Teachers, they’re people too! They have lives…lives have secrets. Lives have drama. Lives have passion. Reddit users were asked about their stories of discovering shocking things about their teachers, here’s some of their answers!
1. If she’s not here in 15 minutes we can leave.
She didn’t come to class that day, because she was murdered. With an ironing cord around her neck. By an old student. Who had been a lover. While her aged mother lay sleeping in the bedroom next door.
This was my university Italian lecturer. I had a class with her three times a week and she was intensely personal, engaging every student. A Russian lady, 56, bigger than life. To this day I can’t believe that murder touched my life, I think it was my first experience of death of someone I knew. I was only 20 then.
2. Oh to be young and in love…
One of my pharmacology teachers had an affair with one of the students in my school. This is not the shocking part, every student knew about the inappropriate affair. It was one of those times when the gossip literally spread like wildfire.
She (the teacher) and he (the student) were doing many unmentionable things. Study rooms in school would be found suspiciously locked from the inside. Lunch dates and gift exchanges were taking place. He was getting easy A’s (I believe this was his intention).
However, what she was unaware of was that he had many such opportunistic arrangements with many other girls in school, albeit she was the only teacher in the flock. Until one day she caught up to his tomfoolery. And she totally lost it. She yelled and screamed and cursed. She slapped and pushed him. She cried. The authorities had to be called in but she wouldn’t calm down. They had to lock her in the deans office for a while to have her pull herself together. It was horrible. It was unbelievable. She was lucky, they did not fire her. Rather they gave her a chance to voluntarily resign. Her complete disregard for the risk it posed to her career and how love drives away every ounce of common sense was very shocking.
3. Well that’s one way out.
My math teacher when I was 15 was incredibly lazy and never paid attention to class. This caused me and most of my peers to fail most of the tests. This teacher was originally a substitute that had to take on the role as a full time teacher due to one of the regular teachers being seriously ill. After the year he taught my class he left the school, most of us assumed he’d been fired for negligence. I later found out that he actually left voluntarily and that he wasn’t just being ‘lazy’ during my math lessons.
I found out that he was actually a compulsive gambler that played poker on many different websites, which was apparently what he was actually doing during my lessons. It had turned out that he’d won millions playing poker during our lessons and decided he couldn’t be arsed being a teacher and just left the school. I was gobsmacked, this man had stopped so many people getting the required grade to go into higher education from playing poker because of this addiction, and made millions from doing it. If that isn’t proof karma doesn’t exist, then I don’t know what is.
4. You never noticed? You -never- noticed?
We had this teacher for four months, two hours a week. So we’d spent about forty hours in a room with this guy. He was inspiring. He always had this relaxed stance, one hand in his pocket, the other gesturing. He led discussions that shifted your entire worldview.
Then one day, near New Years, he spoke to us about firework safety. There had been some people experimenting with increasing the impressiveness of their fireworks. He asked the class what the dangers were of firework. Then, he pointedly held up his other hand. Or lack of it. In all this time, we had never noticed that his arm ended at the wrist.
5. Be nice.
Around mid-year, we suddenly were met with a series of substitute teachers. As students dug deeper, they learned that our teacher recently had a divorce. Divorce itself isn’t shocking, but what was shocking was our response at the beginning of the year to his relationship.
Our teacher wasn’t stereotypically good looking, while his wife was extremely stereotypically good looking. We constantly poked fun at him, making jokes that he was the lucky one while his wife got the short end of the stick. Teenagers are stupid sometimes. His wife did end up cheating on him—and all the while, his students that he met everyday taunted him about this fact to the point he gave up teaching. Sometimes it’s all fun and games. Sometimes it’s reality. And reality hurts.
6. Doctor K’s extra tuition.
My first Latin teacher, let’s call her Doctor K., was a full-blooded lady, and no one who ever met her would have said different. Her appearance was classic: tweed and wool costumes, Hermes-like scarfs, Kelly bags and clacking pumps were her day-to-day outfit. Her short blond hair was always perfectly coiffed, her hands manicured. She had a natural authority, I can’t remember anyone in class even tried to screw with her, unlike their behavior with the History teacher who ran out of the class crying more than once. Doctor K. was a stoic, you could tell from her posture.
Fifteen years after I left her class, I ran into my ex-bff’s little sister. She had been a delightful girl: funny and brave, a huge horse fan, an avid reader of Mickey Mouse, tomboy-ish, lisping, vibrant, and with a remarkable sense of sarcasm in a fourteen year old. If it wasn’t for her looks, I wouldn’t have recognized her. She was a completely different person. She told me she had suffered from a schizophrenic episode, followed by severe and life-threatening depressions and it all began shortly after… she had been seduced as a fourteen year old by Doctor K.
Under the pretense of giving her extra tuition, Doctor K. had lured her into her house, and from there on, it all went south. That classy lady turned out to be a rapist, she ‘seduced’ that child, who clearly wasn’t interested in sex at all, let alone with her forty year old Latin teacher. There never was a trial, this happened in a little German village, and you don’t ‘soil your own nest’ here. You just keep your mouth shut.
7. He always made the school day more bearable.
One of my favorite teachers was my music teacher in elementary school. He was hilarious, always happy, and made the lessons fun. We would sing the material instead of read it so we always remembered it better. He never got mad or yelled. He seemed to love his job. He had a passion for music (especially for playing the guitar) and he made classes fun.
Then one December, his life fell apart. He wasn’t private about it. He seemed sadder, more strict, and he would spend many classes just talking about his life. His mom was struggling with cancer, and it was certain that she wouldn’t have much time left to live. One day he came back and he told us that his mother had passed away on his birthday. Then his 17 year old cat passed away a few days later. He was holding back tears. All the students in the class were crying for him. He explained that he might have to spend time leaving the class for a few minutes he said he would start randomly feeling hot, dizzy, and get headaches. They were probably panic attacks, now that I look back.
Then, 3 years after I had last seen him or attended one of his classes, he committed suicide. I read about it on the news. He was visiting family in the part of the country where his mom used to live. He was pulled over by a police officer on suspicion of drunken driving. The officer then saw that [teacher] had a gun. Teacher] turned toward the officer and fired the gun. Thankfully, the shot missed and the officer was uninjured. Then [teacher] turned the gun to his own head and shot himself. He died instantly. I still think about that teacher. He always made the school day more bearable.
8. Warming up for Jimi.
My high school history teacher was an older British man with a thick grey moustache. He was very kind to me. While other teachers pronounced my name ‘Peter,’ he insisted on pronouncing it in the proper Norwegian way. But, there was something odd about him. He would sometimes space out and look in the distance seemingly deep in thought. Sometimes he would forget trivial things. There was just something about him. My classmates and I were speculating that maybe he was smoking weed.
One day I met him outside of school, and we started talking. The conversation lead to music and he revealed that he plays drums. He then told me that he was a drummer for a rock band in the late 1960s and early 70s. In fact, his band warmed up for Jimi Hendrix. Apparently, he used to be quite the hippie back in the day. My history teacher was a hippie drummer in the 1960s? He was the opening act for Jimi Hendrix? Awesome! That explains why he always seemed spaced out.
9. The unsuspecting suspect.
Shocked to say the least. I was taking a class at a small college. The course was business marketing taught by a very pleasant soft spoken prof. You had to sit in the first 3 rows just to hear him. He wore glasses and stood about 5 feet 6. He was also diabetic. He revealed that to us when he told us he bought as many cases as he could before the artificial sweetener in 1970 was being banned. He was knowledgeable about marketing and the course was entertaining as well as challenging. No shock so far, huh.
The local newspaper at the time, as well as the police, were bewildered by a series of bank robberies. Seems a bespectacled soft spoken robber had robbed 3 banks in about 3 weeks. No suspects! We didn’t think about the bank heists…just normal news in a city that gets it share of crime. Until…the class met for the usual Tuesday morning lecture. Guess who wasn’t there? Yep. Seems our professor was the perp. We found out a few weeks later that he just wanted to see if he could get away with it.
10. Okay, well that’s dark.
This last summer, about 10 years after the fact, I discovered the reason for my father’s failed suicide, which caused me years of emotional hardship and depression, was finding my mother in bed with my 8th grade science teacher.
It was a snowy winter and we were stranded on our hilly street. My father, who normally turned in for the night around 9PM, awoke to the sound of my mother’s orgasm downstairs. He figured she was probably just touching herself and went down to help her out, only to discover her with another man. Seeing my father, my former science teacher ran outside into the snow and hid in the bushes. Half an hour later (during which I have no idea what took place), my mother asked my father to return the man’s clothes. Instead of handing the man back his shirt and pants, my father threw them into a thicket of thorny blackberry bushes.
Three hours later, my father went sledding into to ongoing traffic, which resulted in a permanent brain injury and him needing to be hospitalized for over a year. Thanks a lot, Mr. Lapin. You were a great teacher, but a s—ty human being.
11. ….Whoa….well…there you go.
Where to begin?
I had some messed up teachers and my class was awful.
When I was in 14, we had 6 different English teachers the same year.
The first one was depressive. One day he announced that his daughter died and showed us pictures of her. At the end of the class I talk to him about it, seeing that something was wrong. He then said: It’s over, I’m going down
I ask where and he replied to hell.
He committed suicide the same day, and I regret not having talked about it to someone else.
The next few were either fired or resigned. We were a class of 5, 3 boys and 2 girls (small school), and in retrospect extremely rude, sexist and all that, plus the fact that there was no true authority above us made us impossible to teach.
I discovered that my chemistry teacher was a biker, that the math teachers of my school created a rock band, that my physics teacher could pick locks (which he did to see what happened to one teacher who disappeared, to find him dead in his sleep).
Two of my biology teachers took sex education a bit too seriously, in my opinion, by telling us their personal experiences (for the story, both explained that men were unable to satisfy their desires). Another biology teacher would invite his veryattractive (and young) girlfriends to school.
I discovered that one of my auxiliary history teachers was an ex-figure of the Front National, who also organised the prison break of a few drug dealers in Dominican Republic.
I told you it was messed up.
12. When it rains, it pours.
One of my Chemistry teachers (he also taught us PSHE at the time) told us he was going to miss class one week and one of the ruder students asked why. It turned out his brother had died of a heart attack. Later that year, during one of our PSHE lessons with him, we were discussing the consequences of drugs. He went on to tell us the story of his other brother who was put into prison because he was caught dealing drugs- he was also a drug addict at the time. It turns out the teacher’s brother had been smuggling drugs into prison and whilst he had consumed a packet of drugs, it had exploded in his stomach. His other brother died. Both of his brothers died within the same year.
13. A man of many tastes.
I had a teacher senior year, an absolutely amazing teacher who actually made me think about teaching for a bit. When I would have conversations with him, he would sometimes talk a bit about women he’d dated in his youth, but he would never discuss what was very obvious: he came off as extremely gay. Even back then, he was maxing out my gay-dar. Of course, with it being the late ’80s, I understood completely why he would choose to remain closeted; gays were still severely discriminated against, and with it being the early days of AIDS, people were paranoid of homosexual men. I didn’t care, he was a great teacher, and we talked nonstop about literature, with him insisting he wanted me to go to college at his alma mater.
Fast-forward to the year 2000. After some horrible circumstances, I was stuck managing an adult store (hey, it paid the bills, dammit!). One day, I glanced up and saw… my teacher. Oh holy crap, how do I face him? I was supposed to be a published author or a college professor somewhere, I was most definitely not supposed to be managing a porn shop! So, I did what any sensible person would do in my shoes: I ran and hid. He came up to the register and one of my employees rented him the movies he chose.
Now, ethically, I shouldn’t have looked. But, I couldn’t resist, I had to know if my gut-feelings all those years before were correct. So, I took a look. And yes, I was right, he rented gay porn! Oh, and…straight porn… And bi… Gang bang… What the hell?!? This was NOT what I expected!!! Turned out my favorite teacher rented whatever the hell he could get his hands on. Even the most extreme stuff we had had been checked out by him: midgets, farts, plumpers, menstruation, imported East German BDSM, you name it. And it was NONSTOP, every Tuesday and Thursday he came in and checked out two movies.
14. They must have reaaaaallly ticked her off.
My 3rd grade science teacher forged another teacher’s signature to prevent me from being accepted into an honor’s program.
When I was a child I was diagnosed with ADHD: I was fidgety, had trouble concentrating and following directions, and I was bullied which caused depression. These behaviors gave my teacher the impression that I was a troublemaker. If I forgot my name on my homework she would throw it away. She put me in a desk on one side of the classroom away from the other students. She would bully me, a 3rd grader because she saw me as a troublemaker when I really needed help. After my diagnosis and entering counseling I was able to deal better with my symptoms and my grades got better. To determine acceptance into the accelerated learning program the teachers would give their recommendations, and that with our grades would determine eligibility. However this teacher didn’t want to see me get into it. When my math teacher got sick that year she signed a form as her giving me a bad recommendation, saying that I wasn’t a good enough student for the program. This was in exact odds with the recommendation of my reading teacher who proclaimed that I was a great student. Both of these were documented and a inquiry was made when the guidance counselors realized the math teacher couldn’t have signed that paper because she had been hospitalized for her sickness. She got in trouble for the forgery and I was accepted into the program because of my grades and the recommendation of my other teachers.
The fact that a teacher who should have been trying to see me become successful disliked me so much and actively tried to sabotage my life (because this program helps determine the schools you can be accepted in) was very shocking and hurtful for my seven year old self.
15. Human after all….isn’t it incredible?
I was 16 years old and completely lost. I was very uninterested in school. My English teacher was not only the best teacher I ever had, she was also the only one who really seemed to care about the fact I was throwing away my future acting the way I was. She would grab my arm on my way out of the classroom, and talk to me during her lunch break about my overall performance in school and my lack of interest.
Anyway, because of a day of absence, I had to take a test for English a couple of days after the other kids from my class had taken it. I got to take it at her desk while she continued teaching the other kids. I got my pen ready and while she kept on teaching she walked toward her desk with me sitting behind it. She opened her briefcase to look for the test and while she’s going through the stuff inside this unmistakable smell of weed hits me right in the face. I looked at her and she looked at me and I knew she knew what I just discovered. I was shocked at the time. Hindsight, this discovery came hardly as a surprise. In fact it was just the confirmation that this teacher was perhaps the most human of them all.
16. Strictly business.
I was always a little bit of a problem child. It’s not that I had a problem with authority per se, I just had my own way of doing things. In 4th grade, I got a teacher with a reputation of being a disciplinarian. He delivered on that reputation. I wouldn’t say we disliked each other, but he did not give me much leeway. One of his go-to discipline moves was to send a kid ‘to the corner.’ That means standing in the corner, facing the wall, and not being allowed to touch the wall. No leaning or anything like that. I would spend hours, sometimes the entire day, standing in the corner.
But again, it was almost a business relationship we had. ‘Charles, do you have your homework today?’ The question was ceremonial, because he knew (and I knew he knew) the answer. ‘Nope.’ ‘Get in the corner.’ This line wasn’t delivered in a scolding way, just business-like. In the same way a cashier would say ‘That will be $1.32. Okay, your change is $3.68.’ Despite this, I think we had a positive relationship, especially with the benefit of hindsight and my adult perspective. He did his best to nurture my positive qualities, and did his best to squelch my negative qualities. Both with mixed success.
Many years later, in a fit of nostalgia, I googled him. On the first page of results was a story from a newspaper in Florida (far from his home in Las Vegas) about a guy with his name being arrested for possession of crack cocaine and solicitation of a prostitute. I wouldn’t have believed it was the same guy had they not also shown the mugshot.
17. Great timing.
A woman stormed into class, slapped our (young, female) teacher, and called her a b—h. We found out later that the woman was another teacher’s wife. The two teachers were having an affair. That may not be terribly shocking, but it was quite a surprise to witness.
18. The secret of Mrs. Q
I was in the 4th grade and my favorite teacher was Mrs. Q. Of course, everyone’s favorite teacher was Mrs. Q. She was tall, young, very curvy, with dark hair, dark eyes and a deep tan. And she was so nice. Most of our teachers could have played the parts of the three witches in Macbeth, by both appearance and behavior. It was easy to picture them standing around a cauldron with a kid in it boiling away while they chanted. But I digress….
Mrs. Q was wonderful. Soft-spoken and kind. She touched the kids in a nice way, and we, the little boys, practically swooned. And then, there was the rumor. None of us exactly believed it because we were all little boys and we all knew that little boys lied through their teeth. But there was the rumor that Mrs. Q had posed for Playboy. One of the older boys nodded his head as he told us the rumor, insisting that his older brother had the magazine. Now we all knew he had a thuggish brother who was a senior in high school. In fact, he had been a senior in high school for several years, and that, somehow, only improved his credibility in our impressionable little minds.
Then came the morning I walked to the bus stop to find my compatriots gathered around a magazine. Nobody answered me when I hailed them. Nobody said a word. They were transfixed by what they were looking at. I walked around to see what had captured their attention and I stopped breathing when I saw the pictures. There was dear Mrs. Q. Buck naked. In a Playboy. It’s amazing none of us died on the spot because I know we all had forgotten to keep breathing. It was the first time I had ever seen a picture of a naked woman and, for God’s sake, it was Mrs. Q! As impossible as it might have seemed, our admiration for her doubled on the spot. She was a Goddess! The school bell rang, and we were still staring at the magazine. A crossing guard hustled us off to class.
Of course, you couldn’t keep a secret like that under wraps. Sometime during the day, the Playboy ended up in the hands of none other than Mrs. Q. I think the kid that it belonged to was struck dumb by the incident. We were all slavishly devoted to her through the end of the year. And when we came back from summer break, she was gone, leaving us all in the hands of the Wayward Sisters, whom, I thought, secretly plotted to eat us. We had no idea what happened to her, we all just assumed she just went on a different school to take care of a different bunch of little boys. Those lucky guys.