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.


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