Everyone knows that, throughout your academic career, you have teachers that range from inspiring and enlightening to downright abysmal. But educators both good and bad can be a little kooky and unusual in their methods, and it's not necessarily a negative thing. However, sometimes these eccentric teachers step just a little too far outside their bounds and end up getting hammered down on by the administration, who typically don't take kindly to erratic behavior.
Whether it's a physics teacher who performs wild, pyrotechnic demonstrations, or a Spanish instructor who harbors a fugitive relative and ultimately gets arrested, it's certain that their students will never forget them. Here are some of Reddit users' strangest, most riotous stories about what "that one teacher" did to get fired. Content edited for clarity.
"I had a teacher who kept a personal/private journal on a section of the public school network that was accessible to everyone, students included. He was not aware it was on the public section. It was discovered by a student one morning and pretty much the entire student body had read it by the end of the day.
I never read it because it wasn't my business, but from what I heard from others, it described his carnal conquests with different women and mentioned that he had contemplated suicide. He was gone by the end of the day and never returned.
He was definitely a little strange and tried a little too hard to be friends with the students, but everyone liked him and it sucked that his career ended that way. I think the contents of the journal just gave off the impression that he was just a little mentally unhinged. Also, I had completely forgotten about him until a couple of years ago when I got a Snapchat video from a childhood friend of that teacher sitting in his apartment smoking weed with him."
"He had an affair with a student beginning when she was in 8th grade up until after she graduated high school. Everyone was always suspicious because he gave her credit cards, hung out with her alone in his room all the time, and other stuff like that.
In the meantime, he began dating a fellow teacher, they got married, and had two kids. People only found out because the godfather of their kids (also a teacher) got wasted at a party and blurted out that the former student's boyfriend had confided in him a few weeks earlier about discovering the whole thing.
It turned out that the wife knew and she perjured herself in his court case by covering for him. Both of them got fired. I'm glad because they were both jerks way before their lives turned into the plot of a Lifetime movie.
Oh yeah, it was also supposedly discovered around the same time that the principal had been participating in a cyber chat room with a bunch of students as well talking about all sorts of inappropriate topics. I'm not sure if that was ever proved or just got covered up, but he disappeared mid-year so it was pretty fishy."
"My high school physics teacher had a small, makeshift 'canon' made out of PVC pipe that he used to demonstrate various things in the class. Basically, he would wad up some paper towels, douse them with lighter fluid, cram them in the canon, and light it off. Since he did this inside and didn't want to set the school on fire, he did the sensible thing and had a student hold a metal bucket to catch the flaming projectile.
Shockingly, he did this demonstration for years, reliably hit the bucket, and didn't have any issues...until the year before I got there and he ever so slightly set a student on fire. Apparently, he missed the bucket and hit the student in the chest, causing him to be just a little bit on fire until the flames were patted out.
The student went home with a scorched shirt, his parents flipped their wigs, and the teacher came very close to being fired, but instead was expressly forbidden from doing any demonstration of anything whatsoever.
My luck turned around during my graduating year when he decided he'd had enough bullcrap and proceeded to show us every demonstration he was otherwise banned from doing, including the cannon. It was his last day, but it was a fun one."
"It was his first year at our school and he was a total jerk. For one, Mr. Jerk constantly talked about much better his daughter's high school was and how if our parents cared about us, they would send us there. He really wanted to work at her school, so he didn't care about ours or his job.
Then one day a student's parents called Mr. Jerk to complain about some grading issue, and the next day he called that student out by name to the whole class and talked about how his parents were whiny and annoying to complain about such a 'trivial issue.'
Later that day, some friend and I went to the principal to talk about what'd happened. I guess Mr. Jerk found out about our conversation and a few days later, he RAGED at our class, screaming, yelling, and throwing things at us. He got dragged out by the police that day."
"A teacher at my school went through a criminal investigation for something the cops found on his computer and he never told the school board the details. Afterward, he had to register as an offender, though he also never told the school, and since we were aching for athletic personnel, no one asked. In addition, this teacher had tenure.
It wasn't until he came in visibly wasted one day that the school dismissed him. By that time several complaints had been filed about lewd comments he'd made toward the 6-8th grade females in the school.
After firing him, a police officer came by to inform us that a week prior he had been charged for inappropriate child material and was a registered diddler. The school got a LOT of flak for employing him."
"When I was in middle school, there was a teacher who manned detention, Mr. C. He wasn't really...okay in the head, but everyone loved him regardless. After school, I was in an extra help class, which was just a handful of kids doing work and goofing around.
There was this one table with this girl, let's call her Sally. One day Mr. C came into the classroom to bring us our usual snacks like Goldfish, Teddy Grahams, what have you, and Sally was standing at her desk leaned over on her elbows to talk to her friend.
Mr. C came up behind her and, well, he did a little 'dance' against her back, basically grinding on her. Lo and behold, the next day charges were pressed, and Mr. C was fired and put on a 'list.'"
"The Teacher of the Year my senior year (which for some reason they awarded in September) was fired by April for being wasted in pretty much every class, dipping chew in class, and having his students write his lesson plans for him. He always had a brew in his travel mug. I hated to see him go, though, because he was the coolest teacher at that school.
A couple years after I graduated, the new assistant band director was fired for sleeping with a senior. Actually, he was arrested in the middle of filling out his resignation, so they had to fire him to complete the process. What baffled me is when he was student-teaching, he got a girl at that school pregnant and then while he was working at my school, he was always texting the junior and senior girls trying to get them to come over to his house, and nobody saw that as a red flag."
"Her name was Ms. B and she was in her mid-thirties with mousy brown hair and the biggest, kindest personality. She moved to my small town the summer before my senior year and got a job as the Spanish teacher at my little high school. She was from Kentucky, which is several states away from us, and her family still lived there. She used to let me drive to get fast food breakfast during first period as long as I picked up something for her. Also she didn't mind me taking smoke breaks as long as I didn't snitch when she lit up in the stairwell. She was awesome.
I had her first semester for Spanish 2 (which I aced) and second semester for Spanish 3. Mid-semester, she came to class a little late one morning and told us about the quandary she was in. Her uncle had escaped federal custody in Kentucky and then fled. He wound up at her house, where she took him in. 'He's family,' she said. Then the police came to her house asking about him, and she denied everything.
They left but continued to monitor her and her place for a bit. They deduced her uncle's whereabouts and contacted her again, letting her know that harboring a fugitive is a serious offense. Again, she denied everything. They left and let the warrant machine starts turning. Then she came to school to find Deputy US Marshals in the administrative office. She knew what was up and came to class to brief us, even asking if we had any questions. God, she was cool.
A few minutes later, our principal (accompanied by our friendly school resource officer) knocked on the door and asked to speak with her for a moment, adding that she should grab her purse. Through tears, she told us goodbye, said that she'd enjoyed being our teacher, and wished us luck in life.
That was the last we saw of her. A friend said he saw her being escorted out in handcuffs. Her house was vacant the next day, her car gone. We were forbidden to discuss anything she'd shared with us in class, which meant that everyone knew about it immediately. We had a substitute for the rest of the year.
I also did a little Internet sleuthing to see whatever happened to her, and it's not good. It looks like she didn't do much time for the harboring charge; however, that set her on an ugly road. About ten years later, she was arrested on charges of organized crime, substance distribution, and conspiracy. It makes me so sad because she was such a sweet woman."
"I had a teacher get fired from my middle school when I was in 8th grade and then he got a job at my high school and was fired my senior year. When I was in 8th grade, he taught Spanish and got fired for telling a girl that if she ate M&M's, it would give her mammary cancer, plus giving another girl (who must have been about 11) roses on her birthday, and kissing her on the cheek.
Fast forward to my senior year of high school, he walks in one day as a substitute teacher for my physics class. All he was supposed to do was give out a worksheet and make sure we worked on it.
He didn't even mention the worksheet, and instead gave us a long lecture about how 9/11 was an inside job because jet fuel can't melt steel beams, how Ebola was population control, and how the government was out to get us."
"'That one teacher' was Mr. M. He was our sixth-grade science teacher and everyone loved him. He was a firm but fair teacher that made sure we all understood the material and even made learning sixth-grade science material surprisingly enjoyable. Every Friday, he'd wear silly bright red shoes, and for birthdays, he would take a photo with the birthday kid with him standing on his head on their desk. As I said, this guy was great!
During one lesson when I was in eighth grade, a student dropped a thermometer on the floor, broke it, and spilled a very tiny amount of mercury on the floor. Mr. M cleaned it up, but apparently not the right way, according to the administration. Once they caught wind of the story, he was forced to leave for apparently putting kids in danger, even though that amount of mercury would not have been even close to dangerous. Everyone was crushed and a bunch of students all banded together to buy him a new pair of red shoes.
Last I heard from him, he got a great job in another school in the state where he's also loved by the students, so that's good. I'm friends with him on Facebook, so I might hit him up soon and ask how he's been."
"The following exchange occurred between my high school algebra teacher and a super dumb girl who was late to class one day.
Him: (Calmly) 'Why are you late?'
Her: 'I had stuff to do.'
Him: 'Did this stuff include your homework?'
Him: 'Why don't you just leave?'
Her: 'Like your wife left you?'
Collective exhale/gasp from the class
Him: Approaches her desk 'My wife is terminally ill, I will ask that you leave this classroom and tell you never to mention my wife again.'
Her: 'Or what?'
Him: (Still calm) 'Or I'll smack some sense into you and then kick you out of my class.'
Her: 'Yeah right, you need this low paying job to take care of your wife.'
I saw the fuse burn and the switch go off before he reached back and slapped the ever living crap out of this stupid girl, straight out of her chair. He then picked her up by her belt loops and dragged her out of the room.
He was fired and the girl's family tried to sue, but the whole community rallied around him and shunned her family. His wife died about six months later and over 1,000 people showed up to the funeral. I'm not saying he was right, but he wasn't wrong, either."
"I had an awesome math teacher in eighth grade. He was quite a big guy and brutally honest, but he'd tell us fun stories of his youth after a test or tedious assignment in order to calm us down.
One kid, however, was never calm. Peter always had to be the center of attention, boasting about his skills and achievements. This day, he was bragging about how he had so easily achieved his recent black belt in martial arts.
This got our teacher into a story about how he too had achieved his black belt sometime during his late teens. Before he could finish his tale, Peter stood on top of his chair and abruptly said, 'I bet I'm better than you!' Our teacher gave a somewhat sympathetic laugh and attempted to finish what he was saying, only to be rudely interrupted again.
Peter was at our teacher's desk now, challenging him 'a blackbelt duel' (kid was a Yugioh fanatic). Again, our teacher laughed before telling him no, and to sit down. Peter refused and got into a fighting stance.
With a dry smile on his face, our teacher stood up. Peter prepared to do one of those high kicks, only to have his leg held in the air by our teacher. The thing is, Peter was an idiot and attempted to kick with the other leg. He was entirely afloat for one short moment before his second leg was held in place. With both legs off the ground, his top half slammed onto the floor, with his shoulder and head hitting the radiator behind him.
Like a toddler, Peter began wailing. He roared obscenities and vowed that his parents would sue. Despite the fact that our teacher didn't hit Peter and merely acted in a defensive manner, he was fired, though as far as I know he was never sued. A couple of months later, Peter moved to another school and we were stuck with a number of substitute teachers until the end of the year. It just wasn't the same."
"My entire school found out that a teacher slept with a student after the girl commented on a Facebook post of the teacher's wife. The wife liked all stuff vegan/healthy and she liked some post about 'healthy tomatoes with no chemicals and where to buy them.'
The girl commented, 'I bet you are a freaking vegan,' and that's how the great Facebook war between them started. A while after that, the wife found tickets for a plane to Ireland. Apparently, the teacher planned to flee with this girl and leave everything behind. Obviously, he was fired.
That teacher is now divorced. We don't know what he's up to, but the girl is depressive/addicted to substances ('I thought he loved me') and the ex-wife continues to like vegan potatoes on Facebook."
"Our new 7th grade French teacher broke down in front of the entire class. First she started crying about the hair extensions she lied to us about. A week earlier she had told us it was for fun, but it was actually because her hair was falling out.
She sat at her desk and cried about the really bad acid rain she was caught in years earlier. She then started blaming the people she was traveling with for not warning her, claiming that they had to walk through the acid rain for an hour.
In between sobs, she would keep asking us things like, 'What would you do if there was acid rain around here? What would you do if you lost all your hair?' She wouldn't stop crying and it made the entire class feel quite uncomfortable. Nobody moved or said anything. We just blankly stared at our desks or the French posters for about twenty minutes. A few days later, she was gone and the school replaced her with a crazy cat lady."
"I once had a teacher who was a huge witch the whole year, checking the pencil cases of only foreign-born kids during exams, marking guys worse than girls because 'all of the guys are lazy,' giving one student straight 100s while nobody else could get an A, and encouraging students to run across the street after the lights had started counting down.
However, the last straw was when she got angry at a student with a limp for not walking fast enough. When the student tried to explain the limp, she persisted that it was all in his head and that he was faking it to spite her."
"My preschool teacher was fired several years after I was there. She was a royal witch, the definition of one. I remember when I was there, she would humiliate a student if they got the answer to a question wrong.
If you had to think a long time to answer, she would go, 'You're in La-La Land today!' I brought my stuffed animal cat to school one day and she announced to the class, 'Look, (my name) brought his kitty to class, he's in La-La Land today!' and encouraged the other kids to laugh at me. Then once during nap time a kid got in trouble for peeing on the floor, so she made him sleep outside. How could someone be so cruel to cute little kids?"