People Share Their Best 'My Teacher Is An Idiot' Experiences
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So listen, we don't expect teachers to have a master-level grasp of everything they teach. Nobody expects you to be a marine biologist with a specialization in cetaceans to teach a third grader about dolphins.

You should at least know they aren't fish.

As an educator, I'm not here for expecting teachers to know everything all the time with no mistakes.

Humans don't human that way, so the way that the original poster framed the question gave me pause...

Reddit user A_Purple_Pengiuns asked:

"What is the moment you realized 'my teacher is an idiot.' "

But the answers absolutely convinced me that this needed sharing. Most of the responses weren't about the teacher not knowing something, more about the teacher's attitude.

A willingness to argue with and/or mock small children is a pretty solid indicator that you're not cut out to be a teacher.

Look at some of these responses.


Lava Thumbs Up GIFGiphy

"2nd grade teacher had our class naming the hottest things we could think of."

"A few kids already said the most obvious, like sun and fire so the third thing I could think of off the top of my head was lava."

"Turns out lava isn't real; the teacher had the whole class laugh at me for believing it was."

"She made me feel stupid as hell for years until I learned that lava IS real, and my teacher was a d*ck."

- Morpheus11011


Hannibal Buress Diet GIF by Adult SwimGiphy

"When my ENGLISH teacher (I’m from Italy so we have English as a second language) said 'lettoochay' instead of 'lettuce.' "

"She was also one of the worst teachers and ended up getting replaced."


"I may start calling lettuce 'lettoochay.' Sounds so fancy."


What Makes An Animal

Disney Pixar Ocean GIF by DisneyGiphy

"I remember the time my 4th grade teacher tried educating us on what makes an animal. One of the criterion she came up with was all animals have brains."

"I asked, 'What about jellyfish? They don’t have brains.' ”

"To which she replied, 'Well then they aren’t alive, are they?' ”


A Unit Of Measurement

Confused Gary Coleman GIFGiphy

"In primary school, I asked my teacher what an ounce was."

"She hushed me, told me it wasn't real and to never ask that again. As though as a nine year old I was asking about an ounce of weed and not the unit of measurement."


" 'not here kid, meet me in the parking lot after class.' "

- Disposable591

"Probably was on weed if that was what they immediately thought you were talking about."


Thanks, Mom

Mothers Day Eyes GIFGiphy

"My 2nd grade teacher wanted to hold me back because of my math grade."

"Her evidence? She did these things called mad minutes where you had to try and solve as many problems as possible."

"I don't perform well under that kind of pressure. My anxiety doesn't allow it."

"My mom laughed in the teacher's face when she explained her reasoning for wanting to hold me back. The teacher tried to put my mom in her place by saying that only a professional educator can make these kinds of assessments."

"My mom had a master's in education. I didn't get held back."


How Projectors Work

Music Video Colors GIF by Polyvinyl RecordsGiphy

"My biology teacher in high school asked me a question, the answer to which was projected onto the whiteboard via an overhead projector."

"I looked at the whiteboard, and she quickly placed her left hand over the part that had the answer to try and hide it."

"Except instead of covering what was on the projector, she covered the whiteboard it was projecting onto. I pointed out that everything was still projected onto her hand ... cause it's a projector. So I could still see the answer."

"She was visibly upset, kind of panicked, and then she slapped her right hand on top of her left hand as if that was going to cover it. It didn't, of course, cause projectors just keep projecting onto whatever surface."

"I bursted out with laughter. She kicked me out and called my parents."


Possibly Senile?

What The Wtf GIF by Fluffy FriendsGiphy

"When my grade 2 teacher tried to hold me back a year, only to discover that she thought I was my older sibling (3 years my senior) whom she had also taught in the 2nd grade."

"To be fair, she was way too old to still be teaching. She may have been legitimately senile?"

"I had good grades for a 7-year-old, whereas my sibling (though not a dullard) didn’t. So I came home with an excellent report card ... along with a letter to my parents that I was going to be held back due to poor grades."


" My parents sorted it out and I didn’t get held back, but it was definitely a big deal. This was in 1980 and teachers could in fact fail kids like this back then, and did so often. Or at least this one teacher did."

"I guess it was an accepted practice at that place and time. I'm glad they don't do it like this anymore."

- CrieDeCoeur

Ocean Life

the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy dolphin GIFGiphy

"She thought dolphins were fish. No amount of arguing by third grade me was enough to convince her otherwise".

" 'They live in the ocean, they're fish.' "


"Should have asked her about seaweed, or sponges."


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Native Speakers v. Peggy Hill

I Agree Episode 2 GIF by P-ValleyGiphy

"My mom went to take a university class in Greek. She’s a native speaker, so she was hoping for an easy A and to maybe just read some new literature."

"The professor was Peggy Hill-ing it hard and my mom tried to correct her pronunciation. This woman really told my mom that she was wrong about how to pronounce it!"

"Then another native speaker in the class spoke up and confirmed my mother was right."

"She never called on either of them in class again lol"


Since You're Not Checking...

surprised gerry dee GIF by CBCGiphy

"College professor has us reading a handout; at one point the essay mentions 'Acmeism' and the professor stops to ask the class if anyone knows what that means."

"Silence. 'Darn, I was really hoping someone would be able to tell me.' "

"A quick spotlight search showed to me that this was essentially a genre of Russian poetry, but what was really revealed is that she was too lazy to search an unfamiliar term before teaching with it and therefore she wouldn't be searching anything in my essays either."

"I started making up terms and schools of though, just stringing words together like 'Post-Counter Bifuturism.' I got A after A."


Just Teach Us About Enzymes

jesus GIFGiphy

"When a substitute biology teacher spent the whole class telling us evolution wasn’t real and we should rip those pages out our textbooks."

"He also felt it was vital for us to know that Jesus was a vegetarian (pretty sure there was a whole lot in the Bible about Jesus and fish, though) and if we weren’t vegetarians we were going to die of cancer like his brother did."

"We were meant to be learning about enzymes."

- TechnicalZucchini6

Because Plants Can't Scream

Food Salad GIF by NickelodeonGiphy

"My high school biology teacher somehow found out I was a vegetarian and took the time from one of our lessons to say this, standing in front of my desk, slightly pointing at me with her fingers:"

“ 'I know some people believe they are different because they don’t eat meat, but you’re still just as cruel as anyone else. Plants have feelings too, you just don’t care about them because they can’t scream.' ”

"I signed up for another biology class, but she kept talking sh*t about me to my classmates in the other class just because I decided not to eat meat. I'd never even spoken to her about it!"

- Impossible_Past_7225

Yaks Are Extinct?


"My sister's teacher in grade 2 thought saying 'yeah' was wrong somehow."

"She also thought it was the sound that yaks make."

"And that yaks are extinct."

"So if you said 'yeah' to her she'd just say 'is there an extinct animal in here?' until you said yes."

"Imagine all those little kids growing up arguing about yaks being extinct and eventually finding out they're still around and quite common."

- WaterChestnutII

The White Man's Burden

Season 19 Episode 10 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy

"9th grade global history. It's an overview survey style class at best, nothing too deep - except the teacher."

"Teacher is a self proclaimed tough guy; but he failed out of state trooper programs, local police program, and was cut from every team he tried out for in high school, and college."

"Finally he ended up a teacher in a small town that doesn't have a good reputation. Maybe that explains his attitude?"

"Anyway, he gets up in front of the class and tells everyone when we do an overview of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. He doesn't stop there, though."

"He then tells us that all religion is garbage, and Christianity is the white man's burden. If you believe in it please drop this class..."

"To 14yr olds. In 9th grade. In a small town school where there is only 4 different history classes; one for each year of high school."

"Get real dude, we couldn't drop your class if we wanted to and you know it. And believe me, we all wanted to. He was exhausting and all we wanted was for him to shut the hell up."

- DaylightPrarie

Too Young To Play That

fail black and white GIFGiphy

"In grade 6 our English teacher has as write out a fictional police report."

"I wrote about Grand Theft Auto; not the game, but the actual crime of stealing a car. We were supposed to write about a crime and that was just the one I picked."

"But because I used that term Grand Theft Auto, she instantly failed me without even reading it or letting me explain."

"She said I just wrote about a video game that I was too young to be playing at the time."

- skunkdude13

Ladies Don't Hydrate

selena gomez water GIFGiphy

"Not a teacher but she's still a secretary or something. The point is she had a high position of authority at my school, and she would watch classes if the teacher was out."

"If she caught you doing something she didn't like in the hallway, she'd pull you aside and ask why you did what you did (you could literally have your phone in your pocket and she would still pull you aside because it wasn't in your bag) in a super accusing tone."

"She was in the hallway talking to some teachers when I went to get some water, and she told me to stop and said 'ladies don't do that.' "

"Ladies, is it improper to want water? Am I some freak of nature for being thirsty?"

- scarieststar

I Didn't Go Here!

she doesnt even go here mean girls GIFGiphy

"I had just moved to a new school in the beginning of the second term of the school year in 10th grade."

"The math teacher gave me - the new kid- demerits and detention for not doing the homework she had given the class the previous term before the break. You know, the term that I was in a completely different high school and city for?"

"I couldn't even defend myself or else I'd just get more detention."

- tyedontdye

Square Watermelons

Hungry Watermelon GIFGiphy

"My sons teacher. In 4th grade they had to do a project on GMO’s. They had to read a provided article and then write an essay on the positives and negatives of GMO crops and then state their opinion on the use of them."

"It was online learning during lockdown, so I was in the room listening when I heard the teacher tell the kids some examples of a GMO crops were square watermelons and pumpkins."

"Now, the Japanese got real innovative with vegetable and fruit molds to grow produce into fun little shapes and so there are, indeed, square watermelons and pumpkins. We actually got a pumpkin to grow into the shape of a 5 gallon bucket once!"

"But what she was explaining to the kids is that they were square because they were genetically altered to grow like that. She, apparently, was unaware that they only look like that because they put the immature fruit into a mold and allowed it to fill the space taking on the shape of the mold. There is no genetic modification involved."

"I had to tell my son to completely erase everything she taught them about GMOs because none of it was true, thankfully the online article and movie they provided was pretty accurate."

"They are so young, imagine all the kids that took her square watermelon GMO lie as fact."

- ViciousFlowers

Teachers are human, humans make mistakes. Facts are facts. Please, teachers, do not decide to be Smugbob Smuggypants about it.

These answers got me wondering, do your negative teacher experiences follow the same pattern?

Was it the incident, or the attitude ABOUT it that seared it into your mind?

Let me know in the comments.

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