It's no secret that teachers have one of the most important yet least appreciated jobs in the world. They're responsible for molding young minds and instilling values in students that can last the rest of their lives, and can even inspire kids on who they want to become. That's why it's so frustrating when there's someone in class who insists on being disruptive, disrespectful, or just generally uncivil.
Sometimes, by some divine providence, an opportunity presents itself for a teacher to enact sweet, sweet revenge upon on unruly student, a circumstance so perfect that it's nearly impossible to pass up. Whether it's making cheaters read their plagiarized papers out loud in class or executing a complex, devious plan to ruin a girl's future in medical school, these kids will never, ever forget the lessons they learned. Here are some of Reddit teacher's craftiest, most ruthless stories of how they got back at 'that kid.' Content edited for clarity.
He Was Just Trying To Do His Job
“I was an English adjunct professor for a few years and my favorite story involves a kid that I caught cheating. She was probably my least favorite student in class; she would spend the whole class obviously distracted, either texting or trying to subtly talk to her group of friends (they all sat next to one another in the back of the room). I could tell that they thought they were being sly, but I had a policy of basically not giving a crap what you were doing as long as you weren’t annoying your neighbors.
They all put the minimum effort into the class. None of them cared at all and I’m pretty sure none of them really deserved to even be in college. Eventually, they started to annoy me and I had to constantly stop class (this is in COLLEGE) to shut them up. But hey, they were passing (barely) so they didn’t care.
One of these girls submitted an essay to me right before spring break. And…well, it was obviously plagiarized. How obvious? It was literally a freaking sample essay from a grammar workbook website.
I failed her for the assignment, gave her the usual plagiarism ‘I caught you’ speech, and reported it per department rules. At that point, she could’ve still passed, but she’d have to be perfect.
Right after spring break, another assignment was due. Guess what? Yup, she plagiarized that one, too. So I set things up to ‘catch’ her, called her in after class, and told her what I’d found. Her response? She claimed she hadn’t plagiarized as she DIDN’T. WRITE. THE. PAPER.
Me: ‘Excuse me?’
Her: ‘I didn’t write it, my friend did.’
‘…You realize that’s plagiarism, right?’
‘No, I didn’t write it.’
I explained to her that she had just admitted to double plagiarism, as not only did she not write her paper, but the person who ‘wrote’ her paper didn’t write it. She apologized and asked for another chance.
I had to stop myself from laughing. I asked her why she thought she deserved one after I had just caught her cheating less than a week prior. She looked dumbfounded and went into a rant about how college isn’t fair and how I’m too hard (for the record: we only had four 800-word papers in this class). She also thought she deserved credit for plagiarizing the paper (her story changed halfway through) from two different websites.
I reported it to the department, which triggered an academic trial. A trial is exactly what it sounds like: we both sit in a room, in front of the dean, a council of professors, and a student representative. They hear the case, and then your fate is decided.
If you show up, you can usually prevent yourself from getting kicked out of school, as you can basically say anything and they’ll feel sorry for you. The one thing you can’t do is not show up, as that essentially means that I have free rein to make you look like a fool and get you expelled.
Welp, in class on the day of the trial, all her friends were talking (loudly) about how they were going to write about how crappy of a professor I was on our reviews, just because I did my job.
Then I went in for the trial and, surprise, she didn’t show up! I had images and comparisons between her paper and the site she copied her work from. I had detailed accounts from other students about how she was disruptive in class. I had copies of my syllabus that outlined exactly what plagiarism is. I had a recording of what she told me during our last conversation. She was expelled.
I still have the letters her friends wrote (I received the ‘feedback’ at the end of the year, all anonymous, mind you) in an envelope. One of the letters is a page long run-on sentence that says no one liked me and that I was the worst professor ever. The other is basically identical. I only taught for two years, but these were the only two negative ‘reviews’ I ever received. It all happened because I just wanted to teach and not have people plagiarize in my class.
Before I left, I checked up on both students. Both dropped out. Both had plagiarism charges on their record. Eff them. I hope the three of them are still complaining about how hard college was somewhere because they couldn’t handle writing 800-word essays.”
“Guess Those Study Habits Need Some Tweaking, Huh?”
“My friend who was a professor for years told me this story. He had a group of lousy, talkative students who started acing the weekly tests in the seminar periods. We’re talking going from marginally passing to a sudden spike of consistent 100%’s. He figured out that they had a friend in an earlier seminar period in the week feeding them the questions before they took it themselves.
He emailed them and instead of busting them, he asked them to teach the whole class on their new found study habits. He made them all stand in front of the class and ‘teach’ everyone how they study. The whole lesson was a load of crap and was plainly visible to everyone.
Then, for the next test, he rotated the questions for their seminar time. The whole group got 0/10 across the board. He emailed them again and said, ‘Guess those study habits need some tweaking, huh?'”
He Truly Believed That Anthony Was A Sociopath
“I’m a high school teacher and I once had a little prick of a kid we’ll call Anthony. He complained about everything, did no work whatsoever, talked crap about everyone, made fun of kids with disabilities; you name it, he did it. And, of course, he was always the first to start shrieking that he was the victim in every situation, that everyone was against him, that he always got picked on, and so forth.
Now, in my teaching career, which has spanned the better part of a decade, I’ve taught more than a thousand kids. Plenty of those have been ‘bad’ kids. The thing about bad kids is, they’re usually bad for fairly simple reasons: stuff going on at home, unmedicated or undiagnosed mental illness, trauma in their past, heck, maybe they’re just lonely. If you pay attention, you can usually find out why almost any kid is acting out.
That said, out of 1,000+ kids, I’ve encountered maybe ten who are genuinely broken people. You could call them sociopaths. They have no trace of empathy and no trace of conscience or even inner life. They’re people who basically exist to serve their own desires, exclusively, and have no compunction about how they might most quickly realize those desires.
Anthony was one of those kids. The worst thing about him was his constant tendency to immediately tear apart anything that anyone else had put effort into, including my lessons. We would nearly have these very vulnerable, tender moments in the classroom where kids were talking about big, important issues and really growing intellectually in awesome and uncomfortable ways…and then Anthony would call them gay or whatever else.
One day, this girl Patrice (an incredibly sweet, sensitive girl with an artist’s heart) was sharing something in class for the first time. She was visibly nervous and spoke with a shaky voice. Anthony, of course, began making fun of her hair, her glasses, and her face. It was quiet enough that it was plausibly a whisper but loud enough so that we could all hear what he was saying. I started walking toward his desk but was interrupted when Patrice very, very calmly said, ‘Fudge you, Anthony,’ only she didn’t say ‘fudge.’
The entire class went dead silent. This girl never spoke, let alone swore, and she said it with such self-control. Everyone’s eyes were on me, waiting for me to react. Anthony started screaming, ‘DID YOU HEAR THAT? SHE SAID FUDGE! YOU ALWAYS GET ME IN TROUBLE WHEN I SAY THAT, THIS CRAP AIN’T FAIR, HOW THIS UGLY WITCH GONNA…’
I cut him off with my reply that I knew would shut him up for good.