Most teachers try their best but some seem like they gave up long ago. Dangerous chemistry classes, climate change denial, and treating students poorly isn't how school is supposed to go.
WhOverlord_Staxhar asked teenagers of Reddit: Have you ever had a teacher so dumb you questioned how they got the job as a teacher?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
15. Mad scientist teacher?
I had an older chemistry teacher in high school, probably about 50-60 that was just about oblivious to everything around him. Aside from just being totally disorganized in the order he taught things, so most of his lectures made no sense as we didn't have context as to what came before, here's just a general list of his escapades:
-Kids would be lighting up metal tongs on the Bunsen burners and fight each other with them, one kid got a nipple flap in his shirt, that was pretty funny
-one kid would dump all the chemicals he got a hold of in a beaker in the far corner of the class room after each experiment
-He was so inept at teaching that once on a test that he never really taught material for, was caught handing out random grades to all the students often did homework the same way, as some kids didn't even turn theirs in and would get A's and B's
I'm sure I'm missing some stuff but that's the brunt of it. Not sure what happened to him as that was my last class my senior year.
14. Well that's not how it works at all.
My history teacher told a class of future engineers that airplanes were only able to fly because they were built in a cross shape. You can imagine the laughter that ensued when they realized she was not joking.
My favorite quote from the first course of "aerodynamics":
"In this class you will learn how the air reacts against the different forms of wings, hull and general vehicle shapes. We will treat anything between biplanes and jumbo-jets. We will however not treat the helicopter, for all intents and purposes that's just witchcraft."
13. We've been doing it wrong, guys.
Yes, some professors too.
Most memorable was my sex ed in Eastern Europe not so long after CCCP fell. According to my teacher, you climax because of temperature, thus rubbing your peepee makes you climax. Even as a kids we realized it's bullsh*t. Orgasm is a myth and sex is a sin anyway.
Allegedly, I've got good education by world's standards. If that is true, I'm afraid to know how low the bar is set.
My sex ed teacher said that if we had sex before we turned 18, we would die :)
12. Crazy math lady.
Holy f*ck I've needed this outlet. I had a teacher for my freshman year of high school. Now I know every student hates a teacher, but this was different. She was a math teacher, who accused everybody of cheating. I was in an honors class with my best friend and we were comparing answers on a packet that she graded and passed back. Me and him had similar answers, but different grades? On, for example, question 5. We would both answer A. Except he got it right. And I didn't. We asked her why and she just started screaming at us accusing us of cheating, even though the paper was already passed back.
This is only one instance. She took students papers away and trashed them for no reason time over time, and she seemed to target my friend. My friend had all A's, A strict mother who wouldn't accept anything below a B, and he is in my eyes, a genius. Our teacher treated him so sh!tty that he literally tried to kill himself because of the snowball effect of getting bad grades and and his mom treating him badly.
Not to mention, she thinks she is a wizard and threatened to get her wand on us. She sat on 2 chairs because she was so large that 1 wasn't enough. And her students once made a petition to get rid of her.
Sorry if i sound like I'm rambling. I'm using this thread to rant.
..She thinks she is a witch, is too fat, and is unreasonably unfair?Do you have Dolores Umbridge as a teacher?
No joke, she has a poster on her wall of her photoshopped with the cast of Harry Potter
11. He seems nice.
Took some entry histories G.E. course my first year of college. The first words out of the "professors" mouth was "I know this is an entry history course most of you are taking as a requirement for another field... but I'm going to make this course so difficult, most if not all of you are going to fail or drop out"... Yeah, I walked out and signed up for a different history course to satisfy the requirement, got an A.
Some professors say this on the first day to scare off lazy students, but don't actually follow through with the threat. I had one professor who said something similar on the first day, the next class he looked around the room, took stock of how many students didn't show up and said, "This is a more manageable class size".
10. When teacher isn't as smart as you, and they hate it.
I am not a teenager and I generally don't hold grudges, but this is a grudge I've held my whole life. I will never forgive my 5th grade math teacher.
We weren't allowed to use calculators on our homework at this school and I had this absolute dictator of a math teacher. We generally had to show all our work unless it was obvious. On one of the homework, 992 had to be calculated and I thought that was sufficiently obvious (100*99 - 99) so I didn't show that part of the problem I just wrote it down. She said "no one could possibly do that in their head" and gave me a 0 on the homework. Absolutely wouldn't discuss it or listen to reason.
Same teacher gave us a puzzle out of a magazine. A friend and I solved it together, and once you had the answer it was trivial to show you had the right answer. This woman looked at it and said "that's wrong, I don't know how it's wrong but I couldn't solve the puzzle so there's no way a couple of 5th graders could"
Same teacher ended up being my bio teacher. We had to make cell drawings, I'm sure that's really common, but I put an enormous amount of work into mine. It was super detailed and well labeled. She gave me a 0 for "not using color which demonstrated that you didn't care"
I hate her.
My 10th grade biology teacher was awesome, but when we had to do cell drawings we had to have label what color we used for what parts.
After I turned mine in later that day he saw me in the hallway and pulled me aside and asked why I didn't tell him about my color problem. I was confused and said "look I know I didn't stay within all the lines but it shouldn't be a problem right?"
He looked more confused than I was and said "no, that's fine. I'm talking about your colorblindness." Next class he had everyone do colorblind tests and talked about that.
Lol that moment when you realize you're about to tell a young adult they are colorblind.
9. This is a problem.
My history teacher doesn't believe in the Moon landings.
My brother had a human geography teacher that was a Flat Earther.
8. Only working when the boss is looking...
She wasn't dumb but she never liked to teach. She literally slept during lecture. She only gave tons of homework and didn't even teach how it's done.
But when our principal used to come to check, she used to suddenly start acting like she was the best teacher ever so that she doesn't get fired.
That way even we couldn't make any complaints. Good I finished my school.
Sounds like a pretty average Redditor tbh.
Seriously though, why would she pick/stay in education as a career when you can make 3 times the money looking at memes all day in an office?
7. Might wanna speak the language you're teaching...
At least five times! I wouldn't call them dumb, just not "professional enough?" Substitutes don't count I assume, but every English teacher I've had, except for one, didn't speak English properly?? (I'm in a french province of Canada) I always end up being praised for being bilingual but like.. you studied in this.. in university.. my third English teacher once asked me to stay after class to read a letter she wrote for a retiring coworker (in English) to check if there were any mistakes??? That honestly made me laugh afterwards. We hardly learn anything in English, most of the time, it's just french story telling and talking.. good job.
I had a French teacher that didn't speak French.
And another that couldn't control the class so she handed out French crossword puzzles and word searches. She was such a sweet nice teacher but that class was awful and I was so glad when I got out of it. It was grade 7 so we were together for all subjects. The history teacher got fed up at the class failing his tests (they were a bit bullsh*t tbf, asking for minute details instead of what impact they had) that he just started giving out the answers for the test for you to memorize. Then when that didn't work, giving out the answers AND having the option for open book tests for a 60%.
6. Climate denial dooms us all.
In my freshman year of high school, my chem teacher went on maternity leave, and the long term sub was nothing short of a dumbass. Not only did he not know half the material he needed to teach, he spent an entire 80 minute class period once lecturing us on why global warming isn't real.
Edit: this teacher taught us through some amateur tutor's YouTube channel for a good 50% of the course.
Edit 2: Just to clarify, this guy was a retired physics and chemistry teacher who was certified and had experience teaching the subject, there's not really an excuse for his cluelessness.
This year, during the first two months of the school year, my AP calc teacher had to be on a leave due to an injury. The replacement sub was a straight dumbass. Dude did not know what he was talking about, confused the living f*ck out of so many easy early concepts, and couldn't even do basic differentiation questions right. Add that to his daily rants about using online websites. His lectures composed of showing us the textbook for five seconds on the projector. I was so confused in that class by the time the real teacher came back. Thankfully, she isn't an idiot, so I didn't fail out. But damn, that guy SHOULD NOT be a long term sub.
5. Uh, what?
My history teacher argued with me for about an hour, he was teaching us WW2.
He was saying that Japan never took part.
English education system in a nutshell people.
I had an English teacher who was absurdly sheltered and dumb. She was in her 60s and I think she had no contact with the outside world. This was a college level ESL (English as a second language) class. English is not my first language but I was already fluent by then.
She was teaching us business jargon one day and she said a Multiplex was a cinema room with a screen on each wall (yes really) and you sat at a table and you could turn around and watch whatever movie you wanted.
Predictably everyone started talking at the same time and saying that was not how a Multiplex worked and she kept denying it. We asked her how would you deal with the different soundtracks, and if you had to pay for 4 tickets, and she said she didn't know, she'd never been to one but that's how they worked. I guess you could wear headphones...?
She got really mad and ended up walking out of the class. She complained to the dean and we all got told off for questioning a teacher (yes really). I tuned out her voice for the rest of the year and just read books.
Edit: her English was also pretty awful. Lots of syntax mistakes. I have no idea how she got the job.
4. The bison hunted *themselves* to extinction.
Not a teenager, but my college history professor told us all American Indians were vegan because they understood that killing animals was wrong.
You mean the ones that literally wear animal skin?
Those are the ones. At the same college i took part in an archaeological dig at a woodland Indian site. It was an old village site so lots of menial everyday things were found. Like pieces of pottery, hearthstones, grinding stones, FISH HOOKS! annnnd BURNED ANIMAL BONES.
3. This guy's definitely not a predator, nope.
Just yesterday we started the reproductive unit and my biology teacher literally said that it's impossible to get pregnant if you don't give him consent.
One of my first days at my new school, our year 5 teacher was reading Treasure Island to us and one of the characters had a Sabre cut scar on his face. She said that it was from a Sabre tooth tiger. I piped up and said something like "that's nonsense Sabre tooth tigers are extinct."
Her response: "Treasure Island was written a long time ago."
I don't even have a joke, just, stop letting these people teach our children.
Think I got one. She's so old, her cat is a Sabre tooth tiger... I got nothing else.
1. This is peak Indiana.
My 7th grade social studies teacher (public school, Indiana) asserted that Mahatma Gandhi was a Christian who converted from Islam.
I didn't even bother to try and correct her, crazy sh*t like this came out of her mouth almost every day and I got sick of trying to address it because the principals didn't care either. She also had a large nativity scene on her desk that took up over a 3rd of it.
Welcome to Indiana, where incompetent teaching & religious proselytizing go hand in hand.
My 7th grade social studies teacher in Indiana had a mirror at a low point on his desk that we realized he was using to look up skirts. We also gave him an industrial sized jar of peanut butter that he ate with a spoon over the course of the year. I have endless stories about this man.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.