Teachers Reveal The Most Audacious Things Students Have Ever Said To Them
Teachers have to act as parents, therapists, and babysitters for kids who often have no respect for authority. It can get plenty out of hand - teachers need a raise, and more support. There's no future without teachers.
kkunurashima asked their fellow teachers of Reddit: What's something your students have said that required all of your strength to not hit them?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
15. Participation trophy culture.
Refused to do his work, and looked me in the eye and said "you can't fail me."
Which unfortunately given our system policies, is absolutely true.
Why couldn't you fail him?
Because the school looks bad of a kid fails and it can effect funding, the actual school administration doesn't give a fuck about teachers or students, they just want a 100% pass rate. It's why USA spends something like 75% more of the average per student yet has pretty mediocre results. Education system needs a full rework unfortunately.
14. Grandparenting ftw.
I'll answer for my mom, who is not a Redditor. One of her students, a 4th grader threatened to stab her about 20 years ago. She worked in a rough district and had no support from her superiors because it couldn't be corroborated.
I went to the sheriff's office and reported it, asked our sheriff how to go about handling it because my mom was afraid of the little shit and about retaliation from her boss/school system. I was only like 15 myself. Turns out the boy was his grandson, different last name.
My mom called me, told me the sheriff came by their house, apologized for his grandson's behavior and brought her and my dad a dinner and flowers. She never had issues again from the boy. His punishment was lovely too. His grandfather brought him over to mow my parent's yard all summer and take care of the clippings. The sheriff humanized my mom to him, talked about how she has a family and how stabbing somebody could hurt or kill them. He eventually apologized to my mom and learned to deal with frustraion.
And he turned out okay. He is an electrician and got married last summer.
Edit- Thanks for the silver! And I've had a few people ask for his name/info etc. I am going to respect his privacy and that of his family. But, if you want to honor him or his style of policing, look at donating to local Shop with a Cop programs or doing the kind of things he championed. Get involved, donate your time and talents to improving your community. Mentor a young person who is struggling. Think twice before raising a hand in violence. Or, look at becoming an officer yourself and working to make your community better.
13. Well then.
At the start of the school year a student walked up to me said (to my face): "I'm a special ed kid and I know all I have to do is show up and not get suspended. I won't be doing any work in your class and you're going to pass me because you have to. Don't bother me and I won't f*ck with you."
"I'm a special ed kid and I know all I have to do is show up and not get suspended. I won't be doing any work in your class and you're going to pass me because you have to.
I had a kid pull that on me once. I laughed in his face and said, "No, I really don't."
From then on I just documented every time they refused an assignment (on the assignment) and gave them the zero. They changed their tune real fast when report card time came and they had like a 4 in my class.
I just love the comments section in my online gradebook when a neglectful parent wants to come at me last minute. Oh, and my gradebook logs how many times the student and parent accounts view the gradebook. Zero times over the marking period and Little Billy's troubles are all my fault? Ha!
12. Just shaddup.
I had a kid call me a bitch and say that I was "targeting" him for telling him not to make noises. This was during a lockdown drill, during which we were required to be silent. I spent the next 15 minutes locked in the room being forced to sit there silently while this kid and one of his friends loudly complained about how awful I was.
After being a student in classes where peers have made teachers cry, walk out or straight up quit I have the utmost respect for you all. Having been tempted to enter the profession myself, I don't think I could keep my cool.
It's the students that recognize that their peers are assh*les and don't choose to join in that keep me going.
11. And they say kids can't be sociopaths...
One thing that a lot of non-teachers don't realize is that there are plenty of kids who judge themselves based on how they've tormented teachers. Even adults still fondly remember that time they 'made that teacher cry.' Tv shows show the kids teaching that teacher a lesson for doing their job. So these kids get up in the morning planning for how they'll annoy you.
Most kids I taught were fine, but there was one who stood out, we'll call him J. He thought he was the best thing ever to happen to this planet, and he expected teachers to worship him. So to start with he learned my first name, and began shouting it across the playground. Then he'd only do it once id turned the corner. Irritating this was, but easily dealt with. Then the actual torment began. He would steal other students bus passes and slide them underneath my classroom door so I'd have to go and unlock it so they could get home. He tracked my timetable and began doing it when I was teaching in a different room, anything to cause me maximum disruption. He got another teacher to let himself into my classroom saying I'd asked him to get something, he then stole the smallest of my Russian dolls I had on display, and the keys off my keyboard, but only ones which spelled out my name. He set off the fire alarm because he knew I was doing speaking exams and it would disrupt me.
This doesn't include his in class behaviour. Here's where it got crazy.
One day I found him at break time with a glass and s box of matches, he was catching spiders to set fire to them to hear them scream.
The next week as I was leaving the school he stood in front of my car so I couldn't leave, i opened the window to tell him to move and he put his arm through it and held on, again to stop me leaving. Deputy head removed him. But after that I found him inside the school, he'd trapped a bird and was throwing stones at it to kill it. School did nothing.
2 weeks later I was leaving school again, he runs up, opens the door and gets into my car. We had to call the police to remove him. His parents thought it was funny.
I don't know what happened to him but I'd say that was the closest.
10. Punching the teacher won't end well.
Well, the time the student punched me was a challenge, that's for sure. I guess the other times I've really gotten upset with students, I haven't thought about hitting them, but I'd really love to be able to tell them about themselves, including all the profanity that needs to be leveled at them. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.
Teachers are human. Kids can be cruel.
I had a student send me to the hospital twice. I worked at a therapeutic day school and this kid was my size and in 7th grade. I was a 26-y/o 5'10, 175lb guy at this time two years ago. Since it was therapeutic, we had to restrain students when they became a threat to themselves or others. The first time he sent me to the hospital, he head-butted me in the back of the head in the middle of a restraint. Yellow liquid came out of my nose on numerous occasions between leaving the school and arriving at the hospital. I had to get a CAT scan of my head to make sure it wasn't Cerebrospinal fluid.
The second time, we removed him from the gym because he was playing too rough with other kids. We escorted him to a "cool-down" room and as soon as he set foot in the room, he turned around and clocked me in the face. Like 5 other staff instantly restrained him, so luckily I didn't have to deal with it again. My face swelled up so I decided to go get checked out just to be sure.
Admins didn't really do a whole lot, so I never really felt safe around the kid. Luckily I had two enormous paras that worked in my room to help me, but they didnt switch the kid to another classroom until ESY came around. I left that job at the end of ESY and started teaching in a public school.
After one of the school shootings a kid had the audacity to say "oh only 9 people died, so it wasn't even a real one."
Another year my wife had a miscarriage. I was visibly upset and discussed it with them. A week later after getting onto a kid about something he said "that's why your baby died". I have never felt a rage like that before.
A kid in my school was in a different woodwork class to me. Halfway through a woodwork project, the teacher takes time off work because his wife miscarried. The class continued with the project with another teacher.
Original teacher came back and stated they would be starting a new project. The kid said "are we building your kid a coffin?"
Still no idea what happened to that kid after class.
8. Divorce sucks.
I had a 14-y/o student who was dealing with some tough issues with his dad. This kid would spend one weekend with his mom, the next with his dad. He always looked forward to the weekends with his mom, and would refuse to go home on Fridays when he'd have to go to his dad's house. He would come in to school after the weekends spent at his dad's house and tell me (and only me) about some of the horrors that went on over the weekend. The things he told me were bad enough that I had to call DCFS three times in the course of two months. I sat with a DCFS officer and outlined what he told me in excruciating detail. I checked in with his school counselor every day. I checked in with him every single morning. I was even requested to appear in court (by his mom) to testify on the kids behalf. I wasn't allowed to go as I was not subpoena'd, but I would have gone if I were allowed to. I literally bent over backwards to make sure this kid would still be alive to come to my class on the Mondays after spending the weekend at his dad's house.
The thing that he said that made me want to smack some sense into him; "You don't care about me."
7. Carl, douche.
Middle school kid was throwing hard candy across my room. I mean he was hurling it with the intent of it hurting if it hit you. I calmly said, "Carl get out of my classroom." He said, "no." I repeated myself and he said, "make me". I sent for the assistant principal with the message that I had a situation. When the assistant principal arrived I simply told him to get Carl out of sight. He did. The kid continued to pop off and got sent home for a few days.
Same kid the next week. End of the day, maybe two minutes before the bell was to ring. Another student asked about Carl's cell phone which they are not supposed to have at school. He replied loud enough for the entire class to hear, " My phone is in my mother f*cking pocket." I reported it the following Monday. F*ck that kid.
6. Nah, class is pointless.
College prof here. I can't tell you how many times I've had a student ask me if we were doing anything important in class.
"No, today I was just planning on wasting everyone's time for an hour or so."
Oh that is something my kids ask like daily, must be something they think they can do when they get older. I don't teach college but I do teach seniors in high school. It's become a meme almost for them to come in and for me to say "Oh absolutely nothing! Just, you know, information in a class you need to graduate."
Same child, multiple incidences. Second grade.
- While ignoring his screams in an attempt to get attention, he pulled his pants down and started humping me half naked.
- Punched me in the face at lunch when I went to bend down and help another kid open his pb and j.
- (Not the child but his mother and why this makes so much sense) slashed my tires after her son was suspending for punching me in the face.
That reminds me when my mom was a substitute teacher in the 80s, she was giving a student trouble for disrupting the class. The student got right in her face and said "my mama said she's gonna slash your fucking tires bitch". The student was so close to her she was spraying my moms face with spit as she spoke. She kicked the kid out of the class only to have the principal show up five minutes later and tell her "you're just a substitute you're not gonna kick any students out of class, become an actual teacher here then you can kick them out". That was the final nail in the coffin for her teaching career, she moved across the country a little while later to start a new profession.
4. This is why you need the weed.
I'm an art teacher. A good student of mine was wondering about my recycling habit, and asked me how much I make from recycling/what I used it for. I told her that I use it to supplement art supplies, and immediately this jackass from the back of the room pipes up "hah that's totally weed money."
This kid bleeds "look at me I'm a stoner kid I'm so edgy!!" so I'm used to it and he has been disciplined multiple times in my class for comments like this, but this particular one? I could get fired for an accusation like that. F*ck that assh*le.
3. Kids are mean.
Six words, said to a quiet kid who'd just returned after a couple weeks out of school.
"No wonder your mom committed suicide."
Someone said that to me after my dad passed that way. I barely even remembered it because the whole time was a blur. The kid apologized for it a couple years later and that's the only reason why I even know it happened. The kid probably blacked it out.
2. Middle schoolers are the worst. THE. WORST.
First year teaching at 22 and I taught sixth grade. Two instances come to mind:
One kid told me outright he didnt respect me simply because I was younger than the other sixth grade teachers.
After a year of trying to corral my sixth graders, I took them outside for class for a day after two STAAR tests and we started a novel study on a book I was really excited to share with them (Among the Hidden). They complained the ENTIRE time about how hot it was in the shade, how the book we were reading was boring and that they wanted to go back inside. I took them back in because I couldn't take it anymore and told them honestly how upset I was with their constant complaining the entire year and that I was just trying to do something for them that they had been asking all year to do, when one kid just said in front of the entire class that since I hated them so much and clearly hated my job that I should quit. Because it would make everyone happier. I told him to leave the room and go somewhere, anywhere (I just couldn't look at his face anymore) and then silently started crying at my desk.
Sixth grade was a year in hell.
Never teach middle school young. That sh*ts like a Battle Royale.
Luckily for me, the fifth grade class coming up the year after didnt have enough kids, so I was cut from sixth and given to fourth. It has honestly been such a blessing and I would cry if I had to leave fourth grade because I love it so much!! ❤
1. You are entitled to nothing.
I had a student in a class I TA'd who emailed me wanting to know where his grade on a weekly assignment was. I did not respond to him because the assignment in question was not even due yet, and also because he said something in the email that came off as a little dehumanizing, and I wasn't about to reinforce that behavior with any informative response. Hardly twelve hours later, he goes over my head to the professor. He then proved himself over and over to be the most entitled and rude person in the class.
I feel it might have been an age thing. Not only was he older than me (which is easy, most students at my school are), but he was older than the professor, who he was also rude to.
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.