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Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:06 PM

What's the worst teacher you've ever had attitude wise?

I've had lots of teachers over the years (I'm 30 and have been in and out of university more times than I should have). Currently I'm taking computing science and doing well. Getting a new batch of teachers this semester (some a little rough around the edges) got me thinking about something I've been meaning to ask for a while. What's the worst teacher you've ever had in terms of attitude and what stories can you tell?

IMHO a teacher has to be able to effectively convey the material AND also be inspirational, helpful and willing to answer questions no matter how mundane (as long as they are on topic). Teachers fail on both accounts but it's the second criterion that really bothers me. Your ability to convey material clearly is something you either have or don't have, it's somewhat of a learned skill but much of it is innate IMHO. Attitude on the other hand is definitely something you consciously bring to the table and I just don't get it when I meet and asshole of a teacher. What are they thinking!? WHY are they teaching in the first place?

I've had a few in University, but most of the worst teachers I had were in High school. Later in life assholes don't have as much of an effect on you anyway, but earlier on it can be scaring. Looking back on it I have to cut them some slack as they themselves had to deal with some of the worst behaved people you can imagine (I would not want to be a HS teacher!!). However to this day I can still remember my English teacher back in grade 10 who would make a habit of belittling and insulting the children she deemed stupid or socially inept. I remember asking her some rather mundane question and having her say "that's why I like grade 10 students, they say the stupidest things on earth" out loud in front of the class. There were plenty of other examples but that's the one that comes to mind.

Not much of a story, I hope others have better.

What are your horror stories of bad teachers?

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Reply What's the worst teacher you've ever had attitude wise? (Original post)
Locut0s Jan 2013 OP
slackmaster Jan 2013 #1
2ndAmForComputers Jan 2013 #4
darkangel218 Jan 2013 #2
jberryhill Jan 2013 #3
gkhouston Jan 2013 #5
Dawson Leery Jan 2013 #6
TheCowsCameHome Jan 2013 #7
Ilsa Jan 2013 #8
Old Troop Jan 2013 #9
ancianita Jan 2013 #10
lunasun Jan 2013 #27
pipoman Jan 2013 #11
lunasun Jan 2013 #29
Mrs. Overall Jan 2013 #12
SouthernLiberal Jan 2013 #35
Dirty Socialist Jan 2013 #13
HooptieWagon Jan 2013 #41
SummerSnow Jan 2013 #14
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #21
TlalocW Jan 2013 #15
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #16
Art_from_Ark Jan 2013 #17
graywarrior Jan 2013 #18
LWolf Jan 2013 #19
Manifestor_of_Light Jan 2013 #20
Blue_In_AK Jan 2013 #22
dsc Jan 2013 #23
stultusporcos Jan 2013 #24
Archae Jan 2013 #26
stultusporcos Jan 2013 #33
Archae Jan 2013 #25
unblock Jan 2013 #28
Motown_Johnny Jan 2013 #30
klook Jan 2013 #31
Thinkingabout Jan 2013 #32
Kalidurga Jan 2013 #34
hunter Jan 2013 #36
virgdem Jan 2013 #37
bluestateguy Jan 2013 #38
politicat Jan 2013 #39
HooptieWagon Jan 2013 #40
mykpart Jan 2013 #42
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #43
davidpdx Jan 2013 #44

Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:08 PM

1. I had one in sixth grade who threw a kid through a classroom window, desk and all.

 

The really bad part was that the window wasn't even open.

The guy had recently quit smoking, and wasn't in his right mind.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:13 PM

4. Cool story, bro.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)


Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:13 PM

3. The overwhelming majority were great!


The few oddballs in there were more of a lab course in psychology than whatever else they were teaching.

And you could learn a lot just from watching them.

So, it's all good.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:14 PM

5. My second-grade teacher willfully mispronounced my name, and

had a total hissy fit when I checked a book out of the school library that was from the fifth-grade shelves. Things didn't improve when I demonstrated that I could actually read and understand the book. Some highly pointed words from my mom put an end to the remarks about my reading habits, but that teacher never did say my name correctly, and it's not difficult to pronounce.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:15 PM

6. Third and fifth grades.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:15 PM

7. Eighth grade teacher with a hand grenade on his desk

Generally speaking, a blustery/bully type of guy. Ruled the classroom with a iron hand, the kids in his class generally did more poorly that the other eighth grade class across the hall.

That was 50+ years ago, and I still don't like him .

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:21 PM

8. Two bad ones.

A third grade teacher who made fun of me when I moved to that school mid-year. She made sarcastic remarks about me in front of the other children. She was a bully.

A female PE teacher who sat in our study hall. She demanded absolute silence, not allowing students to work together on homework, even quietly. There was something wrong with her and she took it out on undeserving middle schoolers every day.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:28 PM

9. Fourth Grade

Miss C confronted my friend Jim in front of the class when he returned after his father was killed in a car accident. She said, Mr. @@@, your father died because you were bad in class.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:31 PM

10. Miss Kane. My 7th Grade English teacher, a sullen spinster, taught literature as a j.o.b.

Her listless approach to such beautifully written art and enlightening poetry and stories prompted me to decide that year to become the kind of teacher I wanted to ideally have. That decision stayed with me through high school, during which time I had spectacular teachers, and through college and grad school.

I never saw my students or my job the way that she did. Her room was a dark, sterile place. My classroom was colorful, thought-provoking and classes were full of well-organized, eager learners of varying capacities. I might come off as if I'm romanticizing or glossing over tough moments, which inevitably come with the job. But I never let a class suffer because of a few students having their own bad days.

Students have troubles of their own, no doubt. But one thing I knew, they were engaged and learning. I tried to make them forget about the outside world. The 34 years I taught reading, World Lit, college prep and film studies were the best career decision I could have made. I give her credit for making me want to teach my students better than I'd teach my own children.

I realize that teachers have to work with large groups of students with varying social, emotional and learning habits, but teachers should never be reactive but proactive in creating an inspiring and challenging environment. No amount of effort is wasted on any group of students, no matter how discouraged or discouraging they might try to be.

So, thank you, Miss Kane.

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Response to ancianita (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:25 PM

27. You turned a lemon into sweet lemonade!!! Good for you

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:38 PM

11. Industrial arts in high school

the teacher would use the same names for people who were teased as the bullies did. He loved the jocks and participated in bullying of the weaker and kids with disabilities..Year after year he was allowed to stay..

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Response to pipoman (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:28 PM

29. arrested development loser wanna be with the jocks - I had one of those too!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:40 PM

12. No horror stories about Sister Mary Scholastica yet?

The nuns I had in school were very sweet, amazingly brilliant, and taught some awesome social justice classes (very liberal Catholic area). But, I know some people in Catholic school weren't as lucky.

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Response to Mrs. Overall (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:38 PM

35. And I was one of the unlucky ones!

Second grade teacher... Sister Mary... Not Scholastica. She did not like me. I never knew why it began. Perhaps because I was brighter than average for that school at that time. I can't say that she ever struck me. Her torment was all mental. Things got worse when she learned that my mother's younger sister was a member of the same order. She made it clear that she thought I had been talking to my aunt about how she treated me. Of course, I was not.

Perhaps the worst was after my grandfather died. Sister told me that my grandpa was not going to heaven, and it was my fault because of my poor handwriting. At the time, I was as devout as any little Catholic girl in New York.

She had my younger brother for second grade two years later. He'd had a fractured skull, and came to school with warnings about letting him do anything that might lead to further injury. When she found out that he was my brother, she began regularly hitting him in the head. With a ruler, or with her rings, whatever was handy. I suspect the poor kid had an ulcer, because he used to throw up every morning before school. By halfway through the year, he was throwing up blood.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:40 PM

13. Professor FINK

His real name. He once threw an overhead projector across the room. He assigned boatloads of homework with strict instructions and graded even stricter. A woman once took his class and he wrote "quit the class" and "give up" on her returned homework. One time, after doing weekend homework that took me 14 hours to do, the woman in his class went to his office before class and handed in her homework to him, telling him she had strep throat and could not show up in class. He gave her a zero anyway. We started out the class with 20 students. When I dropped the class, there were 9 students left in the class. Fink was tenured, so he was never removed from his position.

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Response to Dirty Socialist (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:58 AM

41. Oh, wow... I had a Mrs Fink for kindergarten.

She wasn't all that bad. But she didn't know what to do with me. I insisted on coloring the sky orange, the barn yellow, the grass blue, etc. She kept calling my parents in for conferences, where she'd speak to them like kindergarteners explaining the necessity of coloring everything the proper colors. My parents would promise to speak to me, when they got home they'd howl hysterically for an hour, and tell me to keep coloring however I liked. That poor teacher...

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:53 PM

14. Oh my..one of my highschool art teachers was very mean..

He was threatening to throw us out the window.He was screaming at us.So in the middle of his screaming I threw a wad of chewed bubblegum in his mouth.He never knew who did it.That was like 30 years ago.

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Response to SummerSnow (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:08 PM

21. I still haven't learned not to drink anything while reading DU

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:58 PM

15. I can think of one high school teacher and one college teacher

Obviously, if I can only think of two, the vast majority of them were okay. I was one of those weird kids who loved school because I loved learning. Not that they were all stellar, and I can think of my first grade teacher now and how she seemed to be stuck in the 1950s although it was the late 1970s. The gym teacher (who was also the football and wrestling coach) pretty much put in the minimum effort in the health class he had to teach.

The high school teacher I didn't care for - although all the guys thought she was hot - was the music (voice) teacher. We had to take that class through the first semester of freshman year. I imagine it's the closest I've gotten to being in some sort of stage play where the director was a true drama queen. Anyway, I never chose that class as an elective again, and during one of the first days of my second Freshman semester, I was walking to school, and she drove by, saw it was me, slowed down then kept pace with me saying things to me out of her window, "Well, it's So-and-So. So-and-So decided not to take voice this year. Didn't like my class!" Today, I'm not sure if she was trying to be funny, or if she were truly pissed. I just smiled and shrugged at everything she said while I kept walking.

Only guy I couldn't really stand was a college math teacher (math was one of my majors). He did not believe in any help whatsoever in his classes. Just read the book and figure it out on your own. He got the look of a trapped squirrel whenever you stepped into his office and interrupted whatever he was doing then he got really pissy and condescending to you." I think he was one of those people who was bordering on autism or aspergers and had difficulty in social interactions, even with his fellow professors. Sometimes I would see the entire math department walking to a nearby deli just off campus, and I knew them pretty well. My adviser and the head of the department were always in a heated discussion about politics, the two biggest geeks were either discussing arcane math or movies, etc. Everyone in their little group except for him. He was leading the pack about 10 feet ahead of everyone else with his hands stuffed in his pocket and his head down, just striding away.

TlalocW

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:00 PM

16. Mrs Robarts, Constantly said I wouldn't amount to a hill of beans

Having earned a PhD. I can attest that her assessment was SPOT ON!!!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:09 PM

17. Most of my teachers were pretty decent

The worst ones by far were the PE teachers, most of whom were typical bad-ass ex-jocks. I do remember having one mild-mannered PE teacher, but it was for a science class, not PE. The next worst teacher was my band director, who seemed to have a special grudge against me for some reason.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:11 PM

18. Sister Marietta--5th grade

I hope she's burning in hell.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:59 PM

19. All but one of my K-12 teachers were great.

My high school geometry teacher wasn't. Burnout? Bad personal life? I don't know. He showed up puffy-eyed and bleary, entered the room as the bell quit ringing, turned off the lights and turned the overhead projector on, did the previous night's homework on the projector for us to self-correct, allowed one question per problem, and then put up the next day's work. He repeated theorems like slogans without ever really explaining them, did some examples very quickly on the overhead, and assigned some homework. He left the room with us when the bell rang; no lingering to check for understanding or even breathing among his students.

He's the only one in a very large group.

I had more bad professors in college than I did in the 13 years I did previously. Three. Still not that many.

Why, in this age of blaming teachers for everything, do you want horror stories?

Why not uplifting stories about the GREAT teachers we've had?

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:02 PM

20. High school geometry and Algebra II.

She was NOT a math major.
Explained a problem twice, then said, "You ought to know that".
I asked the kids who made As for help. They wouldn't help me. I was screwed.

Took algebra twice as a retread in college and never passed it.

However, I made a 600 on the math section of the SAT which is not shabby.

==============
Third grade teacher. I took a book on Greek mythology to school and wanted to read it to the class. She said "Why, ___, no normal child would read that at your age." I was seven. Started school a year early. Beeyotch.

In fifth grade they introduced Greek mythology and took great pains to tell us it was imaginary (but Jesus is real, right???).

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:13 PM

22. My sixth grade teacher was a mean, sarcastic, emotionally sadistic bastard,

who especially enjoyed embarrassing the girls in his class. He was so bad, I had my parents move me into another class. I had lots of teachers over 16 years, but he was without a doubt the worst.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:17 PM

23. Kindergarden, first grade PE teacher

Mr. Salupo. Now, in fairness, I was a piss poor athlete. But I did try. He loved to make fun of me while I tried to do athletic things. He called me pussy along with other names. I took all his crap until he accused me of cheating on a quiz he gave for scoring bowling. I had kept score for my parents so I already knew how to keep score so even though he hadn't taught us anything I aced his pre quiz. Egro in his mind I had to have cheated. Now I was willing to stand up for myself since we were talking about smarts and honesty where I knew I was good. It was then I told my parents. My mom ripped him a new one and the crap stopped.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:19 PM

24. Every single nun I had in school, many had to be prison matrons before they took their vows

 

beatings, torture (on knees holding bibles in out streached arms beaten with a stick if the arms fell to low) and verbal abuse was issued daily.

For example in sixth grand one day Sister Butkus grabbed my best friend with 1 hand by the collar at his throat and lifted him up with 1 hand about 3 feet straight up out of the desk, the kind with the tray on it you could only slide into from one side, and slammed him back down in the chair.

On the upside I was not molested by a priest!

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Response to stultusporcos (Reply #24)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:21 PM

26. Sister Butkus? Are you serious?

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Response to Archae (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:35 PM

33. Names were changed to protect the not so innocent

 

but their real names rank right up there with:
Sister Euphemia of the Five Wounds
Sister Inviolata of the Immaculate Conception

'We're all born sinful, except for Jesus who was perfect of course. And he was sent to save us. But how could he save us unless we're sinning? So we have to go on sinning in order to be saved and go to Heaven. That's how Christianity works. That's why it suits so many people. '

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:19 PM

25. Had an English teacher in High School.

She had been a teacher for years, was just about a fixture there.

Got "born again."

Kept trying to shove her fundy religion in class.

She really hated me, since I was an agnostic by then.

I would say "Show me" to her fundy announcements about prayer and creationism and such, and she'd just about turn purple.
(Okay, yes I did have fun doing that.)

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:28 PM

28. the professor who grabbed me by the shirt collar and throttled me.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:31 PM

30. My 2nd grade teacher bashed my head into the chalkboard

I was hurt fairly badly since I hit my head on the chalk ledge on the way down and again on the floor (remember this was 2nd grade).

She left after that school year and in 4th grade I had another teacher, on the first day of school, ask me if I was the one who got her friend fired.

Here is a link to a recent post I made because of a cartoon which reminded me of her.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2147868


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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:32 PM

31. College professor, head of the English Dept.

He was said to be brilliant, so I was looking forward to an interesting semester. First day of class, this dickhead looks at my long-haired self and launches into a rant about how Jethro Tull isn't poetry -- and keeps swinging his penetrating gaze back to me. It was childish and ludicrous. I didn't even bother telling him I didn't think Jethro Tull lyrics were poetry either...went straight to drop & add and never looked back.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:33 PM

32. I must say the best and fairest teacher was high school english teacher.

She let you know everything which could be on her test and if you spent a few moments in study they were easy to pass. She expected to know why you came to conclusions just in case you guessed right. She taught me to be positive and it has worked in my life. She is still teaching in private schools well into her 80's.

I know this post was about bad teachers but she the greatest, her students respect her.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:35 PM

34. 9th grade history teacher...

I didn't hate her. But, I did hate her approach to history. Especially when we got around to discussing World War 2. She insisted that the second bombing was just as justified as the first. I maintained that the first was debatable and the second was unjustified. We argued about that several times. OTOH it was the first time I spoke up in that class possibly any class so in that sense she inspired me to be very opinionated and to not be afraid to speak up.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:48 PM

36. I now feel sorry for the "worst" teachers I had.

My middle school history teacher and I did not get along. He was a very formal disciplinarian training us to be EXCEPTIONAL young MEN and WOMEN. I was a weird little feral child who didn't make eye contact, didn't like to be touched, had terrible handwriting, who frequently disrupted class saying inappropriate things.

This teacher's method was to take troublemakers outside and lecture them about how young men or women ought to behave. Then, in view of the class he would shake hands with the troublemaker, a firm handshake required of the young men, something more delicate for the ladies, and the student, having served their punishment, would quietly take their seat as class continued.

One day it was my turn to go outside. I wouldn't look at him and whatever he was lecturing me about I wasn't hearing. Then he said something about men looking one another in the eye. I didn't. Then he said "LOOK AT ME, MR. ------!!!" and he grabbed my shoulder. It freaked me out so I squirmed out of his grip and ran away, scaling the fence of the school and heading home. This was not the first time I'd done this sort of thing, but it was a first for him, probably in all his years teaching.

The school at this point was wary of calling my mom because she would come to school and cause more trouble than I did.

The next morning the school counselor called me into her office and we talked a bit and I went back to history class as if nothing had happened.

But after this the teacher always treated me like a "special needs kid," a kid he'd been forced to tolerate by administrators who didn't know anything. He didn't look at me, I didn't look at him, but he did stop taking points off my work for bad handwriting.

I was "asked" to leave college twice for weirder stuff than that but it wasn't because any professors or teaching assistants had bad attitudes. I had a younger professor in Ecology who'd get much too excited describing everything with calculus, even things that couldn't be realistically described with calculus. Fortunately (or not) his department chair straightened him out mid way through the term. That meant we spent the rest of the term catching up on statistics. Everyone in that class had a bad attitude by the final exam.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:03 PM

37. Two teachers come to mind...

One was my 6th grade English teacher, Mrs. Beams. A total bitch, in her 60's and constantly complained that her students of yesteryear were far better behaved then we were (1964). She took a special dislike to me and tried to humiliate me in front of class when I was called on. I complained to my Mom and to her credit, went to school to have a "talk" with the old battle axe. After that "talk", she never bothered me again.

In High School, an algebra teacher, Mr. Taray, a Hungarian refugee, had a tough time controlling the class. He spent more time screaming "I kill you" in a heavy Hungarian accent then actually teaching algebra. Needless to say, I failed and had to attend summer school. A total waste!

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:15 PM

38. One boring ass world history teacher I had

He could not stand teaching freshmen, and he made sure we knew it too. He preferred teaching US government to seniors and coaching the basketball team (the team sucked, BTW).

He just showed grainy old documentaries from the 70's most of the time; sometimes all five days a week.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:21 PM

39. my AP American History babysitter was a Bircher conspiracy theorist.

Imagine Glenn Beck "teaching" American History. With commentary from Rand Paul.


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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:38 AM

40. Its a tie.

A physics instructor, on the first day of class, told us he was at the university to do research, and was only teaching because his contract required it. He then underscored the point by scheduling 1 hour per week of office time for a class of 300+. He sucked.
Then there was a computer programming professor who was so busy running her consulting business on university time that she didn't show up to class half the time, and had no office hours. She sucked too.

Actually, many of my uni professors were pretty bad. Most of the lab instructors (grad students) were pretty good. I went to a year of JuCo and had a bunch of inspiring teachers who loved teaching...they weren't there for research or to get published. I would highly recommend JuCo before uni, especially if money is a concern.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 02:18 AM

42. 8th grade, an Irish nun.

She belittled people in class regularly. If one of your parents complained to her, she would stand you up in class the following day and tell the whole class about it and ask you what you wanted her to do. This woman never gave anyone positive feedback, but always gave negative. I saw her bring more than one child to tears and then ridicule them for crying. It was the 1950s, pre Vatican II, and I'm sure she had emotional problems that she thought could be resolved through prayer and adherence to "the rule." I support nuns now, but only because after Vatican II they made an effort to reform themselves.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:37 AM

43. As a Freshman in High School, I had a teacher so old and senile

She would actually forget that she was supposed to be teaching and wander off. Seriously. In hindsight it's kinda sad, but at the time I thought it was fantastic.

I had another teacher, I think I was in second or third grade, perhaps the most memorable teacher I ever had and one of the few I can still picture perfectly. This lady wore mirrored shades all the time, she carried a yardstick, and she was NEVER looking where her head was pointed. But you couldn't tell because of her shades. She was ancient as well, older than my parents at any rate, but she was QUICK to nail you with that yardstick if you weren't paying attention. Accurate as well! Great teacher by the way, but her methods probably wouldn't cut it these days.



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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 05:32 AM

44. The one that stands out above all other was my 1st grade teacher

She used to bang my head against the desk. May she rot in hell.

I've had a few others that were bad and quite a few good ones in:

K-12
undergraduate
graduate-masters
graduate-doctoral

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