Trying to avoid grading final exams? Slate offers a diversion with a feature called “What’s the worst thing a teacher ever said to you?”
The Slate writers had some pretty funny stories, usually involving teachers who were irritated about being corrected by their students, but the stories in the comments below are funnier. Check out the story of the kid who tried–and failed!–to convince his high school honors English teacher that Miguel Cervantes’s Don Quixote takes place in Spain instead of the Netherlands. (Because windmills–duh!) And the stories about not understanding a teacher’s thick Southern or New England accent are pretty funny too: what would you do if you were asked to lead your class “down yonder hill,” or if instructed to draw a picture of that cozy autumn ritual we know as a “barn fire?”
The worst thing I can remember was probably said by a student teacher in his late 20s who also volunteered to coach the debate team in my junior year of high school. At the time, in true debate nerd fashion, I wanted to be an attorney or a journalist. He informed me that I might one day rise to the ranks of the teevee newsreaders, “because you’ve got the look.” I know, I know–it’s not that bad, merely patronizing, sexist, and douchey. (I’m kind of envious of Chris Wade and his classmates in the last anecdote of the Slate story, who were told “Y’all are fuckin’ cocksuckers, get out of here” by their calculus teacher! Now that’s a lesson to remember.)
Do you have any bad teacher stories? Bring ‘em!