People Describe The Worst Teacher They've Ever Had

People Describe The Worst Teacher They've Ever Had
Image by TaniaRose from Pixabay

A good teacher can broaden a student's horizons and make even the most stubborn student learn. A bad teacher––and there are quite a few out there––will severely impair a student's relationship with the subject they're teaching. For example, I have had many good English and History teachers. They genuinely sparked my interest in those subjects. But I have had a number of terrible Math teachers, and I never took to the subject. (I would later take statistics in college, and while it was difficult and time-consuming, I loved the way it made me think.)

After Redditor GallopYouScallops asked the online community, "Who was the worst teacher you ever had?" people shared their stories.

"Then she has the audacity..."

My 4th-grade teacher often took away my little crafts and drawings, threw them into the trash, and told me that stuff was for kindergarteners. She also tried to suspend me for making paper claws.

Then she has the audacity to question my mom about why I was so depressed in her class.


"The class was..."

Mrs. Ray (3rd grade).

The class was going to have an ice cream party IF all of the students got their timetables right. I ended up missing two as I had a really hard time memorizing information. In fact, many years later it was found that I had a math disability. Anyhow she didn't say anything, our party was scheduled and my mom sent in toppings with me to school the day of. Just before the party started she came over and told me I had missed a few of them and that I needed to go sit in the library during the party, alone. She knew that my mom was sending in toppings and demanded them, I was resistant so she had to pull my book bag from me to get them out.

So I sat alone for about 45 minutes or so in the library while all of my classmates ate ice cream using the toppings my mom provided no less. 35 years later I am STILL angry over it and now that I have kids I couldn't imagine them having to go through that. Honestly, it made me HATE math the rest of my life also. And now at over 40 I still don't know all of my tables.... and I even graduated from college.



Grade 10 math teacher. Eastern European guy with a heavy accent that was hard to understand. That alone wasn't bad, except when you asked him to repeat something, or for clarification, he'd berate you and call you stupid. At the end of the year, I failed my exam, and he literally said to me "I will pass you if you leave my class and never come back again." I never agreed to something so quickly.

Oh, and my grade 10 french teacher. She had mental breakdowns at the end of every year, and I am not exaggerating. We did s*** all in class until she had her breakdown, then we had a sub who desperately tried to teach us enough to help us pass the exam. We were graded on a curve to make up for our lack of education all year. I remember playing my DS in her class every day, didn't need to hide it or anything. She didn't give a s***. It's a shame, I actually enjoyed french as a subject up until that point, after which I was too far behind to continue.


"I found out later..."

Mrs. Brown. I had her in year 3 (aged 7-8) and my god, she did not like me. I had been a bit of a teacher's pet throughout my earlier years so I was quite taken aback when this lady didn't like me. No matter what I did, I was finding myself in trouble. The slightest whisper to my friend, I would be in trouble, while others around me would get away with having open conversations with their tables. My work was never good enough. She even put me on an IEP (that's kind of a programme you mostly use for additional needs pupils).

My following teacher, Mrs. Harris, was lovely. Openly told me she had no idea why I had been put on an IEP in the first place and I felt myself getting back on track. By the end of the year, I somehow found myself wondering if maybe I'd been the one in the wrong with Mrs. Brown - she had been the grown-up after all so there was always a good chance it had been my fault we hadn't gotten along. But after Mrs. Harris I had Mrs Brown again and realised that no no, it was her problem after all.

I found out later that apparently, I'd met Mrs. Brown shortly before I'd started school and had had a tantrum in her presence - I guess she'd just decided I was a naughty child and it had become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Now that I'm a teacher myself I can understand that the way she acted was extremely inappropriate and you never use an IEP as a form of punishment. Funnily enough, her husband taught PE in the secondary school I went to and he had a school-wide reputation of being a d!ck too so I guess it was just their thing.

I try to remember Mrs. Brown when I'm teaching and make sure my pupils know that every day is a fresh start and any misbehaviours from yesterday won't affect the way they're treated today.


My high school physics teacher. I loved maths, physics, chemistry in my primary school and I was quite good at those too. But that bitch in my high school only accepted the very exact solution to any problem that she had in mind. When asked to solve any exercise or answer a question I would be ridiculed and given a bad grade if I dared to think about the problem and give my own solution. If they were two perfectly good solutions I would be damned if I used the wrong one. It was like writing 'B + A' instead of 'A + B' was enough to fail.

The result was I barely passed. I couldn't make myself learn this by just memorizing things exactly. Using any interesting knowledge sources was pointless. I hardly passed a physics course there and was not able to pass the entrance exam to the university well enough. I ended graduating something else than I wanted.


"One teacher..."

One teacher cussed out students multiple times and was only fired recently.


"I'll preface this..."

I'll preface this by saying I'm autistic and required a few accommodations in school. One of those was the means of a laptop to typewritten assignments on. Some teachers were cool with it, others begrudged it. One of them Really begrudged it. She was a 70-odd-year-old woman who told me if I didn't touch-type, I wouldn't be allowed to use my laptop to write. My handwriting is very poor as is my general dexterity. She starts observing my typing during note taking and slaps my hand with her pointer stick thing. "What did I tell you about your typing?", she snapped.

So I think nothing of it. Figured, just get through this day. Three days later, note-taking again, I'm typing in my quasi-hunt-and-peck style, she slaps my hand yet again and this time says nothing. I say to her "Seriously?", and she forcefully slams my laptop shut, hands me paper and a pencil, and goes "Write. Now."

One phone call from my mother to our guidance counselor later, I'm permitted to use my laptop in that class again. At this point I dread this teacher completely and I am making more of an effort to touch-type, but it feels unnatural and i'm doing it to avoid her reaction more than anything else.

Well, a few more days go by and I'm reverting back to my natural typing style, and this time she sees it and slaps my hand with a metal ruler, which actually really hurt. And at that point, I grab the ruler out of her hand, fling it across the room and I yell "Hit me again! Hit me again!", and when I tell you this woman turned White, like, it looked as if the soul left her body.

So, pretty much every other teacher in the next 4 rooms heard that, and I was taken aside to explain to the principal what happened, and I tell him the whole situation and he calls my mom down there, who is livid at my teacher and demands my removal from that class and that teacher fired -- teacher never got disciplined, I got 3 days of suspension for calling her a bad name, but I did get transferred to another class.

This teacher retired within two years and believe me when I say Everyone was glad to see her go.


"For context..."

A geology teacher in primary school. Still have various forms of nightmares today and angry writing this. Never shared with anyone. I still don't know the reason she threw away my homework right in front of the whole class.

For context, she is checking homework at her desk and calling one student after another. I brought my homework to her when it was my turn. She took it and flung it across the classroom to the door. Not knowing what happened and perhaps naive and confused, i picked it up and handed it to her again. She threw it away again and yelled at me not to pick it up. I cried for the whole day.


One of my "history" professors from back in college. It's a small liberal arts college that averaged 900 total students yearly, and everyone who attended got placed into one of three social categories: Jock, Hippie, and Other.

Other was then divided into about a handful of subcategories, with one of the biggest groups being the LGBTQ+ Alliance members.

Enter the professor. She was relatively new to the college (either her first or second year), and created a spring term class that was essentially Queer 20th Century History. I was a history major and thought of it as a double win.

It wasn't bad a first, actually pretty enjoyable. She didn't quite give off the experienced-teacher vibe, cause it seemed like her eyes were forever glued to the notes she had for that day and every 10 or so minutes we'd get some version of "according to/as per the source..."

About 2/3 through the semester, we get to the Stonewall Riots. As the class was about to end, we get assigned a 3-page "opinions & thoughts" essay on the event.

No big deal. It's a major historical queer event and filling 3 pages would be a breeze.

So, of course, I procrastinate until the night before. I'm looking through my notes for a specific date, but realize I had only written the year. I hop onto Wikipedia, search for the Stonewall Riots page, and start scanning it.

It took a whole two paragraphs to realize that I was reading her entire lecture from that day. Terminology, paragraph transitions, the works. It wasn't true word-for-word, but it must have been 90% identical. I read the rest of the article with my jaw just about on the floor. I texted a couple of my friends that were taking the class with me and told them to read through it. I needed confirmation that I wasn't imagining it.

I wasn't.

The next afternoon, we were back in the class. In all honesty, I cant even remember what that day's lesson was, because I was determined to indirectly call her out. After the second mention of "source", I raised my hand. She acknowledges, and I ask, "What sources are these, in case we need references for later?"

I wasn't expecting her to get as flustered as she did. After staring at the booklet of notes she was reading from and a couple "ummmmm..."s, she finally looked back up at me and said she'd email me her sources later that day (which, by the way, I'm still waiting for 12 years later). For the rest of the semester, we would randomly ask her the same question, and not once were we given an actual answer. Checking Wikipedia after the lessons (and sometimes during) became a common occurrence, and almost like a game for the remaining month or so.

Flash forward to the next semester. I was now a senior and in need of a filler class to fulfill my minimum semester credits. I figured I'd try out the same professor and signed up for her new class.

If it's any indication of how engaging it was, I don't even remember what the class actually covered. Part of me wants to say Medieval Art, because the only thing I remember from that entire semester was a paper that involved looking up the details of various pieces (artist, year created, country, yadda yadda).

Essentially, a waste of a couple thousand dollars for a dud class.

Semester just about comes to a close, and we are looking through our choices to end the year with. Once again in filler desperation, paired with senioritis and the painful need to not have an 830 class, I was left with only one choice: The History of Agriculture. With her.

I made it a full three classes before dropping it and waking up early for a music class that just had enough credits attached to hit the minimum. I felt so bad for the friend who had been taking the class with me; as the prof was signing the form for me to drop the class, the look on my friend's face screamed "please don't leave me here".

Even worse for her, she had two classes with this same prof that semester. One day at lunch, she drops down across from me at the table and starts telling me how she can't take this teacher anymore. In the US History class she taught, she spent all of 20 minutes on Frederick Douglass, then turned around and took a whole week on the importance of grass.

I get it. I went to an Environmental Liberal Arts College. But in my own opinion, someone categorized as a General History professor should probably put the focus on the major events of history, especially when it pertains to the title of the class.

She's still teaching there. I wonder if she's memorized the Wikis yet.


"I could barely read the content..."

My 9th-grade science teacher. I could barely read the content he wrote on the board so I had to copy notes from one of my friends half the time. He had bad handwriting and also handwrote all of our tests/quizzes and I never got above a C- on any of his tests or quizzes the entire year. I had good grades in my other classes except for his.

Also once when I was feeling sick, I had to use the bathroom before class started so I asked to go and he asked me if it was actually an emergency. I said it was so he let me go. Not even fifteen minutes later, I felt my stomach turn and I literally ran to the bathroom like my @ss was on fire. After I was done, another girl who was in the same class as me got me some water and walked with me back to class so I could get my stuff to go home. We get to the door and it's locked. She knocked and he unlocked the door and let us in. Then he asked me what I was doing and I said I got sick so I was going home.

The next year when I switched over to the public school, I got a way better science teacher and my grade went up to an A.


"My whole school..."

Bit late to this, but in Year 7 (11-12 years old), my maths teacher was giving us our class test, I had a pencil that rolled across the desk and me being only 11 didn't see the issue with standing up to take my pencil back. Teacher saw me doing this, comes across the classroom takes my test and throws it in the bin at the front of the room.

For clarity, there were two students to each desk, one on the end of the table and the other at the other end but on the long edge - my pencil had rolled towards this other student. I see how it may look like I was cheating, but to throw my test in a bin on a test I actually was confident on ruined any further maths for me and I still can not stand it.

(From that binned test I went from set 1 - highest in the year - to set 4. Still a bit miffed at that.)

I also had an art teacher in Year 9 (13-14 years old), who gave me a detention for telling him the white box (in the white to black gradients we had to paint) had already been painted white and continuously putting more white in the box would be pointless.

The same man gave my friend two weeks of detentions in the same class for something equally as stupid - our head of year wasn't able to take the detentions away for either of us, but she allowed both of us to leave class for lunch 30 minutes early so we still had a lunchtime and my friend wasn't lonely on the days she had detentions.

My whole school was mainly filled with teachers who didn't care about you and many that told me I shouldn't be what I wanted to be because I was too bad at things, which only made me not want to do the work for their class more. Can safely say for every single one of those classes, I aced at higher levels when I had teachers who actually believed in me.

(All classes I was told I shouldn't do, triple science at GCSE, I didn't do well in. Not only was I already anxious over my decision in the first place, the advisor who told me I was too bad to take them made it worse, on top of the teachers continuously saying it during class. I took it at a higher level, after getting decent grades without revision and got high 90's marks in everything and studied it at university.)


"The honorable mentions..."

Either my 4th-grade math teacher, or my 7th-grade art teacher.

4th-grade teacher was a douche, and often yelled at every student for no reason. A friend of mine, let's call him Michael, was hated the most by her. She would constantly berate him 24/7. She also got me suspended because I was defending myself from a bully.

7th-grade teacher was homophobic and discriminated against me because I have autism so I can't understand and think the same as other people. He openly called me the R word right in front of the whole class. Friends of mine were definitely pissed off. I ended up leaving the class and cried to the principal's office. He got fired about 1 week later.

I had a substitute teacher back in the 6th grade who is hated by universally everyone in the entire school. Reasons? She discriminated against my friend, who is Korean, and called him racial slurs, and said he has no friends. He got LIVID. A bunch of us were upset as well, and eventually, 4 months later, she got fired because a student finally complained to her.

The honorable mentions are my 5th-grade science teacher and my 6th-grade math teacher.

5th-grade teacher made life a living hell, when I was bullied, I often got in trouble, without the bullies. She tried every excuse in the book to find a reason to get me in trouble.

6th-grade math teacher pushed and fought a student in the hallway. It ended with the kid pushing her to the floor and the kid was suspended for several days. Karen was never suspended or fired.

F*** you to the following teachers:

Mrs. Weaver. Mrs. Kays. Mrs. Oglesby. Mr. Alligood.


"The worst?"

The worst? Blanche Brown, sixth-grade horror. She was old. She had several knit skirt sets, ALL the same, ALL in brown. She looked like a giant yeti, her head topped by a crown of frizzy white hair, and she had a high forehead. She had it out for me from day one, every day she'd pick at me. I had a learning disability, she put me in the accelerated learning groups, then she would berate me for falling behind.

She stopped me from going to art class and said, "You're good enough at that, you need to focus on math." And she did that without telling my parents, my dad had it out with the principal. Finally, at mid-year she made me miss the bus and she called me stupid, sloppy, and lazy. When my mom found that out, it was all-out war. My parents pulled me out of public school, went into a Catholic School for a semester, and excelled. I have two college degrees, I have chair statewide organizations in historic preservation and history. I enjoyed a long term career. I have had book contracts, and my books are best sellers in their categories. Every time I get those residual checks from my publisher, it proves Mrs. Brown wrong. It wasn't until reunions later on that I understood how pervasive her abuse was. But we all survived, and our successes as a vindication of her malevolent ways.


"It wasn't that I hated him..."

Had a band teacher in middle school. It wasn't that I hated him necessarily, but he hated us. Whenever a student would slightly piss him off, he would knock down his chair and break sh!t. I specifically remember a time of him snapping his glasses in half and throwing a chair at the wall while dropping multiple f-bombs. That was an interesting day lol.


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