50 Students And Parents Call Out Their Teachers Who Were So Toxic, They Shouldn’t Be Teaching Anyone
Let’s do a quick experiment, shall we, Pandas? Think about the best teachers you’ve ever had. See how easily their faces pop up in your imagination? You’re probably even smiling. Okay, now think of the very worst teachers you’ve ever encountered. It feels awful, doesn’t it? The sad truth is that nearly everyone has to deal with at least one toxic educator who was out to make their life miserable. Teachers and professors hold a huge amount of influence in their students’ lives. And that power can be used for good, as well as for ill.
Bored Panda compiled this list of pics of people sharing examples of the most toxic teachers they have ever met. The type of behavior featured in this article is appalling. And it really makes you value quality educators even more.
Keep in mind that if you’ve had awful experiences at school, these pics might bring back some bad memories. Otherwise, feel free to tell us about the best and worst teachers you had at school. You’ll find our previous post about bad teachers over here, too. We know from experience just how much teachers can inspire us… or cause us to doubt ourselves.
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Bored Panda was interested to learn about building a sense of trust and openness between parents and children, as well as what to do if there are issues with specific teachers at school. We reached out to parenting blogger Samantha Scroggin, from Walking Outside in Slippers, who shared her thoughts on this with us.
"I always try to maintain an open dialogue with my kids, but it doesn’t always work as well as I’d hoped. I think we can’t expect our kids to open up to us on our timeline and our terms. They have to share when and if they want to, and us parents showing a genuine interest in what’s going on in our kids’ lives sets the groundwork for when they’re ready to open up," the blogger said.
Patience and understanding are key for building trust, bit by bit. "Sometimes this can mean listening to them drone on about Pokemon and their friend drama at school," Samantha told Bored Panda.
"I feel like it’s just as important for parents to have an open dialogue with our kids’ teachers at school to see how they’re doing. We can’t always rely on our kids for the full picture, but it’s important to take our kids’ perspective on school situations into perspective," she suggested.
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Meanwhile, parenting blogger Samantha said that there's no one-size-fits-all approach when dealing with teacher-related issues. However, she revealed to Bored Panda what approach she took not too long ago.
"I actually recently had an issue with my daughter’s first-grade teacher. She is an older teacher who is not very responsive via the school’s email system. Because communicating with her was so difficult, I told the principal at the end of the school year about my struggles with the teacher. I then requested a teacher for next year who I know to be very responsive," the founder of Walking Outside in Slippers said.
"But I don’t think there is any right way to deal with school or teacher issues. I would defer to the parents to decide what is best for their child and situation," she added.
It sometimes feels like certain authority figures are out to get you. It’s not paranoia, though. Some people are so dissatisfied with their lives, so miserable and full of angst that they lash out at those around them.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an exam to thoroughly check if the person hoping to be a teacher is a completely decent human being. There are some bad apples among the droves of hard-working, empathetic educators.
When someone with a dislike for kids and education becomes a teacher, you can’t expect anything good. Some individuals have very low emotional intelligence, and they see their role in the classroom as purely technical: you put in the minimum required work, you get paid.
However, teaching is about far more than just classes, homework, and grading papers. For some, teaching is a calling. And they spare no expense in making their students’ lives better. They help guide them. They support them when they’re down. They thoroughly understand the massive responsibility they have weighing on their shoulders. And they do it anyway, even when they’re exhausted, under-appreciated, and given substandard pay. It’s these educators who we salute.
The way that we approach education in modern times is vastly different from how things were done for, well, pretty all of history. Generally speaking, students are a lot less independent these days. They’re shyer and less proactive, as well.
Childhood independence expert Lenore Skenazy, from Let Grown and the Free-Range Kids movement, went into this with Bored Panda during an earlier interview.
“In the United States, for instance, school only became compulsory a little over 100 years ago. Previously—for hundreds of thousands of years of human history—kids learned simply by watching, copying, helping, and playing,” she explained how learning used to take place.
“In other words, they’d hang around the adults, see how they made things like baskets and arrowheads, they’d ask questions, noodle around, and try to copy what their elders were doing. They’d also help out as soon as they could—fetching things, tracking animals, whatever—and in between they’d be playing with a group of mixed-age kids. All these activities were fueled by curiosity,” she told us.
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“You were motivated to learn what the bigger kids in your group knew, too, because they were so cool. Your entire day consisted of observing and practicing the stuff you needed to know— skills and games. If you weren’t curious, you weren’t going to enjoy life, or succeed at it,” Lenore told Bored Panda that kids were driven by a desire to become competent and be respected within their social circles and communities.
Unfortunately, these days, children are less curious and have trouble with motivation. That’s not to say that things are all bad. However, there’s a tendency for students to be passive (because that’s how schools work; they demand compliance) and to lack a focused inner drive.
“One reason kids might seem less curious today is because most of their education, inside and outside of school, doesn’t require self-motivation, it requires compliance. The drive is extrinsic, not intrinsic. Kids fill out worksheets because they have to, not because these seem interesting, or have any immediate connection to the ‘real’ world,” Lenore said.
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“Learning soccer means doing the drills the coach assigns, as opposed to tagging along with the older kids and working hard to get good enough so that they’d start letting you play. The key to curiosity, then, is giving kids enough free, unstructured time for them to find something they love to do for its own sake—not for a grade, or coach,” the childhood independence author shared how students are more passive during extracurricular activities as well.
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According to the expert, giving our kids some unstructured ‘outdoor’ time can help foster their self-motivation and self-reliance.
“Put some junk out there—old suitcases, blankets, buckets—whatever you’ve got. Of course, at first, the kids might be bored. Scratch that: They will be bored. They’ll want to come back in and grab the iPad. Resist the temptation to let them in or entertain them,” she said.
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“Give them a stretch of time—and especially if you can send some other kids out there with them—and out of ‘There’s nothing to do’ something will catch their interest. And a curious kid is born,” Lenore said.
“To give dulled-out kids the equivalent of a trip to a new country, send them to do something they haven’t done on their own before. Have them run an errand, visit a neighbor, get something from the woods or the store—something that puts them in a new environment where they have to figure out some stuff on their own.”
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