Students Share The Absolute Worst Things They've Ever Heard A Teacher Say
Being a teacher is hard, it takes a certain kind of person to be one of those teachers who changes worlds for the better. We're not all that kind of person. When the wrong kind of person finds themselves in a teaching position, they have the capacity to do damage in ways they probably can't even imagine. One calloused word or phrase from a frustrated or burnt-out adult can change the way a child sees the world - or themselves - forever. One Reddit user asked:
Not all of the answers were horrific, so don't worry. Some made us laugh harder than we should have. Others were absolutely soul crushing. Scandals, racism, pot leaves and the Virgin Mary all show up, so marvel at some of the most terrible stuff teachers have said.
Bored Not Board
Freshman year, a girl complained to my history teacher that she was bored. He waggled his eyebrows at her and replied:
**"You don't look like a board to me." **
It made me so uncomfortable and I still remember knowing something was not right with that. It's now 20 years later and I don't remember anything else from that class or much from high school in general; but I never forgot that.
On The News
This one English teacher at my school once told an African American kid to read a passage in some slavery novel to:
**"Read it blacker." **
It got on the news and she eventually just quit. She also moved into my apartment building and I occasionally run into her which is pretty funny
I moved from Ohio to Iowa during middle school. One day I was wearing an Ohio State Buckeyes shirt. One of my teachers grabbed me and dragged me to principal's office. When I asked what was going on she told me:
**"You know exactly what you did!" **
I had no idea what she was talking about. At the principal's office she finally explained how I was wearing a marijuana t-shirt. The Buckeyes logo is sometimes just a Buckeye leaf without a nut. After I quickly explained, my teacher called me a liar. Then the principal just kind of sighed and told me I could go back to class and the teacher needed to stay behind. He clearly knew I was in the right.
I got a half-hearted apology from her later.
Not The Right Kind Of Encouragement
5th grade teacher responds to a student who said they wanted to kill themselves with:
"Good, you'd be doing your family a favor."
I had a tax teacher in college point out the kid who was bound to a wheelchair and had an aid who would take notes for him. The professor told us all that the student wouldn't get far in life because of his disability; and that was just the way his life would be. Like it was a casual fact. He told us all that he knew this because his mother was also bound to a wheelchair.
This made me so angry, sure he's going to have a tough time but no teacher has the right to tell a student what they can an cannot accomplish in life. That teacher was a dick, I told our coordinator and wrote it on our end of year evaluations. I'm not sure if he returned. to be honest.
The "Black Chick"
One of my college professor straight up said one day:
"From my experience, African American students tend to drop my class the most. It's probably too hard for them. Any of you notice how we haven't seen that one 'black chick' who used to sit in the front row for weeks now?"
Guy was immediately shot down when the "black chick" raised her hand from the back row saying she'd been here the whole time; she just moved to the back row because that's where her boyfriend was sitting. He tried to tell us he "didn't see color" and that's why he hadn't noticed her.
Australian Wild Animals
I grew up in Australia. In high school, we had a Canadian teacher who taught us Australian studies. He asked us about what kind of wild animals you'd find in Australia. The class answered kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles etc. After we named a few, he told us that we were missing one. We racked our brains trying to think of it until he finally told us the wild animal we were forgetting:
Seriously, this was only about 13 years ago
Republican Or Hell
When I was in 6th grade the second election for Bush Jr was coming around and they were teaching us about political parties and being a kid I asked which political party I belonged to because as a kid with no prior knowledge I wanted to know if I had one. My teacher then proceeded to tell the class that EVERYONE. EVERYONE IS and MUST be a Republican or will burn in the fiery pits of hell with the dirty no morals having Democrats.
Turns out you don't go to hell for not being a republican
Everyone In Africa
While teaching us about STDs, the teacher locked eyes with our Kenyan classmate and said:
"Almost everyone in Africa has AIDS."
Is That Even Possible?
My sociology professor in college! He once stopped mid-lecture, looked around the room and must have decided nobody was really into it, because he went:
**"Don't ever get road head while riding a motorcycle. There, don't say I never taught you anything." **
And then walked out an hour early.
Okay I have one. When I was in elementary, I got confused at lunch time and threw my food out early and wandered outside for recess. (alone)
Realizing my mistake and having no idea what to do, I went back inside and told a lunch lady and asked what I should do.
She dragged me by the arm to the center of the lunch room with a live mic and informed EVERYONE of my mistake and how no one should do what I did because it was a bad bad thing. She told everyone I was going to get EXPELLED.
I was sobbing at that point. I kept asking her what expelled meant but she didn't answer me. All I knew was that it was a bad thing. I never told my mom until years later.
And no. I didn't get actually expelled.
When I was about 9 our teacher asked the class what we wanted to be when we grew up. One kid said he wanted to be a bin-man (a garbage man, for US readers?). The teacher went into a rant, saying that jobs like these were for the lowest, most unintelligent people in society. She barked that he should aspire to be better than those people. Finally she asked why he wanted to be a bin-man anyway. The kid, now crying, said: "Because my dad's one."
In first grade there was one boy in our class, Reggie, who lived in a van. Most of us kids knew about it because a counselor had come round to talk to the class after someone had teased him about not changing his clothes. The counselor did a great job explaining to us that now was the time he needed support and friendship, and so us kids were all pretty nice to him after that. Then after winter break we were all sitting around at sharing time talking about what we got for Christmas and Reggie said he got a Super Nintendo. We knew this probably wasn't true but we went along with it so he wouldn't feel bad, but the teacher totally called him out on it, saying: **"You've got a Nintendo in your van? Nobody likes a liar Reggie." **
The kid just wilted, it was awful and just the pure lack of compassion she showed has stuck in my memory for 25 years.
So Many Questions
We had a huge influx of Hispanic kids in fifth grade. There was a lot of cultural tension from the adults, though us kids really didn't care all that much. Anyway, one of the teachers insisted on calling all the Hispanic kids Anglicized versions of their names. For example, Juan would be called "John." There was one girl named Rosa Linda and she insisted we all just call her Linda because:
"Rosa isn't an English name."
Had she never heard of Rosa Parks? Did she forget Rosa translated to Rose? Did she not realize Linda is a Spanish word that means "pretty"? How can one person be wrong on so many levels? We have so many questions.
Age of 9, lost my father in a horrific accident. I returned to school a few days later and after attendance was taken the teacher said to me in front of the class:
**"The class got together and sent flowers to your father's funeral, I paid your share so make sure you bring in $2 tomorrow as I need to be paid back." **
She then went on with the lessons.
In sixth grade, there was an Indian girl in our class, and she was getting teased because of the way she smelled. She didn't smell bad, she just smelled like Indian food. Our teacher took this girl into the hall and had a talk with her.
The teacher then comes back into class, and tells us all that she explained to the girl being bullied that maybe her family could eat their more "traditional" foods on the weekends and more "American foods" during the week so she wouldn't smell so much. I will never forget being a child looking at this woman and thinking: **"Is she crazy?!?!" **
I felt so bad for the girl. I told my mom about it when I got home. My mom started packing me Syrian food for my lunches and called the teacher and b***hed her out for it. The teacher then apologized to the class and the little girl.