Recently, Reddit user u/SparkelsTR asked the community: "What is something your teacher did in school that you’re still salty about?"
Well, people didn't hold anything back. They revealed some of the pettiest, most disrespectful things their teachers ever did to them back in the day.
So, here are some stories about the worst teachers who've probably ever lived:
Note: Some submissions include topics of verbal abuse, sexual harassment, and threats of violence. Please proceed with caution.
1."I had really severe eczema on my hands as a kid. I used to keep them tucked up in my sleeves to avoid people seeing them and getting blood on my paper (yes, it was that bad). She called me out during a test and said to take my hands out of my sleeves because 'it’s not like that’s gonna help my grade.' I was a shy kid and silently cried through the rest of the test. Also, I was a straight-A, 'gifted' student, so why she was acting like I had a poor grade I'll never know. I’ll never forget that woman being needlessly cruel to a child who was already in physical pain."
"It was extra weird because prior to this, I had never been in trouble in her class, and I liked her. Although I was socially shy, I was not shy in her classroom. I participated regularly in class discussions, answered questions, and volunteered to read. I genuinely got the impression that she liked me as a student.
After she embarrassed me like that, I completely wrote her off and didn’t care to participate or talk to her anymore. I’m almost 37, and I still remember exactly how I felt in that moment."
2."My mother had me relay a question to my kindergarten teacher about an upcoming field trip. When I asked my teacher, she started screaming at me. I don’t recall everything she said, other than continuing to call me stupid and threatening to have me paddled by the principal. I just remember going back and wanting to hide under my desk as everyone stared at me. This was just one example of her behavior that impacted me for years."
3."There’s a substitute teacher at my daughter's middle school who refused to let the kids go to the bathroom. One boy was shaking in his seat because he was to the point of wetting himself. She refused to let girls go when they were concerned they’d gotten their period in class or were about to bleed through. She also told my daughter the way WE pronounce OUR last name was incorrect. The school had a fundraiser where the kids could donate a dollar, and the teacher with the most money raised would get pied in the face at an assembly...guess who won by a landslide?"
4."20 years ago, we had to make a diorama. We all had them sitting on tables in the classroom, and one day, some kid was messing around, fell onto the table, and smashed mine. I failed the assignment for having a smashed diorama. I don't remember if the kid got punished, but I remember it was the morning we were supposed to present them to the class. My teacher was all: 'Maybe you should have put it somewhere more secure — now you're not ready for your presentation.' Then they said something about how this should be a lesson to everyone that in life you have to have a backup plan for when things outside of your control ruin your plans."
5."My worst teacher was Mr. S. from fourth grade. He actually encouraged students to bully me and make me cry. He called me lazy and stupid (I actually had dyslexia but was reading at a 10th-grade level). He told me that 'girls can't do math' because our brains were meant for keeping house and social skills. This was in the mid-'90s."
6."In my third grade art class, we had to draw an object that the teacher placed on a table in the middle of the room (there were a few objects to choose from). I started drawing one of them and wasn't happy with it, and was thinking of starting a different one. Before I did, though, the teacher held up my drawing in front of the class to tell everyone how bad it was, and pointed out everything that was wrong with it. I quietly started drawing something else (I was a very shy kid). My new drawing was entered into a local show and won. My teacher never said anything to me about it and never gave it back (she hung it up in the classroom for years). I got the equivalent of a C for that class (normally an A student)."
7."My English teacher would presumably give me a 50% on every essay because she didn't want to read them. So, I decided to try really hard on all of my essays for one semester and see if I could get better. I enlisted the help of my extremely smart older sister to help me write ALL of my essays (a girl who had received a 99% in this teacher's class in the past). Well, I still got a 50% on every essay. So, the last essay of the semester we worked long and hard on, and my sister was sure we'd get a better mark. My teacher still gave me a 50%! My mom and sister went into the school and sat down with the teacher and principal, and had it out with this teacher. She maintained that I was a 50% essay writer (on the English final, I got an 80% on my essay with 'blind marking'). Fuck you, Ms. M...."
8."At the end of my first week at a new school, my teacher handed out slips of paper with our current grade. I had a solid A at my old school, but my new teacher said I had an F. I asked her why, and she said I didn't hand in the quarter project. I reminded her I had just moved to the school — she said she'd only give me the weekend to do it. The project was to interview a long-time local resident and write a paper about their experiences. The articles were being collected for a book she was 'writing' — I failed the class."
"How do these people become teachers? These sort of stories make me hope if I ever have kids, they know to come to me with that and trust it'll get sorted out immediately."
9."In about 1991, I was starting to get into animals (specifically marine animals). I wanted to be a marine biologist, so I thought. Junior year of high school we had to do a project about a bug collection, so I went on a family trip out of state and collected bugs in preparation. I put a lot of time into it. Mr. C. (the worst biology teacher ever) failed me because 'I could not have collected bugs he’d never seen.' He completely shattered my confidence and desire to peruse science of any sort."
"'I’ve never seen it before, so it must not exist.'
Are you sure it wasn’t the year 1692? Was he getting ready to declare you a witch and burn you at the stake? Sheesh...you’d think a biology teacher would know better."
10."In middle school, I did a display with real fossils that my parents had let me borrow. The teacher was insistent that I sell the fossils to him, but I refused. So the teacher gave me an F on the display."
11."In the fourth grade, my teacher kept making me redo my printing sheets because my handwriting wasn't neat. Eventually, I asked him why he didn't make any of the boys redo their sheets because they had messy handwriting, too. I still remember the look of shock on his face, but didn't understand the significance at the time because I was just genuinely asking. I don't remember what he said afterwards other than the fact that I didn't find his answer satisfying."
"What a sexist shit."
12."In my country, we have religious schools held separately. Since my family wasn't that religious when I was growing up, I also wasn't fluent in reading Arabic. There was a substitute teacher (who mistreated me) when I was absent one day. When I came in the next day, the first thing she asked was for everyone to stand up. She went to each person and asked to see their handkerchief (I should add that this was more than 20 years ago — we lived in a hot, humid country, and there wasn't any air conditioning). Anyway, students who did not bring a handkerchief were pinched on the arm — it looked painful, and I thought to myself, I shouldn't get pinched — I was absent. How was I to know this rule?! But nope — she wasn't accepting that reason and went ahead with the punishment. It left a bruise."
"I told my mom on her, and my teacher said she didn't like students wiping their sweat on their uniform. My mom told her off, and afterward, she stopped the punishment (I have no idea how long it had been going on).
I feel bad for her past students — if it left a lingering memory for me after one punishment, what about the others?"
13."My second grade teacher disliked boys, and after I complained about her mistreatment, the school discovered through an investigation she manipulated the organization chart. All but four (if I’m recalling correctly) of her students were boys — myself included. I think she had 21 girls and 4 boys, and all of the boys were essentially failing her class. Mrs. S. didn’t return the next year."
14."One day, my entire third-grade class got in trouble for throwing sand during recess. My mom was there to see our class rehearse our Thanksgiving play (she had to work for the real performance), so she got to see my teacher yell at us for 10 minutes about how we were supposed to be the 'smart kids.' This was a 'gifted class' we all tested into — she thought we were 'dumb' to throw sand. Then, while half the class was still crying and trying to perform the Thanksgiving play, the teacher turned to my mom and said: 'Some days, I just want to take a BB gun, shoot them, and see which ones survive.'"
"My mom politely tried to tell her that maybe she shouldn't be teaching, and the teacher responded, 'Oh, well, no one else wanted to teach this class, so I had to do it.'
Luckily, our family moved, so I didn't stay in her class much longer. Her house burned down later that year, and they brought in a sub to finish the year for her."
15.And finally: "My teacher made a point of belittling me every single day for a year because my interests were different from the mainstream in a small town. It was nothing out of the ordinary, either — I was into pop culture (like the Ninja Turtles and The Simpsons). This was a place where there was no culture outside of football for boys or netball for girls. I'm over 40 now, and I still go back to that town a few times a year. That teacher is lucky I haven't gotten revenge now that the tables of relative strength have turned. He also used to wave his penis around in the changing rooms when we had swimming lessons...every single time."
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.