Public School Horror Stories

Just like “Texas” and “the USA” are (at least roughly) the same country. If the teacher though that GB and England were two separate, independent sovereign states, then he or she was wrong but in my experience this kind of confusion is not at all uncommon among Americans. And double that for Holland and the Netherlands.

This seems to me to be very bad practice, but quite common. I’ve heard teachers say things like, “I wouldn’t give Shakespeare an A” when asked why a particular piece was only given an A- or something similar.

“Adam Smith” not good enought for you? Do you talk about “Mr Milton Freidman”, “Mr Charles Darwin” or “Mr Tupac Shakur”? I’d have deducted marks for unwarranted peculiar use of “Mr”. It’s not wrong, just weird. And very vaguely creepy …

I don’t know if this qualifies…

but Lord help you if you ever had to take a crap at the public school I went too. The stall would be banged on by 5 or more kids. Invariably the door would be kicked in on the crapee. Water was thrown over the stall onto the victim. Giant spitballs would be formed out of armloads of paper-towels, wet down in the sink and then thrown onto the ceiling above the poor crapee. The spitball would stick to the ceiling and begin to drip water onto the head of the victim. Eventually the ball would fall from the ceiling and land on the sucker’s head. Guys would stick their heads under the stall doors and laugh.

How anybody managed to get their business done is beyond me.

I suggest you do a search in the Pit for bands and other school-related stuff. I had a few posts in there and I’ve gotten riled-up enough about the stuff today and yesterday that I’d prefer not to shart shaking and imagining people being castrated.

Ugh. Suffice to say I did not like school before I got to college.

This was a thread I started last year. It was before the board converted to the present format, so the coding may be sortof screwy. But maybe you can find some nuggets in there that you can use.

I had a teacher in the fifth grade who was a total nutcase. She drank vodka with her coffee everyday and didn’t even bother hiding the empty bottles. She was always generally weird, but when I had her for health class, she brought in a real skeleton to demonstrate the human skeletal system to the students. I’m all for kids learning this stuff, but the skeleton that she had was really old, moldy and rotting and was in a coffin. She even propped up the head of the coffin with old textbooks so that it was kind of like a mini funeral. This was the most disgusting thing I have ever seen in my life and the stench from it was unbearable. She ended up getting fired for it cause evidently, she didn’t get permission from the school’s principal who agreed that 11 and 12 year olds shouldn’t be subjected to that sort of thing.

I had a journalism teacher in my freshman year of high school who developed an adversarial relationship with me.

He would make fun of me and bait me to respond. The coupe de grace was when he told my entire class that I was born out of wedlock. He was a thorough rat bastard and the students were too afraid to say anything about it, so I couldn’t prove it.

Maybe I lucked out… public school wasn’t perfect, but my one year of private school was hell.

Yes, some of my teachers were horrible - but for the most part, they either helped me, or at least didn’t get in the way of education. I actually learned things. I wasn’t always intellectually stimulated and challenged, but that wasn’t because they stopped it from happening.

I spent one year in middle school at what was supposedly one of the best private schools in the state. One teacher per grade, or about 20 something students. The small teacher/student ratio was wasted on her. She couldn’t be bothered to actually come up with more than one lesson plan, so she taught to the lowest level in the class. I was assigned work that I had done three years earlier. Being a pack rat from a very young age, I actually had the papers from three years earlier and brought them in. I also had the work I’d done the previous year, brought that in, and asked if there was some way that I could work on my own. My complaints were met with “Of course not.” or “Well, some people are still having trouble, so we’ll stay here, and review is good for you.” Eventually (knowing that I’d ace the tests anyway) I stopped doing any work at all so that I could either be left alone, or get sent to the library where I could stay for hours until I felt I needed to make an appearance in class again.

At the end of the year, there was a mutual decision that this was not the best environment for me.


Oh, that’s the best part! I told the principal, who told the teacher, who came to me and warned me not to go over his head again!

That seems to sum up the English teacher I had for the second half of my freshman year of high school. Dr. Sharp, one of the few teachers in my public school who actually had a doctorate, was quite possibly the worst teacher I ever had. She spoke with an inner-city Detroit accent that she’d never quite been able to shake, which was fine until she started butchering the names of the characters in Romeo and Juliet. Instead of “Montague,” it was “Montygoo.” “Tybalt” turned into something that was pronounced similarly to the kickboxing exercise video series created by Billy Blanks.

But the absolute worst was the test. Huge, 150-point midterm. A week before the test she passed out a bunch of handouts and said “remember what’s on these.” It was basically a bunch of random trivial facts about Shakespeare and the Globe theater. We all studied them, but we mainly spent time on the significance of the play. It was, after all, an advanced course.

The day of the test arrived. Around lunch, I started hearing rumors from her morning class that it was brutal. I looked over the handouts one more time just in case. When I got there and opened the test, I found something that absolutely astounded me. The questions on the test were ALL fill-in-the-blanks from the handouts, using the exact wording that were on those sheets full of useless trivia. Here are two questions, verbatim, that were on that test:

  1. Shakespeare was buried in a ______ _________ tomb.
  2. The Globe Theater has ____ doors.

The answers were “ornate marble” and “three,” respectively. I know a kid who put “elaborate marble” on the first one, and she counted it WRONG. I wouldn’t have believed him had I not seen his test with my own two eyes.

This woman has her head so far up her ass that she can use her esophagus as a periscope and look out her mouth. I can’t even explain how many levels of wrongness that test managed to reach. I learned absolutely NO useful information from her class–and I’m graduating with an English degree, so this is stuff I usually LIKE.

Last I heard, she was still teaching there, almost 10 years later. Three cheers for tenure.

Ugh…talk about shitty, matt. You know, that pisses me off, since I used to be an education major, and I despise BULLYING. I also hate teachers who abuse their position.

My sister had a teacher at private school who was burned out and never taught-just had them read everything on their own. A parent called the principal to complain, and the principal told the teacher-not telling who called. The teacher went off on the class, yelling at them for saying he didn’t teach and how ungrateful they were.
My mom wanted to call, but was afraid that the teacher would take it out on my sister-who had about two months left there, anyways.

I have ADHD, and I remember our principal, a nun, who, while very nice, told the kids not to pick on me because I was “special” and “had problems.” The fuck? All she did was make me look like a freak. So they made fun of me and called me a retard. THen, when my aunt died, she told me that now I had someone else to pray to. Fuck you.

I am in complete awe over the number of people who responded to my post. I really appreciate it.

I just want to make one thing clear: I do not hate public schools, or public school teachers for that matter. I have been taught by quite a few teachers who are great at what they do. I have even had a few teachers who I can honestly say have completely changed the way I view life. I am forever grateful to these people.

What I find so appalling about our current education system is that children can go through 12 years of schooling and come out not really “knowing” anything. Sure, they can regurgitate facts and figures, but, in many cases, they don’t understand what they are saying. Thanks in part to a handful of truly amazing teachers, I have, in part, escaped this fate.

“Certification” states simply that a person knows the subject matter that they wish to teach. It doesn’t measure their ability to reach out to a student and help them to understand what they are learning.

I guess I’m just echoing Tamex’s feelings that “Facts memorized and regurgitated are “more important” in many cases than teachers “getting through” to students”.

Charter schools, in my opinion, provide students with teachers who may not be “certified” in the technical sense, but who are certified in the sense that they know how to truly teach.

Until we as a nation begin to accept that standardized tests are not an adequate measure of a student’s intelligence, the school system as a whole is doomed to producing unthinking robots capable only of repeating back what is taught to them as being true.

What is scary to me is the number of kids that come out of highschool who can’t read, do simple math or have any idea that they are responsible for any of the things that they do. Okay, okay, that last one was out of line but :::; sheesh ::::: A system that just passes them along and doesn’t even make gymnist or football players out of them, or assembly line robots, something… That system is not good IMO. Do I have a solution, yeah, but it entails personal responsibility, punishment and reward, money, and effort. So, it will never be even considered. The lazy shiftless do nothing crowd are already old enough to vote, the politicians know them well and cater to them so we fight ignorance here, so what, how manny are willing to put up more than a few words on a computer.