Being a teacher really can't be easy.
You're always dealing with a bunch more than a single human being really should be dealing with. And you're technically responsible for like, the future of America, so you know, no pressure.
Sometimes it's just the worst day ever and it's a miracle you make it out intact. But you know, it all would have been okay without that annoying as HECK thing you had to deal with today...
Here were some of those answers.
So. Much. Paperwork.Giphy
Just how much of a danger small children are to themselves and others. We've got to catalogue every playground injury, which while understandable in theory is actually incredibly time consuming.
And the kids have been taught to find a grownup for everything so one minute you'll be applying ice to someone who ran into a post, and then filing in the same forms for the kid who wanted a band aid because they have a hangnail.
Poor Girl Was Probably Scared
Early elementary art teacher here:
I was in the middle of teaching a kindergarten class and noticed one of the kids was passing gas...A LOT. Luckily it was warm enough outside so I cracked a couple windows without missing a step in my lesson or bringing more attention to the smell. A few minutes later, I realize that the smell is growing at an exponential rate and I had that terrible thought: someone sh*t their pants and now they're either too embarrassed to come tell me in front of their peers or scared they will get in trouble (remember, they're 5 year olds).
SO, I decide my plan of attack will be to continue teaching my lesson as planned but actively walk around my classroom with and extra heightened sense of smell so I can literally "sniff out" the kid that did this while still acting normal around all the students. Sure enough, I get to one of the tables and this one kid just smells terrible and it's obvious she did this. I get the kids started on their art projects and ask this girl into the hall to have a chat. I ask her if she pooped her pants and she says no. I ask her if she's sure she didn't and she says yeah she's sure. We go back inside the class and the smell gets even worse. A couple minutes later I ask the same girl back out in the hall and I tell her I know she pooped her pants and that she needs to go to the school nurse to get a change of clothes. After it takes some convincing, I get her outta there and get things cleaned up on the sly so that way a lot of the other kids wouldn't find out what happened and therefore wouldn't tease the girl later.
That was a rough day.
It's Almost Never The Kids' Faults
Not always in class, necessarily, but my district has a "Bring Your Parent to School Day" which is NOT supposed to be an opportunity for parents to critique teachers, but definitely ends up that way for some of us.
This year, at the end of class, a parent came up to me and told me that my class was pretty disorderly (even though it was the best they'd behaved all year - mind you, this was a class of mainly freshman boys), and that she didn't like how many times her own son got up to sharpen his pencil.
Oh. Okay. Thanks?
The same parent told my colleague that he should have students who wanted to learn sit on one side of the room and have students who didn't want to learn sit on the other. And then, of course, ONLY teach the kids who wanted to learn.
The irony in that suggestion was that her son would be on the "doesn't want to learn" side, but, as public educators, we're not allowed to say anything. Just smile and nod, smile and nod...
It's Just Disrespectful And Distracting
University level, so I am not sure if this counts, but he would come to class and watch television shows on his laptop.
I don't have an attendance requirement. I asked him to please just watch them outside instead of coming to class. He said he was very sorry and would not do it again. After that, he was still pretty clearly watching shows in class on his laptop, with the sound down, but would click away any time I came near.
I don't understand.
Putting Someone Off From Learning
Hmmm.... I teach English in a Chinese kindergarten (nursery). Annoying maybe a tad strong, but it it is unfortunately inconvenient and counterproductive when the local teacher is over-eager.
Some are taking an active part in the class, which is great, but oftentimes they step-in to correct the kids and do so incorrectly (pronunciation particularly). Also due to the different teaching approach, and I guess impatience, they tend to push the kid and stress them out to give an answer without giving enough time to think and come up with something.
To elaborate on the second point. I'd rather the kid gave me any answer by themselves, however incorrect, so that we can correct it together than the teacher pushing or giving the answer and destroying the kid's confidence in the process.
Wasting Time For No Reason
Inability to fill in the attendance register. 30 in class, only 27 names on register. 'who hasn't filled in their name?' "we all have" 'no you haven't, who hasn't filled it in?'. Silence. Start asking individually until register is finally filled in. Amazing how people will argue that they have filled in their name when they haven't.
Rude Boy--Not The Rihanna Song
I'm a computer science teacher. This is important as my students usually have access to a computer. One student likes to be hated by the other students, so he found an online tone generator and set it to a frequency that older people wouldn't be able to hear, but it would massively annoy his classmates. Thankfully, I'm not particularly old and have fairly tuned in hearing from a background in audio engineering so I could just mute his computer. The most annoying part is that if he put as much effort into his work as he did into creative ways to piss people off, he could do really well.
Some People Need To Retire
Former primary and secondary school teacher here based in the UK. My vote goes towards incompetent or robotic senior management.
Also, their policies:
- Making you do reports during holidays. Except it's worse because they open the system a week or so before said holiday, meaning technically they're not MAKING you do them in the holidays.
- Not employing cover supervisors so you end up using your free period to cover the lessons of your absent colleagues, thereby building resentment towards them.
- Not being allowed to sit down AT ALL during lessons.
- Spontaneously sticking their head in the classroom to 'see if you need any support' (see if you're sitting down').
- Abuse of the term 'support'.
I'm sure many more will be added to this list.
Edit: as this is taking off, I thought I'd add a couple more thanks to inspiring replies:
- Business-people running schools.
- Over-use of business language such as 'rigour', 'performance', 'review', 'oversight', 'synergy', 'added-value' and all the other wank-words many of us LEFT businesses to get away from.
- Surveillance cameras in the classroom for 'everyone's protection'.
Just Dealing With Kids' Energies
I've been teaching in a North London secondary school for almost ten years now. I love the job but the annoying things have to be:
a) When you finally get students settled and working quietly and suddenly a spider/bee/fly appears or it starts to snow. It's game over at that point if you've less than 20mins of the lesson left.
b) Younger first year students (11yrs) who walk into the classroom and want to talk to you and shout "sir sir sir" over and over again... like... Just go and sit down and be quiet... Its not so bad if it's one or two but when you have 10 of them trying to get your attention at the same time it gets a bit ridiculous.
c) Bottle flipping. Do it and your bottle dies.
d) Students who laugh or attempt to make fun of others if they get a question wrong. Classrooms are all about making mistakes so it irritates the hell out of me.
e) Lying, if I call you out on something you shouldn't be doing just say "sorry" and stop doing it, you're highly unlikely to get in further trouble from me then. Saying "I didn't do that" is kind of insulting when I just watched you shove a handful of crisps/chips down your gullet, it's also a guarantee I'll take it further.
NY Needs Some Serious ReformGiphy
There's a requirement in NY of how much seat time you have to have to pass certain classes. Like you need X number of labs to take the science regents or whatever.
Some dumbass parents and students use all their "sick days" (let's say they get 14 before truant/failing) when they don't feel like coming to school. By February they're usually cutting it close and come every day.
The annoying part? They come sick all the damn time!! I've had kids go to the he ER with the flu at night, show up to school with a mask and 103 fever the next morning. Or they have some vomiting bug and jump up take the trash can and bolt in the middle of my class. Or they "can't see" with pink eye in both eyes... or they blow their nose/sniffle every 30 seconds. The worst part is the disruption then infecting everyone else.
If you try to send them out they freak out and parents call saying the school is out to get their kid and threatens to pull them out so they count as a drop out. Schools get flagged by the state for drop out rates.
Other than that it's just when kids decide to act all tough and try to tell you off. About once every 4-5 years I get one who decides they're going to try to be cool and put me in my place.