My teacher got fired...

…and I only just realised.

When I was eight, my form teacher was scary. I mean… scary. Really, really scary. She shouted very, very loudly and at the time I was afraid of loud noises.

She was the most inconsistent teacher I’ve ever known. She used to yell at us for not spacing our work out properly, and then she used to yell at us for wasting paper by leaving lines between questions. Once, I misunderstood her instructions and did one less page of maths questions than I should have, and while I didn’t exactly enjoy the tongue-lashing that followed, I do understand why I was being yelled at. But soon after, a friend of mine misunderstood the instructions, too, and did an extra page by accident. She yelled at my friend the way she yelled at me, and I thought it was strange at the time, although I never said a thing because I was so scared of her.

One day, she got so angry, she threw a book at a girl and hit her on the forehead.

The next week, she didn’t come into school for a couple of days. We were all relieved at the few days’ respite. After another week, we got another teacher teaching us, who wasn’t nearly so scary. We were told our original teacher was ill and wouldn’t be coming into school any more.

I was thinking about this just now… and it just dawned on me that it wasn’t as it seemed at the time - she was fired. She must have been, right? Have I have drawn the correct conclusion?

To clarify details… I was eight at the time and I went to an independent all-girls school.

Ah, the moment of revelation after all these years…

Sounds like it to me.

I can’t help but wonder why a person like that becomes a teacher - especially of little kids.

I’d say that she was either fired or placed on a leave of obsence so that she could get some mental health help. She may have had the wrong temperament for teaching, or she may have just been having an emotional crisis which caused her to mistreat the students at that time.

Well, when I was in the 8th grade, the assistant headmaster/head of geography department at my all-male boarding school was hastily booted for being a total pedophile. The sad thing was, all of us guys had known for a long time, we used to joke about, but people who could do anything about it always assumed we were exaggerating, as boys of that age have a tendency to do.

Finally a parent got word and believed, and made a call to the headmaster, saying that if he wasn’t fired by the next day, the police would be called to investigate (the students all knew, as this parent did, that he had a basement wallpapered with photos of his students over the years in compromised positions). The headmaster took a look for himself and sent the guy on his way. Officially we were told that he had some family issue to deal with and had taken his leave, but the level of disgust was so high that even certain teachers didn’t have it in them to defend him. Wonder what happened to him?


I had an English teacher like the OP once. Irrational rages, inconsistant instructions. He could be great one day, and then totally psycho the next. The first five minutes of every lesson had everyone on tenderhooks trying to gauge which mood he was in that day. It was not pleasant if anyone misjudged.

Anyway, he vanished for six months. Gossip had it he’d just gone through a divorce and had a nervous breakdown. Hindsight also has me realising that drink probably played a part.

Teachers are just people too and teaching can be stressful. I never had him as a teacher again, but I hope he fully recovered. He was a great teacher on his good days.

I was in 11th or 12th grade (I forget now, it was almost 20 years ago), I took a beginner Chemistry class. The regular teacher was kind of a hardass, but inside a nice guy, who gave us large candy canes just before X Mas break. One could say Mr. C was a nice SOB.

On occasion, people would come in who thought that they might want to teach. We got this 30ish dude named Mr. Slovak. Now Slovak was a total SOB and insane. You would yell at the students for minor things and threatened us with suspensions from school (this guy wasn’t even a teacher, and even a tenured teacher does not have this power.) He got very angry when he stated that light traveled at 186,000 miles per MINUTE, and a 10th grader corrected him by saying PER SECOND. Another kid asked him when he was leaving (because he was mean and insane), Slovak threatened the kid with expulsion.

To end the story, Slovak worked for a cosmetics company. For a lab assignment, we were told to make either hand lotion or cold cream. I didn’t know then what you did with cold cream, but whatever…

We had this class towards the end of the day, and when we were filing into lab, Slovak was tirading and screaming telling us to sit down, and shut up. His face was red with rage (did someone blow up the face lotion?) and threatened to expell everyone.

One day Mr. C came in and announced to us that Slovak was gone forever. Gone was the angry, cosmetics making Nazi with an anger condition. We applauded for a good five minutes. Slovak today is either dead, in prison, on medication, or in Saddam Hussain’s inner circle.


I never had a teacher fired on me, but I did have a 9th grade science teacher who won the lottery and never showed up again. The sad part is, he was one of the few junior high teachers I actually liked. Can’t say I blame him for not coming back, though.

Loneraven, it does seem likely that you’ve figured out what really happened; it seems to make sense. But I wonder why they kept the truth from you as a kid? I mean, it seems like it wouldn’t hurt to have told the children, “What your teacher did, throwing that book, was wrong, and she won’t be back.” Doesn’t seem like it would be traumatic for the children, and would help them to learn that we’re all responsible for our actions. Over-protective administration, I suppose.

Over here, we’ve had a substitute who in the two times he’s been in my class, he’s gotten into arguments over stuff with students. The second time was over the length of a shirt on a girl, the shirt was not covering her entire stomach, but just about all of it (but an inch or so).

He’s been ‘unrecommended’ from subbing Math and History by the two reg. teachers due to complaints.

I think I got the school nurse fired. I’m not sure it was just me, but when I got out of the hospital, she was gone…

Kid, the Elder had a genuine psycho for Grade Eight Infotech, just a couple of years ago. She got into a major situation with another teacher. Apparently she thought the woman was spying on her etc. In retaliation, she set three fires, during school hours. One at the teachers desk, one in the staffroom and one, I think, in a classroom. The last fire made quite a mess of one wing of the school. Turned out she was bi-polar and off her meds. She ended up serving a form of house arrest at her parents home and getting help. Too bad - she was only in her twenties and Kid, the Elder quite liked her. I hope she has a good life from here on.

I had a few that should have been fired. As a child, with ADD back before it was called that, I had this dried up old bitch of a teacher that would always pick one kid each year to make fun of in front of the class. I was that kid. I loved to read, and I always carried 6 or 7 library books. She decided that I shouldnt read, and yelled at me to bring my book up to her desk. I did so, sat down, and got out another book. A few minutes later, she yelled at me again(all the other kids were reading, BTW), I brought her the book. It took four times before she finally told me to bring her all my books.

So, as punishment for…Well, I still dont know what for, she put me in a remedial reading class. I was bored to tears(for a kid with ADD, thats a fate worse than death). So, my mom, who was teacher herself and therefore NEVER questioned another teachers judgement, went up to the school and asked the principal about it. He look at the testing I had done which showed I was reading at a junior in high school level in elementary school. The next day the teacher starts yelling at me to get my things, and get out of her class. She turns to the rest of the class and tells them that I am not good enogh to be in her class so I have to leave. Reality was that the I had been transfered to another class at the administrations insistance and life got a lot better after that.

When I was in high school (private) my favorite teacher was a man I’ll call “Mr. Smith.” He was a * wonderful * teacher: patient, kind, helpful, funny, understanding and a great speaker. All of the kids wanted to work hard just to make him proud of them. Never sparing with praise, firm, but fair, we all loved Mr. Smith.

Then he fell ill. His attendance was spotty at first, and then he came back full time, a completely changed man with a hair-trigger temper. He was downright mean. It was his medication that was causing the personality changes, but, of course, we didn’t know that at first. (Eventually, he managed to get a different medication, and was back to his old jovial self.)

My point is that sometimes great teachers face circumstances which make them into bad ones. Kids might not understand the reasons why, and might just think that the teacher is just a mean person. Of course, some are, but others do have reasons for their behavior, and probably hate what they’re doing, yet find that they can’t help it.

I had a gym teacher that was a sadistic jock-lover. In Jr. High, I was a pudgy little bookworm, who would bring a book and read when it was our day to do the mile, walking the whole way.

He hated this, and he hated me.

He was generous enough to grace me with a few different nicknames… Charlie Brown was first, followed by Numb Nuts, and then the one that stuck for the rest of Jr. High… SuperNerd.

One day I snapped, yelled at him and when he yelled back I gave him the finger and walked away. He grabbed me and subjected me to a 15 minute tirade about respect.

About 2 years after I left for High School, he was on a lader retreiving a ball and fell off the gym. He landed half on concrete, half on the lawn. I understand he broke his back, although not badly enough to paralyze him.

Too bad. It couldn’t have happened to a better person.

In my 11th grade English class–our teacher for the first couple months was, even on first impression, a very troubled woman. She was always very lethargic–with lazy, tired movements whenever she would manage to move around the classroom, she usually stayed at her desk. She also had terrible mood swings–getting worked up over the smallest things and being quick to anger.

After the first couple of months–one day, she just disappeared. Without a moment’s notice. We were actually all trapped outside the locked classroom wondering what was up, and eventually one of the vice principals came in and sat in for her for the hour–saying that she was ‘ill’ and that we were to have a sub for the rest of the year starting the next day.

Nobody ever told us what really happened to her. There was a rumor that floated around very quickly about her having a nervous breakdown and running away, but you know how high school students are–there was probably any number of things that coulda happened to her.

I had moved onto junior high and my younger sister had one of the same teachers I’d had in elementary school. Between the time I left and my sister started in her class, the woman had completely disintergrated. She’d leave the classroom unattended for most of the class. She’d accept homework assignments and never return them graded. This was so different from what I’d had with her, which was a structured, disciplined class with no tolerance for troublemakers and high expectations for the students.

Turns out, this married teacher was carrying on an affair with the married principal. They ended up divorcing their respective spouses and marrying each other, but I don’t think their careers were helped by this scandal in such a small town, and I don’t think the marriage survived.

I told this in another thread, but here it is again:

In high school (11th grade, I think) I had an art teacher that had a reputation of being tough, but good. As an arty kid, I was looking forward to a more challenging art class. I was already bored with the beginner-level art classes that were so common in my school.

But this woman was a bitch to me. She singled me out. I couldn’t get away with getting out of my seat to pick up my dropped pencil—she yelled at me to stay in my seat. I couldn’t talk to a fellow classmate about the art project (even though others all around me were talking up a storm). She’d yell at me to be quiet.

During the class critiques (where she’d critique everyone’s art in front of the whole class) she was very unkind about my work. She basically tried to humilate me in front of the class, as the other kids giggled. My artwork was certainly no worse (often better) than everyone else’s, but I always got mediocre grades, no matter what. Other students got good grades, so it wasn’t as if she was a tough grader to others. Just me. I usually got Cs and nothing better. Her reasons for not liking my work made no sense—she never gave any real coherent reason.

I don’t know what set her off, but it certainly wasn’t my attitude—I came into the class with eager anticpation, and certainly didn’t have a “smarty-pants” attitude. I was pretty humble and very well-behaved. But I could do nothing right. No art project I did, no matter how hard I worked on it, was good enough. Looking back on the whole thing, I really should have given up and done truly mediocre work. I can’t imagine how it would have made any difference. I was destined to get mediocre grades no matter what. My only suspicion as to what set her off about me was that since I was the “talented” kid (brought my sketchbook with me everywhere, had a reputation as the “artistic kid”) that she wanted to put me down a peg or two. (As if I needed that. I got all of that at home!)

Anyway, suddenly she wasn’t there anymore. I got a new art teacher, and all of a sudden my grades skyrocketed. Imagine that! I heard through the grapevine that this bitchy art teacher actually had a brain tumor. Don’t know if that’s true, but it would explain her odd behavior. I hope she was OK, and went back to behaving “normal”.

Oh, I can see it from the administration’s point of view – telling the kids the truth has the potential to open a whole can o’ worms. Sadly, once kids realize that teachers can be fired for their behavior in the classroom, there are bound to be a few who would either try to provoke the next teacher into behaving inappropriately, or make up stories about her in an attempt to get her removed.

It’s just this kind of situation that got my husband a job.

Four years ago, DeathLlama’s then-roommate was teaching English at a public junior high school. One day he comes home to ask DeathLlama to go on a walk and talk with him. :confused: So, DeathLlama goes…and hears this story. The school’s music teacher had wigged out and just up and quit. She didn’t tell anyone–she just left a letter of resignation on the desk in her classroom. No sub had been called, no warning–just, GONE. Apparently, it’d been coming; some of the students later told me that she yelled at them a lot, and then would hobble into her office (which is attached to the main music room, so kids could see her) and sob.

DL’s roommate was basically asking if he was interested in a job. At the time, hubby was just doing temp work at an insurance company. But–his bachelor’s degree is in music, with dual emphases in theory and education, and thus…he had a job. He walked into what has to be one of the worst teaching situations possible: middle of the year, junior high, music, after another teacher had created a class discipline disaster, with no experience teaching (although his best friend, mom, mom-in-law-to-be, and then-girlfriend were all teachers, sohe had resources)…it was awful.

Four years later, he actually likes it…and is just a few weeks away from finishing his teaching credential. His junior high choir is the largest in the district, and his guitar classes are wildly popular. Go hubby! :slight_smile:

I had a teacher who was a (n Australian rules) fooball player. He gambled on games with students for non-trivial sums, and was fired when he tried to collect. He’s now one of the game’s top administrators.

Merchant Taylors’ perhaps?

I suppose we all had a few bad experiences at school – some people are just not cut out for such a demanding job as teaching.

My primary school was a lovely place, but we once had a Technology teacher in high school who had arrived straight from the Army (so you’d have to assume he was used to a special kind of disciplinary environment). He used to boast about his judo expertise, parachute drops etc. and he used to shout a lot if he didn’t get what he wanted first time. On one occasion he grabbed a kid by the throat for not having his homework ready to hand in, and a couple of other boys had to separate them. We never saw him again after that day and apparently it had been firmly suggested that teaching was not for him.

Isn’t it supposed to be gym teachers that are the nut cases?

When my daughter was ready to start school, we spent a good deal of time trying to decide between public and private school. Neighbors sang the praises of the kindergarten teacher in the public school, and since private school would have been just slightly out of our reach financially, we decided on the public school, at least for that first year.

On the first day of kindergarten, we discovered that the much-praised kindergarten teacher had been “promoted” and would now be teaching fifth grade. We were disappointed, having heard SO many good things about her, but at that point all we could do was accept the decision. The new kindergarten teacher was a lovely, nice lady and our daughter adored her, so it worked out well anyhow.

Meanwhile, in the fifth grade… the teacher sailed along, although several students and parents complained that she was a little harsh. The principal took this to mean that she expected a level of discipline the kids weren’t used to, and didn’t pursue this in any depth. Then one day, a flock of fifth-grade parents showed up in the principal’s office. Seems this teacher had mailed notes, addressed to her students at their homes. The notes said things along the lines of, “You are the most stupid child I have ever encountered in 30 years of teaching” and “you smell so badly that you stink up my class” and “you don’t DESERVE a teacher as good as I am” and so on…each letter individually written and each one nasty.

The next day, the fifth-graders came to school to find a brand-new teacher. And no one to this day knows exactly what happened to the letter-writing teacher.