Two D's, a Creep, and an Alky: My Most Sucktastic Teachers

Ugh! It’s that time of year again. The smell of firework smoke has not even left the air yet, but there are rows and rows of school supplies in every store, even the grocery store. This time of year always takes me back to the anxiety I felt before school started. As a short, chubby, visibly frightened child going to ghetto-rific schools, I usually stood out. I hated the beginning of each school year, as I knew I would be picked on by a lot of my fellow students.

The only bright side of school was the teachers. Most of them were nice, and went out of their way to encourage me. They told me how intelligent I was, and that I could do great things if I put my mind to it. Most of them were like this. Most. I did have some pretty sucky teachers along the way, though.

When I started high school, I was so excited to take drama class. I had always wanted to act, and I thought I would finally get a chance to learn how. Everyone loved Mr. D, the drama teacher at my high school, but he didn’t love all of his students. On our first or second day in class, he announced that he hated preps, the kids I hung out with. He had his favorites who would hang out back stage with him while the rest of us sat in the auditorium drawing “flats” or doing other nonsense book work. The few times when we actually performed, he was gruff and not very encouraging. I left drama class never wanting to take drama again. I did learn something from Mr. D, though. Years later, when I became a teacher, I remembered to treat my students equally, and to try my best to never intimidate them.

As an English major, I took a lot of creative writing courses. I have always been a writer, from elementary school on. I loved the way writing allowed me to work through problems in life, or create a whole new fantasy world. I was thrilled to have author J.D. as a professor, until I learned he was a terrible teacher. J.D. liked to tell the class that if you didn’t write every day, you weren’t a real writer. He also told me I wasn’t that good and maybe I should consider another career. Just as with my drama teacher, I learned to NOT be like J.D. I guide and encourage my students rather than step on their fragile egos.

I had the creepiest math and science teacher during my two years at McNichol Middle. I have blocked his name out of my head, but I have his face permanently etched in my brain. He was bald with what seemed to be x-ray glasses by the way he seemed to look through girl’s clothes. He was my math teacher in 6th grade, and my science teacher in 7th grade, a particularly rough year for me. It was during science when he got really creepy. He sat me at my own special desk, away from the others, but close to him, and he sent me to get him coffee every day. It was like I was some kind of teacher’s pet/waitress combo. One day, I asked him if he could send someone else to get his coffee. He seemed irked by this. Soon after, my grades went down in science.

Seventh grade must have been the year for scary teachers. My drunk algebra teacher was Mrs. Hannigan scary. She had that same bristly red hair, and she smelled of cigarettes and liquor. I swear she must have had a flask in her desk. I cried more than a few times in her class that year. When I didn’t get a problem right, she would yell at me. Math has always been a foreign language to me. I tried to understand all of the formulas with letters, but they made my head hurt. Just when I thought I finally understood, Mrs. Hannigan would cackle and tell me I was wrong. I ended up failing math that year.

We love you Mrs. Hannigan! Not.
We love you Mrs. Hannigan! Not.

Well, thanks for listening. I haven’t thought about those teachers in a while. I hope I don’t have nightmares about them tonight. So, what about you? What crappy teachers have you known? Have your kids had any disturbing teachers? Do share; just avoid using real names to avoid lawsuits and such.

Disclaimer: I have also had some AWESOME teachers.  Like this one:


20 thoughts on “Two D's, a Creep, and an Alky: My Most Sucktastic Teachers

  1. That is sad but true! Also guess which grade my oldest just for through??? Seven! Grade seven sucked massively! Her teacher was not good. She made my dd feel like crap all year due to her anxiety. Dd said I felt like she hated me all year. Last night she woke up and said to me I dreamt I had miss h again and she tried to strangle me. I found that teacher to be really poor and stuck in the mindset that each kid should be working completely independently. My dd is not there yet. She needs a lot of help getting organized because she is so anxious in school. Bad teachers need to pick a different job!

    1. Exactly! Pick another job, mean people! This goes double for angry pediatric nurses. I hope 8th grade is better for your daughter. I changed schools in 8th grade and life got MUCH better.

      1. Yep, I wanted to be a prep more than anything. I never quite made it. My friends were real preps though, so that was cool.

    1. AWW! That does suck. I hate it when they make the coach teach. My biology teacher was the JV Football coach. I hated bio, so I guess it was kind of good that he just gave us all of the answers.

  2. Crappy teachers are the worst. They can completely ruin a subject for you. I had a math teacher who loved to call us “morons” and “nitwits.” I wasn’t a big math fan.

    P.S. I’m glad you didn’t listen to J.D.

    1. Me, too. It took me like 15 years to start really writing again. Whenever I see his books, I want to spit on them.

  3. This is WHY I became a teacher – I kick ass and love my job but I do work with d-bags who have basically stated that they will die in the hallway before retiring because they KNOW how much people hate them. I also remember a very creepy tech ed teacher in my freshman year of school who would help out the girls by pulling a Swayze ala “Ghost” clay scene move. It sucks donkey dung to be associated or grouped with some of those whack jobs…

  4. I am so sorry that you were made to feel bad, but happy that you turned it around and became a better teacher than any of them because you taught your students the best lesson of all – respect for others. CHEERS to that!

  5. Sucky teachers? yep, I had ’em. The first two were Mr. Snyder and Mr. Hanson, both from 4th grade. They were bullies and they both used corporal punishment. It was still allowed back in the olden days when I was in elementary school.

    Mr. Snyder in 6th grade, and Mrs. Abrahams in 12th (AP English). Both were just mean people and Mrs. A. would give the 4.0GPA students a B in her class just to mess up their GPA’s. Yes, she did.

    But the worst teacher of all that I ever had was Mr. Emerson who was the band director in high school. He was a mean muthatfucker who loved to bully and make fun of every student who not a music major or taking private lessons outside of school. I quit band after my junior year because I just couldn’t stand the idea of spending my senior year hating two classes a day that he required we take (concert and marching band). You couldn’t be in one unless you were in the other. When I read that he had finally died last year I was happy.

    1. Patty, it sounds like you have a bad teacher blogging you girl. You better write it now. I know all about corporal punishment. I got spanked in seventh grade by my assistant principal for being two minutes late back from lunch. I had to go to the bathroom.

  6. I sometimes wonder why some people became teachers – they seem to hate it so much. Maybe they were idealistic early on and have just burned out. My sister is a principal (and a teacher for a long time before that) and I know she had to deal with a lot of crap – unreasonable parents, entitled and violent children, and a school district that did not seem to value or support its teachers. I imagine it is rough. However, bad teachers can so screw up a child’s life – and a good teacher can change a child’s viewpoint forever. I still have such warm feelings for the good teachers in my life. I have a feeling you’re one of those 🙂

    1. Jana, having been a public school teacher, I can tell you that it is super tough. The administration that I worked with was very unsupportive, and there was no money for anything, not even classroom supplies. I ended up teaching at the private school my son attended at the time, and then teaching online college courses. I’ve been doing that for 10 years now. I always try my best to be encouraging and to let all students know they CAN do it.
      Thanks for your vote of confidence. 🙂

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