People Describe The Worst Assignment They Ever Had In School

People Describe The Worst Assignment They Ever Had In School
Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Any lesson should be taught with the intent of leading a student towards some realization or some mastering of a skill. If a teacher gives you an assignment with no clear purpose besides killing time and killing your hand, then that's not a lesson. That's a punishment.

These assignments fall into the latter category.

Reddit user, u/beans155, wanted to hear the thing you've never forgotten:

What is the worst assignment you have ever had in school?

This This This...This Shouldn't Be How Grades Work

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Economics teacher made us gamble a test grade on the stock market. Losing money got you a C, breaking even got you a B, profiting got you an A. There were also progress check ins to make sure you printed your stocks every day. Yahoo's daily stock report looks different on past days than it does on the current day. You'd lose points if you had the previous day's stock report.



In grade 7 we had to make a family tree. I am adopted. The first thing my teacher said was "I think you are going to fail, because you don't know anything about your family". My mom called her out for doing/saying that. So she told me I could do my adopted family, but I couldn't attach me with a solid line, because I didn't really belong...


ZERO Feedback

One teacher had a list of "banned words".

These included human, human beings, and xenomorph.

We also had to write once a week, eight page essays. And he failed me on every one, but refused to help beyond "you're doing this wrong, do it right".

So yeah, that.


No Modifications Or Adjustments

I was in an honors history class in high school, and we were required to write an A-Z book on the town we lived in (one page per letter, each letter for a word relevant to the town). This was around the time computers were becoming a norm, and information was widely available on the internet. My family was dirt poor, and parents didn't care enough about my education to take me to the library.

So all I had to work with were encyclopedias my grandparents gave me, which had zero info on small towns; the few books our school library had; and some magazines. My book was hand-written, with drawn illustrations using colored pencils and magazine cutouts. Everyone else's were typed and bound in plastic. I got an F with no feedback from the teacher. I worked my a-- off on that thing.


Pushing Too Hard

When we read To Kill a Mockingbird in 10th grade, we had to read two chapters a night, annotate every page, and fill out study guide questions, and there were like 50 per chapter.

It made me lose all my respect for that book, which is a shame because I had read it before this and really liked it.


Poor Communication Between Teachers

Write 2 stories involve gods/goddesses with minimum of 3 pages each. Due date: the day after he assigned it.

We had like 3 more unfinished assignments from other subjects that the due date was also the next day. Then he added one more but much harder!


Trying To Make Something Seem Important That Isn't

The annual scoliosis test in middle school physical education class. I failed every time. :-)

For real though, a fifteen page paper (single!!! spaced!!!) in college for a class I wasn't invested in, comparing two movies that bored me to sleep.

I was a LITERATURE MAJOR and NONE of my literature classes made me write papers that long. NONE.


A Shoestring Budget Gives A Shoestring Lesson

My Spanish professor would record Spanish songs off the scratchy, staticky shortwave radio, and we would have to translate them. I was like dude, I wouldn't be able to do this even if the songs were in English.


Meaningless Work Is Nothing But Punishment

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we were supposed to read a book that i probably would have enjoyed otherwise, and we were supposed to write one-page responses about our feelings regarding our pick of *twelve* quotes, per chapter. twelve pages of handwritten responses, per chapter of the book. it was so tedious. the chapters weren't that long, and a lot of them were relatively well-covered by responses to like three or four quotes, so most of this assignment was just rambling on about what felt like relatively inconsequential aspects of the text. and it was SO MUCH.

the worst part was, it made me feel guilty for doing any recreational reading while this assignment was hanging over my head. and like. i don't read as much as i did before high school, and i think assignments like that are a big part of why.


Some Teachers Need To Think Through Assignments A Little More

I was asked to draw each element of my family, but not just my mom and dad and siblings, nooo... All the cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents.

I told my teacher I had 17 aunts and uncles and 17 cousins, along with my 3 siblings, parents and 3 grandparents (one was deceased). She still made me do it... I don't think I ever finished to be honest...

Nowadays we're even more. Most of them got married and have children now and we're 60 on Christmas, about to be 63 and always counting.


There's No Value Here. Only Punishment.

Pg. 30 out of a history book. A punishment for fooling around. Had to hand write it out in 6th grade. I held the class record for doing it like 12 times. My best friend mike levy was in 2d place. This was 1967-68.


Busy Work With No Connections

I had a grade 11 [English] assignment where we were supposed to read a book and answer questions about it. Seemed simple enough, although some of the "questions" were along the lines of 'Pick some song lyrics that make sense in the context of the book.'

I picked my book, and read it - it was Markus Zusak's 'I Am The Messenger'. After I finished reading it, I decided I didn't like the ending (which tainted how I felt about the rest of it because it was pretty good before its ending). And I hadn't even started the assignment with no notes to speak of.

I eventually handed it in... almost a month late. I put it off way too long because I was dreading the assignment based on how I felt about the book. The assignment was also one where I was supposed to 'stylize' it (for lack of a better description), on a sheet on printer paper. I don't write that small but I was not taking any chances.

English class in high school just sucks. I'm fine with the essay part, but the reading is dreadful since I can't read a book without feeling like I need to take notes and remember tiny details as if I still take an [English] class.


Too Much Of A Bad Thing

A 3000-4000 word essay (hand-written no less) on the Merchant of Venice.

Way to kill any love of Shakespeare I may have had.


A Good Teacher Can Garner A Win From A Potential Loss

The worst homework assignment I ever had was a science project. I decided my own topic and decided to test how long it would take paper to decay under different circumstances. The reason why it was the worst was because I vastly underestimated the time it would take for the paper to complete the decomposition process. I thought it would just take a week or so (the amount of time I had for this particular project) but at the end of a week all my trials looked pretty much the same. I was so nervous to tell the teacher about my results because I thought she would be mad that I didn't have any meaningful results. I spent a sleepless night and then drudged to school terrified of what might happen!

To my surprise, the teacher used my project as an example of how the scientific process works. She said that science is as much about finding results as it is not finding them. By not finding anything at all, I learned something important about decomposition, that it takes a really long time! Before the experiment I didn't understand that and now I do so the experiment was a success!


A Bad Teacher Misses The Lesson Entirely

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A worksheet with 15 questions on it. We were told to pick 10 and turn it in. Anyone who didn't do every question (those who paid attention) were deducted points. It was meant to help prepare us for a job, going above and beyond, but I'm still salty about it. Also, if your boss tells you to do A and B, but not C for a client, it's probably because they didn't pay/don't want it. Completing C anyway could cause problems.


And This Is Why You Shouldn't Do These Assignment Anymore

I was asked to create a presentation about my parents, what they were doing and how they met and what jobs they had. I was 10 at that time and my father had just passed away but I was like ashamed of saying anything ... I just lied acting like my father was still alive.


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