20 Shocking Confessions from Public School Teachers

Honing the minds of a new generation? Yeah, right.

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Ask any teacher how they feel about their job, and they'll likely say something along the lines of, "Oh, it's sooo rewarding." To which we ask: "Is it?" On the surface, you'll hear teachers yammer on about honing the minds of a generation, ushering in new guard to make the world a better place (or whatever). But dig deep, and you'll find some seriously insidious resentment.

For instance: there's a teacher who docked a reviled student's grades—purely out of spite. Or the one who straight-up stole an annoying kid's PlayStation. You thought teachers were saints? Think again. Herein, you'll find these instances and more, none of which can be deemed positive. And to make sure your own kid doesn't end up on the receiving end of such power-abuse, teach them the 20 Things You Should Never Say to a Teacher.

1
Playing Games

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"A disruptive kid [pulled] his PSP out during class one day. Naturally, I confiscated it until the end of class. Then he did it again. And again. Throughout the semester, the kid received several written reprimands, and ended up on thin ice with his parents. Around the fifth or sixth time he did it, I told him I was forced to write him up for it. He begged me not to. So I didn't, and instead, I took the PSP home and played Lego Batman that night. And the next night. I kept it for a week I think. He never took it out in class again."

And for more kid-inspired laughs, check out 50 Funny Kid Photos That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud.

2
Lending A Helping Hand

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"I gave him [an] extra point to pass, because otherwise he'd have been back in my class the next year."

3
Sweet Revenge

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"[I] moved up a fun (and tasty) lab 3 minutes after I booted my worst-ever student. He missed S'mores stoichiometry in Chemistry. Tough luck, Jesse."

And if that sounds outlandish, check out 20 School Lessons From the 20th Century That Are Considered Offensive Today.

4
No Mercy

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"There's a girl who got into my class illegitimately. I found out about it accidentally. I grade her work vengefully."

5
Revenge Hiding in Plain Sight

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"When we put student work on the bulletin board, we mount it onto a piece of construction paper first. When I get a really annoying kid, I write expletives on the construction paper with Elmer's glue before putting the paper on top of it. My clear, dried out, hidden secret."

6
Kill Them with Kindness

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"There is a small group of students who think I am too stupid to know they don't like me. I enjoy watching them squirm as I ask about their day with a smile and they have to answer politely."

7
A Day Off

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"I am relieved when [annoying] kids get suspended. It means at least one day I don't have to deal with them."

8
Limited Resources

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"I ignore those who don't try. I give them time. But if a month or two goes by, I'm done with them until they make some sort of initiative. I have 40 kids in a room. Why waste time? It would be different with 20."

9
Picking Least Favorites

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"The other day, two of the worst kids in my class were absent, and their homeroom teacher told me that it's the best day of the year when that happens, when they are both absent, because it never happens. Just, like, wow, it's not just me that has issues with them." — V., orchestra teacher in California.

10
Gathering Evidence

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"I videotaped a student and played it for the kid's mom because she didn't want to believe her child was the problem."

And for more classroom absurdity, check out the 20 Most Ridiculous College Courses You Won't Believe Are Real.

11
Unsafe Learning Environment

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"My school is a Superfund site. Allegedly, the water is safe, but I don't know a single staff member who actually drinks it." — M., English teacher in Massachusetts.

12
Glad They're Gone

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"A student of mine committed a crime and is now in custody. My job is so much easier without him here being disruptive all day, every day, that I hope he stays in foster care."

13
Parent Discrimination

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"I was a 22-year-old female Asian middle school teacher in a district that was 99 percent black. You couldn't find another person who looked quite like me in a 20-mile radius. Once, I a parent tell me that I couldn't possibly be a good influence on her child; after all, I do skanky things, like [paint] nails and [cut] hair during my off-hours."

14
The Facts of Life

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"I typically tell students, 'I can't tell you what to believe or think. However, as a science teacher, it is my role to teach you X/Y/Z from a scientific standpoint that analyzes evidence in a scientific way. You don't have to agree with it, but you at least should be knowledgeable about it so you can make your own informed decisions.' After giving this speech to one of my 6th grade classes, one student's mother started sending me copies of the magazines Today's Christian Woman and Christianity Today."

15
Cheating the Odds

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"I coach the 4th and 5th grade academic teams. Our last meet of this school year was a few weeks ago. I only have room for four in my car, which is how many we need to have a team. I didn't get any parent volunteers to drive this time. I had five students bring back the permission slip. I had originally told them that if it came down to this, I would take those with the four highest scores. But the highest scorer on our team had been such a pain all week. She has Asperger's, and because her parents just separated, she has been more dramatic, disruptive, and obstinate than usual.

"So I told the kids I would put all their names in a cup and draw one; that person would stay behind. The really bad part is that all the names in the cup were her name. When she got picked she threw a huge fit. At the time, I needed that break from her. But now I feel guilty because it really was one of the few good things going for her right now. That's probably the worst thing I've done as a teacher so far."

16
Extremely Long Days

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"I'm tired all the time. It's no fun to wake up at 5:40. I'm a band teacher, so I'm constantly dragging around chairs and stands and drum equipment. And middle schoolers just suck the life out of you." — S., band teacher in New York.

17
Unusual Requests

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"I was told [by a parent] that I had their permission to punish their child if they were not getting 100s on everything. This was in an elementary school."

18
Accidents Happen

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"Five years ago at our Year 7 camp, in the middle of a game of capture the flag, I hid behind a log and jumped up to scare the crap out of kids as they went past. When I jumped up at one girl, she literally wet her pants. I felt so guilty as another teacher helped her get back to the cabins so she could get changed without the other kids knowing, and after she told her best friend, everyone found out anyway."

19
Grading on an Extreme Curve


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"I'm literally not allowed to give bad grades because the school wants to keep the parents happy." — S., middle school teacher in California.

20
Misleading Rankings

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"I am sarcastic and mean to my kids a little too often. To be fair, they really do think it's pretty funny when I tell them we are going to do math until either they get it or their heads fall off. I just think as a primary teacher I should probably be sweeter and give out candy or something."

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