September 5, 2019 | David Chung

People Share Their Most Traumatic Experience Dealing With A Teacher

School can be a rough experience for students. On top of having to deal with difficult subjects and peer drama, they may also have to put up with inconsiderate teachers. Yes, teachers are underpaid and overworked, but that does not mean they should ever take out their frustrations on their students. Unfortunately, sometimes they still do. They end up imposing unnecessary trauma on their students without even realizing it. The following stories are from people around the world who retell a time when a teacher traumatized them. Some of them might have you cringing, so buckle up.


Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!

#1 Reaching Out For Help From A Teacher Doesn't Always Work

I was a target of bullying. Kids kept drawing awful ugly photos and leaving them on my desk with words of profanity about my appearance. One day, I had enough—the bullying at school compounded with the abuse I experienced at home made me break. So when I saw another photo, I broke down crying and brought it to my teacher. She grabbed it, took a quick glance, then asked if I wanted it back. She did nothing to help... She wouldn’t even listen to me talk about the constant bullying. I was in 7th grade and I still remember it to this day.


#2 If You Tell A Student They Will Never Succeed In Life, You Should Be Fired

My math teacher used to use me as a bad example for other students, and he used to constantly remind me that I am terrible in math and would never succeed in life. This still gets to me sometimes, but it has been a couple of years now since the last time I've seen him. Oh well.

#3 This Teacher Must Have Some Evil In Her

My fourth-grade teacher had a reputation for making one boy in her class an unpopular scapegoat each year. Lucky me. In previous years, I'd been just another kid on the playground, but within two months, the other kids wouldn't play with me during recess. One day, I refused to go outside. She asked why, and I foolishly told her that the other kids didn't like me.

When they came back in, she marched me to the front of the class and asked for a show of hands to see who didn't like me. Fourth-grade kids (mostly) did what fourth-grade kids do. I broke down that night and told my mom what had happened. She marched into school the next day, set up a meeting that included the principal, and tore the teacher to shreds.

I was still stuck in that class, but the teacher moved on to a new victim. Funny thing how self-esteem influences academic performance. My school used to give us a Stanford Binet IQ Test every year. My score dropped ten points from third to fourth grade, then rose twenty points in fifth grade when I had a nurturing teacher. If you are still alive, I hate you, Mrs. Ericson.


#4 This Teacher's Assumptions Were Dead Wrong

A teacher told me I was a liar to the whole class as she didn't believe my grandmother was a World War II evacuee. She refused to believe me as she assumed my mom was younger than she looked at the time, and therefore my grandmother should have been younger as well. She thought my mom was in her late 20s when in reality she was in her early 40s at the time.


#5 Terrorizing Students Was His Way Of Teaching

I had a first-year lecturer in classics who went out of his way to terrorize the class. His first words to us were, "I suspect as many as half of you cannot read." He then administered a test, on which two-thirds of the class failed. He was not shy about voicing his rather gleeful displeasure. I did well enough to avoid his wrath, and, annoyingly, I often got singled out for praise. He would routinely throw questions at students who weren't paying rigorous attention, in a three-hour lecture on Friday morning, and then berate them for not knowing the answers. His comments on papers were beyond trenchant: "Are you illiterate?" "Do you imagine this makes sense?" "This is childish." etc.


#6 But Books Aren't Genderized

During quiet reading time, the teacher brought me to the front of the class because I was reading a book for girls. He asked me, "Why are you reading a girl's book? Are you a GIRL?" Then made me chose a book for ‘boys’ to read. I was maybe 10 or 11. The book was Matilda by the way. I don't understand how Matilda is a girl's book... What, because Matilda is a girl? I hope that the teacher isn't teaching anymore.


#7 Be Sure Before You Accuse A Student Of Plagiarism

I got accused of plagiarism on a paper I wrote. I was really excited to hand it in because I thought I did a really good job on it. My enthusiasm was fully destroyed after the accusation.


#8 He Should Have Been Fired On The Spot

We were discussing Jean Vanier and L'arche. For context, Jean Vanier decided to invite two intellectually disabled men to live with him and started setting up homes for them so they wouldn't be in asylums. The teacher looked right at me (I'm disabled) and said, "Oh yeah, Vanier created those homes so you people wouldn't be bothering others. The handicapped don't function in society." My friend and I left just to talk it out. He got fired a few years later because he did not have his license up to date. The cherry on top? His wife was the vice-principal.


#9 Shouting Is Not Going To Make It Better

I got into a shouting match with my band director before a marching band competition in another state. He had anger issues and the fight involved him calling me out in front of everyone for messing up my saxophone solo the week before. There was no one else around to see or hear the shouting. He never said so much as a word to me for the remainder of my time in high school and I was perfectly fine with it.


#10 This Female Teacher Should Have Been More Understanding

One time, I was on my period and I asked the teacher to go to the bathroom multiple times. She refused to let me go. Eventually, I stained my uniform and the chair I was sitting in. I was so embarrassed that I started crying. When my mother found out, she not only made the school fire that jerk, but she also sued her for denying me my basic human right.


#11 Sex-Ed Should Not Be A Secret

The girls in our elementary school were given "the talk" before the boys. The basic puberty stuff: your body is starting to change, you might develop breasts, sweating, etc. They made a huge deal about keeping it quiet. "It's the girls' little secret," they'd say. "Don't go spreading it around the school." My best friend was a boy and naturally, I skipped right off to tell him why suddenly half the class had an assembly all by themselves. My teacher heard about it, got me alone, grabbed me by both arms AND SHOOK ME. "Keep your mouth shut." She was my favorite teacher up until then.


#12 Mocking Students Does Not Help Them Learn

I used to love math and science until I had a teacher in 6th grade who would bully, mock, and do everything in his power to embarrass me in front of the entire class. I lost all the love I had for school after that class.


#13 Talk About Insensitive

I had a teacher yell at one of my friends for not doing his homework and then give him a Saturday detention, even though his parents had passed away the night before.

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#14 You Should Not Be A Teacher If You're Into Bullying Five-Year-Olds

When I was in kindergarten, I didn’t make it to the bathroom in time and I wet myself. I went to the nurse's office to get new clothes but instead of underwear, I had to wear a pull-up. Not a big deal. I guess it was school policy for kids my age, I don’t really know. When I get back to my class, my teacher loudly said, “Oh good, the baby is finally back,” or something like that.

She also knew about the policy and asked if I was wearing a diaper so every other student could hear. I was five years old and felt a ton of shame and humiliation. I started crying and tried to get out of school a lot because of it. My teacher often referred to me as a baby for the rest of the year. Also, she would constantly ask if I needed to potty or if I was wearing a diaper like I was a toddler or something.


#15 This Nun Took Her Insults Way Too Far

Back in 1st grade, I was at this private school. Despite not enjoying reading, I actually loved school and had a ton of friends. One day, my sister stayed home because she was sick, so my parents dropped me off. As I was walking in, I said hi to the nun that taught the other 1st-grade class. She said hi and I kept walking. As I was approaching the end of the hall she dropped her keys. I heard it happen so I turned around and looked.

Between her and I were two 4th-grade boys I recognized from my sister's class. They started to approach her to pick up her keys, but she immediately lost it and started screaming at me, saying I was rude and awful. The boys were as confused as I was. I got pulled out of class to talk to the principal that day and I really thought I did something horrible.

I was punished and made to feel like I hurt this nun. When my dad picked me up that day, I just started to sob, and I didn't stop until we got home. I was having a full-blown panic attack. My moral values were being questioned and I was horrified at myself. My parents were furious and they called my teacher the next day, demanding to know what happened.

All she said was that she was unsure. My parents went in the next morning for answers and we got an apology from the principal but not from the nun. I remember standing at the counter with my big sister, and at some point, the nun walked in and started being rude to me again. My sister was standing there horrified, and so was the front office secretary.

My mom came to the rescue and ripped the nun a new one. The nun didn't know my parents were there when she unleashed her fury on me. My parents went to the head Father at this parish and read him the Riot Act. When he tried to defend the nun, my parents proceeded to our bishop, who clobbered the whole school. But by then, the damage was done: I was a target to the nun.

I stopped being myself at school, and I became very insecure and quiet. My sister and those boys took it upon themselves to check on me as often as possible and they became targets too. At the end of the school year, my parents pulled us and we went to a new school. I never got my confidence back.

#16 Throwing Out A Student's Prized Trading Cards Is A Bit Of An Overreaction

This is more of a light-hearted “traumatic" experience from a teacher. In 4th grade, I collected Yu-Gi-Oh cards and I had gotten the new Three Egyptian God cards. Well, I was caught playing with them during class and my teacher took them from me and threw them out. I was devastated after all the packs opened and cards traded to acquire them. I never forgave her.


#17 Separation Of Church And State Please

When I was in 2nd grade, my mom passed away. When I was in 3rd grade, the evil witch of a teacher held me back from recess one day for something. While it was just us in the room, she asked if I went to church. I said no. She then told me that I was not going to heaven and would never see my mom again. I hated that witch.


#18 The Words You Speak To Children Really Do Have An Impact

I was in 4th grade and found a dry erase marker on the playground. I wrote my initials on the tire swing. My classmate ratted me out. I got yelled at for like 20 minutes straight about vandalism of school property. She started going off about how it's the first step to becoming a criminal. Being a little kid, this scared the heck out of me. It was probably another two years before I believed that I wasn't going to become a criminal as an adult.


#19 Not How You Treat A Student With Disabilities

The teacher forced me to handwrite a story, then got mad when I couldn't read it to the class. I have learning disabilities and normally I use a school laptop, but she wouldn't let me use it.


#20 When A Student Has Trouble Focusing, It's Likely Not Their Fault

It was in sixth grade. I was 11. I hadn't been diagnosed with ADD (now ADHD) yet. The only way I could pay attention in class was if I doodled in the margins of my notes, and bounced my legs. My history teacher noticed I did this, and if he caught me, he'd rip the page out of my notebook, show it to the class, and marvel at what a bad student and unintelligent person I was, to everyone.


#21 He Was Not Allowed To Be Happy On His Birthday

A teacher screamed at me because I came in smiling and humming. In my defense, it was my freaking birthday. She said it was disruptive and I cried on the spot.


#22 He Read Way Too Far Between The Lines Of This Teen's Poem

I was consistently targeted by my teacher. It was endless, just one thing after the next. He took my stuff, went through my stuff, punished me extra and targeted me for random nonsense. At the end of the year, we went to an “outdoor ed” camp (a three-day ‘coming of age’ camp for moving into middle school) and there was a poetry workshop going on.

This was a Christian school, and being a Christian, I wrote a poem where the synopsis was: “Despite my difference to others, I am loved and cherished by God and still hold value.” He read it later and sat me down with my father, shaming me for being a disgrace to God and the faith. He was one of many teachers that recommended me for medication.

#23 Discouraging Students Is Not Helpful

My computer teacher shamed me into withdrawing from the one programming class the school offered.  After the first day, he said he didn't think I was capable of learning how to program and that other kids more capable couldn't take it because I was filling a spot.


#24 Blondes Are Smart Too

I enrolled in college early, while I was still in high school. I had a professor who really made me love politics and law, so I decided that’s what I wanted to focus my academic career on. I did well in all of my courses and was setting myself up to start my bachelor's with political science pre-law as my major. All was going well until one professor came along—an older man who hated me from day one.

He saw me, this young, blonde girl in his class, and decided I wasn’t worth his time. He would constantly answer all of my questions condescendingly, and in an effort make me feel dumb, he would call on me to answer questions on material he hadn’t taught yet.  Finally, at the end of the semester, he handed back my final paper and decided to have “a talk” with me after the rest of the class left.

He told me that maybe politics and law wasn’t the thing for me and that maybe I should look into doing something different. Jokes on him though, I ended up completing my major, and I worked as part of the main staff on a major campaign in 2012. Then, after all that fun, I decided I didn’t want to go to law school and I now work for the government.


#25 If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say, Don't Say Anything At All

I had a teacher in 8th grade who obviously didn’t like me. She was awful. I was kind of having a hard time fitting in and I was getting emotionally bullied. Then my parents got a divorce, and I admit I was off at times and it probably showed when I took it out on other students. Before class started, I was goofing off with other children and she turned at me and said, “You realize nobody likes you right?” I was taken aback. It just kind of reinforced what I already knew—that I didn’t and probably would never fit in.

#26 This Is Why Students Don't Confide In Teachers

In the 8th grade, I had a book report to do for four books all due on the same day. It was way too overwhelming to do at the time. I had some serious domestic violence going on at home between my parents. I spent all my time taking care of my younger brother, cleaning up the house, cooking, and crying from all the stress.

It was worth 20% of my grade and the day before it was due, I broke down and told my teacher everything that was going on at home. If I had even received a B, my dad would have taken it out on my mom for not raising me to be smart. My teacher called child services and my parents received the call. They told him I lied just to get out of the assignment.

The social worker told my teacher what my parents said and made the rest of my year a living heck. He treated me with such pettiness after that and threatened to call my parents whenever I had either spoken too loud in class or whenever I was not participating. My home life got significantly harder after that, and my parents told my entire family continuously how stupid I was for telling him.

They laughed at me when I cried or got upset about it. Years later after repressing everything I was diagnosed with severe PTSD from childhood trauma as a witness and victim of domestic violence, and it took me three years in therapy to get over it.

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#27 A Teacher That Sides With Bullies Should Not Be A Teacher

In my senior year of high school, my mental health took a steep dive. I was dealing with a lot of instability at home. One of my closest friends had become a relentless antagonistic bully to me, and the only thing that made me feel better was playing bass guitar in the jazz band class. Or it was until our band teacher left. The replacement, Mrs. Rath, was just terrible.

I think she tried, but she was not good. My bully ran that class and Rath encouraged it. My bass guitar skills "weren't good enough" so I ended up being banished to play triangle and jingle bells. I became very depressed. I'll never forget the day she asked us our opinions on a specific piece we were playing (which was objectively horrible).

She called on me and I said that I didn't like it. She then yelled at me for being negative and "being the worst member of the band" until I cried. She made me play songs faster and harder until I permanently scarred the tendons in both of my wrists, and whenever my bully decided to lash out at me, Mrs. Rath would watch and laugh.


#28 Inappropriate Is An Understatement For This Teacher's Behavior

Starting in sophomore year of high school, every Valentine’s Day I would get a secret admirer card in my locker. Being an idiot high school girl, I was super flattered and my friends and I would try to figure out who it was. Finally, come senior year, I get another sweet admirer card, except this year it is sent to my home address and, instead of being handwritten, it's typed out and pasted onto the card, with the lyrics from one of my teacher's favorite Bob Dylan songs “Simple Twist of Fate.” So turns out my secret admirer all throughout high school was, in fact, one of my teachers. On top of the secret admirer cards, the day after I graduated he started texting me inappropriate things. No thanks, buddy.


#29 Good Intentions, Horrible Outcome

I had some mental health issues developing and spent a lot of time out of class with the well-being staff. When someone asked where I was one day, the teacher, who I previously looked up to and had confided in, decided to tell everyone that I was doing terribly and needed help. When I confronted him and asked him why he did that, he said he thought it would help so people would be gentle (I do believe he had good intentions).


#30 Pushing A Teacher Too Far Can Be Dangerous

I had a religion teacher in high school named Mr. Nguyen, who was working on becoming a Jesuit priest. He was a really cool guy. He always had a smile on his face and did his best to make the class a fun experience for everyone. There was a kid in my class who was a really annoying guy, but Mr. Nguyen was always really patient with him, until one day he pushed him too far.

I forgot exactly what the kid said, but it definitely crossed the line. Mr. Nguyen slammed his fists on his desk and shouted, "Why can't you EVER shut your mouth!" He then picked up his stapler and chucked it at the kid, missing his head by a few inches and leaving a huge dent in the wall. He then stormed out into the hallway. Even though I wasn't the one that got the stapler, that was still something crazy to experience. I had never seen a teacher blow up like that and I definitely never expected it from him.

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#31 That's One Way To Embarrass Your Students

Well, I once had a teacher who would read our test scores in front of the entire class.


#32 Hazing Fifth Graders Does Not Toughen Them Up

My family moved from the north to Florida when I was going into the fifth grade. My teacher, for some reason, thought this shy, awkward, small-town girl needed to be toughened up by the class. I was so badly teased and isolated that I almost blacked out my entire fifth grade from my memory. My mom, who actually worked at the school, said I came home crying every day. She was an underlying problem and tried, but failed, to get me switched to another class. I ended up becoming “tougher” only after we moved away from that horrible school.


#33 The Best Way To Deal With Bullies Can Sometimes Get You In Trouble

In high school, I was maybe six feet tall in grade 11. I was a varsity wrestler. A kid who was in grade 10, five feet tall maybe, was a massive bully to everyone and used his size as a defensive mechanism from retaliation. One day, I was eating lunch at a picnic table alone and he came behind me and started choking me. I stood up, pulled him over my shoulders and set him on the ground gently knowing there was staff all around.

The assistant principal saw this and gave me a suspension for three days and tried convincing the parents of the bully to press charges on me for beating on the smaller kids. Thankfully, the dad knew his kid was a punk (I'm assuming) and stood up for me with the "boys will be boys" line. I'm sure he knew the assistant was full of it. It was traumatic in the sense I thought I would be punished even though I was a victim standing up for myself. My mom grounded me for a week. My dad brought me home my favorite burger joint dinner every night and said, "I'm proud of you for not being violent to troubled people."



#34 It's Not A First Grader's Fault When They Are Late For Class

In 1st grade, I had the worst teacher. There were a few times it was really bad. One time, I went out for lunch with my grandparents who were in town visiting. After we ate, my grandma took me to a store. She bought me new colored pencils (I was obsessed with drawing and coloring). She then dropped me off at school and I was late. I'm not sure how long (I was six or seven) but all the kids in my class had gone to the gym.

I put my new pencils on my desk but quickly opened them to look before I left. My teacher came into the class and started yelling at me for being late. I didn't know and she didn't realize but my grandma had followed me and was actually in the hall listening. My grandma came in and started getting mad at her. I can't remember what was said but it was upsetting and I was bawling by this point. My grandma told me to get my stuff and took me out of school for the rest of the day. That woman was horrible and should have never been allowed around young kids.


#35 Those With Social Anxiety Do Not Want Extra Attention In Class

I have social anxiety and was nervous about having to play a song that "described my life" for my high school senior English class. My teacher grabbed a cape and a hat or something from a closet then stood on my desk. She danced around while announcing to the class I was nervous, trying to show me there was nothing to be nervous about. It called a whole lot of attention to me and my anxiety in such a weird way. Probably sounds stupid to most people but I did not appreciate that at all. It totally did the opposite of calming my nerves.


#36 It Sounds Like The Punishment Did Not Fit The Crime

My 4th-grade teacher was friends with this 5th-grade teacher in my elementary. One day I misbehaved and my 4th-grade teacher kept me inside for recess. Then I met the 5th-grade teacher that day, and he said he was going to keep me and my friend in EVERY day when we go to 5th grade. Lo and behold, he did. He made us do squats while playing "Welcome to the Jungle" the whole time. To this day, I have flashbacks when I hear it on mainstream radio.


#37 A Display Of Blatant Discrimination

Listening to my health teacher explain that all gay people were bad people. I was openly gay.


#38 Embarrassing Students Does Not Help Them Learn

My 4th-grade teacher played a “game” in math class where we’d have to write the answer to the problem on a whiteboard, hold it up, and if you got it wrong, you’d have to do a “consequence” (dance, sing, anything embarrassing). I struggled with the math we were learning, so I was always getting questions wrong with a few other students and I hated the game. It only made me hate math more and I fell further and further behind. I thought I was just terrible at math until I finally got a great teacher sophomore year.


#39 The Case Of The Missing Candy Bars

In grade school, my teacher had me and two other students stay back during recess so another teacher could come in, drag our desks into the hall, tip them over and rifle through everything. I was so confused as to why this was happening and why that teacher was so maniacal. In the end, we got to put our desks back and my teacher told me that someone stole the other teacher’s candy bars earlier that morning and they thought it was us because she put her bag down in the hall next to us when we were waiting to go to our first class. Lo and behold, that teacher found her candy bars and “rewarded” each of us with one candy bar. To write this and think back on it, it’s so weird and a bit scarring.


#40 Let The Bloody Kid Go To The Bathroom Already

When I was in high school, I got a lot of nose bleeds. Like, a lot. I got one in the middle of class once and I asked the teacher for a tissue. She said she didn’t have any so I asked to go to the toilet to get one. She still said no. At some point, the blood was dripping from my hands, so I urgently asked her again if I could excuse myself.

She ended up yelling at me for repeating myself, then sending me to isolation for ‘disrupting the class’ with the pool of blood that was on my desk. Thankfully, she got exactly what she deserved—she was fired for putting my life at risk. I must say, when you get a nose bleed like that, you really see how much blood is inside of you.


#41 Humiliating Students Was The Name Of His Game

This professor was giving a pointless class in college. My phone accidentally rang because I was waiting for a medical call, and I interrupted him because of that. I apologized and said, “Sorry,” and the jerk said, “Sorry for your parents that pay your college fee, they’re wasting money.” Loud to everyone in the class. I had a huge urge to punch him but remained silent because I was changing careers that semester and would not see him for another course anyway. He always got away with humiliating students with those types of comments for petty stuff. Everyone hated that jerk.


#42 This Teacher Was So Great He Traumatized His Student By Leaving The School

I never made a connection with any of my teachers except for one. It was the 5th grade and I got bullied a lot. No one seemed to care except for my English teacher, Mr. Coleman. He gave me a job after class sorting books and stuff so that I didn't have to take the bus. I loved to read so he would give me books meant for some of the older grades that he thought I'd enjoy. We grew closer, and the most traumatic day I ever had was when he announced that he'd be leaving at the end of the year. I felt devastated that my only friend and mentor would be gone. I ran into the bathroom crying.


#43 The Football Coach Was A Real Monster

In our school, the football coach wanted me to play on the team, so in order to get me to play, he publicly embarrassed me for an entire class period, saying such things that I was a coward and had a yellow streak down my back. His angry ranting went on for an hour with the class sitting in stunned silence. He also stood in the doorway to prevent me from leaving the room. After that experience, I had great difficulty with public speaking for years. I learned for the first time that monsters can be real. Thankfully, he is now deceased from natural causes.


#44 Passing A Girl A Harmless Note Is Not Harassment

When I was in 4th grade, I passed a note to a girl I liked. It was a super tame note, just said something like "I think you're cute, will you be my girlfriend?" Typical 4th grader stuff, really. The teacher saw me trying to pass the note and intercepted it before it reached the girl. She read it (not out loud) and pulled me into the hallway. She said what I was doing was wrong, and that it was harassment.

She said it was the sort of thing men go to jail for. She kept saying "harassment" over and over in that little talk. I barely even understood what harassment even was, but I knew it was bad. It made me feel like such a creep, like a predator. It made me cry from embarrassment and fear of going to jail. After I was done crying, she let me go back into the classroom. Gotta admit, that really messed up my view of women for a while. It made me think of girls as scary and unapproachable. Took me a while to break out of that, too.


#45 Teacher Thinks She's An X-Factor Judge

I auditioned for the school talent show and performed a horrible song, but the teacher who was judging the auditions was so freaking mean, I think she fancied herself as an X-Factor judge. She absolutely destroyed me, I wasn't expecting it at all. She also later told one of my little sisters who also attended the school that people like her and her family were the reason the school was failing (because my single-parent mom hadn't been able to afford the £150 per child per term "voluntary" donation). She became principal and from that point on used to walk around the school with a floor-length real fur coat, I'm not kidding.



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