Teachers Reveal What It's Like Working With a Professor All Students Detest
It's rare that we get a true look inside the inner workings of how teachers relate to each other during school hours. Don't you ever wonder how other teachers related to that teacher who made your sophomore year miserable?
Well, Redditor Reignbringer asked:
Here's a rare look inside.
I'm no longer a teacher, but my students were very open about which teachers they hated. The hated teachers could be broken into two groups - (1) the excellent teachers with high standards who didn't tolerate any BS and (2) the clueless, narcissistic teachers with no standard or completely arbitrary standards. After a few years, the kids realized that the teachers in group 1 were the heroes all along. At absolute best, group 2 were good for laughs.
One of my teachers in high school happened to be retiring the same year that we were graduating, the last class ever he closed the door and we reminisced. One kid asked him which teachers he hated, he went to lock the door and just went off like he had some list in his head of folks he hated. It was glorious.
Toxic Teachers' Lounge
About 85% of the time I find that I do not get along with the teachers that the students can't stand. Usually this is because they are quick to blame the kids for everything going wrong and they are unwilling to work/communicate with them. It stems from the old mentality "Teaching would be great if it weren't for the students!". Sorry, but if you got into this profession and you absolutely hate kids, I have zero sympathy for you. I've also found that those teachers will complain the most to any other colleagues who will listen about how terrible the students are. This is the main reason that I only go into the teacher's lounge once a week MAX.
Strict Vs. Awful
Some of my coworkers they hate because they're strict and don't put up with any BS. These teachers I like, and since I'm still a beginner, I often come to them for advice.
I have one coworker that is mutually hated by almost everyone. She's condescending. She power trips. She's nosy. She butts in to conversations. She tells obvious and meaningless lies. I don't let the kids know I can't stand her, but when they talk about her, I go mysteriously deaf.
A different coworker gave a writing assignment. No prompt, just required that they had to demonstrate all the techniques they covered that semester. One of the sweetest kids I've ever taught gave him a three page paper about how the hated teacher was an awful person. He got an A and became a legend in the teacher's lounge.
There are a handful of teachers my students couldn't stand. When it was for no real reason I'd let them state their case then try to help them see the value in my co-workers approach. When it was for a very good reason I just made sure the door was closed then let them vent. I wasn't going to waste my credibility with my students sticking up for my racist, sexist, kid hating peers.
I think one of the unfair realizations you have AFTER being a kid is that it's not true that authority figures care and are even handed and fair. They are just people. Looking back on it, I have been blessed so many of my teachers were good, with only a few bad apples. A few of them have connected with us former students over Facebook and some of the gossip has been funny.
"Do I remember Mrs. Green? Oh, Peggy was the worst. We thought she'd die at any moment with all the cigarettes she smoked in the lounge, but she was too stubborn and mean to die. We felt bad for you kids but she had tenure and we just had to wait for her to retire. When she finally did, I only went to the party for the cake. Carol (Mrs. Walker) brought a hip flask with brandy and we all had our private toast to her finally leaving."
I taught at an elementary school with another teacher who I thought was just absolute crap. Even her teaching partner said she spent whole days shopping online while the kids basically did very little. When students complained about her, I didn't say anything, but if parents complained about her, I subtly tried to validate their concerns.
Don't Abuse Your Kids
In high school my AP US History teacher told us all the time how much she hated us and her job. She would literally stand in front of the class, and whenever someone asked a question that she didnt know the answer to, she would say something along the lines of "All these smartass kids thinking they know more than their teacher is why I hate my job."
One day, there was a fight on the football field during her class (the classroom overlooked the field) and we all got out of our seats to look out the windows, because that type of stuff almost never happened. She started screaming at us to get back in our seats, and when noone moved, she quite literally walked out. She quit during the middle of a class. After she left, a lot of the teachers told us how much she sucked and how much they hated her. That was a weird schoolyear for sure.
Boy, Was My Face Red
We had a history teacher who was finishing out his last year teaching high school as he'd just been offered a position at a university and one day we were talking about teachers we didn't like- he goes on a rant about an English teacher and how she's such a c u next Tuesday (the only appropriate word to describe this woman). I raised my hand and explained my final with her the previous year was a 10 page report on the tomato... Being me, I talked about cultural uses of the tomato and then focused on ketchup in America and the Heinz- Kerry family and then politics. She failed me saying anything with ketchup and Heinz was unrelated. This dope teacher goes with me to the principal and explains what I'd told him and got my F final (bringing me from an A down to a C) revoked and I got an A in the class along with a promise of never having her again. My brothers had previously had her and she hated both of them.
Different Skill Set
Not exactly a teacher, but I generally dislike the ones that the kids dislike. You don't get kids to hate you for no good reason, generally. Everyone knows who that person is, and they're absolutely awful with other faculty as well.
They're out of touch with the kids, and think that since they home-schooled their middle-class children, they know how to teach underprivileged at-risk children. Dumb-ss.
Etude Of Hate
My students hated the music teacher. She was always nice to me, but I understand why they hated her. She was rude to them, yelled at them a lot, and was pretty disrespectful. It probably wasn't the most professional thing I have done, but I told my students that they don't have to like her, but they need to be respectful of her. That was the sad -ss pep talk we had once a week.
One thing I've noticed about teachers that students don't like (hate is a strong word) is that they're the teachers who always have to be right and can't admit when they've made a mistake or when a student has a different (and often better) idea than them.
Always A Reason
Most of the not-so-popular teachers at the school I teach at are not liked because they are impatient, rude, and not in touch with current educational trends/technology. These traits usually make them a poor teacher, and a horrible co-worker to deal with. It's impossible to be an effective teacher if you use the same information and technology you graduated with 10+ years ago. Educators have to be lifelong learners.
Teaching is tough. There is a middle ground that you have to assume that is between trying to be friends with the students, and being a complete hard-ass. It is extremely difficult to balance that for 180 days at a time.
I like to think that I am a more popular teacher, not because I am buddy-buddy with my students, but because I am extremely passionate about the content I teach, as well as education in general.
All that being said, there is usually a legitimate reason that students dislike a teacher. The same issues that make them a bad teacher usually permeate throughout everything they do, making them disliked by just about everyone.
It's not really "hate," but there's one teacher at my school who is feared by all the students. They always ask if they can leave my class a little early because "I have Mr. X next, and if you're late, he yells at you."
I find this guy a little brusque & bristly myself ... but honestly, I'm jealous of the power he has over the students, and sometimes I dream about being just as rough on them so they'll toe the line better in my class.
I had this one teacher that always found it irritating and wrong when a kid did something independent. He seemed to have this mentality that he was the teacher, and that he should guide us through the school year. Problem was that he was a terrible teacher, and blamed everything on the students, including our worksheets that he lost. Thankfully, he's retiring, so no one will ever have to deal with his BS ever again.
Tutors Know It
I've worked at a tutoring center for 8 years, currently employed at a university as a graduate teaching assistant. I've worked with some really amazing individuals, some of which were loved by the students, hated by fellow teachers, and vice versa.
At the tutoring center, we had one employee who was an absolute monster towards the students. And us. It didn't help that she was bipolar, and would suddenly go from a sweet pea to a rotten carrot in a matter of moments. A student coughed too loudly? Student is asked to leave the room and parents called immediately. Student didn't do the homework correctly, 100% the way she wanted (ie. ONE cursive letter is wrong)? Student is verbally chastised in front of the room as well as in the front of the entire tutoring center. Talk about layers of mental and psychological abuse. Children and employees were driven to tears by her. Multiple times. Multiple. This individual was a monster, and she abused everyone. Even her son. And her husband.
All the tutors knew it. We told our boss. The boss did nothing. Employees quit. Boss did nothing. Families left the center. Boss made excuses. Employees banded together, nearly protesting. No avail.
This went on for years until this individual was asked to leave after a verbal altercation while we were open and assisting with kids.
Don't Cross A Line
My friend is a teacher, and she is fairly liked by her students. There is always the student that thinks she hates them because she won't give them an A on a paper that was not only copied and pasted from the internet, but five other kids used the exact same paper! Seriously, that kind of sh-t.
However, there are always a couple -ssholes. She has one teacher friend that is very religious and cannot help but judge kids by their race, how they dress, how they look, etc. He thinks he's Mr. Wonderful, but he is really very sad and lonely with a horrible life that I won't get into, so he seems to take it out on the students. He will demand a popular class that my wife or another teacher are teaching. The next year he will get it and everyone immediately drops the class, yet he says it is because the counsolor tells the kids not to take it. They just know better.
Also, there is the group of teachers that think they are one of the kids and try to get into the lives of the students. That is dangerous. One teacher thought it was fun to see kids at the bar he went to and rather than leave or report it to the bar, he partied with them. He thought the kids loved him. They did not respect him though.
He would miss weeks of work at a time due to drug use. When he finally burned his last bridge, he messaged all his students to back him up at the board meeting that decided his fate.
Not one kid showed up. Students are not your friends.
Silence In The Library
We all know who those teachers are, and we hate them too. When I was teaching our librarian was a grumpy dinosaur who loved yelling at kids. My students were all on the autism spectrum, and she yelled at a few of my shyer kids to the point that they were in tears. It was so awkward trying to comfort them without telling them what a b**** she was to yell at them in the first place. Sometimes I would let my students skip library altogether so they didn't have to put up with her verbal abuse.
Luckily, I had a few students with severe behavioral issues who had some epic meltdowns in her library. I like to hope they helped encourage her towards retirement.
There's a teacher who's looking at retirement in the next few years - students regularly complain about this teacher. Apparently, the teacher does the following: 1. Sends students to get soda from the teacher lounge (no students are allowed there) 2. Gives zeroes for the day if the student has a prior appointment during the class - these appointments are often made by the school for the students 3. Blathers on about life, children, complaints (think grocery-store line stuff you don't really care about) 4. We are a deaf school. This teacher also will stop signing and continues to verbally speak - then get angry when the hard of hearing students manage to "fill in the blanks" for the more deaf ones.
I know that several students have gone and filed complaints, but thus far nothing seems to have been done. But like I said, this teacher is looking at retirement soon. I'm angry for my students. I always encourage them to file formal complaints against the teacher.
As for how the teacher is with other faculty: In a word, unprofessional. Gets angry at the drop of a hat, verbally abusive, rants about random stuff. Shows up late.
There's two teachers like this - one is (mostly) on time, but is newer. We're all just hoping these two go but I don't know what will happen. The second one is in the third year, and the last "probation" year with the school. Will that one be quietly refused a contract renewal? Don't know.
As a former teacher and admin, I dealt with all sides of this. I would say you can see the kids POV. But depending on the kids complaining you can understand why they dislike that teacher. If you have a teacher all the kids dislike, chances are the other teachers and admin dislike them. If you have a teacher that only the s***head dislike, chances are they are a good teacher. And chances are other teachers like them because they know they are good. However if you get a teacher that the good kids dislike and the s***heads like, it is likely the other teachers dislike them and the admin dislikes them. The thing about teaching or working is that kids are very good judges of character. If there is no discipline involved kids like good teachers and dislike bad teachers. But kids can turn and hold a grudge like no other.