Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Worst


It’s not often people write about their worst teacher. Who wants to remember him or her? Everyone writes about their favorite teacher. I’ve even written blogs about my favorite teacher (my 11th grade English teacher, Mrs. Fannett).

But my worst teacher was my seventh grade math teacher. She was so bad I don’t even remember her name. Let me just say, first off, that I was a bad math student. I never understood probabilities or percentages or parabolas. I didn’t like math, but that didn’t mean I didn’t like my math teachers. Many of them were very nice, and though they shook their head in frustration with my continual state of confusion, we got along okay.

But that seventh grade teacher was a different story. She didn’t have anything against me, she had something against all of us. Her first problem was she couldn’t control her class. I’ve been in a lot of English and history classrooms where the teachers had trouble with classroom management. But mostly the math and science teachers didn’t struggle in this area. Math classrooms were always silent as the grave.

But the kids in my 7th grade class talked. A lot. And our teacher would yell at us (I say us because I’m sure I was talking along with everyone else). She would threaten to stuff a rag down our throat, which kind of horrified me. I’d never heard a teacher threaten to do something like that before.

And then one day she threw an overhead marker at a student. Not me, but it definitely got my attention. It shut me up. After all, I didn’t need anyone throwing pens at me.

I don’t remember learning anything in that class. I just remember the day she threw that pen and that I hated that class.

Who was your worst teacher? Why?

14 comments:

  1. Ohmigosh, mine started really early--kindergarten! I loved my teachers after her, but kindergarten? I was SOOO shy, that she told my mother I needed to see a psychiatrist. My mother had been just as shy as I was when she was little and said I would grow out of it. Can you imagine a teacher saying that about a 5 year old? I loved living in Madison, Wisconsin though. I have such fond memories of the snow and fall colors! :) And the frozen water we'd walk across. :)

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  2. I had a math teacher in 8th grade who would allow girls to sit on his lap to increase their grade in his class. No lie. I didn't take him up on the offer, but I know a couple of girls who did. One girl increased her grade from a C- to an A- for sitting on his lap every day for two weeks. I even have a snapshot of it somewhere. I remember once he kept staring at me in class and eventually I swallowed my nausea enough to meet his eyes and stare him down. He said, "Your hair is beautiful when it catches the sunlight." *shudders I don't know why we never turned him in to the authorities. It was before anyone really talked about sexual harrassment, so it never occured to us that what he was doing was wrong, I guess. We knew it felt wrong, but weren't sure why. Most of us just tried to avoid him. Anyway, I hope the pedophile is rotting in jail. ICK!

    In addition to being a creepy SOB, he didn't teach us squat. Just how to feel really uncomfortable for 53 minutes a day.

    This blog is like therapy sometimes. Heh!

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  3. Oh, Olivia! That makes me just sick. How horrible! Beats my worst teacher for sure!

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  4. How about one of my kids' teachers who put their names on a list on the board that he called the Hug Wall? If you mouthed off, were sarcastic, said his jokes were stupid (and he fostered that kind of relationship at the beginning of the year - new to our school but not the district), then your name went on that wall which meant he could come up behind you at any time, put his arms around you and hug you and even if you said,"No," he wouldn't stop.

    And he terrorized the kids so much that 23 of them didn't say a word to any parent from February until 3 days before the end of school when this all came out.

    And the man still has his job? Why? I have no freaking idea. He ADMITTED what he did and he still has a job.

    Hot button for me? Can you tell?

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  5. Oh Judi and Olivia how creepy. That just gets my gag reflex going - blah.

    I once had a prof who refused to give me an A (even thoug I had the highest score in the class) because I was a girl and even told me so. I reported him the school officials did... Nothing. Still irritates me.

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  6. I had some that were very strict, but were also very good teachers. Guess I really have no complaints on that score.

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  7. Must have something to do with math teachers! For me it was my alegebra instructor my senior year in high school. I put off math as long as I could.

    Except the instructor insisted no upperclassmen would last out his class.

    Don't tell me I can't do something. Math isn't a strong subject for me, I struggled all year, but at the end I was the only upperclassman in there.

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  8. Oh, Judi. I just don't see how that happens and none of the other teachers know? They have to know! Why don't people speak up?

    Amanda that same thing happened...to my grandmother in 1939. Um, I thought we'd progressed since then.

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  9. My worst teacher was Ms. Duncan, my ninth grade gym teacher. She hated me. I was really popular with the boys and I hated gym. She thought I didn't participate because I was too prissy but really I was so shy. I felt physically sick when I even thought about going to gym. I always had excuses so I didn't have to dress out. Something about wearing those shorts and jumping around on the gym floor just unleashed some kind of phobia in me :) Stupid now, I know, but it was a real problem for me. She got so mad at me one day she grabbed my arm and shoved me. I could have reported her but I didn't. I failed the class of course. I wish I could go back and do that over.

    I thought she was bad until I read some of the other stories. Gross.

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  10. Another horrible teacher story. My sixth grade biology teacher used to make fun of one of the girls in class. She was extremely shy, and she wasn't albino, but she was very pale, eyes red-rimmed, invisible lashes. He would embarrass her and say terrible things about her eyes. I think he compared her to a hamster or gerbil or something. I can't believe she put up with it. I can't believe I didn't go to the Principal. I was shy myself and hated conflict, but I would fight for someone else. He probably scarred that girl for life.

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  11. Anita, I wish I could go back and re-do a lot of my middle and high school days too. Would that we could all go through school as adults. Poor kids! And what a horrible biology teacher. I would say things have changed, but reading the posts today, I'm not so sure!

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  12. I've got two for you! The first one was my 6th grade teacher, who was also the principal of the small parochial school I attended. One kid was a hispanic kid who was so quiet he almost didn't exist--and the teacher hated him. One day the teacher called on him in class, and the poor kid was struck dumb---so the teacher yelled at him, called him 'stupid' and some racial stuff, and then grabbed the kid, held him upside down by one ankle, and stuffed the poor kid's head in a wastebasket while screaming about what an ungrateful little @#$#%%@*** he was...This happened in the 1950's, and the teacher/principal was let go at the end of that year, but can you imagine the scars on that kid's heart???

    The next one was one of my daughter's teachers from the 1980's, and he made some touchy, feelie advances to my 5th grade daughter (who was physically, but NOT emotionally advanced for her age). THAT teacher never managed to explain to the school how he'd gotten so beaten up (????!!) and he promptly quit, then was 'disbarred' from teaching when a few of us mothers got together...

    I have to say that most of my teachers were great people--some of them were INCREDIBLE--and the ones who were neither of these were mostly just apathetic.

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  13. My gym teacher in grade 8 & 9 - same woman - she used to verbally abuse me about my lack of athleticism in front of the whole class. I still have nightmares about her mocking me as well as her remarks that I was useless in the class. No matter how much I tried I just couldn't please her...I used to have to psych myself up for for every class so that I wouldn't end up in tears.

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  14. I wasn't very good at math either, Shana. Fortunately, I didn't have a horrible teacher to top it off.

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