Teachers have seen it all: horrifying bullies, brutal hygiene practices, sudden tragedy, the soaring highs and crashing lows of teenage love.
Even a short career could cover each of those a few times.
And yet there is another characteristic teacher moment that seems to dominate more and more, particularly in recent times. It is, of course, the regular run-ins with overbearing parents.
Often called helicopter, or even snowplow parents, these are the pressure packing driving force behind so many students from high school all the way down to elementary school.
These parents want success for their child at any cost and always. Anything less, as their logic would suggest, would initiate a calamitous chain reaction that would end in the utter downfall of the rest of that child's entire life.
This severe parent energy is expressed in many ways, both direct and indirect. One of the most common, however, is through help on homework assignments.
When a parent steps way too far in to help complete their child's project, it's obvious and frustrating for the teacher. Some of Reddit's teachers shared their favorite experiences.
The Ideal Assignment
"I taught elementary art classes for a few years, and a lot of time would have crossover lessons with certain subjects."
"One year we had the second graders do a project for their unit on Native Americans, where they had to make dioramas of a type of Native American house of their choosing, and then write a little two paragraph essay on who lived in that style of house and why it was built that way."
"Most kids made Tipis or wigwams out of construction paper and birch bark and paper towel rolls. we had a few kids who were clearly getting help from their parents, but it was obvious the kid had input and done the essay. Standard stuff."
"Then we had a kid come in with, I sh** you not, a completely accurate model of Cliff Palace, Colorado. It was stunning."
"Turns out, his dad was a sculptor, and his mom worked at our local museum, as a restoration expert."
Forging Ahead for Success
"Penmanship - no kidding, kid had the maid write it." -- neoldguy
"When I was a babysitter in junior high/high school, I would promise the kid I was babysitting after school that if he did more than half of his math homework, I would do the rest if he went to bed on time."
"I made sure to write exactly like him (holding the pencil awkwardly) and get enough wrong that it wouldn't be obvious."
"I know it was wrong BUT I just wanted an hour to myself to watch TV!!" -- Spasay
When Even the Kid is Upset
"When the student came in crying while holding the project and when asked what happened she announced that she was frustrated that her mom did the whole project, it looked nothing like how she wanted it to, and wasn't allowed to really do anything on it."
"This wasn't the first assignment that came in from this student that was clearly done by the mum but the student finally had had enough of having her education taken from her."
"6th grade research project that ended in a 3 page paper. One kid turned in a 10 page paper. And it definitely wasn't a bad attempt at plagiarism."
"It kind of felt like the mom was missing her own academic years."
The Plot Thickens
"This discovery was a collaboration between me and another teacher."
"The student in question submitted an assignment that showed no cohesion or ability to connect ideas (Told me about how to 'make' detergent from kiwi fruit in 500 words, the task was a 1500 word assignment on a DNA extraction experiment)..."
"...and then the same week submitted an A standard assignment to their psychology teacher with excellent flow, arguments and great conceptual synthesis."
"English as a foreign language teacher here. During lockdown last year a student sent in a test that had much better work than he usually did."
"When I googled his words, sure enough, he had copied it by mashing the first part of sentences from one source to the second part of sentences from another source. It did at least make sense, but it was still not his work."
"When I confronted him about cheating he said 'I don't think I cheated, cause my mom helped me with it and she wouldn't cheat!'" -- NonCaelo
"12-year-old kid brings in a BEAUTIFUL galleon. All the other kids' galleons look like they are cut out of styrofoam using a butter knife, or some kind of strange 50/50 amalgamation of cardboard and hot glue..."
"...and then there's this kid with a wooden galleon, complete with rigging, cloth sails, a stand...after talking to him I finally get him to admit that his parents had gone to a shop and ordered a custom-made ship."
"What the heck?!?"
A Shining Example
"Not a teacher but in middle school I procrastinated as most kids do and forgot about project to make a brochure about a country. My parents stayed up all night helping me (doing the majority of it)."
"Years later underclassmen would tell me that same teacher would pull my project out every year and tell them what hard work looks like."
Jury's Still Out
"Middle school science project, kid came in with a crude internal combustion engine, having previously failed science three quarters in a row." -- Emperor_Cartagia
"I think some people are just naturally good at this stuff though."
"I had a friend growing up who got horrible grades and was in trouble all the time at school."
"He would ask for me to come play with his go cart at their house and I always had to tell him no because to him playing with the go cart was taking it apart and putting it back together again. I wanted to drive the thing."
"He ended up failing out of high school and went on to a trade school and did much better." -- tc3590
Worst of Both Worlds
"As a student, I remember in woodworking that we have to make a foldable chair that we have to work on the whole sem. In the end mine was a f***ing safety hazard aka it can be sit upon but there's like nails ready to skewer your a**."
"Scared to submit that i literally bought new materials outside class and let my dad do it. Teacher was shocked on how good it was and question my authenticity."
"In the end i confessed that it was my dad but my teacher's ego was so high probably thinking he can humiliate me in front of class so he told me to bring the 'original chair.' He sat on it and punctured his a** and fell because the chair did not support hos weight."
"I got suspended not because i hurt him but because i was cheating lmao"
The Jig is Up
"We were in quarantine for the final quarter of the year. I had a student transfer to my roster the first day of it. He completed all of his assignments and got 100s on all tests."
"I got him again this year. Kid can barely read, can't form a grammatically correct sentence and accomplishes nearly nothing."
Missing the Point
"Every year I assign a problem the first day of Calculus to understand how the students handle stress, complete work, and their skill level. If an Engineer sees it they will solve it using material the students don't understand."
"Last year I got a new record of Engineers doing their children's homework. I also got an angry email from a parent (MS in CS from MIT) saying I shouldn't start with CALC III."
"I completed the problem and cited my sources in a Precalculus book."
"He then tried to hack my website with their homework problems. It also took him two days to write 5 lines of python for his daughter's homework."
"He's the head of the coding division for an aerospace company. He had a blog post about how over coming obstacles leads to growth. I hope his daughter gets to leave when she is 18 and find out who she really is."
"Pretty easy to tell in art class. One day the student can't draw a square properly and the next day he comes in with a perfectly rendered 3 dimensional still life with depth and shading."
"Separate incident, and even more egregious, a girl didn't even hand in a year end project herself. She spent many classes refusing to do any work in class."
"Then after the project is due, someone else I've never seen comes by with an amazing drawing and said that the student drew this and wants to submit it. Ummmm.... how stupid do you think I am?"
A Thankless Effort
"I don't have one of these, but I have the opposite."
"One time I had a project where I had to make a miniature 'wattle and daub' wall in primary school. I knew how it was meant to work, and 'how' to do it, but for the life of me I couldn't get it to work."
"So my stepdad tried to help me. We spent hours trying to get it to work, and failed miserably, but in the end I had something to take to class."
"Teacher said I obviously hadn't spent any time trying to do it and failed me for the assignment."
Only Half the Battle
"A school chum mine once 'wrote' a perfect, amazing, compelling story for a French creative writing class. Only problem was they couldn't read it."
"Her mother had been forcing their au pair to do all of the friend's homework and the email to her. The mother never realized the friend knew zero French (because she wasn't actually learning it!) We were in boarding school."
"The French au pair took care of Friend's little brother back home. She had never met Friend and assumed Friend could read it."
"Friend's report is infamous for how awful it was to have heard. I felt both terrible for her and impressed that no one had caught her before this report."
Take Your Dad's Esoteric Weapons to School Day
"Not a teacher. I was the student. Senior English."
"I rolled into school with a 18" tall, full steel, fully functional guillotine, bored to fit your standard #2 pencil to use it on for the demonstration. Cut many clean in half."
"I almost got suspended for bringing a weapon to school, after someone got their finger in under the blade, and it made its way to the bone from about 2". Had they had the blade all the way up when it slipped, it'd of taken their finger off."
"My dad was a machinist."
"A friend had a trebuchet, on a semi trailer. His dad parked it out front. We launched gallons of milk round about 500 yards with it. Hit a house over the football field, across the street, in a neighborhood."
"That was a fun day."
"During quarantine, we have had to institute a no parents on the room with you who like you do schoolwork."
"The reason being a 16 year old girl and her mother would lie in bed together all class and the mother could be heard telling her daughter exactly what every answer was."
"I had the girl in previous years, and her homework was always leagues better than what she ever did in class, that explained a whole lot."
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We all know someone who really cannot figure out even the most basic thing without copious amounts of help. But when you meet someone who is completely and totally past all help, how do you even begin to try to help them get along?
Most of the time, they will just be flustered, or they won't listen. And you have to just stand Idly by and watch them fail.
What is your "This person has no idea how the real world works" moment?
Here were some of those stories.
The Boot, Not The Camp
When I was in boot camp, some kid put his letter addressed to 'mom' with no address attatched.
I was gonna say that its not that stupid for a very young kid to do that, but then I realized you said boot camp and not summer camp.
Don't Steal Dangerous Chemicals
A student working part time at my laboratory at a University came into my office and asked "so what all can I eat in the refrigerator, I didn't know I was supposed to bring my own lunch". I looked at him, stunned and replied "nothing, that food is what people brought for their own lunch, but you can use my grub hub to order". He DID NOT UNDERSTAND. It took 4 tries to get him to realize he can't just eat someone else's lunch.
Same student: I walked into the lab room and told him I made a full pot of coffee in the office and he could help himself. Him: "a pot of coffee? What's that?" He never used a coffee maker other than a Kuerig before and didn't even know it was a thing.
He was fired a month later for stealing chloroform.
No Ma'am, Like, REAL Bears
At a national park, the park ranger says "stay on the trails, there are bears in the area."
One lady says "isn't that dangerous? Why aren't they in their cages?"
"Ma'am, we're not a zoo."
These people are lucky to make it out of bed every day.
Sleeping On The Job
I lived with some Japanese exchange students during the final summer of college. They were really nice girls, but one of them (Mari) (~19 years old) obviously had no idea how anything worked. She spoke the best English and I was tutoring some of the other girls, while they helped me with my Japanese.
But Mari would constantly call me to come to get her because she thought we had free buses (all the buses). After all, we were students. That wasn't the issue. I could deal with that. It was a whole new culture. She was learning.
But what happened that made me realize Mari could not be left on her own was when she ended up in Eloy, Arizona. Which was ~400 miles and five hours from where we were. She had been talking to some guy on campus, he said he was visiting family in Arizona, and she said "I want to go."
He just took her with him, and she went without even telling us. She had just assumed the guy would take her back, but he said he couldn't because he was staying in Arizona. So I had to arrange a ticket, get her on the bus via the phone, and then pick her up two hours away because she missed her second bus by napping.
How...? What...? Huh...?
Had a friend who was in some uncredited scam online college for her master's degree in medical billing or something. She was on a loan program that was sending her about $5k every 3 months directly to her via check in the mail.
This was her only source of income. She kept calling it a grant that didn't need to be paid back. She was flat broke as a joke for 2 months but then the check would come in and she would be living the good life for a few weeks before being poor again.
We tried to do an intervention and show her the insane interest rate that would be back dated as soon as her "school" was done but she didn't want anyone to bust her free money dreams.
She just kept talking about all the money she would eventually be making billing insurance companies...turns out she wasn't even logging in to the online college or even attempting to get this degree.
She thought the money was free, the degree was automatic and the job was guaranteed. Some people are beyond help.
Such Brilliant. So Money. Wow
My boss told me about a friend of his, who told him af a "life hack". She would get her bills in the mail, NOT pay them, and then wait a couple of months to pay. Then she would cry so the debt collectors would feel bad and waive the fees for not paying on time. That was her "brilliant life hack"
Himbo Rights Activist
The other day, my 18yo brother-in-law got married to his highschool sweetheart in a parking garage so that they can live off campus at college together.
Girlfriend's, now wife, mother is an ordained minister. His parents, my in-laws, were very upset and he couldn't understand why because "it's just a fake marriage for school". Oh no, sweet boy. You are MARRIED. I just laughed and laughed. I love him dearly. He is a dumb*ss.
And yet somehow they are there to add these stories to our dull, dull days.
A dude (18 yo) in boot camp got a letter from home and I can see he is agitated. Being 22 and concerned for his well-being, I asked him if he wanted to talk about it. (I'm thinking a Dear John letter or the Mom and Dad divorcing letter.)
He dead *ss told me that his younger brother got a Mercedes for his birthday and that he was pissed bc he "only got a BMW". Can't remember what I said, but I knew boot camp was gonna knock down. (It did.)
Who Pays Your Bills?
When my roommate, who never once paid for rent or groceries or anything, turned down the only job offer they have ever gotten, in front of me, TWICE.
They were so desperate they called him twice, offering good pay, during covid, and he had the gaul to say no in front of me. His excuse was "nah I'm sure there's something better. $20 an hour is garbage in this city" -_-
Just Read ONE Parenting Book
I worked for a clueless couple who had no idea how to raise a kid. He wore the same outfit everyday for a month until I gently suggested that he needs new clothes. His parents asked me "Where can we get baby clothes?" This was slightly hilarious given that they lived above a Target and next to a baby boutique.
I had to have the same conversation once the child was old enough for solid foods. I was asked "Where can we get baby food?" I had to explain that most grocery stores carry a baby aisle, or that she can mash up her own fruits at home for the baby. This family decided that sour cream would be a great first food for their baby!
I'll mention that this was a wealthy family who went on vacation at least 2-3 times a month. By far the weirdest thing they did was try and drop off Grandma at daycare along with the baby.
Stories like this make you feel like the most well-equipped, with it person alive, right?
We're all well aware of the weird, horrible, predatory things men do when attracted to women. But what about when women are the culprits?
Though it seems that, statistically, men are problematic at a WAY higher rate than women, there are certainly times where the person bringing the creepy vibes is, indeed, the woman.
Some men of Reddit gathered to share the most bizarre and uncomfortable things a woman has ever said.
AidenTheGamer14 asked, "Men of Reddit, what is the creepiest thing a girl has ever said or done to you?"
For some, it was the stalkers.
The cryptic behavior and frightening detective work of ex-lovers can be unparalleled.
Some Light Sleuthing
"Found out my address from the phone book, this was the 90s, sat outside my house for multiple nights, all night just watching my house, I live in the middle of the woods miles outside of town."
"We only had one date and agreed to leave it at that. I found out sometime later what she had been doing."
"Girl I was dating asked if I had changed the locks since breaking up with my ex months prior. I'm like 'No, but she wasn't a crazy person so I never worried about it.' She says if I don't change the locks she ain't comfortable sleeping over, so I change the locks."
"This ex sends me an angry text the next day 'So you changed your locks huh? Real nice a**hole.' So she had been coming over this whole time and doing who knows what."
She Stopped at Nothing
"She kept writing me letters at every address I lived at during that five-year period. If she didn't have the address she'd send them care of my parents. The most memorable is the one where she told me she was married and 'he's a great guy but he's not you.' "
"Once not long after I'd moved to a new address I came home and found a box of cookies she'd FedExed to me. Eventually I moved to a new state. I knew from her return addresses that she lived and worked there, and was worried we'd run into each other but realized that was pretty unlikely."
"Then after less than a year, she found me through a blog I was keeping and left a message on my voicemail demanding we meet. I posted a message to her on my blog telling her to stop harrassing me or I'd call the police (up to that point I'd been ignoring her, hoping she'd take the hint). That night she called, I repeated my threat to bring the authorities in, and I haven't heard from her since."
Others dealt with the creepiness on the internet. With so many avenues of communication all around us, uncomfortable comments can come from all directions.
"Someone I considered a friend started to grow feelings for me, but when she found out I had a girlfriend and I didn't feel the same for her she found out who my girlfriend was somehow. She then DM'd her and tried to tell her that I was cheating on her with her."
"Luckily I was with her when she got that DM so I could explain the situation and then we blocked her. Next day she DM'd her again from an alt account."
Worst Kind of Pen Pal
"I started a new job, and I shared a small office with a woman my age (and a couple other people). She was kinda cute but also weird and super naïve (she grew up in a very rural area). She'd flirt with me a lot, but I wasn't interested."
"So she started sending me emails."
"They were super long, detailing her whole day. And she sent them to me every day. I never responded. Then one day she sent me this long email confessing her love. I replied with the (very obvious) reasons why it wouldn't work and asked her to stop sending me emails every day. She didn't."
"They kept coming. This went on for months. I asked her in person and online to stop, but I still got these email memoirs every day. Eventually I had another female office mate who was her friend have a talk with her. Finally the emails stopped."
That's A Lot of Passwords
"I've had a girl create about 50 different Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram accounts all to try to get me to friend her. I've never met this woman in person and yet every few weeks I'll get a handful of friend requests from her"
"Met this girl online and talked to her a bit. I did started to like her."
"Later found out that the pic she showed me of herself was actually a pic of her friend who had passed away due to cancer."
In my early 20's I was at a party and the hosting woman full-on tried to reach down my pants to grab my business."
"Strange, yes, what made it creepy is that we were right in front of her mother, who was cheering her on."
Breaking Out the Scroll
"After 6 months from our breakup, my ex called me because she wanted to see me. It seemed strange to me but I accepted. When we met she was friendly and all..."
"Then at a certain point she pulls a sheet in which there was written a list of all men she fu**ed after our relationship and she read it all to me, with accurate description of every sexual intercourse. Well it was an awkward moment."
"I was going to head home after a night out and a I was getting into my taxi a girl jumped in after me. I asked what they were doing and she said 'I'm coming home with you.' "
"Nope. Taxi driver helped me and she got out the car eventually when I shot down her advances."
Again, it's important to read this thread and remember that this is a bias sample, solely focused on the incidents where a woman did act creepy.
But, yes, it happens out there.
We've all heard how parenting is a full-time job. So it's not surprising to learn that parents have discovered plenty of quirks and methods to make things just a little bit more efficient during that eternal slog.
Sure, taking care of one's kids is an absolutely heartwarming, unparalleled joy at times. But parents are humans too, and they cut corners to make things move along or to generate an outcome they prefer.
Unfortunately, some of those shortcuts can have long-term side effects.
A group of Redditors gathered to share the examples they knew all too well.
Capable-Parsley2368 asked, "What 'parenting trick' can actually f*** up a child?"
Many people described the ways parents, to make their kids behave in a desired way, do things that are a bit emotionally manipulative.
It's a kind of "at all costs" approach that can be damaging.
The Adult in the Room
"Giving kids the Silent Treatment when they're in trouble, honestly teaches them to shut down when things get difficult rather than talk things through."
"I am personally unlearning that behavior to this day because of how often my mom did that."
"Pretending to ring the police when you've done something bad." -- Scoobyginger25
"Scare tactics. My mom was always telling me horrible stories to scare me not to do things. Like yes I get it, I won't play by the train tracks or the canal but it seemed like everything I wanted to do had a scary story to go with it."
"Even when I was going to college and trying to decide on a career. Oh you don't want to do that because so and so did that and are now homeless, divorced, depressed, etc." -- zeldessa
Dropping a Bomb
"My mom would always tell me right as i was heading out the door for school that i was in trouble and we needed to talk when i got home. She would never give any clue to what it was but would let me know i was in some sh**. I'd spend the entire day wondering what i did wrong and thinking i was a bad kid.
"9 out of 10 times it had to do with my grades, school was a huge struggle for me."
Beware of Bullfrogs
"My dad would take us camping a lot. He didn't want us getting lost in the woods so he would tell us the sound we heard (bullfrogs) was actually a water monster that will drag you underwater or deep in woods to eat you."
"I think most old school parenting was terrifying your kids to keep them out of danger."
Other people discussed the times their parents were blatantly dishonest. These Redditors didn't always notice the truth at the time, but 20/20 hindsight sure clarified some issues.
Just Say No
" 'Next time' promises to make the child not complain, but are never fulfilled. It only leads to trust issues." -- macncheese_z
"They also lose their power quickly when the kid knows there will be no 'next time.' Which makes them fight harder for 'this time,' causing the entire goal of promising 'next time' to go unfulfilled along with the trust issues."
"Which is what I like to call an 'epic gamer move' " -- KalebMW99
The Hot Gossip
"Reading diaries or journals, (text messages, emails). It's a huge violation of trust and will cause kids to bottle emotions up instead of expression through creativity. If you think something is wrong or that they are in a bad situation choose to sit and talk with them in earnest."
"Extreme euphemisms that are almost lies to make bad news less harsh." -- kaida_notadude
"Seriously. Just tell the kids whats going on. If you want to soften the blow, take them out somewhere nice to put them at ease, but give them the truth."
"Kids can handle a lot more than we give them credit for, and telling them the truth without blurring it all up with euphemisms helps them process information more clearly." -- CaptainHindsight212
Last, some people realized that their parents had good intentions, but totally missed the mark about implementing them. These parents wanted what they felt was best for the child, but getting there, they did the worst.
In Your Ear Forever
"Putting down your child to 'motivate' them. My parents never gave me positive reinforcement, they'd be quick to jump all over my mistakes and they even told me that I was faking my grades when I got the straight A's they wanted."
"It didn't do anything except sow the seeds of self-doubt that I still have to this day."
" 'You see that child Timmy? Be more like him.' Made me insecure and feel beneath everyone." -- Madam-Vixen
"My moms logic is that it pushes me to do what the others do as well. What really happened was i felt they would rather have the other one as their child not me" -- mizukata
Doesn't Have to Be a Transaction
"Cleaning your room as a punishment or something to hold over your kid if they want to do something fun."
"This will give your kid the impression cleaning their room is a bad thing. Treat it as something you both can do together, encourage them to do it because they want to. I've decided that I will always help my kid Clean his room solely to achieve the goal of a clean room, that's it."
Hopefully, a thread like this will shine a light on the intuitive, but problematic, approaches to parenting. Maybe you're thinking about kids or have some of your own.
Take it from these folks that even the minor things can add up.
Stupid is as stupid does. And it’s pretty obvious when some poor, misinformed, potentially ignorant soul needs to be put in their place. Luckily, there are a lot of witty ways to do just that. We love a good euphemism.
Wanna know the best way to call out stupidity when you see it? Stay tuned.
Get a load of these sick burns. I swear, the people of Reddit are harsh.
Call outs are a universal language.
In Russian we have "intelligent thoughts have always followed him, but he was faster".
We have something similar in German: "Intelligence is chasing you, but you are faster."
Be your own Easter Bunny.Looney Tunes Cartoon GIF Giphy
You could hide your own Easter eggs.
The great Harvey Korman had some Alzheimer's @ 2005, and he still went on a talk show. They asked him how he was doing and he said he was OK. "Now I can hide my own Easter eggs." RIP.
“At this point, you can only impress me."
This reminds me of something I saw in a show recently. One character said "Would you think less of me if ____." The other character said "I could never think less of you."
I think I saw this one here previously "You aren't the biggest idiot in the world but you better hope they don't die".
It takes a very intelligent person to properly call out a dumb person. Weird how that works, huh?
When the bears are smarter than the tourists.GIF by Smokey Bear Giphy
Now I know what Douglas Adams was talking about.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
That’s a gross mental image.
In Greece we say "when it was raining brains, you had an umbrella".
Edit: In German it's "Gott, lass Hirn regnen".
It’s probably a bad sign when your lawyer calls you dumb.
Lawyer to client who shared detailed attorney-client privileged strategy memorandum with a whole bunch of people, including an adverse party:
Client: "Is there anything you can do to fix this?"
Attorney: "No, you've pretty much waived the privilege and now they know everything."
Client: "Is there anyway to put a positive spin on this?"
Attorney: "Well, I suppose the judge might buy that this proves that you lack the mental capacity to form specific intent."
These next ones are just plain cold, but probably very much deserved.
Meanness from a Canadian is probably well-earned.eric cartman GIF by South Park Giphy
On a Canadian jobsite
Ahh Terry, having you around is like losing three good men.
Oof, that’s harsh.
He's so far behind he thinks he's first.
I had a keychain as a kid that said, "She who laughs last thinks slowest.”
Those are some gross socks.
Once heard someone say "Well he's about as sharp as a sock full of soup".
"Sharp as a marshmallow" was one that went around my friend circle.
In the words of the great prophets Smash Mouth, “I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed”. That self-burn is perhaps one of the most classic euphemisms. And I just almost misspelled “euphemism”. So I can definitely relate to that lyric.
A good way to exercise your brain? Keep thinking of creative ways to insult people. Trust me, it works like a charm