19 Vengeful Teachers Reveal How They Got Back At 'That Kid'.
Teachers and professors were asked on Reddit: "How did you secretly get back at 'that kid'?" These are some of the best answers.
1/19 I should firstly say that I am a well reviewed teacher and have had great success with at risk students. How do I get 'back' at students though? I don't mercy pass. I'll bend steel to get you to get your assignments in and do an okay job... But I will not mercy pass. If you got a 49, you got a 49.
2/19 High school teacher here. Had a little shit of a kid we'll call Anthony. Complained about everything, did no work whatsoever, talked shit about everyone, made fun of kids with disabilities, you name it. And, of course, he was always the first to start shrieking that he was the victim in every situation, everyone was against him, how come he always got picked on and so forth.
Now, in my teaching career, which has spanned the better part of a decade so far, I've taught more than a thousand kids. Plenty of those have been "bad" kids. The thing about bad kids, though, is they're usually bad for fairly simple reasons. Shit going on at home. Unmedicated or undiagnosed mental illness. Trauma in their past. Hell, maybe just lonely. If you pay attention, you can find out why almost any kid is acting out.
That said, out of 1000+ kids, I've encountered maybe ten who are genuinely broken people. You could call them sociopaths. No trace of empathy, no trace of conscience or even inner life. People who basically exist to serve their own desires, exclusively, and have no compunctions about how they might most quickly realize those desires. Anthony was one of those kids. The worst thing about him was his constant tendency to immediately shit upon anything that anyone else had put effort into, including my lessons. We would nearly have these very vulnerable, tender moments in the classroom - where kids were talking about big, important issues and really growing intellectually in awesome and uncomfortable ways - and then Anthony would call them f*cking gay or whatever else.
One day, this girl Patrice - an incredibly sweet girl, sensitive, with an artist's heart - is sharing something in class for the first time. Visibly nervous, shaky voice. Anthony, of course, begins making fun of her hair, her glasses, her face. Loud enough that it's plausibly a whisper, but loud enough so that we can all hear what he's saying. I start walking toward his desk but am interrupted when Patrice very, very calmly says, "F*ck you, Anthony." The entire class was dead silent. This girl never spoke, let alone swore, and she said it with such self-control. Everyone's eyes are on me, waiting for me to react.
Anthony starts screaming DID YOU HEAR THAT? SHE SAID F*CK! YOU ALWAYS GET ME IN TROUBLE WHEN I SAY F*CK, THIS SHIT AIN'T FAIR, HOW THIS UGLY BITCH GONNA...
I say "Huh? I didn't hear anything," turn back around, and continue the lesson. A few kids cheered. It felt really good.
3/19 Not secretly, but I learned to take copius notes and have a file on every student. Lazy students will often try to throw the blame on the teacher. I had two students request a meeting with the Dean of Students to discuss my unfair grading, and I showed up with a stack of evidence. Every substantive in-person interaction was documented on the front of the file, and I included copies of every email and note on the inside.
There's nothing more embarrassing than coming face to face with your own laziness and being unable to wriggle free. They started paying attention after that.
4/19 I have taught physics at the college level, and my experience was that "that kid" kids would inevitably fail. It turns out someone who brazenly copies their homework doesn't learn enough to pass the exams, for example. So hey, no need to plan revenge, they would do it to themselves!
5/19 The way I got "Back" at that kid, is tricking him into believing he's just playing and getting away with things - while he actually learned without knowing that he was actually learning. Booyah!
6/19 I taught English at a ritzy private school in South Korea. We weren't allowed to discipline the kids for any reason, no matter what, because the school was making money from the tuition. For the most part the kids (grade 5-6) were pretty good but there was this one kid. He was a little shit about everything, always disruptive, bullying the other kids, throwing pencils, writing swear words in Korean on the white board before class, never listening, etc.
I started eating a lot of kimchi on the days I taught that specific class, which gave me wicked indigestion. When I walked by the kid I would let out these horrible silent creeping hot farts. No one ever blames the teacher and after a couple weeks he became known as the farty kid. He was still a little shit, but it made me feel better knowing that he was knocked down a few pegs.
7/19 These two girls in my econ class were cheating all the time. They turned in this paper on the Federal Reserve that didn't get picked up with the plagiarism checker but they both turned in the exact same paper as each other. I told them you guys did a great job on this paper, you get 50%, and you get 50%. In retrospect I shouldn't have done it in front of the class.
8/19 I used to this thing where I would let my students 'cheat' on their exams. You know the rules- you get one index card worth of notes to carry in with you. Oh you clever bugger, you've used an 8pt font or used tiny little letters to cover the card with scribbles. So clever. No one has ever thought to do that in the history of time- you got me kiddo, good one.
The thing is, the exams aren't even the point. They could be open book if I wanted. No, the 'point' is to make students write out all their weak points- the stuff they think they'll need with them to 'cheat' from. The mere act of writing out stuff on a card pretty much ensures they'll know most of it going forward, and often that 'cheat sheet' represents more effort (re note-taking) than they've ever put forward in class. The worst students generally create the most elaborate sheets.
Sure kid, you 'got' me. Silly old me, not realizing how easy it would be for you to exploit the system. You sure showed me. Ha ha, made you learn. Revenge is sweet.
9/19 There was a kid in my class who ALWAYS was cheating on my tests and quizzes. I caught him several times and contacted the parents, but nothing was ever really done about it (aside from the fact that he got 0's if I caught him). I don't think his mom ever really believed he was cheating as much as he was, and there were plenty of times I probably didn't catch him. Once on the midterm, he missed the test. He came back the day I gave the kid their scores back which also had the answers, but not the questions. I saw him "sneakily" talking to his friends and they gave him their papers that had the answers on them. I didn't say anything, but the make-up midterm has the same questions with all of the answer choices moved over by one letter. Little bastard got a 3% on a multiple choice midterm. I assume he must have read one question and then copied the rest from his friends. Justice.
10/19 I taught math last school year at a high school. There was this really snotty disrespectful kid in my class. He was a senior and he quickly decided the class was beneath him and stopped coming. The way I approach grading is half the grade is attendance and participation. I feel like I can teach any kid math and help them get really good at it as long as they come to my class and do what they're supposed to. The other half of the grade was going to be their comprehensive final. Guess who comes into my class one week before finals with some sob story about how he needed me to pass him for blah blah reasons. Yeah.
So I tell him 'OK here's the deal. Half your grade is attendence and participation. Half is the final. That means you can't get more than a 50% right now. However, I also don't fail anyone that gets at least a B on my final. If you were able to learn the math without being here listening to my spiel every day, fine, you pass. Of course there was no way this guy was going to pass my final. I was teaching trigonometry and he couldn't even do basic algebra worth a darn. given his attitude toward me I have to admit I enjoyed this thought. Passing my class is SOOO important to him a week before finals, but not important enough for him to attend my lessons. Justice = served.
So he says 'What am I gonna do I don't know the stuff?' So I tell him. 'OK. I have a review here of all the types of problems that will be on the final. It's what we are working on all week. you come in every day and do your best and if you need extra help I'll help you at lunch time and you can try to pass my test. that or you can just give up.'
Of course he realizes it's futile and gives up right? No. He actually comes in, works hard and spends every minute of every lunch in my classroom getting individual attention. And he gets an A on his final! When I grade his test and he sees he got an A his eyes actually tear up. So I point to the test and say 'look at that math!.. thats some hard damned math. Most people can't do that math but you know what? You can! I wonder how many other things you can do that other people told you you couldn't do. that you told yourself you couldn't do!
He agreed and thanked me profusely for all my help and for not letting him take the easy way out. I don't think I'll ever teach a kid a more important thing than that.
11/19 I make sure I get to know them, and include their interests in my study materials. They either get more motivated to learn in my classes, meaning we both win, or I kill part of their love for their hobby, making them spend less time playing MMOs through the night, meaning the student wins.
12/19 High school teacher. I have had a number of challenging students in my 15 years as a public school teacher. These kids sometimes don't know how to act. They might lash out and treat teachers with disrespect. They might blow off assignments and make other choices that increase the burdens of my job.
So - you get back at them by offering them extra attention. Helping them grow by seeking productive ways to correct their behavior. Challenging their academic failures by offering help outside school hours. Addressing holistic problems by circling the wagons and bringing outside resources to bear (including guidance, administration, and parents in a cooperative effort to encourage growth).
I get back at that kid by helping him or her get past being that kid. In the end, we can both sit back and laugh at how hard it sometimes feels to mature.
13/19 Had a terrible student who was obnoxious and disruptive. He had no respect for anyone, including his classmates. I gave him a class participation grade that was just low enough to have him fail the class. Twice. He tried to appeal it, but it wasn't appealable. He changed majors and the professors in his new major hate him too.
My class participation grade should really be called the "Don't be a phuchtard" grade.
14/19 I had a letter mailed to my office, as in paid postage etc etc, that was basically threatening me, saying I better stop handing out Cs and Ds or "word on the street" was going to be that I was a bad teacher and no one would take my class and I'd be out of a job. I had a pretty good idea of who it was, obviously immediately ruled out all the students doing well in my classes, but didn't think direct accusations would be really effective anyway.
I decided to take it to each of my three classes and turn it into a lesson on faulty rhetoric. My expectations were exceeded when I began to read the letter out loud and without fail each class erupted in laughter and exclaimed things like "what an asshole!" before I could even weigh in. The kid I suspected the most definitely sat slumped in his chair without much to say that day.
15/19 This was in a college freshman composition class. I had a student who was constantly making obnoxious, borderline racist comments in class. He thought he was the edgy class clown but mostly he was just annoying. Also wrote papers for me about how Hitler wasn't as bad as people say he is (basically using the old "he got Germany out of economic despondency" argument) and even wrote in another essay about how American soldiers need to learn to be as dedicated to America as Nazi soldiers were to Germany. So when he finally wrote an essay that was basically just a barely coherent rant about how much he hates Muslims (including at one point saying he couldn't wait to join the army so he could go kill a bunch of sand monkeys) I reported him to the dean of students for hate speech. Other than the occasional comment about how he was being persecuted for "standing up for America" he finally stopped making obnoxious comments in class after that.
16/19 Let them fail. I had a student that no matter how many conversations I had with her, with her councillor, with her parent, etc, she refused to do assignments or turn anything in. She was of the opinion that my class was throwaway, an easy A.
So I let her fail. I stopped reaching out to her for the last six weeks, and let her build her own gallows for her GPA. She came to me half panicked two days before the final, begging for extra credit, anything. "No." "But, I'll fail." "Yeah, you will. The real world works like this- you don't do what's required of you, you fail. I tried to help but you never cared." "I can't have an F!" "That's really not my problem at this point. Take it up with the principal, kid."
17/19 I was a college instructor. I never really had anyone that bad, to where I was plotting revenge or coming up with ways to f*ck with them, but as for the ones that are shitty students and don't care, more often than not they get theirs when they see a D or a big fat F courtesy of yours truly. No, not as petty unethical revenge, but because there's a pretty strong correlation.
18/19 Over the course of 2 and a half weeks I slowed down his mouses tracking speed until it was at the lowest setting. He was getting so aggravated and I just said "Sorry but we have a full class and there aren't any extra mice." Then a flipped it to full speed tracking the day we had all the students clean their keyboards and mice.
19/19 A twelfth grader stole a bottle of water, then denied it, demonstrably lying, and got really super snotty and insulting when I called him out. A couple months later, he was devastated to learn he wasn't allowed to go on the camping field trip with all the other seniors. Like I'm going to chaperone hundreds of kids to Death Valley and take this lying thieving little shit and be legally responsible for whatever crap he pulls? No way, Paul. You can sit in an empty classroom and watch PBS videos about the Lusif*ckingtania while we go hiking and sit around campfires and sleep in tents and make bacon and pancakes for breakfast.
It's hard working in customer service, especially with irate customers. You need to be able to empathize and understand where your customers are coming from, show sympathy, and be willing to help them with their problem. However, if they come at you ranting and raving about an issue which clearly has nothing to do with you, well, then you're free to rant about them on the internet.