chem teacher never taught in that school ever again.
40. Ciao Bella!
I went to middle school in Italy and the worst teacher I ever had taught me Italian, Geography, and History. She did absolutely nothing all day except speak with the teaching assistant. She told us to read certain pages from our textbook and then told us to stay quiet. We could hear their conversations which were about lunch or shopping sprees together.
If any of us talked she would scream from the top of her lungs, and if you tried to even send a note to your friends on a piece of paper she would confiscate it. I couldn't draw because she thought it meant I was distracted. We were also supposed to have class on Saturday and she always wanted to have Saturdays off, for more shopping and lunch.
She favored one child in the class that could do no wrong, but I was a terrible child she picked on even though I could write better than anyone. During our last exam, I got my revenge: I read a book and based my final paper on it. The class favorite was trying to tell me what to say, so I told her, "Did you read it, or did I do it?" She didn’t bother me after.
41. You Are History, Sir!
Firstly, this teacher wasn’t my teacher, but he was the worst teacher ever. I’m a recent college graduate, and I still haven’t forgotten this middle school drama. He was an art teacher in middle school. I didn’t take art but had a locker near his classroom. In between periods when I was at my locker, he’d hide my backpack and make fun of me.
I went to the principal, the teacher was suspended and my mom or aunt picked me up from school. It didn’t end there. I have cerebral palsy and a vision impairment. This teacher would hide my stuff to make other disabled kids laugh. The kids he made laugh are worse off than I, but I think the whole thing was unacceptable.
After his suspension, he was caught video calling with a woman, bare as the day she was born. By a student! This got him fired and I was extremely relieved. I think he should have been fired for bullying me. I researched it and his actions violated the Americans With Disabilities Act. Either way, Mr. Butler was history!
42. You Can Keep It
When I was in year two, we had a substitute teacher for one lesson while our actual teacher was watching her teach. My mum had just gotten out of the hospital and I was living with her again. During the lesson, I began to worry about mom and started crying. The substitute just said, "I'm sure she's fine, now focus on the lesson." That didn't exactly make me feel better.
After a few minutes, my friends at my table were still comforting me because I was still crying. This is when the substitute said something I'll never forget: "Oh shut up will you!" I've never forgotten those words after she spoke them out of her mouth. My actual teacher didn't even say anything! She was just standing there watching when one of her students was being told to shut up. I was 7 years old.
43. Girl Code Violation
Senior year, I had back-to-back advanced placement tests one day, and I was going to eat lunch in my teacher’s room. The advanced placement tests were scheduled in the auditorium and it was miserably hot. They had turned the stage lights on and we were sitting under them for eight hours. Most of the girls in my class decided to wear shorts because it was so hot and sweaty. Our school had a dress code at the time but we figured this would be allowed.
We weren’t going to be in regular classes and had paid for these exams, plus spent the entire year preparing. Our one female assistant principal lined us up against the lockers and humiliated us for daring to wear scandalous clothing to distract the others. She threatened to give us an in-school suspension and not let us take our exams due to the shorts.
Thankfully, our teacher realized what was happening, and she stormed over and started screaming at the assistant principal, saying that we were taking college-level exams. She yelled there’s no dress code in college, and the hot stage lights are the distraction, not these girls’ shorts! We were allowed to take our tests but our teacher was a legend!
44. These Standards Are Clear
My art teacher was a man of clear bias and impossible standards. He tended to give Bs and As to girls, while male students received Cs and Ds exclusively. This was common knowledge, even with parents. I was a new student, and my parents were warned by others not to get mad at me because I would get a C and there was nothing they could do about it.
My parents didn’t believe the warning at first but it turned out to be true. Even worse, the only student who consistently got 100% in class was the Japanese exchange student who could draw like a professional manga creator. I should note I don’t dislike her (she was an amazing artist), but the best of the best shouldn’t set the bar for high school art.
45. Who’s In Charge?
In Primary School, I had a teacher who was also the headmaster because it was a small school. He decided since I was left-handed I shouldn’t be learning and kicked me out of mathematics and art. He truly believed that being left-handed meant you weren’t able to understand mathematics and that art was out of a lefties remit.
When we were doing written work he wouldn’t let me go to lunch until I rewrote it with my right hand. He made me do it several times and I would have to start over if any of my letters smudged. He warned me that if I wasn’t still rewriting my work when he got back from eating his lunch I would be punished. I was only ten years old.
One day during my lunch detentions, I was desperate to go to the toilet but I was too scared to go and ended up wetting myself. I finally told my parents. My dad was also a teacher at my school, and was furious. He called the school board to a meeting within half an hour of my confession. After the school board meeting, the headmaster left me alone.
46. As It Says In The ….
I went to a relatively small all-girls catholic high school and had been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes before the start of my junior year. It was a small enough school that everyone knew, and my teachers got training if something went wrong. Fast forward to my senior year. I’m sitting in religion class and my teacher, Mrs. Larson says she’s going to play us a video.
This video was meant to be an “unbiased” look at the ethics of embryonic stem cell research. Turned out that the purportedly unbiased video was produced and hosted by a priest, so you can imagine how the video went. The video decided that embryonic stem cell research was a sin, even if it was being used to help people with chronic illnesses.
The illness the video used as an example was Type 1 Diabetes. I have always been an outspoken person when it comes to injustice, and proudly consider myself a disruptive feminist before it was trendy. At that moment, I was shaking in my saddle shoes. I hadn’t faced ableism before, and I was still processing my feelings about diabetes.
I raised my hand and said it was hard to see a video use my illness while explaining that embryonic stem cell research was a sin. Mrs. Larson was immediately on the defense. She had prepared to handle my question and her response was an aggressive, “Well, does it affect your quality of life?” That left me speechless. I stammered something out.
When the video was done, I got up and went to the bathroom. I cried, mostly out of frustration and anger. I thought about calling my mom but decided I shouldn’t unless I wanted her to rage and embarrass me. After class, I said to my friend, “Wasn’t that crazy?” And she said, “Actually, I agreed with the video.” Which was the end of our friendship.
47. The Opposite Of Motivation
My fifth-grade English teacher was fired for the most insane thing I've ever heard of. She thought the best way to discipline students for not completing homework was to make the student stand in front of the class...and be slapped by each of their peers. Our classroom went through it twice before she was let go. I was in front of the class once and I would never wish it on any child.
48. Confusing Commands
My middle school was tiny and we would switch teachers for some of our subjects. During history class the teacher had us reading out loud from our textbooks and stopped the class to yell at me. She yelled to "STOP" what I was doing. I was just staring at my book like the rest of the class. She continued to yell at me, and I said I wasn't doing anything.
When she continued to yell at me, I asked "what am I doing?" She said "I don't know! But you need to STOP!" I got detention over recess and lunch where I couldn’t eat or go outside. I had to sit in the hallway and wait as she checked on me every few minutes. At the end of my detention, she said that I was, in fact, not doing anything. I was so furious—but that wasn't the worst part.
She admitted she was taking her anger out on me and needed to make an example out of me. She also felt embarrassed for scolding me over doing nothing. She then made me promise not to tell anyone. I kept my word and this is my first time recounting this story. Even as an adult, I don’t understand that day or her mentality.
49. The Physical Fitness Of Your Heart
I found out via MSN messenger that my childhood sweetheart had passed. We didn’t go to the same school and I was only thirteen. I was taken out of school a few days to calm down, and my teachers were all notified. When I returned, I gave it my all and tried my best to stay focused. All my teachers seemed supportive and understanding.
My P.E. teacher took me aside after class, and out of the blue told me to "get a grip and fix the problems of my personal life, because it's affecting my grade." I looked at her in disbelief, tears started rolling down my chin, and left. She shouted at me to come back and sit down. I walked around aimlessly until my friends found me.
50. An Isolated Pain
This teacher introduced me to being self-conscious. I was nine years old and one day she said, "You know something...insert name...you are a real PAIN on Fridays!" It was Friday and it was the afternoon which meant fun and games. At the time of her comment, I was having fun with friends, loudly laughing and joking.
She yelled this to me across the classroom and I was stunned and embarrassed. It came out of nowhere. Everyone went quiet and started looking at me. I went quiet and stayed quiet. I became conscious of myself and any noise I made. It occasionally crosses my mind and I wonder how my personality would be different without that announcement in my childhood.
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