Teacher Horror Stories That Students Actually Lived Through

In a perfect world, the relationship between a teacher and their students would be beneficial to both. In reality, the relationship can depend on the attitude, morals, and abilities of the teacher. Some students get lucky with the perfect professor, while others find themselves stuck watching chaos happen. These unlucky students recently shared the stories of their worst teachers, and this is what they had to tell. Honestly, it’s amazing they survived these true-life horror stories!

The Stuff

teacher laughing
Fred Kloet/Unsplash
Fred Kloet/Unsplash

Some teachers have such strange senses of humor that instead of making students laugh they end up scaring them. This teacher got lucky they made this joke to a student who thought they were hilarious or they might have been called into the principal’s office.

“My favorite teacher ever—English, freshman year of high school—walked up to my desk, picked up my white-out, took a super deep sniff, shuddered, said ‘that’s the stuff,’ and walked away.”

Pickled Fish, Anyone?

fish swimming
Marcos Paulo Prado/Unsplash
Marcos Paulo Prado/Unsplash

While it’s not a bad idea for teachers to come up with deterrents for late students, making them eat fish might not be the best one. While we credit this teacher for trying something new, we bet this probably led to more absences than late arrivals. Let’s face it, pickled fish just doesn’t sound very appetizing (which arguably is the point)!

“My calculus teacher forces kids who are late to class to eat pickled herring.”

One Way To Get Fired

cop car parked on the street
Josh Hild/Unsplash
Josh Hild/Unsplash

There might be more to this story than this student was willing to reveal. The teacher was clearly pushed to the edge. Our only question is whether it was personal or professional life-related. Either way, there’s no chance they were asked back to the university for another semester. That is, unless they had tenure.

“My MSU professor took all his clothes off, and ran around the place yelling until the cops arrested him.”

The Ultimate Bathroom Pass

gloves for boxing
Arisa Chattasa/Unsplash
Arisa Chattasa/Unsplash

The only thing we want to know about this story is whether or not the student accepted the teacher’s challenge.

“My high school history teacher once told a student he could leave class early if he beat him in a fight. We all pushed the desks to the edge of the classroom, and watched a 20 second fight that ended with my teacher [removed word] out his student. I didn’t like the kid so I thought it was awesome, but it definitely fits into the inappropriate category.”

A New Kind Of PE

a bar
Nikola Jovanovic/Unsplash
Nikola Jovanovic/Unsplash

This new PE game one teacher invented on the spot probably didn’t become a permanent part of the high school curriculum.

“This happened to a mate. The English teacher at his high school had to supervise the PE class and was not happy about it. He gathered all the boys and said ‘OK, pick two teams’. Once the boys were split up he said ‘Alright team one, you run clockwise around the oval. Team two, go anti clockwise. When you meet, have a fight, I’m going to the [word removed] pub’. Then he stalked off, muttering. Teacher of the year.”

The Classic Tied Shoe Gag That Backfired

wearing shoes
Lefteris kallergis/Unsplash
Lefteris kallergis/Unsplash

If this had happened to any other student in the classroom, it might have been a funny joke. Luck just didn’t happen to be on this teacher’s side that day.

“One of my teachers tied a kid’s shoes together when he was sleeping. It could have been funny if it was just some regular kid, but this kid had some home problems and everyone in the class knew that, even the teacher. I untied them whilst making eye contact the whole time with the teacher just shaking my head.”

Chalk Outline

chalk in a bucket
Debby Hudson/Unsplash
Debby Hudson/Unsplash

This student couldn’t believe how much their teacher loved eating chalk. It wasn’t just a one-time incident either. If this story is to be believed, the teacher thought chalk was the perfect snack. Even crazier, they had accepted their love for chalk and didn’t care if their students saw them chowing down!

“I had a teacher who would eat chalk while waiting for us to answer questions. Just snap off the end like it was a Slim Jim.”

Untouchable

a broken window
Zane Lee/Unsplash
Zane Lee/Unsplash

How did this teacher suffer zero consequences for their shocking actions?

“Had a teacher that showed up late and hungover all the time in my 9th grade year… I made some comment and he flipped and started screaming and told me to get out. As I was walking out he kept trying to get in the last word and I wouldn’t let him an kept mouthing off. He pushed a kid out of their chair and threw it at me. It missed and hit and broke the window next to the door. He never got in trouble for being a drunk, constantly late, or trying to harm a student.”

The Final Straw

a projector shining light
Jeremy Yap/Unsplash
Jeremy Yap/Unsplash

This teacher was probably about to snap anyway. If a student knocking something off a projector is what sets you off, you probably need to take a vacation!

“About 6 years ago in 6th grade I watched my history teacher throw a kid’s books in the trash, then hold him up by the neck on the blackboard and scream in his face. All because the kid accidentally knocked the teacher’s [word removed] off the top of an overhead projector.”

Creating A Love For Rocks

rocks stacked together
Rachel Nickerson/Unsplash
Rachel Nickerson/Unsplash

According to this student, his geology teacher felt the best way to make them love rocks was to throw the objects at them.

“I had a teacher when I was 15 for geology who would shout the name of somebody he deemed to be ‘acting the prat’ as he would say, then throw a rock at them. He justified it as learning because when we caught it he would demand a full rock description, name and theory on how the rock originated.”

Going Through Something

alebraic shape
Michale Dziedzic/Unsplash
Michale Dziedzic/Unsplash

There was definitely something going on outside of the classroom that was affecting how this teacher was acting in class. Unfortunately, it caused a real problem for the students who could only see one side of the story.

“I failed Algebra Junior year because my teacher would come to class drunk and put her head down on her desk and cry. 80% of that class had to repeat it the next year.”

Third Grade Nightmare

student writing
Thought Catalog
Thought Catalog

This poor student may have had one of the worst teachers on this list. They were targeted, and the way the teacher treated them still might haunt them today!

“Third grade teacher would poke fun at me for going to the TAG class, pointed out my bad penmanship to the class, called me fat (I was), lazy, and not going to amount to anything. He’d routinely open my desk and dump it out all over the ground and make me sit on the floor. When I would go to his desk, terrified, and ask anything, he’d raise his voice and make anything I asked sound like it was coming from an idiot. Third grade is where things started to really go downhill for me.”

Bad Fruit

a bowl of fruit
Dane Deaner/Unsplash
Dane Deaner/Unsplash

The ’80s were a different time. It was perfectly acceptable back then for teachers to call out students in front of the class for their work. Still, that didn’t make it any less cruel.

“My 7th grade art teacher. We had to draw a bowl of fruit. I worked hours on it. I was so proud of it and she held it up in front of the class and said it was the worst drawing she had ever seen and I did not have an artistic bone in my body. I was crushed. Yay junior high in the 80s.”

My Way Or The Highway

highway lit up at night
Florian Steciuk/Unsplash
Florian Steciuk/Unsplash

This student felt that their teacher took things a little too far at the Catholic school they went to.

“I went to a Catholic school, my sophomore year we got a new teacher and she was a True Believer. I got detention at least 4 times for being ‘disrespectful’ when all I did was make her look stupid in debate. She failed me at a class named ‘Morality’ and I had to do a research project over the summer to make up the credits.”

Eraser Head

chalkboard with math
Roman Mager/Unsplash
Roman Mager/Unsplash

Throwing objects at students is never okay. Who knows how much trauma this student endured for not being able to keep focus. The solution would have been to find a way to make the subject interesting. Hopefully the erasers were soft enough that they didn’t cause any real harm to their unsuspecting target.

“I had a fifth grade teacher who threw chalk board erasers at me because I wasn’t paying attention in class.”

Time To Drop The Class

playing violin
Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash
Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash

Sometimes a passing comment from a teacher can have worse consequences than intended. This teacher probably didn’t think twice as they told one of their worst students they were better at holding doors open than playing music.

“I remember I did very badly at music at school. One time, just in the school corridor, I held the door open for what turned out to be my music teacher who said ‘Looks like we’ve finally found something you’re good at.'”

Too Young To Know Better

child doing math homework
Annie Spratt
Annie Spratt

This next story is what happens when you’re young and impressionable and your teacher should probably be more sensitive. This is not something a teacher should ever tell a seven-year-old.

“My 2nd grade teacher took 7 year old me aside during a lesson on multiplication tables, bent down to my level and said, ‘You’re terrible at math, you will never be good at it.’ And to this day, I am still not good at math.”

Finishing Finnish

teacher annoyed in classroom
Taylor Wilcox/Unsplash
Taylor Wilcox/Unsplash

This is one of those conversations that if a teacher is going to have with a student at all, it needs to be done in private.

“My language teacher in 6th grade. We were in two separate groups in our [F]innish class, those who spoke it at home and [those] who didn’t. I was in the class of people who didn’t speak it at home. In this class, there were also people who actually did speak it at home but had dyslexia or learning difficulties. The ones in my class who did have dyslexia could complete the test verbally instead of having to write everything. When I found out about this I happily asked my teacher if I could complete my tests verbally, too. While a girl with dyslexia was standing right next to me, my teacher said to me, ‘You don’t need to, you’re a NORMAL child.’ She heard it.”

Of Course You Can Afford It

a luxury bus
Jonathan Borba/Unsplash
Jonathan Borba/Unsplash

Ms. McDonald chose the absolute worst time to call out one of her students for coming from a family that made more money than anyone else. Certain things should just be left unsaid.

“4th grade, Ms. McDonald was telling us about our field trip to Sacramento. The class had the option of taking two buses, the yellow one or the ‘luxury’ one (tv/bathroom). Asked me in front of the whole class if I could afford it.”

That’s How Science Works

a cobra being handled
Meet Konkani/Unsplash
Meet Konkani/Unsplash

According to this teacher that should not be allowed in a classroom, an ice pack will speed up the effects of a snake bite because snakes are cold-blooded…

“I never had this teacher, but one of the health teachers was legendarily stupid. Once told a class that the reason you shouldn’t put a cold compress on a snakebite was because snakes are cold-blooded, thus the venom speeds up when chilled.”

No Therapy Needed

holding a pair of runnning shoes
Kristian Egulund/Unsplash
Kristian Egulund/Unsplash

Eavesdropping can happen accidentally sometimes. When teachers unavoidably hear something that they shouldn’t have, it should never be seen as an opportunity to interject and give their opinion on the issue at hand.

“Before class my friend was telling me about her session with a therapist/ pretty serious stuff about her relationship with her father, and the professor over heard some (?) Of it and said. ‘The only therapy I need are my running shoes.'”

When Fantasy Is Reality

a fairie in a field
Anthony Tran
Anthony Tran

Fantasy and science fiction novels can help nurture a child’s imagination. Just because they enjoy The Lord of the Rings though doesn’t mean they don’t know how the real world works.

“Two teachers, same school. One told my parents and the school counselor that I clearly couldn’t distinguish between fantasy and reality because I liked Star Wars and Tolkien, and they believed her… I spent the whole year trying to convince shrinks that I KNOW WHAT FICTION IS.”

Have A Little Sympathy

a sad teenager
Emiliano Vittoriosi/Unsplash
Emiliano Vittoriosi/Unsplash

This teacher should have gone to sensitivity training before becoming a teacher. They clearly have no idea how fragile the minds and emotions of their students can be!

“Had an English teacher tell some kid in our class (mid teens) Look we all know your parents died this year but that’s no excuse for your attitude He was simply talking in class. Everyone was mortified. The kid was crushed.”

The Teacher Who Can’t Admit They’re Wrong

a happy teacher
raeng_publications/Pixabay
raeng_publications/Pixabay

Here we have a teacher who couldn’t take responsibility for the mistake that she made on her own test. Instead, she punished her students for being wrong when they were all, in fact, right.

“2nd grade math teacher photocopied a test from the textbook on how to measure things with a ruler. She reduced the copy size to 50% to fit 2 pages on 1 sheet of paper. She then failed all of the students because their answers didn’t match the answer key in her book – (off by 50%).”

The Best Payback

paper balls in trash can
Steve Johnson/Unsplash
Steve Johnson/Unsplash

This teacher probably had no idea karma was coming their way when they submitted written work to a publication a former student worked for.

“My 9th grade English teacher told me I would never make it as a writer as I had no talent & should give up. 20 years later he sent in a spec piece to the magazine I was the Arts Editor for. I sent him a lovely personalized rejection letter.”

Big Words Are Bad

words on a wall
Jelleke Vanooteghem/Unsplash
Jelleke Vanooteghem/Unsplash

Teachers should never take it as an insult when students have bigger vocabularies than them. This teacher, however, took it personally.

“I got in trouble in elementary school for using, ‘big words,’ got yelled at for using the word vexed. Was told i should just say angry, If I meant angry I would have said angry. She sent a note to my mom, my mom marked it for errors with a [red] pen and sent it back with a note that read,’when you can use proper English you can correct hers.'”

Swimming Problems

person ready to go swimming
Mario Gogh/Unsplash
Mario Gogh/Unsplash

This situation between student, teacher, and peers escalated more quickly than anyone could have anticipated.

“I was having bad cramps one day and did poorly in swim class, on a day when the teacher decided to do the ‘if one person doesn’t make the lap in X time, everyone does it again’ game. I couldn’t, so she told the rest of the girls to beat me up in the locker room.”

Doctor’s Note?

doctor on phone writing note
@nci/Unsplash
@nci/Unsplash

When a doctor’s note is being provided, you know a student is not making excuses. Well, most people know that. This teacher didn’t seem to understand that point of a doctor’s note, though.

“Teacher refused to believe I had epilepsy. She claimed that I was just lazy and didn’t pay attention in school. ‘Absence seizures’ were just an excuse in her ears. Doctor’s note didn’t help, and neither did a major convulsive seizure on the school steps.”

No Admission

schoolbus parked
james-day/unsplash
james-day/unsplash

From the way this story reads, it seems like that teacher didn’t like this student and didn’t want to be responsible for them while on a field trip.

“In 3rd grade, we had to pay admission to go on this field trip. My parents argued over it because money was tight but ultimately they wanted me to go. My teacher took my permission slip and money and then told me the next week that I hadn’t paid so couldn’t go.”

Throw A Book At It

stacked school books
Element5 Digital/Unsplash
Element5 Digital/Unsplash

Some teachers come to work in bad moods and should have just stayed home. This teacher got annoyed because a student was sick. You read the story and tell us if she should have gone to work that day.

“I had bronchitis and the English Lit teacher got annoyed with my coughing so he said, ‘if you can’t hear me over Christine’s coughing, throw a book at her head.’ Someone threw a book at my head. Somehow we both got sent out of the room.”