Whether students are in primary school, high school, or even university, teachers can be wonderful or absolutely terrible. These are the stories of the teachers who made these students miserable--and sometimes, how they got revenge.
Just Try Harder!
“I hadn’t been doing well in calculus all year, but I was trying my best and just struggling. My teacher was one of the ‘cool’ ones- the kind who act laid back and crack jokes and all that.
I think this guy just thought I wasn’t trying, and he was as frustrated with me as I was with myself. One day in class he made a sort of passive-aggressive joke at my expense- something about ‘if you would just try harder.’ He didn’t even say it in front of other students, just to me, but I was so over him thinking I wasn’t trying that I got up and walked straight out and to the school counselor’s office. I would have been sent there any way for walking out in class, so I decided to expedite the process. She was really kind and talked me down from being so upset.
Anyway, that was on a Friday, so I didn’t see my calculus teacher again until Monday. I was hoping we could just pretend it didn’t happen, but no such luck. He pulled me into the hallway to talk… and truly, genuinely apologized. He offered to adjust his office hours (which didn’t work for me) to give me extra help. He ended up helping me pass the class- barely, but I still passed. I wouldn’t have graduated without it. In retrospect just talking to him more openly from the get-go probably would have been the more mature thing to do, but I was an awkward, self-doubting teenager who didn’t know how to ask for help. In the end, the experience helped me improve that skill and advocate for myself.
I still hate calculus though.”
“We got this admin in my school who we’ve nicknamed “The Pickinator.” In my sophomore year, she was patrolling the school, Dolores Umbridge style. She loves ruining kids days, and she busts kids for the most minor of things. This really annoying kid no one likes came up and snatched my backpack and ran. So I ran after him and ripped it out of his hands. Pickinator comes outside and immediately says ‘you two, stop wrestling around and come with me.’
She escorted us to the office because apparently we were wrestling and fighting. Tried to tell her I was just getting my stuff back and she wasn’t having it. So I just said, ‘well got my backpack, no reason to stick around now,” and went to my next class which was starting shortly.
I got called down later anyway but my Admin pretty much told me she overreacted and to just forget it happened. Pickinator hates me now.”
I Never Said That
“It was my 8th-grade science teacher. God, I hated her. For the sake of this, let’s say her name was Mrs. B.
Early on in the year, Mrs. B had given us a science fair project due in January. We had several class periods over the course of those months as well to work on it. My project was creating an unbeatable tic-tac-toe program. It didn’t work properly, but that’s beside the point right now. Because it would take significantly longer to have 20 people (the amount of tests we had to do) each play three rounds with the thing so I asked her if I could do fewer and she agreed, allowing me to only do seven people which I got done shortly before Christmas break, only about one and a half school weeks until the project was due. I make sure to thank her for letting me do fewer as I would never have gotten it done in time otherwise. She turns to me with this confused look as to say something to the effect of, ‘I never said that, you have to do 20 trials like everyone else.’
I was so insanely furious, I even got a witness who had overheard her give me a lower number come in as evidence. Both my witness and I ended up in detention. I did end up getting the project done but barely and it was rushed as heck. I still occasionally think of it and want to punch a wall.”
“My I.T. teacher wanted to inspect my work, spreadsheets or a word document or something. Anyway, she accidentally deleted the file. I was upset and tried to point out she just deleted my work. She started to shout at me telling me I should have saved frequently, I shouted back telling her that wasn’t the issue, she outright deleted the file. It got pretty heated. My parents were called. We were yelling at each other for a good couple of minutes to the point where we were both in tears. I was about 14 at the time. She should have known better.
A few years later, my sister had her when she went to that school and that same teacher berated my sister calling her names. She was such an awful excuse for a teacher.
The Whistling Kid
“There was a high school English teacher, Ms. Blades, who was ignoring me for a while. It’s worth mentioning that she didn’t really like me for some reason. I wasn’t a bad or annoying kid, in fact, I was very non-confrontational and mostly kept to myself in and out of class, so I don’t know what that was about. Anyway, I had my hand up because I had to use the bathroom and she kept pacing about the room, answering other kids’ questions but would glance at me and immediately look away.
After about 5 minutes with my hand up and getting ignored, (and about to poop my pants), I whistled as loud as I could. Interrupting anyone was completely out of character for me. Well, once upon a time, I had a chipped one of my front teeth, so I could whistle extremely loud because of it. My whistle was just that. It was the whistling equivalent of firing a weapon in a closed room. Absolutely deafening. The entire room got quiet and she snapped her head around so fast. As her name might suggest, Ms. Blades was staring daggers into my face. Then one kid goes, ‘ooooh, he just called you a dog, ooohhhhhhhhhh,’ then she gained serious momentum from that one-off and said, ‘Oh, I don’t think so! You think I’m a dog!? You think I’m a dog!?’ I got sent to the principal’s office for disrespecting an ignorant teacher. I used the bathroom on the way there.”
Caught Her In The Act
“When I was a senior in high school, I had an AP English teacher that would grade people ‘based on how much she liked them,’ essentially. I had long hair and stretched earlobes and she despised me, even though I was an excellent student in all aspects. She claimed I didn’t turn in assignments on time to justify my grades so I spoke with my guidance counselor and she investigated for me.
It turns out she had sorted completed assignments into piles of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and would arbitrarily grade the papers based on who she felt sucked up to her the most that day. I presented a book report on ‘The Odyssey’ which was by far the longest and most detailed presentation of the whole class and she gave me a D. I told her ‘Forget you, this is the end of your career’ and walked out because I had sent an identical copy to the guidance counselor. She presented it to the school board, eventually got her fired, and the best part was she was also a driver’s ed instructor and lost her job doing that as well. Apparently, I wasn’t the first to speak up about her but I was the one that put the nail in the coffin and it felt great.”
An Unfair Grader
“I had a teacher at my private college who enjoyed calling everybody stupid and that we were only studying there because our parents showed how much they earned. There were a lot of scholarship students, myself included, but who cares?
I can’t be quiet when I hear these kinds of things, so we discussed it almost every class. She failed most of the class on the first course, and we fought with the dean and she let us do another test, with another teacher. Everybody passed.
On the second course she gave us, the same thing happened, but this time the dean said we were being dramatic. The teacher decided that there would not be a test, only a group presentation. She settled the groups. I got stuck with two lazy guys who did nothing, I did the entire paper and the presentation. Both of them got a 9 (A) and I got a 7 (C minus) – it was the last time I worked with people who did nothing, no matter who they were.
I needed a C to pass and I failed because of a point. I tried to talk to the dean, but she didn’t listen to me. So I had to do the course again. I could do it with another teacher, but I chose her. I was the worst student she ever had. I sat in the first row, always made a fool of her, once I made her cry. The next year she wasn’t a teacher there anymore. She made me lose my scholarship because of that grade. I do not regret it, and would do it again with an extra bit of cruelty.”
Fix It Yourself
“A couple of weeks into my senior year of high school, the president gave a speech about the importance of school or something. I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention. Anyway, all of the teachers in my school had to set up their projectors so we could watch it.
My math teacher couldn’t figure out how to get her projector working. So, me being the nerdy kid, I offered to help. She had a fit. Started screaming about how she wasn’t stupid and how I needed to just sit down and shut up.
After a few more minutes of her failing to fix it, she pointed at me and ordered me to fix it. I said ‘Fix it yourself.’
She told the whole class to go next door to watch the speech in that teachers’ room. When we got up to leave, she pulled me to the side and told me that when the class got back I was going to stand up and apologize for being so rude to her. I refused and went to join the rest of the class.
She spent the rest of the year making my life miserable. She told me on several occasions that she was going to make sure that I failed her class. I would turn in homework assignments and she ‘wouldn’t get them.’ Students weren’t allowed to keep a copy of the tests because the school was worried about test compromises, so she could basically give me whatever she wanted on them and I couldn’t prove anything. If there was a dispute about the test grades, the school’s policy was to have the department head re-grade the test. But as I mentioned, the department head was a friend of hers and found that all of the tests that I disputed were graded correctly. Whether or not that was true, I don’t know since I never got to see them. Sure enough, I failed her class. It was the only class I ever failed.
I reported her afterward. My parents went to the administrators, but they didn’t want to do anything and said it was an issue for the math department head. The department head was a good friend of my teacher and took her side.
The class wasn’t a requirement for graduation, and it was the last semester before I was done with high school so I didn’t care to waste any more time on it.”
A Teacher Who Didn’t Care
“I once had some kind of stomach pain during class. It was the worst pain I’ve felt my whole life and was in my science class.
I started groaning in agony in the first row and my bud next to me said that I needed to leave and go to the hospital. I wanted to but my teacher ignored my pain and the tears that had now started streaming down my face. A minute, later I just stood up, walked to the door and as soon as she tried to talk, I told her to shut up and walked out with a raised middle finger. Then I proceeded to throw up in the trash outside.
Later I realized that I had food poisoning, probably from some hot cocoa that I drank, after going to the hospital right after I threw up. I didn’t come back to school for three days after that.”
I Don’t Believe You
“I had a bout of stomach flu which was so intense that it damaged my intestines and as a result, my body couldn’t process certain foods for a while. This caused me severe pain. I mainly had cramps that were so bad I couldn’t do anything useful anymore except curl up and wait for them to be over. It took me more than a month to figure out a very limited amount of safe stuff to eat, which I ended up slowly expanding on over time. I did miss a few weeks of school when it first started though.
My body was unable to handle foods containing histamine for a while. Usually, the body creates an enzyme to counter it in the lining of the intestines, but the stomach flu stopped that with me for a few years. Now all I still have issues with is ethanol and nuts when consuming large amounts.
Directly after my math teacher’s class, she insisted I come to her and explain why I missed so many of her classes. I had a note from my doctor ready, but she dismissed it. She told me she could tell that I wasn’t sick, but that I was just lazy and lying to everyone and that she was severely disappointed in me. I literally just walked away, which is the closest I ever got to having a temper tantrum in class. In retrospect I wish I had told her what I was really thinking, being that I was very disappointed in her.”
The Day She Snapped
“When I was in high school, a girl absolutely lost it on my math teacher. The way class generally went was we’d go in and he’d have the day’s assignment written on the board. Then he’d spend the first 20 minutes of class teaching new concepts and going over problems, then he’d give us about 30 minutes to work on our assignments and he’d sit at his desk and answer questions. Overall, I really liked this style, but some did not.
This girl did NOT.
About 3/4th of the way through the year, she snapped. The class was no different than any other, he explained the new stuff and did some examples and then said, ‘anyone who needs individual help, just line up at my desk and I’ll be happy to help.’
She lost it.
“What do you mean: that’s it? I don’t wanna wait in line for 20 minutes, help me now! This is crazy! Forget you!”
She was getting angrier and angrier. And to my teacher’s credit, the angrier she got, the calmer and quieter my teacher got. And the calmer and quieter he was, the more furious she would get.
Teacher (calm): ‘I understand you’re upset, how about we go to the hallway and talk about it.’
Student (yelling): ‘No, come to help me with this crap here and now!’
Teacher (calmer, quieter than before): ‘Now there’s no need for that kind of language, we can discuss this civically, I’m happy to help you any way I can.’
Student (even angrier and louder): ‘FORGET YOU! FORGET THIS! I HATE THIS TERRIBLE SCHOOL!’
Teacher (still very calm): ‘I’m sorry you’re so frustrated, what can I do?’
Student (now screaming as loud as she possibly can): incoherent screaming and cursing
This is when the principal walked in and took the girl out of class. The teacher left for a moment to talk to the principal while we could hear this girl screaming all the way to the office, just every expletive in the book, all directed at the teacher.
When it was all over, the teacher calmly walked back in, stood at the front, and said ‘well, if anyone else has a problem with me, I’m happy to discuss it if we can be civil.’
No one said a word.
‘Ok then. Anyone who needs help come see me.’
Class went on like normal after that.
In retrospect, that teacher handled that like a pro in every possible way. Never saw that girl in class or in school again, so something had to have been going on to set her off like that, but I’ve never seen a student go off like that before or since, and I’ve worked as a teacher and sub for nearly a decade.”
An Entire Department Of Terribles
“Not just with a teacher, but at an entire department.
The English department at my first college was staffed by people who, by and large, were terrible. Their idea of a writing workshop was having you e-mail the assignment to the teacher, and then making you pay at least $10 to print out enough copies of your story for the entire class. Why we couldn’t just put it up on a message board somewhere, (they were built into our school’s online infrastructure) I don’t know.
The teacher of this workshop also made it abundantly clear that he didn’t care at all about his students. I’m pretty sure he was a grad student teaching the class for credit, but he acted like a major tool and pretty clearly didn’t read any of the stories beyond a basic skimming. We took quizzes on computers, and he didn’t care in the slightest if we Googled the answers, as long as we got it done before class ended. He drove one of his students to a panic attack on the last day because he had acted like such a creep to them, micromanaging one of their stories. It was bizarre.
They also had this weird thing where they would gather every English major in the college into the chapel on campus every Thursday in order to have you listen to someone read from their work. It was advertised as ‘Creative Writing Common Time,’ but it literally just meant ‘sit down, shut up, listen to someone read their works that were rejected from a lit magazine.’ No laptops, no phones, no books. And if you missed ONE session of this, out of an entire semester, you failed the ‘class.’ And you had to take FOUR SEMESTERS of this if you wanted to pass.
By the end of the first semester, I’d had enough. I’d missed a session, and the makeup assignment was just as bizarre– you had to find an audio recording of a work online, read by the author and analyze how they read it. Like. What.
It really, really got bad on the last day. Undergrad students were finally allowed to read, and either they didn’t vet them at all, or they vetted them really poorly, because there was a student who read a graphic depiction of a murder, and the teachers just let them. A few of the other students in the building left in disgust. I almost joined them.
Needless to say, I dropped out of the English program at this college and transferred to a university whose English department isn’t staffed by psychopaths. Took me an extra year to graduate, don’t care. It was better than that.”
Just Learn It, Kids
“When I was in eighth grade my science teacher decided the day before the last test of the year to give us an extra 16 pages of new material to learn by ourselves and appear in the test. Needless to say, everyone lost their marbles and started complaining and I wrote her an angry letter.
I was later forced either to apologize or they would tell my parents, so I apologized because I may have been a little inappropriate. And by the end of the year, she was fired after her first year in the school. She also thought it was a good idea to bring her dogs to part of the lessons in the science lab when there are two kids who are allergic to dogs.”