From pronouncing a students name wrong on purpose, to humiliating another in front of the entire class, people share the worst thing they’ve heard a teacher do or say.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
Well, it wasn’t a teacher per se, but it was the guidance counselor in high school. She asked me what I wanted to do for a career, and I told her that I wanted to be a chef. She literally said, and I quote “Why don’t you do something where you use your brain?”
I’ve been making a living as a chef for the last 20 years and I don’t subscribe to the “everyone needs to go to college” doctrine.
Age of 9, lost my father in a horrific accident. I returned to school a few days later and after attendance was taken the teacher said to me in front of the class “The class got together and sent flowers to your father’s funeral, I paid your share so make sure you bring in $2 tomorrow as I need to be paid back. She then went on with the lessons.
This wasn’t said directly to me but… in middle school I had a teacher grab me from the lunch table and drag me to the principals office. After grilling me for awhile and telling me I know what I did, they finally revealed to me that the teacher stated she witnessed me suggestively sucking my thumb while staring at a female friend of mine.
I was just biting my nail.
“Congratulations, you’re a marriage of dumbos made in heaven.”
I had a teacher in elementary school who after every test would pick the lowest scoring girl and lowest scoring boy in the class and force them to hold hands, perform a brief marriage ceremony on them in front of the laughing class (without the kissing part obviously), and have all the other kids sing “Here comes the Bride”.
Then she’d have the two kids sit together at the side of the classroom for rest of the lesson, and they weren’t allowed to stop holding hands until bell rang.
The answer is yes. That did happen to me. Three weeks was about how long the teasing lasted, and six years was roughly how long me and the “groom” avoided speaking to each other after that out of residual humiliation.
When I was 12 my teacher said my knitting had too many errors in it (it had 4) and ripped it to shreds. I was supposed to start all over again but excused myself and went to the bathroom where I cried for the rest of the lesson.
One of my college professor straight up said one day “From my experience, African American students tend to drop my class the most. It’s probably too hard for them. Any of you notice how we haven’t seen that one black girl who used to sit in the front row for weeks now?”
Guy was immediately shot down when the “black girl” raised her hand from the back row saying she’d been here the whole time; she just moved to the back row cuz that’s where her boyfriend was sitting.
First day on the job teacher walks in as the new CAD teacher and his names on the board, it looks like you’d pronounce it Ass-Man. He announces right away that it’s not and that you will be thrown out of his class if you call him that. He does roll and gets to a French African name that looks like it might be pronounced for a gay slur starting with F. Does not use better judgement and uses that slur as a last name. “It’s pronounced Faj-jay, Assman, said the kid. He obviously had to deal with this problem his whole life and was not keen on the mix up. New teacher blows up, and is hollering at this 16 year old whose not backing down. Takes a bit but they both disappear. Teacher was never seen in the building again. This was 1st period, 1st day of school.
Okay I have one. When I was in elementary, I got confused at lunch time and threw my food out early and wandered outside for recess. (alone)
Realizing my mistake and having no idea what to do, I went back inside and told a lunch lady and asked what I should do.
She dragged me by the arm to the center of the lunch room with a live mic and informed EVERYONE of my mistake and how no one should do what I did because it was a bad bad thing. She told everyone I was going to get EXPELLED.
I was sobbing at that point. I kept asking her what expelled meant but she didn’t answer me. All I knew was that it was a bad thing. I never told my mom until years later.
And no. I didn’t get actually expelled.
Mrs. Nudell, my 3rd grade math teacher. 1986.
I missed 2 weeks of school due to a horrible case of chickenpox and fell behind with whatever it was that we were working on.
A month after I came back to school, I was still struggling with math, but was too young and scared to ask for help.
We had a test that I failed. So, Mrs. Nudell brought my 3rd grade self up to the front of the classroom and shamed me.
She told the entire classroom that [my name] will NEVER succeed in math.”
I ended up crying and going to the nurse with a “stomach ache.
I’ll never forget how awful she was to me, and I struggled with math for the rest of the time that I was in school.
“How dare you write that, you’re practically emotionally handicapped! It’s psychopathic!”
Said to me at 12, not even half a year after my mom died. She made us write an essay about our home life (which in retrospect was a messed up excuse to snoop into my situation) and didn’t like how I used humor to cope so she pulled me out of the class to yell at me for 5 minutes for not being sad enough. I don’t even remember what I wrote besides cracking some jokes about my dad’s outfits.
When I was in 6th grade the second election for Bush Jr was coming around and they were teaching us about political parties and being a kid I asked which political party I belonged to because as a kid with no prior knowledge I wanted to know if I had one. My teacher then proceeded to tell the class that EVERYONE. EVERYONE IS and MUST be a Republican or will burn in the fiery pits of hell with the dirty no morals having Democrats.
Turns out you don’t go to hell for not being a republican.
My theatre teacher in high school told me I was too overweight to act unless I played the big, idiot sidekick. She also said I would never be in a musical, and that I wouldn’t make it in the world of theatre. About a year later her husband cast me in a musical and one other show because he really liked me.
All of her comments for the 4 years I was in high school really messed me up and made me rethink wanting to do theatre which is one of my only passions. I’m glad I stuck with it and continued on through my senior year even though she was still awful to me.
In (UK) year 11 (age 15/16). An English (literature) teacher once told my class: “Polar bears almost exclusively eat penguins.
I was not good at literature but I was good at science subjects and I was not this teachers favourite pupil. So when she said this I quite quickly argued back saying that she was wrong. She protested and I explained that polar bears live in the arctic ocean and, while there are various species of penguin, none of them live in the northern hemisphere. This was an open argument during class and she offered to Google the answer. So she did and when I was proven correct by the Internet, she sent me out the class.
I had a teacher stand me up in front of the class and have them say “Stupid” in unison. That really did a lot for my 5th grade self esteem, especially considering my Dad was in rehab at the time and the reason I was called stupid was I lost my homework at said rehab visiting him.
Jokes on her though, I am an accomplished scientist today despite that terrible chain of events.
I was a metalhead with long hair. In the 9th grade my algebra teacher (who was working on his 3rd DUI) told me that I’d OD before I ever graduated. I sent him an invite to my graduation. I mentioned how I hadn’t OD’d. He no showed. But one of my other teachers came. Told me what a jerk that guy was. And that he’d be sure to ask him why he couldn’t make the graduation. Just to rub it in a little.
My design and technology teacher really resented that I had very little interest in her subject. She asked me what I wanted to do when I left school. I told her I was going to do something with music (I was in all the school bands, orchestras, choirs etc. and played piano at grade 8 level). She told me to be successful at that someone had to be either extremely talented or very hard working and that I was neither.
My brother abused me as a child it started around third or fourth grade and when I was in fourth grade he held a pocket knife my dad had given him up to my neck I told my class about it because I was scared. My teacher took me to the hallway and told me “Don’t say those things or you’ll be taken away from your family.” I never mentioned the abuse to anyone again until 7th grade because of the warning this teacher gave me. It only got worse after the knife incident…
Chemistry Teacher. Earlier this year.
“Congratulations. You’re a forest of idiots. I honestly don’t understand how any of you are still my class. Just drop and take Ag Chem or Physics like the morons you are.”
She single-handedly insulted the entire Junior class in 5 seconds. She is, without a doubt, the worst person I’ve ever had to deal with. And somehow still isn’t fired.
I had a tax teacher in college point out the kid who was bound to a wheelchair and had an aid who would take notes for him and say that he wouldn’t get far in life because of his disability. And that was just the way his life would be. And the teacher knew this because ‘his mother was also bound to a wheelchair as well’.
This made me so angry, sure he’s going to have a tough time but no teacher has the right to tell a student what they can an cannot accomplish in life. That teacher was a jerk, I told our coordinator and wrote it on our end of year evaluations. Im not sure if he returned to be honest.
Probably the 3rd grade teacher calling me by my hated nickname when I was in 2nd grade. It didn’t help my Aunt found out and called me the same name too. And that’s when I learned to not trust adults as a child.
What I’ve always hated is when a teacher says something along the lines of “you’ll end up getting a job a McDonald’s/Walmart/Wendy’s.”
What they don’t realize is that just getting a job (especially if there’s stigma against it) should earn respect. It’s a thousand times better than collecting an unemployment check for years.
In high school, we had a sub for math one day who was an older white woman. Before class started, a group of Mexican students were talking to each other in Spanish. The sub clears her throat and says, “Excuse me, in America we speak ENGLISH.”
I think we were all too stunned to say anything in the moment, but we did tell our regular teacher when she got back and she was basically like, what? You can speak to each other in whatever language you want.
When I was about 9 our teacher asked the class what we wanted to be when we grew up. One kid said he wanted to be a bin-man (a garbage man). The teacher went into a rant, saying that jobs like these were for the lowest, most unintelligent people in society, and that he should aspire to be better than that. Finally she asked why he wanted to be a bin-man anyway. “Because my dad’s one, said the kid, by now in tears.
My 9th grade science teacher was talking about molecular bonds or something and as an example called a girl up in front of the class. Saying she was one atom and he was another, and they were attracted to each other and if they were married they would form a new molecule. The girl he called up looked super uncomfortable, but at the time it seemed harmless. Turns out they were having an affair and he kept telling her that he was going to leave his wife for her. When he didn’t and tried to break it off with her a couple of weeks later she went and told on him. After that he ended up in prison for a couple years.
My 5th grade teacher basically tried to turn me into a school shooter… so where do I start?
“I hope he doesn’t come back” after leaving me behind by myself on a walk and making me run in the summer heat with my asthma.
“What are you gonna do? Stab me with this pencil and then stab everyone else? Do it. You’d solve your problems that way.” as I was having an emotional breakdown in class while she was getting my classmates to bully me. She even put the pencil next to my hand.
“He’s a violent child and I think I know where he gets it from” she said to my mom as she was picking me up from school because I’d get bullied on my walk home.
My mum is English, so I grew up saying mum instead of mom, sometimes I’d spell color as colour because that what I was taught. It had literally never been a problem up until 3rd grade because everyone knew I had English family and teachers meet your parents pretty frequently in elementary school.
But in 3rd grade. Oh boy. My teacher would make fun of me and correct me if I said Mum. I would lose points if I used Mum instead of Mom in an assignment. She’d single me out in class and ask why I continue to say it wrong. Like for some reason this teacher hated the word Mum. One day I even brought an assignment home and showed it to my parents and my Mum got involved being like, “My kid says Mum because I’m English and he learned from me.
Also we’re in Mass, just outside of Boston. Mum is incredibly common here because of the huge Irish and English population.
Maths teacher in year 12: what are your plans for the future?
Me: I want to be a teacher.
Teacher: Hmm. I’d aim lower, you’ll never make it through university. You should just get married and start a family young. Or work in childcare. You’re not teacher material.
15 years on, I’m a coordinator at my school, in the office doing some admin work, when the same teacher walks in. He’s a sales rep for a book seller. Me: (taking his business card, seeing it’s him) I thought I recognised you! You taught me year 12 maths at xxxxxxx school!
T (after asking my name): Oh I remember you! Working as a receptionist I see! At least you’re in a school!
Me: Actually, I’m a teacher here, year level and subject coordinator. Ironically, maths coordinator!
(He spent the year telling me girls shouldn’t do maths last year 10). You’re not teaching any more?
T: Oh no, after your school I left teaching, nobody respected me. Kids made complaints against me, totally unsubstantiated and I got fired. Said I bullied them. You know, I never bullied you kids! M: Actually, telling me I’d never make it as a teacher is kinda bullying.
T: Well you’re just a primary teacher, not a real one is it?
By now, my Principal had walked out of her office and had been listening in on the conversation.
Prin: Actually, she is one of our most valued teachers and one of the most qualified in her area. This place wouldn’t function without her. And if this is how you speak to my staff I’d appreciate it if you’d not return to our school again. Now, I need your input this (made up but sounds really important) matter. Are you free now?
Took all my strength not to give him the finger and blow him a big fat raspberry! Principal and I had a big what is his problem?” discussion.