Teachers are supposed to be the people who educate the next generation. They're the ones who build students up, not tear them down. Apparently, these teachers did not get that memo!
Former students on Reddit share the pettiest thing a teacher ever did to them. Content has been edited for clarity.
No Reading Allowed
“I got in trouble in 6th grade for reading during homeroom. Homeroom was like a random 30-minute period to work on homework, but I always did my homework the night before so I would just quietly read. For some reason, my homeroom teacher hated it.
One day, she just yelled at me for always reading in her class and told me to do my homework. I told her all of my homework was done. She told me to prove it so I showed her all of my completed homework. Then she confiscated my book and sent me to the principal’s office for being disrespectful.
I’m still salty about it.”
“Still Don’t Understand Why It Happened”
“A math teacher handed back our tests in class. They were graded and marked and all that. She was going over some of the questions that most people got wrong (myself included). So, I was writing down some notes on my test so I could reference it later and remind myself why I got things wrong and what I was supposed to do.
She ripped my test away from me and started screaming at me that cheating is absolutely not allowed and that I should be ashamed of myself. Confused and in shock, I started choking up and tried to explain that I was just trying to take notes. One of the most humiliating times of my childhood (around 13 years old), and I still don’t understand why it happened.”
This Teacher Encouraged The Bullying
“My sixth-grade teacher didn’t like me. I had transferred into her class when my teacher was needed elsewhere, and this teacher was resentful. She was going to have the class read The Hobbit (long, long before any movies). I was excited. I had ready read it and the other books the year before.
She called me a liar in front of the whole class, then went on a tirade about how kids like me were terrible and thought we were better. I was a quiet, shy girl, and cried. She mocked that too. The rest of the year was a nightmare; she let her pets (officers’ kids, it was a school near a Navy base) bully me. I was never good enough. She couldn’t fail me because I excelled at bookwork, but she picked on me at every turn. Trash human.”
“He Was Adamant I Couldn’t Make Up The Test”
“I missed a math test because I was in the hospital one year. I had documentation and showed the teacher, but he was adamant that I couldn’t make up the test. He kept saying it was fine because he dropped the lowest score for everyone anyway. I wanted to take the test because I had studied and wanted my lowest score at the time (a 78) dropped.
I asked to make it up after school – still a no. I took it to the guidance counselor and explained my situation and they made the teacher give me the test. It’s important to note that I had printed out my previous assignment grades to show to everyone when pleading my case.
Finally, I took the test and got an A-. When I looked at my assignment grades and noticed my homework score, which was 100% turned in assignments before I went over the teacher’s head, was now at 50%. Had to go to guidance again with both screenshots in order to get him to fix my grade back.”
They Could Never Do Anything Right
“I had a teacher who was obsessed with my handwriting. I’m dyspraxic and until I was about 10, my handwriting looked like that of a six-year-old. In that year of school, we had to earn the right to graduate from writing in pencil to working with a pen by improving our handwriting. She told me to write smaller, so I wrote smaller. She told me to write more even letters, so I wrote more evenly. It took too long because it took real effort to do it. So I had to go faster, which made my handwriting untidy again. My finger joints also bend backward, so it was a real struggle to hold a pencil. My mom got me some special pencil holders for hypermobile fingers to make it less painful, but she took them from me and threw them away. Now my writing was too small, so I wrote larger. Rinse and repeat. I was the last in my class to get a pen, and only a week before the school year was up. She made it clear that it was because I ran out of time not because I ‘deserved’ it.
My handwriting actually improved a lot over the year, but I was disqualified because it took too much effort. So, it was clear I wasn’t practicing enough at home. Around this time, I was incredibly depressed and stressed for unrelated reasons and struggling to keep my temper. So in a very uncharacteristic move, I asked what it was she wanted from me because nothing I did was right, in front of the whole class.
She replied, ‘Nothing. I know wanting better from you would be a waste of time.’
She was like this the whole year at any opportunity she got. Another example was how I needed to wear dark glasses when looking at the whiteboard and the projector because it gave me migraines. She tried repeatedly to take them off me until I suggested I bring a copy of the note from my optician to the headmaster. She refused to let me use left-handed scissors the school provided for each classroom, giving them instead to right-handed kids who just liked that they had different colored handles.
To this day I am not sure what it was I ever did to make her hate me so much! I was always polite, worked hard, and got good grades. I was a bit disorganized and forgot my homework a few times but that’s hardly a reason to behave this way to a child.”
“The Whole Class Was Staring”
“Had a teacher who absolutely hated me for no reason in grade five or six tell me I couldn’t go to the bathroom during a test because another person was in the bathroom. I decided it wasn’t a big deal, so I waited and went when they returned.
I had to poop so I guess I was in there a while. Just as I was exiting the stall to wash my hands, she opened the door and scolded me because she thought I was just loitering in the bathroom. She proceeded to practically drag me back into class by my arm.
Of course, the whole class was staring at me.”
She Should Not Be A Teacher
“I had a creative writing teacher in high school who for what ever reason hated me. One time, she accused me of plagiarizing a paper I’d written on the grounds that I used words she didn’t think a high school girl would know.
Being poor, I always had to handwrite my papers and bring them to school to type because we didn’t have a computer. So I showed her my handwritten copy. End of story right? Nope. She just knew I plagiarized it. No proof but she was sticking to her word
‘This is utter nonsense,’ I said in frustration.
‘It really shows that you don’t have a mother,’ she smugly replied.
I’d had enough so I got up and left. She followed me out and started attacking the way I looked and dressed. I went to the principal’s office who is a friend of my dad’s in tears. He’d know me since I was a kid and knew I didn’t cry. Her story was that I was swearing at her and she kicked me out of class.
I went home and a friend stopped by. She told me that the teacher had been talking trash about me during play practice. She’d recorded it. My dad finally got me to tell him what had happened, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so mad. He called the principal and set up a meeting with the principal and teacher.
Went to the meeting. The teacher came in denying everything, and my dad just told her to shut up. He played the video for them to hear. Then told her that they established that she was a liar. Long story slightly longer, I ended up finishing out the year with the principa; teaching the class for me.
As a grown-up woman, I just can’t imagine letting a teenage girl get under my skin to the point that I’d give a thought about her as soon as she was out of my sight.”
“She Purposely Lost Part Of My Project”
“My seventh-grade English teacher didn’t like me for a few reasons. I had undiagnosed ADD, so I’d mess with paperclips or whatever while she was talking, giving my hands something to do while I listen. She’d get so mad when I could answer all her questions. She hated that I looked like I wasn’t paying attention. She was one of two teachers I had that had daughters in cheerleading, and neither of them liked kids that weren’t popular enough.
She purposely lost one part of my big end of semester project/presentation; it was something like an outline that we turned in, got back graded to use for the project, and were expected to turn in with the final piece. So she docked me for not having it at the end. Since I didn’t have it, she wouldn’t give me the extra credit for making a visual aid for my talk.
The other cheerleader mom teacher was for the life skills class. The class was all cheerleaders besides a disabled girl and myself, so we stuck together. When we raised our hands for help, the teacher would flat out ignore us until the last five minutes of class. By then, it would be way too late to actually get anything done. Instead, she’d hang around chatting with the other kids since they all knew each other.”
It Was An Accident!
“I was rushing out of the bathroom in third grade, and accidentally stepped on a teacher’s toe on my way out. I quickly apologized and went on my little way. I had completely forgotten about it when, once I got back to class, that same teacher was there with my teacher.
She told my teacher that I had stomped on her toe while running out of the bathroom, and didn’t apologize. I tried to explain that, I wasn’t running, didn’t stomp, and that I DID apologize. Nobody believed me, not even my parents.
That woman wound up being my fourth-grade teacher, and she hated my guts the entire time.”
“I Never Found Out His Name”
“In middle school, I was in the hallway during class. I was an office aide and had a free pass to be in the halls for deliveries. I was casually kicking this pen cap that was on the floor on my way back from a delivery. This teacher comes over and berates me for a few minutes about kicking the pen cap, about how disrespectful it was, and about how I had no pride in my school or keeping it clean; mostly, he just wanted to scream.
I bent down very, very slowly without breaking eye contact, picked up the pen cap, then said, ‘I picked it up.’
He flew into an even bigger rage. He was screaming, telling me I was never going to amount to anything and demanded my hall pass. I showed him my office aide badge and for some reason, that was the final straw.
‘You are an office aide, this is not the pride that an office aide should have!’ he screamed, emphasizing my title as if I had failed the nation.
He took me back to the office, screaming the entire way, and parked me in front of the receptionist, who was my supervisor during office aide hours.
‘Tell her what you did!’ he said.
‘Uh, I kicked a pen cap,’ I said.
‘I mean the whole thing!’ he said, face red, veins popping from his forehead.
‘That’s the only thing that happened,’ I said.
He seemed to realize that now he was in the presence of a fellow adult and couldn’t keep screaming as he had been. The tiny fraction of his personality that was capable of self-analysis and shame surged just enough to get himself under control. He muttered some things about my terrible attitude and left. I never had him as a teacher, I never knew what his name was or what he taught, and only saw him once more when he came into the office at the end of the semester.
He spotted me, and smugly asked, ‘I hope your attitude has improved since the last time I saw you!’
I rolled my eyes and gave an insincere, ‘Yep, sure has, thanks for turning my life around.’
He made some more hurtful comments about how I was never going to amount to anything and left. I never found out his name, but I wonder how sad his personal life must have been. How little control must you have in your life, if you take a job in a middle school just so you can power trip on children?”
Getting Detention For No Reason
“When I was in seventh grade, I had a teacher who hated me. He always picked on me because I was a little slower at getting math equations and the like than the rest of the class. He sent me to remedial class after school (it’s for special educational needs children) even though I was never special needs. I was just a very literal thinker who used to question why certain things had to be done in a certain way.
I was once late handing in my homework project by 10 minutes because the teacher wasn’t there at the time. I was on time, but he was late and he gave me three months of detention. Every lunchtime, I had to write lines. If I didn’t finish before lunch was over, I didn’t eat.
I told my mum obviously and she said to just deal with it pretty much as we were emigrating to the UK later that school year anyway. I never finished my detention as we left the country, so forget that guy.”
“The Look On Her Face Was Priceless”
“When I was a kid, I probably had undiagnosed ADD. When the teachers would tell us to do things, I would forget about them by the time I got home. Usually, this involved having my mother sign some assignments. I got all A’s and B’s, so it’s not like I was trying to hide my grades.
One day I forgot, and my 5th-grade teacher told me I had to go home, get the paper signed, and bring it back before she left for the day. It was raining cats and dogs outside and was close enough to winter to already be dark. To top it all off, I had to walk home.
As it turned out, my mother was outside waiting in the car for us to get out, so I had her sign the paper and took it to my teacher before the buses even left.
Looking back, the look on her face was priceless.
A few days later, I went to her desk to ask her a question and she ignored me. After I finally gave up and sat down, she said, ‘Since you ignore me, I’m going to ignore you.’
I had no idea what she was talking about.”
He Got Her Back In The End
“I was easily the best student in my class in high school, especially when it came to math, physics, chemistry, and the like. I was one of the fortunate ones to whom that stuff came very easily. However, I was pretty shy and didn’t really participate in class, I just aced every test.
My classmates obviously knew I was great at these subjects, so they’d often come to me for help instead of going to the teacher. Most teachers did not care about this, they were just happy the students were learning. However, but there was this one horrible teacher. For some reason, she hated it when I did this. She taught geometry, one of my best subjects. She came determined one day to expose me apparently, and she drew a very convoluted problem on the board and gave us five minutes to solve for some angle.
It was the kind of problem that would take me 20 minutes at the very least, and that the rest of the class would probably find it impossible to get through. Yet as soon as the five minutes were up, she ordered me to get up on the board and solve it for the class.
I asked for a little more time, but she insisted I got up so we could ‘do it together.’ I didn’t really have a choice, so I stood up, and walked towards the board. I suffered silently for a few moments trying to think of how to approach the problem until she finally relented and gave me pointers on how to solve it.
After I did (under her instruction), she sent me back to my seat and told the class that if they have any questions, they should be coming to her. I obviously got furious and was on the verge of tears for the rest of the class.
I got her back later that same month though; she had parked her car in a bit of hidden space, so I peed on her door handle. Which I guess is even pettier than what she did to me, but forget her.”
“Something Out Of Lord Of The Flies”
“This teacher got into an argument with my friend in high school and my friend ended up just leaving. The next day, that teacher made it the day’s ‘lesson’ to look up every piece of personal information possible about my friend online. This teacher said she did it to teach them about ‘internet safety.’
She weaponized 30 people to dox a student she had an argument with. They found out her full name, where she lives, and other personal information. They were shouting it around the classroom.
It was like something out of Lord of the Flies.
Luckily, my friend wasn’t there for that ‘class.'”
They Got Used To It After Awhile
“When I was four, I would be the first to finish school dinners at my nursery maybe five or six minutes before everyone else. So in theory, I would have been the first person to go out to the playground to play when everyone was finished. I would sit quietly until the teachers unlocked the playground door, and all the kids were assembled.
The petty thing: the teacher would point at each kid at random to allow them to go out to play. Guess who she would pick last? Yep, that’s right, me. No matter how well I behaved or sat up straight waiting, she would always pick me last. Ultimately, that meant that all the best toys and bikes were taken.
It happened so often that I just didn’t care anymore. I would finish first as usual, and just sat quietly ignoring everyone until everyone shuffled out before I made my way out to the playground.”
“That Woman Did Not Belong With Children”
“I was a very good student. I loved school, loved to read, and was always well-behaved in class. Basically, I was a teacher’s dream and I only got positive reports from my teachers from nursery school through first grade. Enter ‘Miss B,’ my 2nd-grade teacher. I didn’t like her from the start – something just seemed ‘off’ about her. Nonetheless, I was still a good student, did my work, and didn’t cause trouble. It was a Catholic school, very strict, so you did what you were told no matter what.
So, imagine my surprise when my mom comes home after teacher conferences in November. She says that she wanted to talk to me about a bad report she got from Miss B. I looked at her in total shock because I couldn’t imagine what the report would be about. My mom said that Miss B told her I was ‘conceited, told all the other kids that I was the smartest in the class, wouldn’t help other children, was standoffish, put myself above others, and was a snob.’
I was horrified and started to cry. I had done NONE of those things and never behaved that way. Conversely, I was quite friendly with the whole class (only 18 kids) and wouldn’t DREAM of bragging in the way she described. I told my mom that, and while I do feel she believed me, she did admonish me a bit saying, ‘Well, Miss B must have had a reason for saying those things, so watch your behavior.’
Well, I didn’t really like Miss B before this, but this incident really cemented it.
There were two other girls in class who were also very good students – ‘Marisa,’ and ‘Julie.’ When I went in the next day, long story short, I found out that Marisa’s and Julie’s parents got the same report from Miss B. She also said that they were conceited braggarts who thought they were above everyone else. Again, NOT at all true, they were both very sweet girls, well-behaved and excellent students.
I told my mom this and she spoke to the other moms involved (small school – everyone knew each other). They collectively decided that Miss B was full of it and should just be ignored. One of the other moms went to the principal to relay what happened. I don’t know what was said or what happened, but Miss B ended up finishing out the year (she was new to the school that year) and did not return. I don’t know if it was voluntary or not, but that woman did not belong working with children (there were some other, more minor, incidents that happened during the balance of the year that showed this clearly). I think, at the end of the day, this grown woman was threatened by little girls whom she perceived to be more intelligent than she was or she was just crazy, could be either…
To this day, I can’t believe a teacher would tell bald-faced lies to multiple parents.”
Yeah, That Was Pretty Mean
“When I finished first grade, my English teacher gave every kid a special paper medal award, except me.
‘Not for you, you don’t deserve it because you don’t behave well,’ she said to me in front of the class.
Indeed, I used to be a very mischievous and playful child, but my grades were always among the best in class.
I don’t resent that teacher, but I guess it was really mean how she humiliated and excluded me in front of the whole class just because I was a ‘difficult’ kid.”