These Cruel Teachers Are The Stuff Of Student Nightmares
We all know the saying, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” While it can seem like teachers don’t know much more than their students, these traumatized pupils think the story’s a little more complicated. Some teachers actually do have lots of abilities. It’s just that their knowledge isn’t in math or English, but horrible ideas, cringe-inducing embarrassment, and mind-blowing cruelty.
Grab a seat, get out your pencils, and get ready to wince: Here are stories about the absolute worst teachers of all time.
#1 Might Be a Hemophiliac
When I was in high school I got a lot of nosebleeds. Like, a lot. So I got one in the middle of class 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 and she said no. Soon, I asked again when blood was dripping from my hands. Her response was chilling. She yelled at me for “repeating myself,” which is apparently bad.
Soon, a puddle of blood was on the table and then I got sent to isolation for “disrupting the class.” I was then suspended for “acting inappropriate during class.” She was then fired for putting my life at risk. I gotta say, when you get a nose bleed like that, you really see how much blood is inside of you.
#2 Educational Infallibility
My high school teacher once told me to go to hell after I corrected a typo he made on one of his tests.
#3 F for Effort
I was bullied really bad as a kid. Kids kept drawing awful ugly pictures and leaving them on my desk with profanity towards my appearance. I had enough one day, after dealing with a lot of abuse at home and the bullying at school and when I saw another I broke down crying and brought it to my teacher. She just grabbed it, looked and asked if I wanted it back. Did absolutely nothing to help.
I was in seventh grade and still remember it to this day.
#4 Opening Up a Can of Worms
One teacher brought vodka to school in a Sprite can. She got caught being drunk three different times before finally being fired. Makes me wonder how many times she did it without getting caught…
#5 Looks Can Be Deceiving
Teacher told me I was a liar in front of the whole class, as she didn’t believe my grandmother was a World War II evacuee. Joke’s on her, my grandma just aged amazingly. Meanwhile the teacher was in her 30s but looked like she was in her 50s.
#6 Encourage Don’t Discourage
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, 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.
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. The unfortunate part is that he was a superb classicist.
A close second was a novelist-turned-writing-professor who hurled a girl’s manuscript out of his office door—nearly hitting me in the hall—as he shouted, “THIS. IS. NOT. WRITING.” She came out to pick up her magnum opus moments later, weeping. Great writer, self-confessed terrible teacher.
#7 Word of Mouth
One teacher got mad at a student, so she decided to take off her shoe and put it in a kid’s mouth. This was in fifth grade.
#8 Take a Look in the Mirror
Just because you are a genius, does not mean that you are a nice person. My advisor in graduate school was notorious in his field for being a massive jerk. However, he has one of the best facilities in the world for what he does and is darn good at it, so people often have to bow down to him to get the highest level of data. Needless to say, every one of his graduate students suffered under him.
I started my graduate degree with another student under him. This girl often ended up crying with the dean of the department over our supervisor’s cruelty. I got into such a bad argument with him that the Dean and the department heads had to get involved. Another student joined the team but, shocker, dropped out of the program because of problems with our advisor.
But it gets worse. All this time my advisor would complain about how his students were never any good. For people so smart, does it not occur to them that they may be the problem?
#9 Bathroom Break
My kindergarten teacher had a really strict bathroom rule. If she thought you went too many times, she wouldn’t let you go anymore. Inevitably, some kid has an accident. So the kid goes to the nurse’s office and gets new clothes and all. When the girl gets back, the teacher starts calling her a “baby” for having an accident and starts trying to humiliate this five-year-old.
#10 Learning Another Language Is Hard Enough
This one lady was the only Spanish professor at my college and I had to take two of her classes to finish off my minor. She literally told me that because I wasn’t a native Spanish speaker, I would fail her class, even though she was whiter than I am and learned Spanish in high school just like me.
She ridiculed me in class for having one or two errors in my responses, and then started giving me zeros in participation for not talking. She said that I was “mediocre at best” and that I should’ve never taken her class because I couldn’t handle the academic level it was at. I had a 4.0 GPA. She reported me for plagiarism twice and accused me of having my boyfriend—who is Hispanic—do my homework for me because I couldn’t possibly know certain phrases in Spanish.
She’s the only reason I didn’t graduate with highest honors. Still angry about it.
#11 Unprofessional Meets Unstudious
My high school teacher: “Do you want to pick up some beers for the afternoon?”
Plot twist—I said yes and we had a legendary drinking session.
#12 Could Use a Lesson in Manners
My linguistics teacher is proud that 70% of her class fails, and she points at people with her finger to say you and your neighbor will fail and I won’t see you next year. When someone asks a question and answers wrong, she basically says they’re dumb and should have known that since middle school. The worst part is that she’s a brilliant researcher who got the highest grade at her PhD. She came in second at a national teaching exam somehow, and she wrote a huge book about something in linguistics.
She’s undeniably skilled but she puts students down on the basis that their lives should revolve around class. Well screw you, what about those who suffer from anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses, and who have to get a job on the side to pay for their studies, or who’ve had family members die or struggle at home. Get some perspective. Even if some students don’t, give them the benefit of the doubt. You don’t know what’s going on with them.
#13 Say What Now?
My high school teacher stole my girlfriend. Yup, beat that!
I used to be really into reading about the paranormal and my school library actually had a lot of books on those very subjects. I had a teacher snatch a school library book out of my hands, scream at me that I was going to hell for reading it, and start tearing the pages out. She was almost fired for destroying school property, and caught a big dose of angry yelling from both my mother and step-mother at the next parent-teacher conference meeting.
Never had another problem with her after that.
#15 A Student’s Only as Good as Their Teacher
Our physics professor regularly told us he could teach our grandmothers and small furry woodland creatures better than he could teach us, which, in retrospect, brings into question his teaching methods. Any student who asked a question in lecture was berated to the point that most were in tears.
He had no office hours. His tests were four or five multi-step problems, which were all multiple choice with no partial credit given. Getting more than five test questions wrong during the quarter meant you couldn’t get an A. He was the only professor who taught this class most quarters and it was required for almost every major.
I never worked so hard nor was so excited to get a C in a college class.
#16 Crossing a Line
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 something I’ll never forget: “Oh yeah, Vanier created those homes so you people wouldn’t be bothering people because 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. Cherry on top—his wife was the vice principal.
#17 A Chemistry Lesson That Won’t Soon Be Forgotten
Back in the day, when a teacher showed a video because they didn’t have a lesson plan prepared, they would have to wheel in a cart with a tube TV and VCR on it. So the teacher brings in a VHS from home that was supposed to show us some chemistry lesson on the formation of elements or something. Instead, the VHS tape starts blasting some very adult videos to a class of 13-year-olds.
Turns out the teacher’s son had a previously secret hobby of recording these kinds of “home movies” on his dad’s VHS library.
#18 Punished for Doing Something Right
When I was growing up, it was unheard of that girls could have ADHD so I wasn’t diagnosed until I was an adult. So I was constantly late for school and classmates teased me for it, which made me anxious about being at school in general. One day, I left for school extra early to avoid being teased about being late, got to school and walked into class a few minutes early. The teacher made me wait at the door until all of the students were there and decided to single me out. Keep in mind I was 11 years old.
“Oh look, Coffee_and_Cats_Life graced us with her presence on time for once!” He started clapping and got everyone in on it and completely ignored the fact that everyone was laughing at me and some people were calling me names. Every now and again, I have nightmares about it.
#19 Making a Mess of a Mess
When I was in first grade, I was a fairly disorganized kid. My teacher didn’t like that, and would repeatedly “teach me a lesson” with a cruel gesture. He’d dump my whole desk out onto the floor, in front of the whole class, right before the bell rang to leave, and wouldn’t let me leave school until I had cleaned it all up. That demon-teacher is the reason I still have issues approaching/talking to authority figures to this day.
#20 First Impressions Are Tough
I remember my first day of a language class—I was around 10 years old—I fidgeted with my name tag and ended up poking a hole in it. The teacher came up to me, took my name tag and showed it to the entire class, saying, “This is the only thing TheAbominableBanana has accomplished in three hours.” Then, I had to stand in the corner for an hour or so.
All on my first day.
#21 Future Plans
I had a teacher tell the entire class that she hated teaching, didn’t like any of us, and couldn’t wait to retire and become a door-greeter at Walmart.
#22 Childish Teacher
I had a teacher in eighth grade who obviously didn’t like me. She was awful. I was kind of having a hard time fitting in and getting emotionally bullied. Then my parents got a divorce, and I admit I was off at times and it probably showed that I took it out on other students. So before class started, I was goofing off with other children and she turned to me and said, “You realize nobody likes you right?”
I was taken aback and it just kind of reinforced what I already knew, that I didn’t and probably would never fit in.
#23 Where There’s Smoke, There’s Usually Fire
My math teacher decided to use, er, intimate analogies to teach us the difference between horizontal and vertical lines—when we were in 8th grade. He was later arrested for assaulting some of the players from the high school girls’ softball team, for which he was the coach.
#24 Everyone Has a Breaking Point
I had a religion teacher in high school named Mr. Nguyen, who was working on becoming a Jesuit priest and was a really cool guy. He always had a smile on his face and did his best to make class a fun experience for everyone. There was a kid in my class who was a really annoying smart aleck, 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 up!” 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, and then stormed out into the hallway. Even though I wasn’t the one that got the stapler chucked at him 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.
#25 That’s Just Rude
I had a teacher who, when she went around giving tests back to students, would call out every grade as she handed it to the student.
#26 If the Underworld Had a School
One school I went to was awful. I had a teacher who yelled at me regularly. One of the worst times was when I didn’t have a worksheet, which I knew was in my locker, so she freaked out about my messy desk, pulled it into the hallway and dumped it on the floor. I had to clean it up while everyone watched.
#27 Not Fun for Everyone
My fourth-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. But the real sting came a year later. When I actually got a good math teacher, I realized that I wasn’t bad at math. The teacher was just awful at teaching.
#28 Holier Than Thou…Or Not
One teacher somehow heard that my family was atheist, so she forced my brother to sit alone in the hall during every school party doing extra worksheets. She told him it was because our family worshipped the Devil and said that maybe he could rejoin the class if we all accepted Jesus as our Lord & Savior. This was a public school, mind you, and she taught second grade.
She was eventually fired for buying substances on school grounds.
#29 Sassy Comeback
This professor giving a pointless class in college. My phone accidentally rang because I was waiting for a medical call. I interrupted him because of that. I apologized and said, “Sorry.” The jerk said, “Sorry for your parents that pay your college fee, they’re wasting money.” He said it loud too, in front of everyone in the enormous university classroom.
#30 Hush Candy
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 go 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.
#31 No Beating Around the Bush for This Guy
I had an anthropology professor in college who was always trying to impress students by acting cool. He would pass students if they gave him cigarettes or gin, and he would proudly brag to us about how he beats his daughter.
#32 Lost My Appetite
I went to a private school during my middle school years. I missed a few days due to illness and when I returned all of my friends explained that I was lucky because while I was gone, our psychotic Bible class decided to show an pro-life video from the early 90s. Later that day, I was told to bring my lunch to her room.
Unfortunately, our teacher decided that it was so important for me to see the video that she was going to have me watch the video with her as I ate. It was basically 15 minutes of close-ups of bloody pieces of fetuses being removed and examined. It was incredibly awkward watching such disturbing things while sitting next to my teacher as she munched on a salad.
It also didn’t help that our lunch for the day was taco meat.
#33 More Bully Than Teacher
My elementary school gym teacher, Mr. Hildebrand. I was a super overweight child, diagnosed with PCOS at 14, had WLS at 19, but am now an incredibly healthy 24-year-old. I attended an elementary school with 60 children K-4, and my class had 11 including myself. I was the only one that was overweight. I’m sure you can see where this is going.
He constantly called me out for not being able to run as fast as anyone else, encouraged the others in class to pick me last for teams, asked why I was sweating like a pig when I wasn’t working very hard, would make me attempt to do sit ups and push ups while the others watched and made fun of me. It was incredibly traumatizing. The school didn’t require the kindergarten class to have gym, so this started in first grade when I was six.
We had gym class once a week, and I would get so nervous that I would throw up. Every single week. But no one ever asked why. No one ever told my parents this was an issue they were having with me. No one did anything to protect me.
#34 The Mad Teacher
My history teacher would kick you out of the class if you yawned without covering your mouth. He also made me stand in the corner for asking him to repeat the question he mumbled.
#35 The Power of Christ Won’t Compel You
In the early 90s, I was diagnosed with ADHD, put on Ritalin, and also lived in the deep south in Mobile, Alabama. The Ritalin made me itch and made me feel like things were “crawling” on me. I started pulling out my eyelashes and clumps of hair. I mean I was just a kid and I didn’t realize I was being weird or my behavior was troublesome.
I was always getting in trouble, all the time. Principal’s office every day. Parent-teacher meetings. But this one teacher, she made me feel terrible. She’d take me out in the hall and make me “pray to Jesus” to “forgive me” for my behavior. One day when my mom came to pick me up from school she told my mother that I had a devil in me.
It made me feel so terrible. I was like 6 or 7—I thought they gave me pills because I was stupid and now I’m being told I’m evil and have a devil in me.
#36 Vocabulary Lesson
My 11th-grade psychology teacher made us stand up in class on the first day and share an interesting fact about ourselves. The only thing I could think of to tell was that my family is Cajun and that my grandparents spoke Creole. The teacher responded with a racial slur I had never heard before. I decided to ask my dad what it meant, and he went freaking mental.
The school was called. That class became very awkward and I never got higher than a C on any of my papers despite having all As in my other classes and being an honors student.
#37 Church and State
Back in fifth grade, this one teacher got mad at students regularly for “using the Lord’s name in vain.” She also had mandatory prayer sessions during class time. This was in public school.
#38 Batter Up!
My 10th-grade math teacher was also the baseball coach for our team. He threw a baseball bat at a student after they called him an “Italian Pepperoni.” He was suspended with pay and came back around seven months later, acting like nothing ever happened. The school did not bother to find a replacement teacher, so we had a series of substitute teachers that gave us the same worksheet every day for seven months.
We all failed the exam that year and ended up in summer school.
#39 Some Excuses Are Valid
This was the one and only detention I ever received. I was in third grade, and had a math teacher that had this stupid policy that every math test, after she had graded it, needed to be brought home and signed by our parents and returned to her within two days. Doesn’t sound like a bad rule, but the teacher didn’t realize the heartbreaking situation my family was in that year. During that school year, my mom got in a terrible car accident, in which she got hit head-on by a semi-truck. She almost died, was permanently crippled, and spent several months in the hospital.
We had a math test a couple of days after her accident. My step-dad spent the whole week in the hospital by my mom’s side, no doubt stressed out of his mind and not knowing if she would pull through. He didn’t want to bring my brother or me to the hospital, as he didn’t know if we could handle seeing my mom in that condition.
My brother and I were left home alone all week, with neighbors occasionally checking in on us to drop off meals. Anyway, I hadn’t seen either of my parents in days, and obviously couldn’t get either of them to sign my test. When I tried to explain the situation to my teacher, she cut me off and said that she “didn’t allow excuses” or some similar stupidity.
Then she gave me detention the following day. Since I didn’t have anybody at home who could pick me up, I had to walk the two miles or so home from school after the detention was finished. A week or so later, when my brother told my step-dad about everything that had happened, he showed up to pick me up from school, which he’d never done before, as we took the bus to/from school, and absolutely tore the teacher a new one, almost bringing her to tears. The teacher never apologized to me, or looked me in the eyes again, for that matter, and I forged signatures on every other test that year.
Also, FWIW, I had gotten 100% on the test that led to my detention.
#40 Brick and Mortar
One teacher at my school literally threw a kid against a brick wall. Unprofessional barely scratches the surface of what you can call this…
#41 Front and Center
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 in the playground, but within two months the other kids wouldn’t play with me during recess. One day I refused to go outside for recess. 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, 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 and what had been going on all along. She marched into school the next day, got a meeting that included the principal, and tore the teacher a new one.
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, and then rose twenty points in fifth grade when I had a nurturing teacher.
If you are still alive, SCREW YOU, Mrs. Ericson.
#42 Horrible Thing to Say
When I was in the second grade, my mom died. When I was in the third 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 going to hell and would never see my mom again. I hated that jerk.
#43 Proving Him Wrong
I enrolled in college early while still in high school and 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 bachelors with political science pre-law as my major. All was going well until one professor, an older man who hated me from day one. He saw this young blonde chick in his class, which, let’s be real, was an easy and basic pre-requisite at a community college, and decided I wasn’t worth his time.
He would constantly answer any 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/law wasn’t the thing for me and that maybe I should look into doing something different.
Joke’s on him though, I ended up completing my major, and working as main staff on a major campaign during 2012. Then, after all that fun, I decided I didn’t want to go to law school and I now work for the government. But still, screw that dude.
#44 Too Smart, Try Again
I had a 10th-grade French teacher accuse me of plagiarism for writing something that was “above my level of French.” I was shy and didn’t talk much, but had been in total immersion since grade school. In grades 7 and 8, I even competed in public speaking, winning out of the school and going to provincials.
They put me in the highest level with one other contestant who had just moved from Quebec. Did she bother to back-check anything? Heck no. But that was just the beginning of the nightmare. That jerk screwed my grades up so bad that I went from being an honor student to barely showing up because I didn’t know what to do. If I did well, I’d get in trouble, so what’s the point?
#45 How Do I Math?
I had a math teacher who would leave the class to ask another teacher how to do certain math problems. Sometimes he’d be gone as long as 30 minutes during a 50-minute class period. Suffice to say, no one in that class learned much.
#46 The Basketball Teacher
My seventh-grade math teacher. Dude would assign homework, which I would do, and then have us grade them in class. Here’s the catch: He never checked the graded work himself. Get a wrong answer on the assignment? Pssh, just ignore it and put the corresponding grade on your paper! Problem solved! But it gets even worse.
There were friends of mine who caught on and turned in LITERALLY BLANK papers, folded in half and with full scores written at the top. They got the grades. And his methods for teaching usually involved playing Nerf basketball in class with a few students after about a 5-minute lesson on any new material. How was he not fired for this gross negligence? One word: Tenure.
#47 Subtlety is Not This Teacher’s Strength…
When returning tests and assignments, my fifth-grade teacher had a whole ritual he’d go through so that everyone could see how well or poorly each person did. If you did well, he’d place it nicely on your desk. If you did poorly, he’d call your name and throw it on the floor. You’d then have to get up from your desk to go pick it up.
#48 I Do Mean to Pry, But…
My teacher had us go around the room and guess whether each student was a virgin or not based on just looking at each other. One girl that most said wasn’t a virgin started bawling because she’d been assaulted. Nice going, teacher!
#49 Chocolate Covered Revenge
Mrs. Danner in the third grade. She was a terrible teacher in general. She talked about her migraines constantly instead of teaching and explained how chocolate and Taco Bell triggered her migraines and explosive diarrhea, and told us that anyone who drinks diet soda would immediately get cancer because they have diabetes and can’t drink regular soda (?).
She picked on different students and loved to have loud, patronizing conversations with her teacher friend next door about students in her class as a passive-aggressive way to get on to students. She was particularly mean to me because she wasn’t from what would be considered a “good” family in the area but married well.
In her new social circle, she wound up rubbing elbows with my grandmother, who absolutely despised Mrs. Danner and was not shy about making that fact known. So, when she saw my last name on the first day of class, she decided to get her revenge. It all culminated in one incident in which I had an altercation with a boy outside of school hours and not at a school event.
On the Monday following the event, Mrs. Danner and her teacher friend pulled me into the hallway and said things like, “Looks like your family isn’t as wonderful as they pretend” and “how ashamed your grandmother must be” and other things that turned me into a teenaged, sobbing mess.
I went home and my tears turned my mother into a bear ready to attack. The following day, my mother put on her best suit, donned her pearls, pulled her hair into an elegant chignon, and stomped her high-heeled feet into that school at 3:00 p.m. and stepped into the classroom. I’ll never forget the next few moments.
Mrs. Danner said, “Hello [Mom First Name].” My mother said, “Oh, you may call me Mrs. Last Name, my friends use my first name,” and then laid the most gloriously condescending smack-down on that jerk that the world has ever heard. Eventually, the principal came down and Mama said, “Well, I’ve said my piece.”
“Mrs. Danner will finish the year being much nicer to Dan or I will be forced to have a meeting with my cousin (the school board president) and see how he feels about renewing her contract.” Mama flounced out leaving shattered remains in her wake and it was honestly amazing. Mama, being a grade-A jerk, proceeded to sign up to make all the baked goods for class, and only made chocolate because Mrs. Danner can’t have chocolate.
#50 Mr. Drinky-Poo
He was my 7th-grade math teacher. He’d keep a bottle of orange juice with vodka on the ledge outside the window. Halfway through the class, he’d pass out in his chair. We were his last class of the day and he would drink all day. He’d tell us which page the math problems were on and tell us to do the even number problems.
Oh, but it gets better. All the even number answers were in the back of the book. Everyone got A’s.
#51 Lit Class, Fam
My English lit professor was late to class every day. She was clearly never sober. On top of that, she didn’t shower, her hair was matted, and she was SO rude. She gave us homework and never took it up or graded it, and then would show up and say it’s test day with no warning. I had to drop that class after I failed the first test.
#52 Bleed or Fail, Your Choice
One time while taking an exam in my Calculus class, I got a random bloody nose that dripped right on to the test. My teacher’s response was incredibly disturbing. After I explained what happened, she said if I left the room to go clean up, I wouldn’t be able to retake it. My options were to grab another test and start over halfway through, without being able to copy my previous answers, or leave and fail the exam.
I walked out of the classroom and withdrew before I got to my car.
#53 Cry Me a River
One year, I was crying in class because I couldn’t stop thinking about a serious family issue I was going through at the time. The teacher screamed at me for crying at my desk and then proceeded to march me to the front of the class and yell at me to stop crying. Needless to say, screaming at me just made me cry more. By the end, I was sobbing in the hallway.
Happy ending though—this incident led to her eventual firing at the end of the year!
#54 Heartless, But a Good Shot
Third grade. We were reading Where the Red Fern Grows and we got to the part where the boy’s dog passes and everyone in class started crying. I was sitting there waiting for the next kid to read and some girl across the room called me out, saying, “Why isn’t he crying like the rest of us?” To which the teacher lady replied, “Because he doesn’t have a heart.”
I threw my book at her from across the room and smacked her right in the forehead. I was suspended for a week.
#55 Grade Randomizer 2000
College professor who didn’t respond to any questions and just gave a final grade. It was an online class without lecture, too. Unlike other professors who would post mini-lectures or videos or whatever, it was a very “Here’s the book, do your entire marketing campaign on this.” One student called and messaged him nine times to get her grade from our midterm.
He finally sent her an email with nothing but a bunch of white space and a one-letter reply of her grade. He gave me a B for the course. He gave the chronic C student that I tutored an A. I’m pretty sure he just randomly assigned grades. It was an awful experience overall.
#56 Blood, Sweat & Teachers
My high school teacher didn’t let girls in their junior year of high school go to the restroom during class more than twice a semester because he thought they would be skipping class. Multiple people ended up bleeding onto their chairs because he didn’t let anyone leave.
#57 Kids Teaching Kids
I love reading, have from an early age, and I was excited to learn literature in junior high. I had a teacher who just completed her post-grad diploma, and for an entire year in literature class, she would just flip pages and say things like, “Turn to page 88. Highlight paragraph 3. That’s gonna be tested.” I was so freaking disappointed.
One day, she had to make up a class on Saturday and started telling us how much she hated her job because she couldn’t go get wasted on Friday night since she had to show up on a Saturday morning and teach a bunch of stinking kids. She then proceeded to ask us to turn to some page, yelling, “Just highlight everything. The entire page will be tested!”
Well, she got what was coming to her. She got fired because she got caught doing it with the IT instructor in the computer lab.
#58 Learn Welsh, Duh
My Welsh professor. She assigned textbooks that were out of print, couldn’t explain anything, responded to questions by repeating herself, and her syllabus was just header info and a single line that said, “The purpose of this class is to learn Welsh.”
#59 Having a Blast
I had a science teacher who almost blew up a chemistry lab because she carelessly left the gas on. She then sued the school for alleged discrimination when they tried to fire her as a result of this.
#60 The Class Example
My sixth-grade teacher. He loved to pick on kids and make them the butt of his jokes. Unfortunately, I was his target for an entire year. He would always single me out. He always made me do humiliating things in front of the class. Sometimes, if I put an answer that he deemed dumb on an assignment, he would read my answers in front of the class.
He would also show the class my poor handwriting and ask them if he should mark the answers wrong just because he couldn’t read the answer. Having an entire class laugh at you day after day can wear you down. But it didn’t end there. See, when your teacher makes fun of you in front of the class, it spills over into the playground. Kids think they have immunity to make fun of you however they want.
I sometimes look back and wonder how sadistic a person must be to purposely humiliate a little kid.
#61 I Love the Smell of Internal Bleeding in the Morning
My current professor in my nursing program. Not one person has anything positive to say about this woman. During the lecture, she only reads the PowerPoint slides, as they are, without elaborating or teaching about the subjects of the slides.
She then tries to relate what the topic of the slides are to her clinical experience in the hospital. But her stories are convoluted, distracting from the actual topic, and very tangential. She basically talks about herself as God’s gift to anyone who has had her as a nurse. But this isn’t even the best part. She also claims she can smell a patient bleeding internally. Internally?!
This was a gym teacher. The other kids would often make fun of me and sometimes beat me up. She would only intervene if I fought back, and that was to punish me and me alone. I went to the guidance counselor one time after getting kicked out and told him what happened. When he called her, she told him a dirty lie. She said that I was attacking them and they did nothing. Since she was the teacher and I was the student, you can guess who the guidance counselor believed.
My second-grade teacher. I always had terrible penmanship, but we had to write a report on a book about an animal. I picked penguins. The next day, she called me up in front of the class. Then she gave me a heartbreaking punishment. She said my report was so bad and illegible that she was going to have to tell the principal and that I was going to be expelled.
From second grade. I bawled my eyes out because I thought I was going to never be allowed to go to school again and knew I’d get my butt whooped when I got home. I mean really, I can’t get over it to this day. She told a second grader that he was going to get kicked out of school because of penmanship. She was just a terrible human.
#64 B is For Coffee
I had a history teacher in 10th grade who just sat and drank coffee. You had to read from the book and do outlines of it. He never read your work. I used to just put gibberish in there and see what happened. One time, he wrote “good job” about an inch away from the comment in my outline “I like cheese.” I somehow got a B. Still don’t understand that one.
#65 French Class Sans French
Oh, let’s see. This teacher threw chairs, desks, keys, chalk, you name it, at students. He also didn’t believe that I could read chapter books…in grade five, as a 10-year-old. One day, we were learning about PH values and tested bleach. It came out as a base…because it is a base. He was surprised and told us it must have changed from being an acid because it had been sitting on the shelf for so long.
Then he doled out his worst punishment. He made a kid do detention in the hall with a sign that said “future squeegee kid.” Just horrible. He was all-round a pretty poor teacher with a terrible temper.
#66 Aloofness Wins
Gunnar, gym teacher. Old white dude with a grey afro. He wore very short shorts and sometimes his testicles fell out. I was never good in class, since I was a lazy kid. So, final year he sat me down and said “Well, last year you barely got a passing grade and this year you somehow performed even worse. What kind of grade do you think you deserve?”
I shrugged and said, “It doesn’t matter.” Then graduation day comes. When I found out my mark, my jaw dropped. Somehow I got a BETTER grade than the year before! Still think he must have mixed up the papers, and I wonder if he failed someone else by accident.
#67 Who Told You That?
Health and safety teacher, late 50s, early 60s maybe. He was very much like Ozzy Osbourne. He’d stutter, forget unforgettable things, and begin to vacantly stare into space sometimes halfway through conversation. Worst of all were his contradictions, oh Lord. He would say “Write this down, this is the best answer/ explanation for this question.”
Then, skip 20 minutes forward to when he was marking the questions, and a meltdown would ensue because we wrote the wrong answer and he didn’t know where we possibly could have got it from.
#68 April Fool’s
I’m not going to actually name her, but I’ll just call her Mrs. April. She was my first-grade teacher and I have some hot tea to spill on her. When my older brother went into second grade, she was his teacher. One day, she tells my parents that he is not focusing in class and should take some of these random pills. My parents agreed, thinking it was for his own good.
Long story short, it was not for his own good. He was banging his head on the wall and floors and yelling. My parents stopped giving him the pills, and he stopped that behavior. Later, they found out the truth. He was deadly allergic to those pills. But when they told Mrs. April, she insisted they keep giving them to him. Thank God they didn’t.
#69 The Never-ending Test
My AP Psych teacher. I’ve never met anyone with a worse teaching style, and this was an AP class, where the teachers should be at least somewhat competent. Whenever we got quizzes back (if he didn’t lose them), we would go over every answer that a lot of people got wrong. The thing is, sometimes he would deliberately say the answer was, for example, B instead of C.
He expected us to argue with him for our correct answer, but then he would argue back until everyone gave up, making up on the spot a way of tying that wrong answer to the question until we were convinced. You’re supposed to be able to trust your teachers to give you correct information, right? Wrong. The next day, he’d tell us we hadn’t tried hard enough to prove our points.
So then, when we took the test, it was impossible to remember what was right and what was wrong.
#70 Blocks: Revoked
I had a third-grade teacher who when I got the only 100 on the test, she let me play with blocks. But when I let out a small “yes!” I got the timeout chair instead and a note home.
#71 It’s a Trap!
Mrs. Robinson, who forced me into a room where I was scolded by eight teachers. Screw you.
#72 Free Spirit in a Tie
I’ll never forget Mr. Taylor in college German. This dude was a freaking riot, let me tell you. When I first took the class, I heard rumors that he was a bit off, but I didn’t know any specifics, so I had a fairly clean slate when it came to my experience as one of his students. He always wore a suit and was constantly sweating even though it was normally hot in the room.
Most days I had this class, he ended 20 minutes early because he had to “lie down because of his migraines.” I also saw him quite a bit out of class. As any college student, I frequented the local grocery store liquor section and I saw him there just about every time I went. After weeks of seeing him behave erratically in class and witnessing his weekly cart-fulls of wine, I connected the dots that he was likely an alcoholic.
About a month in, things started getting nuts. He would go on these long rants that were completely unrelated to the course and we would just sit there in silence as he talked about being a hippy in San Francisco in the 60s and doing it with some random “free spirit” on Jim Morrison’s grave. But he wasn’t even finished.
He once went on a 20-minute rant about Catholics and how religion has completely destroyed the fabric of academia and will be the end of civilized society as we know it. When he saw that we were just sitting in silence (very awkwardly), he’d just smile and say, “You guys are just too young to understand.” This dude also LOVED squirrels.
We would sometimes have class out in the quad because he’d rather talk about Dresden during WW2 and how it destroyed a ton of art under one of the shade trees. He would constantly get distracted if a squirrel wandered by and immediately yell out “Oh my, look at that one! It’s so pudgy and cute!” He was just obsessed with them.
He once even claimed he saw a squirrel that looked EXACTLY like John Lennon. I wish I was making this up. Also, if you drew a squirrel on your quiz, you were given extra points. Not that this class was hard, because he handed out the quizzes on Monday and collected them on Fridays each week. Never got below a 102 on any of them.
In the end, I felt bad for him. He always talked about loves lost and how great it was to be a hippie in the 60s. I didn’t learn anything about German that semester, but I guess I got a taste of what radical hippies were like back in the day. It was a wild ride.
#73 The Sandman
My primary school headmaster wanted to show how rough sandpaper was, so he ran it down a student’s face.
It took about a year for the damage to heal.
#74 Let Me Save You Some Time…I Don’t Know
I had a computer science teacher who didn’t really even teach the class. First day of school, he stood up and said, “I’m going to be honest with you guys, we’re going to be learning this material together.” He then pushed us all into online code camps. The beginning of every class, he also spent the first 20 minutes going over anything under the sun except for programming.
If your phone went off at any point during the class, he said that you had to buy the entire class donuts, but he was exempt from the rule.
#75 Girls Learning Science? Ha!
Grade 9 science teacher told us that physics and chemistry used to be harder, but they had to make the subjects easier so that girls could do it.
#76 Math: Forever Ruined
My math teacher demanded my parents come in for a meeting where he basically told them I was a trollop because you could see a sliver of my stomach when I raised my arms sometimes.
#77 Wrong Answers Only
High school in the mid-80s. I took the school’s first ever computer class, taught by the gym teacher. She read straight from the book. If the book was wrong (and it was wrong a lot) then she was wrong and we had to answer wrong on the test or fail.
#78 Straight up Degradation
A French teacher who made me hate French. She humiliated me in front of the class with an utterly vicious demand. She made me get on my hands and knees and picking up a piece of trash with my mouth. I was being punished for throwing an airplane while she went out to chit chat with another teacher. She was terrible. Always miserable, just a wretched woman.
#79 The Importance of Understanding
A little bit of a backstory. My dad was a horrible father. He cared more about how he looked in the community than he did actually being a good dad. My brother (18 months older than me) and I would be left at home all weekend with no transportation and no guidance while he played house with his girlfriend. I was 11, my brother was 13.
Anyway, I got into trouble. I don’t blame this entirely on my dad, but as a kid so young and confused needed guidance, reinforcement, and discipline. My mother is bi-polar and my father kicked her out of the house, onto the street, and claimed that she was crazy and wanted to end us. To my father, discipline meant him putting his fists in my face as often as possible.
He would make me stay home from school if I had black eyes or marks that showed. He locked me in my room when I was 14 for the entire summer with nothing but a radio (no books, nothing to draw on, no friends) for getting caught with cigs. Anyway, I confided in a teacher in high school about all of my problems.
I really didn’t have many friends who I thought would understand, and I was also really embarrassed that I was powerless to stop him from hurting me. So this teacher was someone I thought I could tell things to. I told her about my home life, being left alone for days at a time, not having food in the fridge (and we weren’t poor), having to stay at friends’ houses and their parents being responsible for me…
You know, just an entire list of bad stuff. Well, I cut school one afternoon. I know, dumb. But I paid for it in an even darker way. Knowing all that this teacher did… she picked up the phone and called my dad. He beat me so freaking bad that I had huge purple bruises all over my back and ribs. I went to school three days later, walked into the teachers’ lounge where she and about 10 other teachers were, raised up my shirt, and told her thanks.
#80 Oh Come On
In a computer class, me and one of my friends were working together. Well, she decided to just copy everything I put down, word for word, so I just emailed her my paper before we printed them. The teacher handed them back and then gave a 100 to her and me an 80.
#81 Piece of Trash
In first grade, I didn’t want to eat a brownie that a classmate had brought in for their birthday. My teacher decided that this was incredibly rude and that I wasn’t allowed to go outside for recess until I ate the brownie. When she wasn’t looking, I wrapped it in a napkin and placed it carefully in the garbage can. She noticed, took it out of trash, unwrapped it, and still made me eat it.
#82 Read the Room
The class was learning about the legal system and doing a mock trial. The case involved a girl being sexually assaulted. The student who was picked to play the girl, coincidentally, had been a victim in real life. It was a terrible situation. She felt it was going to be too draining on her and tried to get out of the role. The teacher wanted an explanation but she wasn’t willing to share, she was just saying it was very private.
It was not clicking in the teacher’s head why a girl may have very private reasons not to play an assault victim in front of a class. She kept on trying and finally the teacher raised his voice, “You’re holding up this project for the entire class for no apparent reason. Why on earth is this such an issue?” The whole class was looking at her at this point when she said she had been a victim and started crying. As far as I know, the teacher didn’t face repercussions but the project was changed.
#83 Blind as a Bat
I asked my sixth-grade science teacher if he could switch my seat to the front of the room because I was having trouble seeing the board. I wear glasses and have just really bad eyes. He decided, for some reason, that I had an ulterior motive for wanting to be in the front of the room. To punish me for trying to “pull one over on him” he moved me to the very back of the room for the rest of the year where I could not see the board at all so I learned nothing that year, because we didn’t have textbooks, everything was put up on the board.
#84 Too Good to Be True, Apparently
In seventh grade, we had a group project to create a magazine. Our group’s magazine was supposed to be animal themed, with articles being written by animals, for animals. I was assigned to write a poem. Now, I’ve always been a good reader, and a decent writer, and I wasn’t bad at poetry either. So I was inspired by this poem about time and wrote my own days before the due date.
But I made one big mistake: I forgot about the animal theme. Little did I know, this error would haunt me for years. On the day it was due, I quickly adjusted “man” to mammal and such changes. It really messed with the meter, but it was done. A few days after we handed in the magazine, my teacher pulled me out of class into the hallway. He told me he knew I had copied the poem, and that I would get a zero.
He said he knew it wasn’t mine because it was “too good” for a student to write. Tearfully, I still told him I wrote it. He said that if I insisted, he would find where I copied it from, and give me a zero and get me in trouble when he did. This sounded fine to me since there was nothing to find—and I really wanted to get away from being yelled at.
When grades came out, I learned he given me a zero on the poem anyway. In addition, the “magazine” was returned to the editor, not the individual contributors, so I never got my poem back. I can’t even remember the words now. But this was one of the traumatic points in my childhood that taught me not to listen to authority.
Later, in high school, I wrote a journal entry for another English teacher about the experience. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she shared the original teacher’s last name (Beck). She happened to be married to a history teacher of that name. When she graded my journal, she apologized to me, and insisted she was no relation to the original teacher.
Which was kinda weird, but it did feel nice to have some acknowledgement of how messed up the situation had been.
#85 Birthday Boy
High School French class. It was my birthday and the teacher gave me this small bag of candy and a cute note. I thought it was really thoughtful because you don’t really expect teachers to give a crap about your birthday in high school. I thank her, pop a piece of candy in my mouth, and promptly got a detention for eating in her classroom.
I was shocked and nearly cried because it was my first detention ever. Everyone else was just as surprised and started arguing with her but she wouldn’t budge. And that’s my story of how I got my first ever detention by eating a piece of candy the teacher gave me on my birthday.
#86 Jumping for Joy
My French teacher threatened to throw herself down the stairs if we didn’t shut up. She actually ran out of the room and climbed over the railing, but another teacher stopped her from actually jumping.
#87 No Comment
For two years, I went to a local community college. In my first semester, I took English Composition. I’ve always been strong at reading and writing, so I looked forward to the class. My classmates were awesome. The instructor was another story. She was young and fresh out of her graduate program. She did lots of things that were super unprofessional, but this one definitely stood out as the worst.
She had a personal blog where she wrote about her life and how woke she was. She gave us an assignment that we had to comment on three of her blog posts weekly. That was bad enough, but it gets worse. We had to turn in a paper for something else and many people did poorly on it. So, she blogs about how awful we all are on the blog that she knew we would all see!!
My classmates respond by going off in the comments section about her bad teaching and her ridiculous assignments. It was incredible to watch. The rest of the semester was very awkward, but at least I made some good friends.
#89 Socially Awkward
My eighth-grade social studies teacher rarely assigned homework. When she actually did choose to assign homework one night, almost no one turned it in the next day. She had a massive meltdown and yelled, “I bet you all did your math homework last night, didn’t you?! DIDN’T YOU?!?!” She proceeded to take the overhead projector and slam it onto the floor, breaking it in front of all of us.
Then, she just walked out of the room and didn’t come back for the rest of class.
#90 Used and Painfully Unaware
I was chosen for a dance competition in school in third grade. Since it was a girls school and I was not very thin I was playing the boy for a couple of dance numbers. After a week of practice, I was enjoying myself and the teacher had taken money from us for costumes. And one morning I wasn’t visited by my partner to call me for practice.
Assuming she was absent I requested my class teacher to let me go for practice. I’d been almost 15 minutes late and I ran my way to the room to see some other girl dancing with my partner. I went in apologizing to my teacher for being late. And she pulled me out of the practice room and told me the awful truth: They had taken someone else.
I begged and apologized for being late. She got frustrated and told me no, they wanted someone better looking and thrust my money into my hand. I ran and sobbed my way to my classroom where my teacher told me to quiet down or leave class. It was one of the most painful memories of my childhood. Later I found out the teacher had replaced me with her niece and I was a stand-in, an unaware stand-in, so that practice wouldn’t be interrupted.
#91 Homeroom in the Gulag
During the cold winter months, my seventh-grade homeroom teacher would open all of the classroom windows if even one student didn’t finish their homework from the night before. We would all have to sit in the cold until every student finished. At this school, we were required to lock our winter coats in our lockers so we would have to sit in the cold with just our shirts. No wonder both of her kids ran away from home.
#93 Do Your Dang Job
This happened last semester, so I’m really glad that I’ll get to vent about it to somebody. My professor didn’t grade anything the entire semester, and then just started magically giving grades back two days before classes ended. It was not only unfair, it was unethical that a professor just would not do their job for the entirety of a semester.
Up until less than a week before the final exam, I had no idea where I stood in the class. It was awful, and it was really difficult to make any informed decisions about how much attention I should be giving a class.
#94 Unbelievably Fast
In third grade, my teacher gave me The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and I started reading it on the bus home. It was so good that I kept reading it all afternoon, and ended up staying up late to finish it. The next morning I gave it back to her and she didn’t believe that I’d finished it. I was surprised and told her that I had, so she sent me to the reading specialist, who had me read aloud and summarize it.
He sent me back to class with a note saying “seems like she read it” or something along those lines. This was before the internet/SparkNotes. The teacher promptly demoted me from the highest reading group to the second-lowest. I told my mom, who went to the principal on my behalf, and I was moved back up to the highest reading group. But the mess wasn’t over just yet.
Then the teacher sent me to the principal for “lying to my mom.” She was a piece of work.
#95 Read the Signs
A teacher (who already didn’t like me at all) asked me to turn the lights off so she could play something on the projector, and she got angry at me for being unable to reach the lights, because I’m 4-feet tall. She sighed loudly and said “Of course, you can’t even do that. [Other student’s name] can you do it, please?”
The reason she disliked me is that I was generally unmotivated and behind in class. Turns out I was very depressed at that time (verging on suicidal). Yes, I didn’t finish homework, and I started skipping class, but just a year ago I had been a highly motivated, star pupil who enjoyed class. I feel like that kind of dramatic change should set off alarm bells.
Would have been nice if she asked what was wrong, rather than get angry at me all the time. Especially for having dwarfism, like what the heck lady.
#96 Teacher’s Pet
There was a rumor going around at my high school that this senior girl was dating one of the science teachers. She did hang around his office after class a lot, but the rumor was seemingly nothing—just a bunch of kids making up dumb nonsense for whatever reason they do. He was a beloved teacher and she was pretty low key, but a cool girl nonetheless.
I figured that the whole thing was probably just the result of some idiot who had gotten a bad grade in this guy’s class or who had it out for one of them somehow. Either way, nothing ever came of it. Fast forward a few years aaannd…curve ball! All of a sudden, just a few short months after she graduated, it came out that he was divorcing his wife and leaving his family to be with this former student of his.
He even publicly updated his relationship status on Facebook to confirm it for everyone. She was 18 years old, and he was probably in his mid-40s at the time. What in the world?? I did NOT see that one coming!
#97 It All Worked Out
High school freshman year English teacher didn’t like my attitude or penmanship (lefty) so she recommended I be sent to remedial English for my sophomore year. It took two classes in sophomore year for the teacher to figure out I didn’t belong there, but the freshman teacher was also the Department Head and wouldn’t approve my transfer, so he gave me an A, a list of books to read, and asked me to help out leading discussion with the rest of the class.
#98 System Failure
My father died early morning of the first day back at school for the year. He had been sick a few months and most of my summer holidays was spent visiting him at the hospice. At the end of the previous school year, the school decided to change the uniforms. I went back to school day two and I was called up to the vice principal’s office because I didn’t have the new shirt.
They knew my father had died the previous day—I was told if I didn’t have the right shirt tomorrow I would be suspended. I had to scrape together the money and get the bus to the shops to get the shirt that day because my mum was dealing with enough and I didn’t want to add to it. That was the day I stopped caring about school and it was a real turning point—for the worse—in my life. I was an A student before then.
#99 It’s All in the Family
I had a teacher in high school who hated me. I wasn’t the best literature student, but I hardly deserved her treatment. She once ripped up a paper of mine in front of the class saying it was the worst thing she ever read. I had to get it graded by the English department. My uncle worked at that school as a guidance counselor, but before that he was the English head when this particular teacher started. I think she took out her hate for my uncle on me.
#100 Oh Just Cheer Up
I missed three months of my last year at school because I was treated for severe depression. School and every teacher was informed. I could finish with a lower degree or retake all the courses. Because I didn’t know how I’d feel a year later and I wanted to have a degree in my pocket, I decided for the lower degree.
I worked hard, on my health and for my courses. After my final oral exam the teacher asked me why I missed so many lessons. I was confused and asked him if he did not get the letter I sent, which he said he got. So I said that everything was explained there. That I was treated for severe depression in a clinic several hours away.
He looked at me and told me with a disapproving glance, that everyone is sad once in a while. That’s no reason to not attend school.
#101 The Spanish Inquisition
Spanish teacher gave me zeroes on a bunch of homework that I knew I’d done and turned in like everyone else. My father refused to believe me and punished me in accordance with the rules about my “bad grade.” I swore to him that I had turned in the work, so the next morning he went with me to the teacher’s “office hours” or whatever you want to call it.
She showed up 30 minutes after the posted start time, so he was already mad because he was missing work. She unlocks the door and proceeds to tell my father that I’m a bad student, didn’t do my work, and was disruptive in class. But I knew what I had to do. I shove past her into the room, go to her desk, and pull the four missing papers from her “turn it in tray.”
My father watches all this, looks at my teacher (who has turned bright red), and tells me to go to class without breaking eye contact with her. She started failing all of my assignments from that point forward until my dad complained to the principal, superintendent, and school board. She retired the next year.
#102 A Poet Who Didn’t Know It
I wrote a term paper about violence in schools. I got an A on the assignment and then pretty much forgot about it. Sometime later, another teacher congratulated me for getting published. Huh???? Published? What are you talking about? I was then shown my own work published in a magazine—under my teacher’s name. She had never asked my permission to use my work, nor had she even informed me of these intentions.
She was forced to write me an apology letter.