Ideally, a teacher should take the job because of a genuine interest in helping students, furthering their education as well as their self-development. Of course, it's not as simple as that (administrative issues aside). Unfortunately, there are some teachers out there who aren't cut out for the job––and they even have a mean streak when it comes to their students. The effects this can have on the learning process are dire.

Teachers don't get paid well, and they're well aware. Many stick with the job because they have a passion for teaching; many others stick with the job because of the position of inscrutable authority it offers them over helpless students.

People shared their experiences after Redditor Ara-Rat asked the online community,

"What did your teacher do that made you call them 'the worst teacher ever'?"

"Decades later..."

"Questioned 5th-grade teacher's manner of pluralizing a word on the board. Got sent to the library to look it up in a dictionary and report my findings to the class.

Decades later and I'm still mad at that woman for trying to publicly humiliate a ten-year-old student."


That's awful. What is with adults who try to deliberately an example out of children?

"My old band teacher..."

"My old band teacher threw a projector at his students. He left the district later that year."


That was... probably for the best, when you think about it. (I had a teacher who threw a girl's pencil case out the window when she wouldn't stop talking; no, he was not fired.)

​"My 3rd-grade teacher..."

"My 3rd-grade teacher got frustrated with a kid's stutter and started pounding the kid's desk with a closed fist while mocking his stutter."


Hopefully this teacher was disciplined and/or fired. That's the sort of behavior that thankfully would not fly today––it would go viral so fast.

"The worst were the teachers..."

"The worst were the teachers who would take books away from me and hold me up for ridicule because they disagreed or didn't approve of the genre or subject material. I was always into science fiction and horror genre's and many of them didn't consider it true literature worthy of reading. I remember my father getting into it with one of the teachers who disapproved of Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, to which he pointed out it was on the required reading list of a lot of major universities. Dad was awesome like that, and chewed the teacher and principal out for having the temerity to try to stop any student who wanted to read, regardless of what the genre was."


Teachers who mock students for reading are the worst. Reading is one of the best things any student can do––there are so many benefits! Hopefully you have not lost your love of reading.

"When I'd instinctively try..."

"She tied me to my chair. I was hyperactive, and also 5. She would also hold my hand during formation in the mornings and squeeze so hard my tiny knuckles would crack. When I'd instinctively try to pull my hand away, she'd hold onto it and smile at me and ask me if it hurt."


The abuse here is almost incomprehensible. But it happens: a few years ago, a teacher made headlines for hanging a student by his coat on a coatrack. You can bet there were lawsuits.

"I was in the only dress I owned..."

"Tried to get me suspended for a dress code violation when I was 15. I was in the only dress I owned at the time because I was going to my best friend's funeral. She'd committed suicide two days before. I was crying and begging her to just let me stay till my mom picked up my remaining friends to go to the funeral. Said teacher then took me to the office and I had to sit in the front office under a tarp until my mom picked me up."


"My 8th grade English teacher..."

"My 8th grade English teacher never published grades and every time I'd ask her about it she'd answer with, "I don't know, what do you think it is?"



I've had a few teachers like this. Makes one wonder: Are you actually grading anything? WHAT are you doing, exactly?

"My biology teacher..."

"My biology teacher took my yearbook away right before the summer break. I didn't put it away in time.

That year my parents divorced and I was moving away. I told her this after class and she didn't care. She kept it until the last day. I didn't get any signatures.

Ended up throwing it away. What a witch."


"My university lecturer..."

"My university lecturer was the most incompetent bloke I've ever met. He taught I.T and for the life of me, I can't figure out how he got that job.

  • In the first lesson, he got us to sign up to Twitter so we could share lesson content, tweet at each other so we'd get to know one another, and also tweet him. Everybody, including the lecturer, used Twitter once. We just used the university intranet to share stuff.
  • Again, during the first lesson, he announced he was going on holiday for four weeks during our first term.
  • All of his lessons were PowerPoint presentations, each slide had about a paragraph of text written on them which he would read out loud while awkwardly looking over his shoulder. Once he was done doing that he would essentially repeat what he had just said.
  • One day he asked us for help in booking his airline tickets online because he couldn't figure out how to use the website.

As sad as these stories are, consider that these teachers are very much the exception to the rule. The majority of the teachers I have known over the years genuinely care for their students, work tirelessly on their lesson plans, and would never tolerate a single moment of the behavior featured here. Thank you to those teachers for doing their jobs––we appreciate you. (And ya'll deserve a raise, it's honestly messed up how little lawmakers understand about how hard your jobs actually are.)

Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

People Explain Which Popular Tourist Destinations Aren't Worth Visiting
Photo by David Rodrigo on Unsplash

Everyone has their travel bucket list.

The list of places they absolutely must visit before they die.

There are those, however, who also have a rather different list of destinations.

The places that have no intention to visit.

Be it for safety concerns, language barriers, or simply that there's nothing at these places that calls to them, there are places some wouldn’t dream of spending the time and money to visit.

Redditor TrooperJohn was curious to hear which places were at the very bottom of the list of travel destinations for his fellow Redditors, leading them to ask:

"What is a popular tourist destination you have no interest in visiting?"
Keep reading... Show less
Americans Confess Whether They'd Vote For An Atheist Presidential Candidate
Element5 Digital on Unsplash

When it comes to electing a leader, the choice is an easy one if a potential candidate shares the same values as yours.

Keep reading... Show less
People Describe The Scariest Thing That's Happened To Them While Home Alone
Photo by Nate Neelson on Unsplash

Being home alone isn't always the most tranquil thing.

No one is there to help or protect you.

And things that go "bump" in the night... sometimes they do more than bump.

Redditor ag9910 wanted to hear about the times home felt like an unsafe place to be. They asked:

"What is the scariest, strangest, most unexplainable thing that has happened to you while home alone?"
Keep reading... Show less
People Break Down The Most Disturbing Facts About The Human Body
Photo by Joel Ambass on Unsplash

The human body is still such a mystery.

How much do we really know?

Not a lot apparently. We're learning more all the time.

And most of it is gross.

Redditor BathNo7713 wanted to discuss the ick factor of anatomy. So they asked:

"What is the most disturbing fact about the human body?"
Keep reading... Show less