Everybody has a breaking point. If you have to deal with difficult people at your job, you know just how difficult it can be to keep your cool when they’re being especially difficult.
But teachers have it way worse.
Not only do they have to deal with the normal frustrations of work, they also have to deal with pain-in-the-butt students.
In a recent AskReddit thread, teachers came forward to share the ways they’ve gotten revenge on problem children. Their stories are too amazing not to share.
When I was teaching, a disruptive kid got his PSP out during class one day. I naturally confiscated it until the end of class. Then he did it again. And again.
During this semester, the kid had several written reprimands and was on thin ice with his parents. Around the 5th-6th time he did it, I told him I was forced to write him up for it. He begged me not to. So I didn’t, and I took the PSP home and played Lego Batman that night. And the next night. I kept it for a week, I think. He never took it out in class again… –LWZRGHT
No s’mores for you!
Moved up a fun (and tasty) lab 3 minutes after I booted my worst ever student. He missed S’mores stoichiometry in Chemistry. Tough luck, Jesse. –AlteregoCate59
Enabling at its finest.
I once caught a student turning in essays I knew her mother was writing… and then her mother blatantly plagiarized an essay.
As an opportunity to make up the assignment for a 50 percent grade, the student (i.e., her mother) had to write a 10-page essay with 15 academic sources (the original was a 3-page essay with 3 sources). I knew the mother would slave away at the thing, and she did. I can’t stand parents like her. –WonderCounselor
Now there’s proof.
I videotaped a student and played it for the kid’s mom because she didn’t want to believe her child was the problem. –estrogyn
This next teacher dealt with a whiny student in the best way possible…
The perfect response.
My teacher had a pretty funny reaction for one of my classmates in middle school. She would not stop whining and it was starting to get really annoying. The teacher casually went over to his desk, said he had something for her, and flung a tiny object right into her lap. It was a baby’s pacifier. The whole class lost it and fortunately, she took it pretty well. The whining eased up for a while after that. –queenofthegrapefruit
You missed out.
This kid was/is a sociopath. Would purposefully do things to hurt other kids emotionally. Lied constantly, including to his mother in front of my face and when called out on it, the mom laughed. She always defends his sh*ttiness. He even accused my amazingly patient, super sweet friend of slamming him against a wall the year she had him.
Anyway, in 17 years of teaching, he is the only child I have even remotely come close to hating. After several months of his awfulness, I started waiting for days he was absent to do extra special lessons and activities that were extremely fun, just so he’d miss out on them. Then when he came in the next day, I’d have the kids write in their journals what they learned about and what they enjoyed about the activity just so he would know he missed it. –quickwitqueen
This will teach them!
I didn’t mind the student but his parent wouldn’t return some forms I needed signed. It was his IEP which was made at THEIR request, so the fact that they wouldn’t sign and return it so he could receive the services THEY were convinced he needed, drove me mad.
Now, someone had donated some kazoos to be given as treasure box prizes; which I had laughed at and put away. However, I decided this kid deserved to have a kazoo. I put yet another reminder slip in his homework folder and sent him home with the kazoo (with full permission to tell his parents exactly who he had gotten it from).
The IEP was returned signed the next day. –emera_leigh
The silent treatment.
I have been teaching is Asia for awhile now. This was during my 3 years in South Korea. I had this class of 3 middle school boys. It was one of my favorite classes, but they could be little sh*theads sometimes. One day they wouldn’t listen or work, they kept speaking Korean (not allowed in my class) and one kept throwing eraser bits at my face.
So with 15 minutes left, I gave them the silent treatment. I just opened my schedule and made random notes. At first, they just started drawing on the board and having fun, but soon they were scared and tried to get my attention. When the bell rang I grabbed my stuff and left.
The next time I taught them I walked into class and they had written “Sorry Teacher!” On the whiteboard and were all bowing to me. It was adorable and I miss that class. –Rabiwimps
Had a kid steal my pen once. Kids at my grade level don’t use pens yet, and the pen was the exact same brand, style, and color that I always use (I teach in a small school and no other teacher uses that exact pen). The kid said that he “found it in the hallway.” He knew that I couldn’t prove that he stole it, so I just ignored him and went on with the lesson.
Fast forward 10-15 minutes and I hear a shout from him. He had been chewing on the pen and it leaked all into his mouth. He then tries to wipe it out using his (brand new) shirt. Shirt gets completely ruined. I couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation.
His sister is a year younger than him and couldn’t wait to tell me the next day that the boy got his rear end tore up for ruining his new shirt. For the next month or so, whenever he didn’t have a pencil, I would offer to let him use one of my pens. He never took me up on the offer. –Honkey_McCracker
This next teacher’s petty revenge made me laugh out loud…
What a power move.
I crop dust obnoxious students while I’m walking around the room and lecturing.
It’s all about boundaries.
I reminded my students several times, each semester, and put it in the syllabus – you can email me 24/7, but I will only respond between the hours of 7:30 AM and 10 PM. You need to work on things in advance. If you email me at 10:15 PM and expect an answer on the thing that’s due tomorrow at 7:45 AM, it sucks to be you, since your lack of planning is not my emergency.
Every damn semester I’d have a handful of idjits that would throw fits and repeatedly email me after my cutoff hour (as in, WHY AREN’T YOU ANSWERING ME?!?? YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO ANSWER EMAILS type of responses). Every damn time. So for any email that I got after 10 PM, the question that got asked would get read out loud (with no names) in the next class period, which was often after the assignment was due, to get answered by the rest of the class. After a few times of hearing their classmates ask why the question was even asked, the impatient students in question would usually get the hint. –feykitty
Fool me once…
Mom was a history teacher.
Get a new student mid-year from Mexico named Alberto. Tried giving him schoolwork assignments, call on him, he always replied “No se.” which means “I don’t know” in Spanish.
Frustrated by weeks of this, my mom vents to other teachers on her team about how the kid could possibly get a grade if he can’t speak English, and they are all stunned. “Uh, Mrs.XXX, Alberto speaks English. He’s been fooling you.”
Embarrassed she gives him an assignment the next day and he pulls the same stunt, “No se”. She takes a giant red marker and draws a huge F on his paper that takes up the whole page. Looks him in the eye and says, “Do you comprende now?”
Rest of the year he was an A student in there. –Americasycho
An offer they couldn’t refuse.
I once told a group of high school kids that if they stopped coming to class I would pass them. These kids, about five of them, did nothing all year and made teaching this class impossible. They would play music and have conversations throughout the whole class period. Calls home, referrals to the dean, failing grades did nothing to change their behavior. It was about 2 weeks before they took me up on my offer and they missed the last 5 weeks of class. I still failed those f**kers. –yummygummytummy
Eh. Close enough.
I gave him the extra point to pass.
Otherwise, he’d have been back in my class the next year. –RosaPalms
This next teacher may have taken things a bit too far (but the kid totally deserved it)…
You get what you deserve.
I had a piece of sh*t student who made fun of the disabled kid in class, stole from people, and just generally made the school experience harder for all her classmates. Her parents didn’t help, the principal got sick of her, and it was elementary school so there wasn’t much else available.
So I gave her the broken candy cane for the Christmas cards our class makes every year. And the lopsided Valentine cookie. And the squished milk carton for our marigold project.
All year. She always got the crumpled, broken, worst option.
Petty, unprofessional, but boy did it feel good at the time. –NotAnotherWhatever
Tough luck at the treasure box.
I’m big in rewarding the positive behavior and good grades in my class. I for sure don’t believe in rewarding the misbehaved students just because they were good for 5 minutes.
I use class dollars and a treasure box. A’s get $20, Bs’ get $10, and 75-79 get $5. After a test, I’ll hand out the money and one day a week, I’ll call kids to do treasure box. Treasure box is $20.
I have 1 student who is such a pain but will magically be an angel once he sees something he wants from the treasure box. Kids know I only call the quiet students who have been doing their work all day to go first. I heard him talking about this one item he really wanted. I purposely called him last so that item was taken. Felt good. –laemeu
Two can play at that game.
Recently, one of our students was throwing a big tantrum (on the floor, kicking, screaming, biting, spitting, you name it) so after over an hour of it, I finally said,”That’s how you think we act in the classroom? Fine. I get to act that way too.”
Before the student could respond, I dropped to the floor and started kicking and screaming. It stopped their tantrum, and I didn’t have any issues with them the rest of the day. –TaxationIsMemes
“Settle down, Francis.”
I taught middle school for 7 years and dealing with 8th graders can be a bit trying. I had this one male student who whined about everything. Every assignment, project, lecture involved some level of whining from this particular kid. He was a good-looking football jock who was just lazy when it came to academics. At some point while he was being particularly annoying, I looked at him and said “Settle down, Francis” (not his real name and if you’ve ever seen the movie Stripes you’ll recognize the line). It was immediately obvious that the name bugged the crap out of him.
From that moment forward I started calling him Francis on a daily basis just to irritate him and he hated the name. I told my wife about it who was his math teacher at the time and she started calling him Francis as well. Soon all of his peers at school started addressing by Francis as well. I got such joy hearing people walking down the hall yell out “Hey Francis!” and seeing the irritated look on his face every time he heard the name. –dilscallion
Calculator? What calculator?
Kid’s mother asked if I would help him after school and possibly pass the class. So I did for the last 3 weeks of the semester. The kid seemed all right but come final exam day he barely tries on the exam and turns it in early and tries to talk to other students while tests were still out. I tell him to quiet down, and he mouths off. I call him out and he keeps mouthing off. School ends, I tell him to get out, then I grade his test, which he failed on his own.
I call his mother and let her know of the grade and the incident. She drives him back to the school to apologize. I noticed he left his calculator there so I brought it to the office for the apology. He refused to apologize, so I just kept it in my pocket and told them I hadn’t seen it. Good luck passing summer school without it a**hole. –iforgetredditpsswords
Know any teachers? Share this list with them to give them some ideas for how to deal with their trouble students!