Get Rid Of Bad Teachers

In a stack of papers called Reform.

  • Apr
  • 01
  • 2006

Teachers know who the bad teachers are. So do students. So do administrators. So do parents. So do union officials.

But year after year, those bad teachers remain in the classroom. Teachers, students, administrators, parents, and union officials moan the same complaints and hold the same wishes of retirement. The bad teacher is still there and nothing changes.

The other teachers on campus ignore the bad teachers or, worse yet, turn a smiling face to them just to “be nice.” Those bad teachers, more often than not, feel no pressure from their colleagues to improve. Peer review is not within the job description of teachers and union contracts often state that such review is not allowed.

Students have little recourse other than to complain. They visit counselors, other teachers, and ultimately their parents to tell of the teaching atrocities. But students, themselves, can actually do very little to change their course assignments. Instead, they suffer through bad instruction for an entire year.

The tenure system puts in place a complex process for removing teachers from the classroom, but one missed step and the process starts all over again. Administrators don’t want to begin the giant load of paperwork that’s required to document offenses and build a case for the bad teacher’s dismissal. It’s much easier to trade bad teachers out to other campuses like Go Fish! cards and this happens on a far too regular basis.

Parents, no doubt struck by the complaints of their children, regularly feel they have no power to remedy the situation. Those that do take it upon themselves to deal with that bad teacher typically transfer their children out of the bad teacher’s class instead of taking the teacher or administration or district to task for allowing such miserable instruction.

Unions regularly fight for bad teachers because the power of unions is based upon equal treatment for all. Unions encourage mediocrity by fighting to keep bad teachers in the classroom just as often as good ones; being in a union means that everyone is treated the same, regardless of effort and regardless of quality.

So how do we get rid of bad teachers?

182 comments

1. Ben says:

[4/2/2006 - 5:38 am]

You won’t get rid of bad teachers until performance reviews are tied to the renewal of the teacher’s contract, but that won’t happen until the ability to dismiss teachers based solely on performance reviews over a given period of time is written into contract negotiations. The process of removing a bad teacher would be incredibly easier in that an initial complaint by a student or parent would automatically trigger a review of the teacher’s most recent performance evaluations (details don’t have to be shared, just the overall level of competency as observed by the administrator).

If it’s found to be exemplary then perhaps a conference with all parties might be in order to determine the problem, but if the review sheds some doubts as to the effectiveness of the teacher, a series of perhaps 3 or 4 reviews over the course of a few months would be warranted. At the end of that time if the teacher hasn’t shown significant improvement or genuine efforts to improve, the renewal of the teacher’s contract could then be determined solely by the administrator. Of course, this could lead to teachers being dismissed that are having “difficult” years (we all have them), or a series of unfortunate reviews among several weeks of solid teaching. To prevent this an administrator might be given the opportunity to provide manditory focused professional development for that teacher over the summer and/or coming school year. If no noticeable improvement is documented during monthly or weekly reviews then the teacher would automatically have his or her contract terminated at the end of the following year.

I know that seems like quite a lengthy process, but I think one would be needed in order to meet any demands by union officials as well as give the teacher in question enough time and opportunity to make genuine changes in his or her teaching.

2. Bob Lavin says:

[4/7/2006 - 9:30 am]

Here’s how you deal with bad teachers: First you let the students know where to form the gauntlet. Then the largest male in the school grabs the bad teacher by the collar and drags his/her sorry butt through the gauntlet of jeering students and tosses them outside of the school. Because this person is a “bad” teacher they will probably be too stupid to find a lawyer much less follow up with a successful lawsuit. Problem solved.

3. Todd says:

[4/7/2006 - 10:27 am]

Most of the bad teachers I know are actually quite adept at manipulating the system, probably more so than the good teachers. Afterall, those bad teachers must be doing something with their time and it ain’t teaching, grading, or thinking about how to improve.

The gauntlet idea has potential, though…

4. Gaber Hassan says:

[4/19/2006 - 1:37 am]

To lessen the number of bad teachers there sholud be training courses for them and they ahve to present lesson nad get into classrooms during that training period. If the teacher proves he is fit for the job he can be recruited for a probatioary period. during bthat period h recives directions from supervisors and pays visits to more experienced teachers.there must be at least four reviews and then if he turns out to be a bad taechers the administrator can terminate him

5. Abby says:

[4/23/2006 - 8:02 am]

Gaber obviously had a few bad teachers, with no less than NINE typos in one paragraph, not to mention ignorant gender classification, which is just laughable. I’m not the slightest bit PC and don’t mind reading articles referring to football players or coal miners as “he” but for goodness sakes, half the teachers in the damn country are female.

6. merri says:

[4/28/2006 - 5:06 am]

Tenure should be limited to a predetermined length of time. A 3 year or 5 year contract. The administration can choose not to renew based on a review similar to Ben’s suggestions.
Another problem here in CT is the school’s obligation to offer coaching positions to teachers over qualified men and women from outside the union system. What has grown over time at the local high school is an overwhelming mediocrity and incompetance that has resulted in a demoralized, frustrated student-athlete. This isn’t about just winning and losing-it’s about the pursuit of excellence. Something that the bad teacher/coach doesn’t understand-never did, never will.

7. Annonymous to protect the innocent says:

[5/10/2006 - 1:33 pm]

Doe’s this make a bad teacher?

I’m a 43 year old ex video game designer and programmer. I’ve gone back to school to get back into programming and get the degree that I was to busy to get when I was writing games in the 80’s.

Asked a simple question about Pascal that we were supposed to be studying and she was teaching and was told…“I only remember anything about the last language I learnt.

I have spoken to another student who commented that he felt that she was ‘picking on him’.

To another student who asked if he could have his first term assignments back (during the third term) was told “I don’t have time to mark them”. THis has been said to atleast two students. We need the assignments for another part of our course.

On the first day of term this teacher “Made and example” of me but lambasting me for seven minutes for not apologising to her for being late infront of my fellow students. She then has proceeded to be late for almost every lesson since. the latest excuse was that she was arranging her insurance for her car.

She frequently accuses me of being rude to her when I havn’t even said anything, although her attitude has spiked me recently.

This week she arrived the customary 10 minutes late to class, then spent20 minute showing off photos to the class of her new car. Apparently its one of only 20 in the country and the only one which is cream coloured.

I was shouted at because I used a phone in the classroom. She was going to get some books from the library and I thought she had left the room.So she wasnt actually teaching

I used the phone because my data stick was faulty and the program that I had been working on for that lesson was at home. I needed to contact home to get the program sent to me.

She shouted at me at close range saying “Would you mind complying with the college requirements and not use your phone in class. This was said in such a haughty and raised voice that the whole group was made unequivocally aware of the comment. Also she put emphasis used to make it obviously interpreted to sound demeaning.

The nature and tone of this attack was specifically designed to attract the other students attention to cause maximum embarrassment.

I said under my breath “I don’t believe this (I’m 43 not 12) and she started accusing me of always being rude to her, (she heard me mutter to myself). I was so flabberghasted at the ferocity of the comments that I didnt actually say anything after that. But I took the opportunity to leave the class when she was gone and didnt return.

The other students and tutors are afraid or dont want to to get involved, after all she marks the students papers!
She was heard to say, that I have “got it in for her” in the staffroom. This is a refernce to a questionaire about teacher ability which was given to us. It was sposed to be annonymous. I answered it honestly, but it’s either not annonymous or she has assumed that I marked her down (Actually it wasnt me it was another student). After I left the class other students said that she commented that “She doesnt have a problem with any other students”.

That’s not acurrate since atleast one student has suffered a similar amount of aggrovation and the whole class complains about her lateness lack of marking papers and lack of actual computer knowlege. |Finally to rub salt into the wound she appears to take delight in freqently telling anti-male sexist jokes.

The upshot of all this is that I’m now thinking of ditching this degree course. It will mean the waste of a year of study, but I will have to put up with her for another 2 years. Based on your comments even if I did persue this officially it wouldnt get anywhere.

I dont know who to turn to or what to do and its starting to affect my work for other tutors. Comments?

8. Todd says:

[5/10/2006 - 7:23 pm]

Is there a department chairperson, someone in charge of the department within which she works? Investigate the process for filing a grievance against a teacher at that college. It’s a totally different process for college. My comments are about public school teachers.

I can understand you dropping the course because 2 years is a long time to deal with a bad teacher. And yes, I think what you described qualifies as bad teaching.

9. Dath says:

[6/22/2006 - 12:23 pm]

I think that all bad teachers should be confonted by the administration staff and the students. It is a waste of time and mental energy to sit in a class room and endure the lecture of a bad teacher. I know from experience that bad teachers don’t change until they are confronted. I wrote a letter to the teacher and to the administrator about my experience in a college class. This opened the eyes of the staff and something is being done about it. I think that some teachers are bad because they are either burned out or do not like what they are doing. I believe that in either case, they should take a break from teaching or find another profession. They should not take outtheir frustrations out on the poor students who have to take the class in order to advance in a subject.

10. JayCee says:

[7/8/2006 - 11:20 am]

Pertaining to bad teachers, there are some teachers on the staff who don’t play kiss up to the administrators and other teachers. These same teachers are the ones who are set up to fail; do receive bad evaluations and are deliberately fired or non-continuation of contract, etc. Becareful, there are small politics played in schools all around the U.S. If one does his job, is perceived as proficient, earns the respect of his/her parents and students, one can still be fired or perceived as a bad teacher. One needs to be in a school to understand this. Sometimes there are schools filled with bad teachers. If a good teacher comes along, he or she is gone within two to three years. I know what I speak because I have been there. Parents please investigate your schools before you send your child to them.

11. no says:

[9/6/2006 - 4:18 pm]

i love teachers!!!!!!!

12. rebecca says:

[9/10/2006 - 10:00 pm]

i have a teacher who suks so much our whole class hates her she is the worst teacher that has ever lived, but we don’t wont to get into trouble when we try to get rid of her. SHE SUKS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH

13. anon says:

[9/10/2006 - 10:18 pm]

why do students have no choice other than complain it does nothing i think people who have trouble with teachers as above with rebecca should take matters into their own hands and play pranks on their teachers as they suggested but what are students to do because they will constantly have to worry about getting in trouble. the government does nothing but complain about our teachers but do nothing so as the childrens education gets worse our unemployment problem will get much much worse

14. Todd says:

[9/11/2006 - 9:27 pm]

Students do have choices other than simply complaining about bad teachers. If teachers start grading based on personality conflicts, get parents, principals, and counselors involved. Chances are, all 3 of those people want the teacher gone, too. And don’t stop; keep pursuing your complaint as far up as you can go. Go to the district office, the county office, go to the local newspaper if you have to. At the very least, the student will likely get transferred out of the class. At the very most, the process has begun to remove that pathetic teacher from the classroom.

As for students taking “matters into their own hands and play pranks on their teachers,” you’re joking about approving that, right anon? What’s the lesson there: if things aren’t working the way you want them to, play pranks until you get your way? Does this extend to managers they don’t like in future jobs? Or customers they don’t like? If you want something taken seriously, take it seriously.

I think that, too often, students abdicate responsibility for and control over their education. It’s your education, kids. Fight for it.

15. HAZEL AND CHLOE says:

[9/19/2006 - 7:27 am]

I dont belive in bad teachers

16. Todd says:

[9/19/2006 - 7:22 pm]

They exist, whether you believe in them or not. Denying it won’t make things any better.

17. d-cart1 says:

[9/27/2006 - 11:59 am]

i have prolbem with teachers who pray on students by trying to belittle them or may pick thier favrets that can get away with loosing home work or missing school and still pass this calls for a beating i will be glad to do that and
be sure to see him suffer like his prolbem students

18. sara says:

[10/2/2006 - 8:40 am]

yes, it’s difficult enough to learn as a child much less
as a qualified adult. i look younger than i am and am
surprised to realize that other think the same, i don’t go around flaunting my age but i don’t think it is a matter of
importance rather, i am paying for the classes myself and
i feel belittled and demeaned as well when a teacher believes he/she is entitled to talking to me in a “i am a
teacher and your are the student child”. i am even more offended that they themselves believe that they are no longer young students but teachers who are now adults with
jobs called instructors or professors. their head knowledge gets in the way of common courtesy because deep
down they have egos that have never matured and so believe
they are teachers they can accost anyone and however, and you tell me how many students are actually going to say
anything to the teacher before a class full of others and
if the student decides to speak in private which would
give private respect to the teacher if there is a question
or request, there is not witness except he said/she said.
so i guess grievances should be avoided with the actual
teacher unless one can gain with some certainty that words or information were only misunderstood or gauged incorrectly. otherwise the student is up a creek, loses his/her money and/or withdraws or fails the class and
has to start over…

19. Anon says:

[10/4/2006 - 10:28 am]

My son is in a private school. He is a freshman and is doing rather well overall. We have one particular new teacher to our school who is out of control. Examples are she is demeaning to her students, rude, rolls her eyes when asked questions, etc. in terms of her physical behavior. Last week, she was so frustrated she yelled and pounded her hand on her desk. This is an all boy school (military academy) and she can’t keep control of the students.

Secondly, she’s not really teaching them. She gives automatic F’s assuming the student does not turn work in when in fact its misplaced in an array of paperwork. She does not discuss the homework just writes it on the board and tells the students its due tomorrow. She literally reads out of the book to the kids. I am paying 10K to homeschool my kid in English? I’m concerned because I can handle helping my son at home = no problem. But it is her negative behavior that starts his day so bad that he is starting to feel the effects emotionally. She must hate her life or hate teaching…

I have communicated with her several times via email and she is even short with me. I am about to approach our headmaster but this situation is with many students = this is a school with only 130 freshman overall. Bottom line, she has had many complaints by others and now I need to share my concerns. My son has not learned anything except how to write out vocabulary words and sentences.

What is the best approach? She is not teacher material. I expect a strict teacher but at least teach with respect. She has no respect for her students and they are loosing out and are not learning. I want her out of her position because she is not either ready or not happy. Can a teacher be fired in the middle of the school year? This is a private sector so I don’t think there is a union involved. How can I go about dealing with this. She’s the only Freshman English teacher so I can’t ask for my son to be moved to another class.

If I keep quiet, I’m concerned that his love of learning will decrease. He basically starts this day of negatively every day by 2nd hour he’s at a level of frustration and not focused. I need some help in dealing with this situation.

Thank you

20. Todd says:

[10/5/2006 - 11:20 pm]

Before anything, have a conversation with the teacher. Be direct and confront her with the rumors you’re hearing (they are rumors because I’ll assume you weren’t in the classroom when any of those things happened). From that point on, keep a log, actually write down the other incidents you hear about. Talk with other parents of students in the same class as your son and see what they are reporting. Once you’ve built up a few more incidents (any number, just pick it), go back to the teacher and have that same conversation, letting her know that you are going to the headmaster after that.

Complain to the head of the school and let him/her know that you’ll go higher if you don’t get what you want, which I’ll assume is a review of that teacher’s performance. Go to the school district superintendent (or whoever is in control of the headmaster) if you don’t get results. I’d also encourage you to not be satisfied with your son being moved into another class. That teacher is still there, making school an uncomfortable place for others.

But you’ve got to make sure of the facts. I don’t know your son, but I know a lot of freshmen who exaggerate and who can twist things around when it makes them look good. Be positive that these things are happening and get support from other parents. Then go to administration with a unified voice and make your concerns known.

In a private school, there is no union to deal with, you’re right. Just be sure, then act on it. It’ll take up a lot of your time and energy, but it will be worth it in the long run. Either that new teacher will figure out a few things about how to teach or the school will realize that she was a bad hire or something will turn around. Let me know what happens.

21. carol says:

[10/31/2006 - 7:21 am]

The prinicpal at my childs middle school is so damn rude, nasty and loud! When you see her the first thing you ask yourself is how and the hell did she get here. We would like to report her and get her straight or have her dismissed she really is that bad! Who do we go to?

There are 638 students and 638 students want her gone as well as the parents!

22. Todd says:

[11/4/2006 - 9:50 am]

Start documenting incidents right now. Once you have a few built up, talk with some other parents and students, make sure you have the support of your school community. Be sure.

Talk with the principal and let her know that many parents feel this way about her. Let her know that her students don’t feel welcomed, either. No need to be confrontational, just be informative and listen to her, as well.

Your next step is to go to the district superintendent. But please make sure your principal knows that’s where you’re going with this. If not, it’ll look to her like a surprise attack and that sets the completely wrong tone. So, if the discussion with the district superintendent doesn’t work, there’s the county office of education superintendent. I can’t imagine you needing to go further than that, because all that’s left is your state education department superintendent. I’m reasonably certain that’s the chain of command.

Above all else, you must remain calm and do not let the emotions of your child’s involvement come through. The behavior of that principal is a problem NOT because of your child going to that school, but because principals shouldn’t behave that way. If you appear to be arguing for this simply because it involves your child, that detracts from your argument. Be calm and make sure you have facts to show to people, not opinions.

Keep me posted with what you decide to do.

23. Beverly says:

[11/18/2006 - 12:23 pm]

Todd, Bad teachers and bad administrators are abundant in the county for which I reside. Last quarter, an unfortunate situation occured in a an algebra class where my grand-daughter is a student. All or most of the students received a grade of “c” or “D”. Both students and parents were upset but one parent organized the signing of a petition to get rid of the teacher. (Students had complained and parents were already questioning what was or may not have been going on.)
When the teacher discovered the petition, the principal was called and the students were told to report to the cafeteria. The principal berated the students and claimed that they had placed the school in jepody of being sued by the taecher for slander. The punishment for students was a Saturday class to make up loss time from class.
I decided to pay a visit to the class for at least five times, recently, in order to find out what exactly was going on. To my amazement, I discovered that not only was there little or no teaching/learning but the teacher was rude, disrespectful, annoying, intimidating, threatening, disorganized, nagging, rude, immature, and the instigator of continuous distraction. It is a cover for her lacked of the ability to teach algebra. I made a couple of attempts to speak with the principal but she was always busy and made a definite efford to avoid me when I am in the building. This week, I was informed by another employee that the teacher used a derogatory statement to refer to a females’a hair which resulted in a nose to nose shouting match between the two. The teacher wrote a suspension refferal on the child. I aked my grand-daughter what had gone on in the class and she confirmed the outrageous mishap.
I sent an email to the CEO of our schools and an investigation is in progress. Friday night, I received a call from the principal. It’s unbelievable that the principal has decided to fight to keep the teacher because the children would be without an algebra teacher because there’s a shortage of math and science teachers. She asked me to serve as her mentor. In my opinion, the principal created the distrust and the continueous choas in the class by allowing the teacher to intimidate the students as a result of the first incident.
I could use your input.

24. Todd says:

[11/18/2006 - 2:01 pm]

Beverly, look at my comment above yours. As I said then, that’s the chain of command you have to go through as far as I know. Sounds like you’ve already done some of that. Have you gone to the district office? What about the county office of education? You mentioned an email to the CEO of your schools. Is that like the superintendent of your district or county? What happened as a result of that email? Can you continue to press the issue? Can you start a new investigation after every occurrence that you document? There’s an association of school accreditation in your area, as well as a department of education where you should be able to find out more information on what to do next.

Parents need to band together to document things and raise your collective voice; leave the students out of this because it sounds like it’s impacting them in a negative way. But also raise your voices about how your actions are being seen as a sign from your school to punish the students.

You have to keep fighting. It’s a shame that it’s going to take so much of your time, but that’s the unfortunate way of life: anything worth having is worth fighting for. So, fight.

25. casey bishop says:

[1/30/2007 - 4:06 pm]

I only have one mounth untill i’m out of school but there’s some teachers in meade county high school that have a tendency to be “GREAT” role model, a lot of them smoke drink and party with the students. There teachings are wrong, and people are wondering why alot of this generation doesn’t want there career to follow in teaching. What can i do for the students that have no choice than to just ignore all of it?

26. Todd says:

[1/30/2007 - 5:04 pm]

If the teachers are doing these things on campus, report it to the principal. If they are partying with students, as long as they aren’t contributing to the delinquency of a minor, there’s nothing wrong there. There’s a line between student and teacher they have crossed and it’s unprofessional in most cases, but that’s certainly not illegal. If they are drinking with students, call the police. Seriously.

Does your school have a PTSA? Raise these issues there. Certainly your school district has a board of directors. That board has monthly or bi-monthly meetings. Write a letter to the board citing your concerns, but make sure you’ve documented some evidence. Be specific (names, dates, locations) and express the problems you see.

Read through the comments here. I’ve listed the steps I know of a few different times:
Talk with the teachers
Talk with the principal
Talk with district superintendent
Talk with county superintendent

It’s just like any other job; there’s a chain of command. You just need to pursue it and put in the time to make a difference.

27. mandy says:

[2/14/2007 - 8:04 am]

I am from a small community. The teachers we have at our school have been here for ages. They even tought my parents. The problem I have is that they wont to stay on the PC and play their games. When I walk up to a desk for help they tell me to take a seat. I ask a fellow class mate a simple question I was lectured for the remainder of the class period. I was once given a lecture by a science teacher, saying that the word “BELLY” was an ugly word.
Here’s the problem with reporting to our administration, their all good friends with the teachers or marring them.What do you do?

28. Qurt9099 says:

[2/19/2007 - 7:50 pm]

I have one big problem my english teachers mean and she kicks kids out of class for no apprent reason.

(1) I do my home work, I do my in class work{Teacher says its not good enoughf}

(2) The teachers mean {dosent say plese and thank you}

(3) is a complet old person whos a good english teacher but shes to strict.

{I would write more but im at school}

Plz Emial me and talk to me on msn. [email address removed]

{Is for both email and msn}

29. Todd says:

[2/20/2007 - 9:55 am]

Yeesh! I won’t say it, but I hope you all know what I’m thinking.

30. Debra says:

[2/25/2007 - 3:11 pm]

My son is a Freshman and is taking Algebra I. He is a good student who is in pre-college courses and makes A’s and B’s.
He had a 71 on his progress report and went to the counselor asking to be removed from his Algebra class because he was unable to learn from his teacher and she had a uniform answer when asked to explain a problem-“refer to your notes”. Her “notes” consist of one example of each type of problem in the lesson and she goes over it as she writes it onto the board for the students to copy. She doesn’t go through practice problems to see if the students can apply the concept to other problems. The counselor told my son that he was passing, so “hang in there”. “Hanging in there” and continuing to not understand and not receive the help he needed resulted in a 58 on his report card and ineligibility for sports. My first instinct was to be angry over the sports thing, but what she is doing- or not- isn’t teaching. It’s ludricous. I met with the principal, counselor, and the teacher where the teacher stormed out of the meeting and slammed the door. Now I am also concerned over the display of anger. I am trying to go through all the proper channels, but what will it really accomplish?

31. Todd says:

[2/26/2007 - 12:11 am]

So now you have a display of anger in front of the counselor and principal. That should be enough to let folks at the school know that something is wrong. Demand that this teacher be taken to task (assuming that this was as angry a display as you suggest; I wasn’t there so I don’t know for sure). Ask the principal to evaluate that teacher’s practice due to what was seen and what you are reporting from your son. Have you been documenting incidents? Have you asked other parents for support or corroboration?

What will it really accomplish? You can only do what you can do. Maybe you’re just the beginning. Make another appointment with the principal to follow up on this. Tell him/her that the superintendent is next on your meeting agenda if something isn’t done. Again, removing your son from the class doesn’t cure the cause of this trouble, so please do not settle for that.

32. --[F]razaa says:

[3/20/2007 - 2:25 pm]

Theres a teacher at our school and he always gets thigns wrong and we all hate him. He wants us all to be his slaves and makes us do everything exactly right. He writes down everything in his book and is obssessed in proving us wrong. He wont ever listen to us and he never shuts up.
I hate him soo much.

Loads of us want to get him sacked but whenever we tell our tutors bout him they say theyre gonna have a word with him but nothing ever happens he just gets worse.

Helpp
Frazaa

33. Tired of this crap says:

[3/26/2007 - 7:56 pm]

I’m a junior in film school and this semester I am taking my first film production course. I was so excited to start film production as I have only done video work so far. This course is the foundation for all other work I will do not only in college but in my career to come. Needless to say, it’s very important.

I took the only section of the class that was still available when it was my turn to register, and the professor had been called boring but nothing worse. I can deal with a boring teacher, as long as they teach me the required material.

She has turned out to be the worst teacher I’ve ever had. I tried to be understanding at the beginning as her husband seems to be having a great deal of health problems, but this is getting ridiculous! She’s cancelled at least 6 classes, wastes time in class with writing assignments (it’s a production course, we have other REQUIRED classes for writing), drones on in lectures about nothing at all… for instance: When she taught us how to use the editing equipment, she simply named all the parts and showed us how to load our film. I then went to do my editing assignment, and realized I had no idea what I was doing! Many people in the class used the wrong splicers and ended up cutting their film diagonally.

Her syllabus has been changed four times, and in no revision does it explain assignments or prooperly tell us when they’re due. I’ve had to email her incessantly about every assignment so far. The first one, we emailed back and forth at least a dozen times simply so that I could understand the assignment specifics. Then she gave me a C! And the only reason she stated for the grade was that it was not what she wanted from the assignment! I spoke with her about my grade, but she was completely passive aggressive about the whole thing, and then sent me a one sentence email basically stating that she would do nothing!

We had another professor come and substitute for her on one of the days she cancelled, and I learned more from him in that one day than I’ve learned from her all semester!

I’m not the only one in the class frustrated. We all talk every day about how awful she is. But I seem to be the only one who will actually confront her about my frustrations, and from what I’ve discovered from other students, I am the only one who got a C on that assignment. And there were others who didn’t follow her “specifications.”

I’ve scheduled another meeting with her, but I don’t know what good it will do. She’s only part-time faculty and apparently she was banned from teaching one of the upper level film courses.

34. Bill says:

[3/30/2007 - 7:02 am]

Hey,
If only teachers could get rid of “bad” students or “bitter” parents. Shall we live in the world of The Giver.

You might ask yourself why does a teacher need to “control” a class? I guess manners are simply a thing of the past.

Put on your big person pants and grow up!

35. Todd says:

[3/30/2007 - 11:52 am]

Bad teaching is a teacher’s fault, no one else’s. Don’t pass this off on the students or parents. Because the room is full of adolescents, that’s why a teacher needs to control the class. Students in public education are not adults. Teachers are.

Being able to teach a group of students who don’t want to be there and who don’t give you 100% attention and respect from the beginning is part of the game and part of what defines a good teacher, as far as I’m concerned. Anyone can teach a class of students who want to learn and who give you attention and respect. It doesn’t take good teaching to get that job done.

36. Troubled parent says:

[4/3/2007 - 2:06 am]

I am very concerned about this topic and feel helpless as a parent. Every year I go to back-to-school night and spot the 1 or 2 crazy teachers I know will make life miserable for the coming year. They cannot maintain a sane demeanor or refrain from outbursts for 20 minutes in front of adults. I shudder to think what children are subjected to when these teachers are in their God-like position in the classroom.

I try to tell my kids that they will have bosses like this or they won’t have this teacher forever or just do the best you can. In the meantime we all feel depressed, frustrated, helpless.

I found it’s dangerous to complain or even query a teacher. Teachers in departments like Language or English talk to each other and your child will be on the next teacher’s hit list.

37. Elizabeth says:

[4/3/2007 - 10:27 am]

I have spent my day off work worrying myself into a tither. All year my son who is in grade 6 has been telling me how awful his teacher makes him feel. She yells and centers him and other students out. My son has TS and it is difficult calm him down after a day at school. I have been in contact with both the teacher and principal by phone ( them calling me) and even went in for meetings to try to open up the communication better. I have often told my son to just keep up the good behaviour and that soon school will be out for the summer or that it will soon be the weekend. But, yesterday I went on a school trip with the 2 grade six classes. The teacher seemed to find every opportunity to correct the students in my group, including my son. And a few times myself. It was french trip and I spent most of the time translating to students that only have had 1 and 1/2 years of french. I found them eager to learn and very well behaved. I guess she saw something else. I must have jump out of my skin at least 20 times when ever the teachers felt it nessacary to yell at the students. By the end of the day I was anxious and depressed and a few times felt that I should just say something but I didn’t feel it was apropriate time or place. Or that it would be a good example for the students. If I felt that in one day how do they these students and my son feel every day? My son said it would have been worse if I wasn’t there.I know some of the other parents feel this too. How can I make this easier on my son. Or my two daughters that will one day have these teachers too. I feel helpless.

38. Troubled parent says:

[4/5/2007 - 7:19 am]

Hi Elizabeth,

It’s true these teachers go on & on unhindered. They have no interest in their profession or in your kids (except as torture victims). In any other job they would be canned, but not the holier-than-thou protected teaching profession.

Teaching is a power trip. There are no peers in the classroom to tell you you’re wrong or to question your behavior.

My child is in 6th grade too. It’s her last year of innocent childhood before she becomes a cynical 7th-grader.
It’s an important year, she’s changing a lot. What she doesn’t need is a discouraging, belittling teacher to make her hate school and give up on her studies.

Good teachers make such a difference. They’re interested in teaching. The child responds with A+ work! In my experience they’re in the majority, but the horrible other ones never get weeded out.

I called my daughter’s teacher & predictably she didn’t return the call. (She announced to the class that she hates it when whiny parents call and complain that their child is failing.)

I made the next step and talked to the principal. He was supportive. We will have a conference after the break.

39. Elizabeth says:

[4/11/2007 - 9:17 am]

Dear troubled Parent,
I hope your conference goes well with the principal. I had a few meetings with the principal as well. I didn’t feel it solved anything. I had the feeling that she is already aware how the teachers are. She asked my son if he has bad days where he feels grouchy or that nothing is going right. She said that teachers have those days too. My answer to that is. Every day? She did seem very supportive of my son though. And said he could talk to her any time. The trouble is she won’t be at this school next year anyway. She is the fourth principal since my son started school in SK. I have a feeling that there isn’t a whole lot we can really do as parents. It is funny though, our kids spend a big part of their lives at school. Most of us wouldn’t just let any adult babysit their kids. You usually screen people. You are paying them so you expect that they will treat your kids good. And I’m am sure, we are always looking for signs and talking to the kids to make sure they are adjusting well. If your babysitter is miss treating your children, do you keep them as a babysitter because a good one is hard to find? Or do you find someone else? You are in control of who is watching your children. Why, as parents do we not have that same right when it comes to teachers. I tell you, if I could, I would home school my children. I respect that it is a very difficult job to be a teacher. At times my own house can become busy just with three children. I could not imagine a class full on a daily basis. But that is why I am a nurse not a teacher. If I treated my patients or their families that way I would loose my job for sure. Even if there is a shortage of nurses. I feel very bad for these children. I was very fortunate to having wonderful teachers all the way through school. I guess times have really changed.

40. blaine says:

[5/16/2007 - 4:56 am]

Yellow all,
The way I see it, like any job or line of work you have your good and you have your bad workers. I would say the majority of teachers and administrators are good people just trying to do their job and get by. But make no mistake the bad ones are out there. If you have the audacity to question why some of these “bad” teachers or administrators
did what they did to your child, they immediatly go into the defensive mode and act like you called their mother a dirty name. Administrators tend to give the benefit of the doubt to thier bad teachers and back what they did no matter how unprofessional or outragous to cover up the perception that they are not doing thier job.
Now I’m not talking about the “bad” teachers who have sex with students or get high. I’m talking about the ones who are more subtle in thier acts of control over students.
They make claims against students with no proof. You as a parent deny these claims back with no proof. Itendsup being a tie as far as proof goes, but the school wins all ties.
The teaching profession likes to put out the perception that all teachers are these hard dedicated professionals who love thier work and do for the “kids”.
I disagree. Maybe five percent does. Lets see, they get three months off in the summer. Nights and weekends off, all the holiday’s off. They basically work approx. 180 days
a year. I think most are there to put their time in, do a job and go home like most of us. Don’t try to make them out to be anything different.
However, a teachers incompetance, immaturity,low self-esteem and pettyness can cause a lot of heart ache for a kid. Just my two cents.

41. Todd says:

[5/16/2007 - 12:06 pm]

Nights and weekends off? All holidays off? I worked at a dot com for a year and had more time off in that job than I’ve ever had in teaching. When I went home for the day, I was finished. Most jobs allow employees to shut off their job after 6 or 7 at night and switch it back on again at 7 or 8 the next morning.

Most teachers go home to grade work or plan for the next unit/lesson. Weekends, too. As far as summer months off, we also are not paid for those months (and it’s only 2 months). Most teachers I know work during those months, either another job, summer school, or unpaid time in yet more planning for the coming year.

Yeah, teaching is nothing special in a lot of regards. But let’s not sell things short. There are requirements of a teacher that do not exist in most other jobs and we work far more than 180 days when you add it all up. That’s an insult to suggest, blaine. But we’ve all got pros and cons for our careers, don’t we?

Those that “are there to put their time in, do a job and go home like most of us” are exactly the ones that I’m talking about in this post. It takes more than that kind of attitude to do this job adequately, let alone to do it excellently.

42. Blaine says:

[5/16/2007 - 3:34 pm]

Todd,
Being a former teacher you should know how the system works not how its supposed to work. I see the advice you give people on here concerning problems with teachers and your main theme in every instance is go up the chain of command. This might work once in a while but probably is a feeble attempt most of the time. Most of those teachers and administrators are in bed with each other and cover each others back. If you question these people on most anything they get defensive and are theatend by someone exposing them for not doing their jobs. The one thing I will agree with you on is getting other parents involved. If you fight solo they will ignore you. If you do it in a group you’ll get someone’s attention.
As far as your defending the hard work teachers do by saying this “Most teachers go home to grade work or plan for the next unit/lesson,weekends too”, You must live in a dreamworld. Alot of teachers do work during the summer
(almost 3 months off), to make extra money for when they go to florida the following year when thet get two weeks off for spring break. Do you think they are planning lessions then? I’m sure there are teachers out there who spend all these extra hours doing this “work”. Most of these probably
don’t have much of a social life or need all this extra time because they are incompetant. Sorry if I offend you.

43. Todd says:

[5/16/2007 - 8:38 pm]

You didn’t offend me, I just think you’re flat out wrong. Do you really think my version of a dreamworld is one where teachers go home everyday and weekend to more work? That’s no dream; that’s what I see every day.

Do you know any teachers or is all of this just what you assume to be true from limited exposure? I’ll be blunt: you sound like you have an axe to grind. That could shed light on the view you have of my profession.

As I suggested last time, the only teachers I know that go home and turn off work like you propose are the bad ones, the ones that prompted me writing this post in the first place, the ones we need to work hard to get rid of.

All other problems I have with what you believe aside, let’s get back on point: if you think I’m wrong to suggest the chain of command, how do we get rid of teachers who obviously shouldn’t be in the classroom and who are doing great damage to the profession? How do we get rid of those teachers who punch the clock and take trips to Florida and don’t grade papers evenings and weekends?

P.S. I’m not a former teacher; I currently teach high school English.

44. blaine says:

[5/17/2007 - 5:24 am]

Yes I do know some teachers. My friend’s brother teaches jr.
high history. He said he uses the same lesson plan every year. You won’t catch him “planning for the next lesson” at night or on the weekends. He gets his work done at school.
Does this make him a bad teacher? I don’t know. He seems to have a good reputation and gets along with the kids. He does not appear to have any self-esteem issues. If he treats students with respect and they have a good experience from his class plus learn a little history to boot, from that standpoint he probably is a good teacher. I realize you would get away with this more than other subjects. In my opinion, Math is the most important subject as we all use it ever day to some degree. This would be followed by English. Learning how to express you is very important in this world we live in today. After this probably science.
I know a number of teachers. I must say most of the ones I know are “good” teachers. But how do you really judge that? In my school district a teacher with 15 years in can make $40to $50 K a year. That’s with an excellent retirement program. Their pay is spread out to where they get paid every two weeks, year round. Like I said before, nights and weekends off, all holidays and snow days off. If they are working at nights or on the weekend as you claim, its their choice. I don’t consider checking papers while you’re setting on the couch watching Grey’s Anatomy hard work. I guess it comes down to what your definition of hard work is.
We shouldn’t characterize teachers and the teaching profession as something its not.
The powerful teachers union spreads this propaganda. At one time unions were very important to the American worker in this country. Now they spend a lot of their time protecting the bad and incompetent teachers. Someone should make a video, you know like the series “girls gone wild”.
Call it “teachers gone bad”.
The problem with this profession is when a teacher is bad , doesn’t get the study material in a kids head, belittles a kid in front of other kids for immature reasons and worst of all punishes
A kid through out the year for minor infractions, these are the subtle things that chips away at a kids self-esteem and can cause permanent damage.
In retrospect , I really shouldn’t generalize when I talk about bad teachers. Most of the teachers I’ve come across in the last 30 years have been good people. It’s the few bad apples that I direct my distaste. I can tell just by you coming on this board and commenting like you do that you “care” and are one of the good teachers. The Problems with the schools and the world in general nowadays is no one respects other people like they should. Just my 2 cents

45. Todd says:

[5/17/2007 - 10:45 am]

Until you’re sitting at home with a stack of 60 papers to grade, don’t talk to me about what work is and what work isn’t. And those teachers who just rehash the same thing year after year are bad teachers, as far as I’m concerned. The implication there is that they got it perfectly right the first time around and never need to change anything. I have yet to meet the teacher with those lesson plans.

Once again getting us back on the point of this post, if “the problem with this profession is” what you say it is, what’s to be done about it? Answer that question, please.

46. Elizabeth says:

[5/17/2007 - 11:34 am]

Things are getting worse for my son, not better. According to my son the more I intervien on his behalf the worse things get for him. I guess teachers don’t like to be educated on Tourette’s Syndrome. He feels constantly humilliated in front of his peers. Humilliated. I feel this represents a violation of Ethical Standards of Educators. Are there such standards, like in nursing? I feel teachers should respect the inherent dignity and worth of each student. Embarassment and humiliation has no role in a classroom because such behaviour does not support the growth and development of the students. Although my son may not be blamelesss in terms of behaviour, I feel he is emotional damaged by the careless and thoughtless remarks of his teacher. Such ethical violations will never result in improvemed behaviour or an enhanced learning environment. I think I read that some where. I don’t feel there is anything that can be done. My children will be attending a public school next year. Does this mean the teacher won? I still feel most teachers do an exceptional job and put a in lot over time above and beyond their expected duties or what funding allows. But their are always exceptions that even make the good look bad.

47. Blaine says:

[5/18/2007 - 1:49 pm]

Elizabeth,
It takes a special person to deal with a special needs child. The teacher your dealing with might not be a bad teacher or a bad person. He/she just might not have the patience,personality or emotional maturity to handle a child with this problem. People get these teaching degrees and specialize in special education not really knowing what they are getting into. If you don’t realize it by now, you are the only one who has your child’s best interest in mind.
There will be teachers,administrators and a host of other people out there who “feel” for you and want to help, but most will only do or say this if it doesn’t interfere with thier best interest. Don’t waste your time and energy feeling bad about yourself,mad at the teacher, mad at the school or feel inadequate about yourself or taking anything personal. Life has thrown you a curve ball and you got to hit Just my 2 cents.

48. Blaine says:

[5/18/2007 - 3:01 pm]

Todd,
Getting back to you. I am not a teacher. I cannot prove that teachers when they go home at night feel like singing that Donna Summers song “She works hard for the money” The only things I base my views on is from talking to a few teachers and what I have observed over the last twenty years. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this point. You are correct however about getting back onto the topic. You are also correct in saying it seems like I have an axe to grind. I do. My negativity lies against school administrators more than teachers. At least in my case, the pompous and arrorgant attitude of these so called
“educators” that I have had to deal with is truly mind boggling to me. Like with most tax payer funded entities, its hard to fight against or find someone who is accountable for thier actions or the actions of peolple underneath them. I have been reading and “investagating”
alot websites concerning education,student rights and the “cottage” organizations, (NAESP,NASSP,NHS and a few others the last two years. The common theme I found by going to these sites and other forums such as this is that the majority of people who post on these sites such as this(95%), do so cause of problems they had with a school.
Now getting back to your question, which by the way is the smart approach to take concerning this whole mess, is what is to be done about it?
The high school my daughter goes to has close to 2000 students attending. When there is a PTA meeting about 20-30 people show up. When there is a board meeting, same amount.
Apathy abounds. Is it the parents fault? Yes. Is it the systems fault? Yes also. Living in the society we do now a days breeds this disconnection. Most families have both parents working. Most,(note the use of the word most), parents don’t have the time or the energy to get involved.
The Administrators at the schools would like everyone to believe that they would really like all the parents to get involved but they really don’t.That would take away from thier control over what goes on. I will give my suggestion for a fix in my next post. Later Gator:)

49. Todd says:

[5/18/2007 - 3:20 pm]

Blaine, making blanket statements like you’ve made doesn’t help matters. Casual statements like “Life has thrown you a curve ball and you got to hit” don’t help anyone, either.

You’ve admitted you have a personal problem that taints you views on these matters and I’m glad to know that’s your bias. Now I, and everyone else who reads this, can take your words with a grain of salt. But let’s cut to the chase: what are your ideas for fixing the problem? No philosophizing or assuming or birdwalking. What are your ideas to make things better? Rather than simply denigrating teachers, answer the question, please.

50. blaine says:

[5/19/2007 - 7:25 am]

Todd,
Good morning, As far as my casual statement above, I was just trying to give this woman a different perspective on her situation. I could of worded it differently but it probably is not appropriate for this board. This woman is apparently in distress about her situation. What “advice” would you give her, “Go up the chain of command”? Yeah that always works.

To answer your question:
1. Fingerprint and do background checks on every teacher.
Put this info in a national data base so every school in this country can access it. This will keep bad teachers from just moving from one school district to another.
2. Increase the probationary period (tenure)for teachers from one two to five years.(like California is trying to pass).
3. Make it easier for school districts to fire teachers once they have tenure.
4. Have the school board establish a committee of three people from the private sector (could be parents)and two people from school system (could be teachers or administrators). This group would act as a arbitrator in dispute between a parent and the school. If a parent cannot resolve an issue by going up the “chain of command” as you put it, they then could submit a ruling by this board. This
board could meet every two weeks.
5. If a teacher or a administrator is “caught” retaliating
against a child for a dispute that the child or the parent
brought forth, they should be suspended without pay for a week. If it happens again they should be fired. No doubt this would be a hard thing to prove, but just knowing it could happen would be an effective deterrant.
6. Find a way (I’m not sure what to base it on), to evaluate the performance of a teacher and how good they are at what they do. Once this criteria is established, Give a bonus to the ones who meet it and take money away from the ones who don’t.
7. Have the school district bring in speakers once a year to talk to the teachers about how important thier jobs are and how to act in a professional and unbiased way towards students. Point out the fact that thier salary comes form the taxpayers. Make attendance to this mandatory.
8. Any teacher or administrator who knowlingly and repeatedly belittles and puts down a child should be put in a locked room and beaten with a baseball bat by a parent and or someone they designate to do it for them. (I volunteer).
Well, what do you stink?

51. Blaine says:

[5/22/2007 - 4:54 pm]

More suggestions:
Make parents more accountable and responsible for their childs education.
Revamp the current school curriculum. Do away with physical ed classes. It’s a waste of time.
Leave it up to the parents to see to it that their kids get exercise after school or on the weekends.
Limit time watching tv or playing video games. Monitor your own kids nutrition. Demand that your child spend a minimum one hour a day studying homework or reading. If a parent does not follow this for whatever reason and their child becomes fat and lazy that’s their problem, not the teachers, administrators or any body else.
Limit the amount of electives that a student must take. Too much time is wasted in school on subjects that are not going to benefit most kids in their life. Art, music and other electives of this type should be available on a limited basis and only available to students who have great grades. The students doing bad in the important subjects should spend more time on the important subjects.
Have students spend two hours a day in math class. This is the most important. English is next.
Throw in science and social studies, somewhere in there. Don’t make language mandatory. If someone wants to learn a language and their grades are real good let them.
In ninth grade make two subjects mandatory. 1) public speaking and 2) personal finance.
Teach kids how to stand up in front of people and learn to speak. This will help their self-esteem
And serve them all their life. Maybe if kids would learn to communicate better, they would get
Along with their teachers better and stop potential problems before parents or administrators
Needed to get involved.
Personal finance. Teach kids the value of money. Show them how to balance a check book. Show them how they are getting screwed paying 21 per cent interest on a credit card. You know, stuff they’ll need and use in real life.
Make any sport or other activity that is exclusive and not available to all students , Pay to Play.
If I think of anymore ideas I will post them. I know how much everyone hear looks forward to my comments. Good day.

52. Annie says:

[5/23/2007 - 3:48 pm]

One of my kids had an awful teacher. I thought perhaps it was the kid having some attitude problems — but then I tried to meet with the teacher — very difficult to do so — next I heard her say some outrageously unkind things publicly. I about fell out of my chair. I found myself standing up and shouting at her. My kid got moved out of her class the next day. Other parents weren’t so lucky. So, what did I learn? Being a prickly parent (leave off the -ly as needed) got results. No more submissive nice guy for me.

I do try to be compliementary of the many dedicated teachers my kids have had. Those people do NOT get paid enough.

Elizabeth, there are LOTS of ways to learn. A teen who is happier at home can earn a high school diploma on line these days. You can also march into your school and TELL them that you want your son enrolled parttime and you will homeschool the rest.

I wish students everywhere were given a chance to give a consumer review at the end of each semester. It doesn’t have to be a teacher cruxificition. It could simply be “What did you like about this course?” “What could have been done better?”

Lastly, I highly encourage parents everywhere to be part of a school parent organization, however anemic it might be. A lot of times you can find a parent who is sending his/her fourth child through the system and these wily veterans know much that is helpful. Want the Wonderful Ms. W for math instead of the horrid Ms. H? Make sure you help in the school office during May . . . etc.

53. Greg says:

[5/23/2007 - 8:08 pm]

I have been teaching now for 8 years. I teach music, and feel very lucky to sit at the piano everyday and share with thousands of kids a passion and art form that has been around since the dawn of man. I never really fit in among ‘real’ teachers as they are called, but according to the 5000 kids that have gone throgh my program, I change alot of lives and help people to see the greater good of open communication and the power of learning about the world through suspending beliefs. The courage it takes for a 13 year old boy to stand among 350 of his peers, 1200 people in the audience, and sing from his heart is something that cannot be measured on a test, argued about on a website, or even understood by most people who choose not access their creative and higher self. I wont lie, I am embarrassed often to be with some of these other teachers. The way I look at it is like this: I think a good teacher is someone who can earn a living with their skills even if the schols system did not exist. Meaning, we should attract the people who are editing books, inventing, studying science, building skyscrpapers, etc. although this might seem far fetched, sometimes I realized that my abilities are not being compensated for compared to the rest of the country. The harder I work, the more difficult things become. Im fun, happy,positive, caring, talented, eager, motivated, and because of that, my chorus has grown from 60 to 350 in 5 years. Sounds cool except I get no help and have had health problems that everyone ignores since no one seems credible to handle success in the schools. So this sumer I will be opening a private school and a with parents backing my financially, I have the potential of earning 200k while still having my summers off. The teachers in my school hate me. Dont believe me? The following are statements said to me by administration and fellow teachers. Im not crazy, but something isnt right-

Greg, teachers have complained to me that your too happy

Greg, the more you do, the more everyone will expect from all the other teachers

(when asked to lie to the 425 kids and their parents) Its not lying, its called being political.

Greg, the music your singing is too……..um…too…um …………….BLACK !

Well, if I dont let alot of this go and just feel sorry for people who feel so stuck that their unhappiness bleeds out to everyone, including the poor kids, Ill go nuts. Its easy to point fingers, but our teachers, our politicians, our cops, our society, is just a reflection of itself. America is a lazy place, with narcissitic relationships in which its everyman for himself. Kids arent dumb. They see that as well. what we need more than anything, is to come together over issues like children, so that there well being can be nurtured, not protected from liability in the court of law.

THE SYSTEM NEEDS HELP FIRST-I always asked myself why is it that I need to have a masters degree to teach singing, when a cop doesnt have to go to college and he has the right to end a human life.

Mosy of us argue so aggressivly but some havent dug into the past. We let a bunch of irrogant and pushy settlers create our schools, who by the way, owned, beat, and raped human beings. Our forefather should be respected, but Im sure they had no idea what the growth would be in this country and what need there would be for increased intellectual understanding. Lets face it, school is aloy of wasted time. The knowledge we learn half the time is only good fro being a teacher and reteaching it. Aside from good reading and writing skils, basic math, and socialising, everything else should be learned in the upper years as the student sstrengths could be identified and he could be pushed in tht direction.

I cant see my keyboard and im so so tired I must go. I know this is choppy and scattered, but it felt good. i have a feeling there might some backlash coming to me.

I say love the kids, and they will believe they can do anything. it works for me over and over every year.

54. Blaine says:

[5/24/2007 - 4:24 pm]

Greg, excellant post. You sound special :)

55. Greg says:

[5/24/2007 - 9:14 pm]

Thank you Blaine. I have a huge smile on my face. I cant believe all the typo’s. I was beat when I wrote it.

Blaine, I think everyone has a little ‘special’ in them. I learned that there’s a way to get thousands of young people to see it in them as well. When i read the argument between you and todd, I noticed that actually both sides are very accurate ( I mean the facts, not any attacks on character) But, what are we to do? The one thing that destroys our atmosphere at school are any adults who’s image of there own abilities is to low. This is very common as they have fallen into the trap of feeling unimportant, under paid, under valued, and other self defeating mind sets. Although this can happen in any profession, teachers like this can ‘poison’ a class, or even worse, 35 consecutive years of classes. The young grow to be active members of our society with the memories of a leader (the teacher) being ‘weak’ or unable to portray an image( and live it as well), of a proud, caring, hard working contibutor to the minds and hearts of the world. But, I must say, the system doesnt allow for common sense, proper spending of tax mney to help kids learn and grow, nor any other sensible action on behalf of these young people. It sucks. Schools think that music is so unimportant to a childs development, it doesnt need to be funded. And we all know that this happens in alot of towns across the world. WHAT i find odd is that if there is no support, no money, poor accomidations, broken instrumnets, and so on, WHY hasnt that time been replaced with a new idea to enhance kids learning? If it cant be agreed on, why let what exists implode from the inside out? Becuase, tis is where everything you talked about Blaine comes in. The unions, the bitterness, the largely female collective ego, which is often very melancholly as opposed to the male which may be a bit agressive, and you have a self destructive, self efeating cycle that no one dear talk about. What makes me the most unhappy is this: Evrytime I have approached a teacher and asked why they stay in this job, they ALL mention how much time they dont have to be at work. Getting out at 2:35, summers off. Thats what they have told themselves repeatedly in their minds is the reason they go to be with kids everyday. They dream of not being there. I hate that.
I knew as young boy that all i wanted most out of my life, was to be remebered. I remeber openingbooks and reading in class about such important men like Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Einstein. I can recall wondering why the world lifted these men to such heights as if they were not equal. I knew then that I would live my life trying to change the things I dont like, helping people in need, and rather selfishly, creating wealth for myself in the meantime. Of course, now I understand I left out great health.

Good teachers are in there, but when your good, you get nothing except a raised level of expectations to be measured by throughout yor career and no financial, or any other kind of benefits. I was once told this line-

Well Greg, your a victim of your own success…….only in schools would being sucessful and being victimised be related. Teachers are often quite versed in the info, but the transfer to student is a tiring and emotional one, so its in that area I feel that most training should center.

I have reminded teachers that without emotion, students learnig is all short term or reguritated test answers. If you create a passionate approach, the kids cant help but be enthralled at whatever is happening in that room. Think about it..ever major fact you learned was in alignment with an emotion For example:

The holocaust- the horrible mental images this creates make most people EMPATHISE with the victims and therfore a passionate re-telling can happen by most everyone in the world

The alphabet- Everyone learns these 26 hyrogliphic icons in a song form. the rhythm lend itself to the syllables very well, and we all learn 26 rather odd looking and weird sounding figures before we can even go to the potty by ourselves. It was made fun!

etc etc

BLAH BLAH BLAH.. ill shut up now. I think i broke my soap box.

Im going to Marthas Vineyard to write my memoirs and more about schools. Any other teachers out there who feel like I do?

‘NIght greg

56. Blaine says:

[5/29/2007 - 3:23 pm]

Nothing will ever change :(

57. Elizabeth says:

[5/30/2007 - 7:41 am]

Ay wonderfull comments thank, here’s the update. My sons teacher basicly told me that my son has mently problems and needs to be on medication. Wow! Every parent wants to here that. My son went back to the Pediatrician, spoke with a Nurse Practicioner and saw a social worker in the last 5 days.He was very brave. And very consistant with his feelings. I heard the same things from all three professionals. Is she a doctor? This is a personalality conflict. I need to educate the teacher and pricipal. Let them know that this is not exceptable behaviour on there part. My son is a straight B+ student and deserves a good education just as much as the next. Summer here we come! Blaine although you have very good sugestions I feel that P E classess are very importannt, as recess is. Most adults can not sit still for hours consecutively with out a break and still concentrait. A variety of learning is very important and sometimes taking it out of the classroom and adding some fun to learning is most effective.

58. Blaine says:

[5/30/2007 - 5:15 pm]

Beth,
Hope things work out for your kid. There is some truth in what you said as far as PE classess go. Maybe more so in grade school than high school, I don’t know. So many kids graduate now and don’t know how to figure out what the final price is on an item that is on sale. I’ve been bird dogging these kind of web sites for over two years now venting my frustrations about my bad experiences with a few teachers and administrators at my kid’s high school. My main ax to grind was the arrogance some of these people had.
I shouldn’t generalize like I do. I have a perception in my head about how things really are but I don’t have any proof or anything. I probably don’t know what I’m talking about.
My kid graduated this year so I will probably give up my quest to badmouth our educatetors. I will move on. To quote a line from JC superstar “Once I was inspired but now I’m
sad and tired”. Good luck and God bless America!

59. Math Hater says:

[6/8/2007 - 2:40 pm]

I’m in 8th grade, taking 9th grade math, and I have this really annoying math teacher. It’s not that she’s horrible at techer; she gets us through the assignment and she really is very good at teaching math in comprehensive, understandable manner. It’s mostly the fact that she forces us to repeat the followin words at the beginning of every class: “We LOVE math!” I, for one, hate math. Just because I’m in advanced math doesn’t mean that I like it, and I wish she’d realize this (I’ve just recently found out that her actions are illegal; she’s not allowed to impress her opinion on us). The other annoying, and admitidally, worrying, thing is that, after every New York State test so far this year, she has somehow managed to get the schedule changed so that her advanced math class meets as one. This is a good idea in principle, until you realize that there’s a 10th grade biology class I’m in, and this class doesn’t get to meet. She even did this after the last state test we took (Social Studies), when the Biology Regents (that’s an ENORMOUS test) was less than two weeks away, whereas the Regents in her class isn’t until next January. I’m simply looking for a way to get the courage up to confront about these things, and possibly get them resolved.

60. Todd says:

[6/8/2007 - 4:55 pm]

I’m not sure what you mean about classes meeting after testing. Can you run that by me again?

Sounds to me like you have a teacher whose heart is in the right place and is doing some good work with the students. That kind of teacher would probably be open to a student politely pointing out some problems during a private conversation. Just ask if you can talk with her during break or something, making sure no other student is in the room (some teachers will try to protect their reputations in front of others every bit as much as some students). Tell her the problems you see, offer that you might be wrong (that should help soothe the teacher if she gets angry), and ask what she thinks of your opinion. I hate that you’d have to tip-toe, but I don’t know what your teacher’s control-freak rating is. If it’s high, you’re in for a fight; if it’s low, you’ve got potential for a good conversation.

And while the chant “We LOVE math!” everyday probably isn’t working quite as intended, it’s probably not an issue worth fighting over. That sounds to me like a teacher who’s just trying to have fun with some ironic humor at worst.

61. Math Hater says:

[6/9/2007 - 3:30 pm]

Todd,

After each state test, the teacher whose subject the test is in gets the rest of the day off–in theory, to grade the stae tests, but nobody ever finishes in that amount of time. Because each teacher already has a prep period in our school, we simply travel around with the class that we have that period (For example, the 8th grade social studies teahcers have 2nd period off, so we traveled around with our 2nd period class after the stae social studies test). Anyway, my math teacher somehow managed to get the schedule fiddled with so that her advanced math class met after every stae test–even the math one. I’m honestly not sure how she managed to convince the district administrators to do that! I will try your suggestions and get back to you on them, but obviously not until at least Monday. And regarding some of your other comments, I agree with you that she’s got her heart in the right spot, but sometimes I think that she might overlook the value of subjects other than math.

P.S. This goes out to anyone who read my above post: Sorry about the spelling mistakes. It was late, and I was worried about a clarinet audition I had the following day.

62. AW says:

[9/17/2007 - 8:51 am]

A lot of “bad teaching” stems from the fact that teachers are so exhausted all of the time. I spend 30% of my day teaching; 40% of my day grading papers and entering grades into the required electronic database; 10% of my day planning my lessons; 20% of my day printing, photocopying, stapling, hole-punching, putting up excellent student work and filling out forms. Clearly these ratios are off.

There are many days where I’m tempted to just pop in a DVD, or have a study hall, or give some BS worksheet so that I can sit down and do all the other work that I have to do. We’ve all had lessons that require less teacher involvement by neccessity (tests, class presentations). Those days are so luxurious– it’s easy to see how someone with a low work ethic (and who is not bothered by the fact that the children entrusted to their care aren’t getting a good education) could fall into a pattern of doing very little.

It seems like a lot of the work that a teacher does could actually be done by an assistant– someone who doesn’t neccessarily need a high level of training. It also seems like a lot of the exhaustion from teaching is due to worrying about classroom management. An assitant could also help in that arena.

63. katarina says:

[10/4/2007 - 1:28 pm]

my history teacher is so disorganized. She lost half of our summer assignments, did not give back any tests, and averages our grades wrong. She gave me a 75 instead of a 90 on my report card, which is obviously a mistake. Help!

64. I DO NOT LEARN A THINGGG! says:

[10/11/2007 - 9:05 pm]

okay so…my science teacher is absolutely horrible! When I get out of science class every day I think to myself and ask myself what I had learned that day. DO you know what my answer is..? every single day of my life…NOTHING! I do not know one person in my school who likes her! She cannot teach and she even admitted to us one day that she did not know what she was doing. She gets in our faces when we dont do something the way she wants it done. And when you walk in her classroom it smells like a mixture of smoke and dead animals. When she yells she literally gets in YOUR FACE and you can smell the smoke on her breath! I could go on and on about a great teacher EVERYONE LOVESSSSSS HIM! and he went on administrative leave because of this horrendus teacher. SHe she be the one leaving!So now everyone at our school and their parents are protesting because this is really messed up and she should be gone. Not one person in our school likes her…yet she is still hear? I dont know why. We have sent complaints to the principle and the district office about how she curses in class, how she walks around barefoot, how it smells like dead pig in her classroom, and how not one person learns a thing when we leave her classroom! It is aboslulutely disturbing to sit in a class with a teacher like that, trying to learn, and all she is doing is making it worse.

65. CC says:

[10/19/2007 - 4:18 am]

Greg,

How refreshing to see someone that is good all around. YOu know how to listen to the good and how to give good back into the world.
I’m an enthusiastic teacher….and I to have received the looks of disapproval from other teachers because I’m so happy teaching and learning science. I absolutely love it!

Last year an older teacher and the pricipal (best friends..apparently) ganged up against me and tried to discourage me. I got written up for leaving scissors on a table in my LOCKED room. Oh..and for having beakers drying on paper towels two days in a row. The only thing I could think was that these people have no clue that I use beakers during labs and that they have to be cleaned. Anyways…there are many more absurd things that the older teacher had done. The principal has since left…but I still have a sadness in my heart because I see the older teacher everyday.
She told other teachers that I has “punched her in the face”…or “grabbed her by her wrist”. Fortunately, I work where several people know me…. I don’t even let my students step on an ant if it’s in the room….we pick it up and put it outside. I would never in my dreams punch someone in the face. I just feel sorry for her and the people who believe her. Apparently she lost a lot of friend over that comment. Anyways…I was happy (kind of in a weird way) to see that someone else with PASSION and LOVE for this type of career had lived through some bad uncomprehensible stuff and still MARCHES on.
Since my “bad” year…I decided to not give this bad person anymore of my energy. Instead I put a million more amps into my teaching and my students. I have found that she tried to “one up” me…..but what she doesn’t realize is that I love it because it is FINALLY helping our students. I pray for her every night and people like her. IT’s NOT easy being a teacher…IT’s NOT easy always turning the other cheek…(no matter how ludicrous the actions against you) ..It’s NOT EASY! But you know what? The energy you put in…is the energy you get out. If you bust your bum focusing on the postive and doing good…you begin to see just that…and you begin to get just that back. Even the crazy comments made by bad people can then be used to improve yourself….to make changes…to continue learning. Bad exists so that those of us that are good..KNOW without a doubt what good is. Bad is needed…otherwise we’d have no reason to improve ourselves. It took me a lot of thinking and crying and yeesh!…lot’s of time to get to that.
So..anyways…GREG…..I’m so glad to see that YOU are good. You can see the bad…but you didn’t allow yourself to lower your standards to be suckered into it. You held your ground and now you’re probably happier than ever!

:)

KUDOS!

-cc

66. sharon says:

[11/7/2007 - 8:23 pm]

Bad teachers are like bad doctors and even the good doctors and good teachers will not go after the bad ones. If you go to a doctor and say Dr. so and so cut off my left arm and he was suppose to cut the right one off. The doctor response with something like he was probably doing you a favor as you were probably going to have something go wrong with that other arm anyway. You find the same thing with teachers. If your child has a bad teacher most of the other teachers look the other way and don’t want to admit there is a problem. I have had my children endure some of the worst teachers and after having been a mom for 24 years and four kids in various stages of public school I have seen it all. I just attended a parent teacher conference for my child yesterday. We are currently having her tested for an auditory problem (no hearing in her left ear at all) all three of the team teachers are aware of this and the history of her hearing problems. 1. Still she sits with her bad ear towards the teachers. 2. Two of those teachers took her to task for not knowing what she is suppose to be doing in class, even though they have been repeatedly asked to go to her and ask if she understands or give her written instructions she can refer to. 3. One of them told her if they saw her sitting in her desk waiting for help and not knowing what to do because she could not here the instructions they were going to take away her recess. 4. One of the teachers repeatedly said to her this is what the smart kids in the class do and showed her examples of what other students do always refering to them as the smart kids. Go figure she must be the smart teacher. As they went through her check list of how she felt she was doing in class, if she put a yes I think I am doing well, they scratched out her answers and said no you need to do better. This continued on with one bad comment after another. Until my 9 year old began to sob, got up and put her arms around me and just cried. These teachers were putting down a child who had almost no hearing K, 1st 2nd and grade. She had had teachers who just ignored her problem until she reached 3rd grade where she had a teacher who was both a blessing and a nightmare. She was a blessing in that she was the first teacher to take the ime to help about my daughter and believed that she could learn. When I said she was capable of learning to read and write and do math as she was not taught much in 1st and 2nd except by us at home. She went into 3rd grade reading at a 2nd grade level and left reading at a 4th grade level. But she was a nightmare because with her teaching came the taunting and mean spritedness of making her feel less of a person. If my daughter came home and told me the teacher said or did something unkind the teacher would respond to me that she was lying or in fact making up the incident. This happened several times over small issues and I knew that the teacher was lying but as many of the other students would confirm what my daughter had told us. It finally culminated into a big horrible thing when one day the teacher lost control of herself and picked up my daughters desk and drug it to the middle of the room and dumped out the contents and then made her get her back pack and dump it out as well and told her to get on the floor and find her homework. Home work that my daughter had tried to give her the day before and she refused to take it and then my daughter had put it in the wrong folder and could not immediately find it. The other students in the class said she only gave her about 2 minutes of looking before she dumped out the desk. What a way to show a class of 8 year olds how to behave. She is the worlds best example of an ASS. If her boss had walked into a meeting she was having with her peers and demanded a report or something she had been asking for and that teacher could not immediatley find it. She would have never thought it appropriate had her boss dumped out her desk and briefcase and told her to get on the floor and find the work. And as an adult she would have had the luxury to walk away. My child did not have that luxury as she would have gotten in trouble. This teacher lied to me and the pricipal about the incident but luckily several of the 3rd graders were upset and went to the pricipal to tell her what really happened. This teacher agreed to appologise to my daughter and to a few of the students who had complianed, but she sent me an e-mail saying that although she would say she was sorry she still supported her reasons for doing what she did and did not think her actions were wrong and in the future she would again support doing this to a student. I told her and the pricipal she best not pick one of my kids or there would be some major consequences. I was urged by several people to go to the school board or to the state superintendent, but like most people probably do, I worried this would have a negative impact on my daughter, and other children in the class and possibly even to my other children. I showed that e-mail to my daughter and the other students and parents, just so we all did not misunderstand what the appology was all about, how it looked, not how it was. The pricipal initially stated that she was sure that the teacher had not done anything of the sort and that no teacher on her staff would be excused for such behavior, of course that was when she tought the teacher was not lying. When she found out the teacher was lying she went back on her statement and refused to discuss the matter further. I was acutally told they would not speak to me or other parents about the incident. Teachers abusing thier power is an absolute reason to be fired.

67. Haley says:

[11/8/2007 - 8:22 pm]

I am a straight A student with very good reccomendations. i have always liked school until my current science teacher came along and ruined it for me. she is constantly yelling at my fellow students and i for no reason. i have A’s in every class except hers, which obviously means there is something seriously wrong. She has embarrassed other students and i countless times. it is getting to be a real hassle. it is only november and four kids have already transferred into her class and are getting farely good grades which just proves my point that something is seriously wrong.

68. Rising Scholar says:

[1/7/2008 - 6:17 pm]

There needs to be an easier way to get rid of teachers who don’t teach, but how do you do that when your principal could care less? What do you do when your school pays more attention to athletics than to academics? What do you do when 5/7 academic teachers are coaches too? How do you get rid of a teacher who sits on their butt all day listening to music while their students have to hand-copy their own work-sheets because the supposed teacher is ‘saving trees’?! UGH! Tenure should be done away with too, but the teacher I’m talking about doesn’t even have it yet! How do they expect us to better ourselves with baseball coaches as teachers? Why do some schools focus on sports? How many of those athletic students are really going to go pro? No wonder kids don’t care about learning anymore when the school system practically tells them that as long as they can throw a medicine ball for 2 straight hours they’ll make it in this world. Yeah right…

69. Frustrated Sub says:

[1/29/2008 - 3:42 pm]

I have seen more than enough bad teachers in my nearly 20 years as a teacher’s assistant and substitute teacher. I have tried documentation (with the assistance of a wonderful principal) on one, which only resulted in the teacher being transferred to a “friendlier school” and the principal transferred to a “less popular school.” (Some of the teachers and staff ultimately transferred to be with him, including myself, if that tells you anything.) I have battled them as a parent which only labeled me as a “bad parent” and my children as “problem students.” I am now substituting in a rural high school as one of the resource teachers’ assistant. I am so frustrated at how very little the teacher does, unless it is to degrade the students. After only two days in the class, the students were coming to me for EVERYTHING, which is exactly what the teacher seems to want. The teacher has spent more time “surfing the net,” talking on the phone and complaining about the students to other teachers than she has even acknowledging the students in the classroom. The students don’t care that the teacher is so poor; it only means less work and more goof-off time. Other teachers either can’t or won’t do anything, and goodness knows the prinicpal and superintenant have no backbone to do a thing. How this woman ever got a teaching position is beyond me. President Bush and his “No Child Left Behind” plan have only seemed to add to the mess. Can’t ANYONE help fix the education system of this country? It’s happening everywhere with poor, substandard and uncaring teachers. I know it will take more than one person to make a difference, but apparently it is going to have to take more than a dozen, hundred or even a thousand. Actually, after all the fighting I’ve done and seen while dealing with the problem, I think fixing the system that keeps so many bad teachers in the profession will take nothing short of a major miracle.

70. The other side of the coin says:

[1/29/2008 - 9:10 pm]

I’m a ninth-grade student, following the International Bachelorette diploma courses. I’ve had… the greatest science teacher last semester, in Honors Bio. He never had us use the books in class, only for homework; he’d done lectures on the material; and, looking back, even labs he’d done, had been executed perfectly.

I say this, because I wish to mention the science teacher I have this semester. She’s been teaching… oh, what is it, 14-16 years, probably..? She’s really active in the community, she’s earned awards and recognitions, and “supposedly” students in the pat loved her… or so she says.

I think she genuinely enjoys teaching. But that’s the problem: she likes it, but she’s horrible at it!

She does not raise her voice, or pick at people, like many of you mentioned. Instead she wastes time with idle chatter and wastes more time as she attempts to “connect it with science.”

For instance, she, imo, wasted 10-20 minutes, when she had us examine a photograph of her extensive family, and guess who was who in relation to her. Then she spent another 5 attempting to connect it with genetics. No explanations from her, e.g. no comparing of phenotypes, just examining a photo!

That was just one example. The other one that springs to mind, is that she has us take care of her aquariums and… rat like things. No zoophobia implied, but she wasted quite of a bit of time talking about her various “pets”… I’m talking a total of about 30 min, spread out. It may not seem like much, but we have 40-50 min classes, depending on the day. This sort of… disfocus simply cannot be acceptable!

She has us choose our labs. In reality, because we have to bring our own materials, there is usually absolutely no choice involved. I mean, how in the world will a 9th grader obtain a chromosome spread?! Not only that, but she insists that we put all our “labs” (which often end up being not much more than tables of vocabulary words) into the scientific method. In the end we end up with “problems” like “Can we categorize the different forms of RNA?” and a hypothesis like “Yes, we can.” And we get a 100 on it!

There’s also the way she “lectures.” While she insists that she does no lectures in her class, she tends to talk and talk, pausing every few words to have the class “fill in” as to what she was going to say. And we’re not talking about vocabulary or such here, we’re talking about phrases such as “something else.” Oftenmost, only a murmur arises from a few people in the class, but she takes that as a sign to go on.

I’ve confronted her publicly on her “lecturing style,” but no one voiced anything during the conversation. Though afterward, quite a few said they agreed with me. Hmph!

Maybe I’m just being too harsh on the old toad. Maybe its just such a humongous contrast between her “style” and that of my previous teacher… But it does seem that NO ONE who’s taken her class (to whom I spoke) came out of it with much thanks to her, and everyone disliked her distracting, disjointed way of lecturing.

And this is the point I wanted to illustrate: there are teachers who love what they do, but they just don’t realize that they *are not teaching*!!

What do we do about them? What should we do about them?

The ironic thing? She’s writing a goddamn self-help book.

P.S. Sorry for my bad writing. I’m really rather tired at the moment.

71. Same side of the coin says:

[2/7/2008 - 5:40 am]

I’m studying for an IB diploma as well. I’m in my first year of pre-IB education and I’ve got a horrible biology teacher. Friends in my class have voiced similar opinions that this is not what we paid for.

Can you believe that when we ask her questions, she says we’re asking stupid questions and refuses to explain? I have never yet met a teacher who has not been absolutely delighted to answer questions from a student. Most teachers tell us that when we’re asking questions, at least they know we’re listening, that we’re bothering to work at all.

A friend (not a close friend, mind, but a friend nonetheless as is anyone who stands against that teacher) voiced the idea of writing to the school, either to the HoD or principal, but some other classmates voiced concerns that doing so might be seen as undermining her authority. Another friend from a different school had a similar problem just last year, and they wrote the letter to the teacher herself asking her to change her teaching techniques. The result was that the teacher promised to try to change, but in the end, no drastic changes occurred and the year passed.

Should I write to the teacher first before going to the school? Doing so might seem polite, but in the end the teacher may not change much and going to the relevant authorities after that might not seem a nice thing to do because the teacher might have tried to change, whether or not it happens fast enough.

If I DO write to the school or teacher, how should I go about it? I know many classmates have similar opinions, will getting signatures help? Should I write to the school or teacher first?

72. barbara burdette says:

[3/19/2008 - 8:21 am]

Yes there are some bad teachers out there. We have some really horrendous examples with those who cross all lines by having sex with their students. But, if you or the parents or the administrators who launch unjustified complaints had to be in todays classrooms with your children for even a week, you might change your attitude about who are the really bad one!!!! Believe me, a teacher who is good, as reporters you need to be a fly on the wall in todays classrooms and then report on what teachers are subjected to each day of their lives. Really, really check the students complaints and also the parents complaints who most of the time don’t have even a slight glimmer what their children are studying or how they behave. Get rid of the bad ones? Give teachers battle field pay, increase their wages and respect what they try!!! to do every day while being hand cuffed by bureaucrats.

73. Todd says:

[3/19/2008 - 6:41 pm]

First off, I am a teacher and have been for several years. I know exactly what teachers have to deal with today. I don’t need to be that fly on the wall. I’m the person in the room. We need people in the classroom who can deal with that kind of environment, those kinds of students, and these kinds of regulations. If a teacher can’t handle all those things, s/he needs to go. Just because it’s a hard job doesn’t mean you get credit simply for trying to do it. If teachers aren’t effective, they need to be removed from the classroom.

Second off, who says the complaints are unjustified? What if the complaints are completely justified?

I reject the battle field pay analogy. Teaching is a job just like any other: there are days that are great and days that are terrible. Let’s not paint the picture any more rosy or bleak than it actually is.

74. HC says:

[3/26/2008 - 10:10 am]

Amen to what Ben and JayCee wrote. I became a teacher after reading “Savage Inequalities.” I said to myself, “I want to be the one teacher that WANTS to be in “those schools” and CARES about “those kids” that so many don’t want to be “bothered with.”

I know the system sucks. I know most/all systems in our country are broken. I was ready to be disillusioned and think I can’t get any more cynical. Yet I am still shocked again and again each year at the DEPTH of sucked-ness of this political game.

I have been told “You ARE a good teacher.” I’ve heard it so many times by so many wise people and dedicated teachers that I might actually believe it someday…but when I have been hauled into the principal’s office (principals’ offices) over and over again and have needed to get the union involved more than once, it is hard to believe. The thing is, I would do ANYTHING to help my kids and make their lives better. But if I have to choose between what is best for the kid and the political game, I pick the kid every time. So because I try and quietly do my best and not conform to the jaded twits that rule the grade level teams, I am always up a creek.

But I see SO MANY $#@%^# teachers that DO NOT CARE about their students and are actually damaging them and NOTHING is done. If I don’t hang out and shmoosh with the toxic staff people at the little “coffee clubs”, I’ll be out on the curb. (By the way, how do these teachers and principals always seem to have “Prep time” fifty times a day to sit around and gossip while the rest of us are busy doing stuff like,I don’t know, TEACHING or something…), But no matter how many students are yelled at or staff people are degraded publically, these poisonous teachers are still in the system and still will be. Ok, so we live in a corrupt world, but can’t we at least keep the game clean when we are dealing with SMALL CHILDREN???!!

I’m about ready to join Bob’s solution. Tell me the time and place, buddy and I’ll bring a couple of Broncos football players that go to my church. And I’ll cheer. A lot.

P.S. Please don’t crucify me for any spelling or grammar errors I made or slang I used. Gimmee a break. We don’t need those anal English teachers correcting our venting any more than we need the jerks we are venting about. I spell checked it, a’ight?

75. Dan, UK says:

[3/26/2008 - 3:45 pm]

Hey

I have no idea where to start here so im just gonna begin with the basics. We have a certain ‘bad’ teacher in our school, we find him to generally have knowledge of what he talks about, but he spends half the time in the classroom telling students off and handing out detentions to everyone, our class is quiete and usually well behaved in all lessons except from the ones in this class, mainly due to the fact that no one has an ounce of respect for him – If u can imagine the person that you wonder if he even likes being around kids-. Anyway, one of the kids in our class started gettin annoyed with the teacher and began a partition and got everyone in the class to sign and it was then sent to head of year. However, the head of year did not react well and said this was a form of bullying the teacher, which is ironic as she often talks about her belief in freedom of speech and what have you. Well, the entire case resulted in everyone who signed the partition gaining after school detentions for a week and being put on special report where the student will be judged and scored depending on how well he/she performed in that lesson, in order to prevent misbehaviour. Anyway, we are back where we started learning crap from this shitty teacher that looks like penfold from dangermouse and we havnt got a clue how to take it any further because everyones scared theyll get expelled or sumthin.

What should we do to take things further and get this A.Hole out of teaching for good?

BTW: The reason you might be thinking they are quite strict is because it is a single-sex selective grammar school in the UK, so everythings a bit harsh here =]

76. LP-Philippines says:

[3/26/2008 - 7:05 pm]

Hi Everyone!

All the comments i’ve seen are perfectly true because it is our right to put it out what is inside in our heart..I am now in a depressed stage because I am expecting that the case of my son in Kinder-II where he was graduated this month is over. Always in the teachers mouth that my son is active, with great reasoning power and you can see the results of his examination only 1 mistake, 2 mistakes but no 3 or 4 mistakes.He actually a vocal one which makes me proud hes the only one doing everything in his class. What I mean is that i teach him to be independent at the age of 5. I want to share my experiences as a mother which I can say that “TEACHER CAN MAKE AND UNMAKE THE CHILD” This incident is actually in the stage of confrontation right now because of the evil doings of the principal. Wherein in this world you can see a Principal brought the issue into my husband’s family which leads to a bitter relationship between the family…I actually make a complaint to the Teacher and the principal of why they place my child in rank number 5 well in fact the competition is always in between the child who is in rank 1 and my son? No breakdown of the school records was shown to us and its very too late because that day we knew the ranking the following day is graduation day in short NO TRANSPARENCY has been done by the administration and teachers before the printing of the program and graduation day. So its over the main issue i am facing now is that my husband confronted the principal after seeing my teary eyes which affected me so much of my situation…The principal went to my husband’s family just to tell them she needs to talk to my husband because of what my husband did to her and her reason is that her husband is very mad and she speaks too much lies on the family which we did not mention ever on her that triggers my husband’s auntie that cause too much heated arguments in our house that affects my child and become sick that time which the circulation of my son;s blood flow very fast that leads to abnormal temperature of his body and the doctor explained its another type of hysteria…so i ask for a medical records that leads me to bring it up to the director of the school and I dont know what to do next after this confrontation if i will get unsatifactorily response from the institution…I want to cut her evil doings because it happens every year. Every graduation honor students have so many complaints about the honors.WE ARE THE VICTIM!AND I WILL SEEK FOR TRUTH TO REMOVE HER FROM HER PRESENT POSITION!not only for my son..It is also because I want to cut her EVIL DOINGS AND LYING TONGUE. NOT to repeat it again in the coming school year.i hope this serve as lesson to them if i will bring it to the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION…Anybody who could help me and give me more advise to cut their evil doings in school cos at this time we are still in the stage of confrontation between her (the principal, the director of the school, my husband’s auntie who is also a teacher under her administration, Human Resource, Guidance Councelor and i requested for the school Physiscian but they denied it.)

77. eli wheeler says:

[5/7/2008 - 4:35 am]

Some teachers at the York Maine Middle school have decided to pick favorites and not be nice to certain students affecting there grade. Some teachers also do not apreciate the art of dancing.

78. Teacher Dude says:

[6/4/2008 - 2:08 pm]

What is sick is people. People, in general, are just terrible to other human beings. Some students are bad to teachers, some parents are bad to teachers, and some teachers are bad to students and parents. The “evil-doing” is shared by all parties involved. The best thing that can be done to help a child is for the parents and the teacher to form a partnership…no matter whether the teacher thinks the parent is bad or whether the parent thinks the teacher is bad.

Only when the parent and the teacher work together can the problems be solved.

What ever happened to people being nice to each other?

79. Change the System!! says:

[6/7/2008 - 7:29 pm]

Can someone tell me what constitutes a “bad” teacher? I know I have my opinions!
I had a teacher tell me about her stalker, and the men she was dating. Her morphine she took. She flirted shamelessly with other teachers, and was loved by ALL the kids. Yet, now I am an adult I would be appalled to have my children have such a teacher. It was not her place to talk about her love life, the stalker that use to be a lover, and where she kept her morphine. Even after a couple kids almost died from her morphine, she was still allowed to teach. Even after stories of her passing out in a deli because of her meds. She kept her job.
That same year I had a teacher that told stories about her favorite bar, having a beer, and eating tacos while playing pool. This was my 7th grade.

What does it take to weed out “bad” teachers?

I agree with the comment above, way above, that these “bad” teachers are better at manipulating the system and getting people to side with them, than using that energy to teach effectively.

It is a decent paycheck with an awesome vacation plan. Off in Spring, Fall, Winter, and ALL Summer. Why should they change when no one forces the subject.

The system protects them, that is the sad part. It is because they are so good at twisting it all around to fit THEIR needs.

When will the system work for the KIDS?

80. Saxman says:

[6/9/2008 - 9:14 pm]

The answer to the question above is simple, the solution is a difficult.

The teachers spoken about above answer the questoin, these teachers are nothing more than adults living as though they were back in college.

I had a teacher who took great joy in intimidating the kids. He would yell, scream, holler, and grab the kids in the roughest and meanest way possible. Him and his other two friends would constantly gather in the hallway put on cowboy hats, kerchiefs, and straw in their mouths all the while yelling yee haw, ya who while they were paddling the only black kid in school. They did this almost religously and undoubtedly hurt this young man’s self esteem. Thes guys got away with so much stuff that it makes me sick.

81. rjkolle says:

[6/20/2008 - 6:39 pm]

I am a high school student, and all i can say is that teachers are terrible. i have a 3.5 gpa, but want to kill myself because my teachers are so bad. they lie and are extremely cowardly and manipulative. there is nothing to do about it either. when i talked to the principle about it, he said i could get a waiver for the class, but would have to make up work. What the fuck? why is it me that has to do extra work?? fuck schools these days. we dont do anything. its a sitfest.

82. Vanetta says:

[7/20/2008 - 3:38 pm]

Hi, and welcome. I have been labeled as a bad teacher by a few colleagues, who seem to have nothing to do with their time by go out drinking and gossiping. Please, decide for yourself, whether or not I am indeed a bad teacher. For years, I have worked tirelessly, on holidays, weekends, and after school–all free of charge. Sometimes, my own kids are neglected, so that I can provide my students with success in academic achievement. I’ve taken children home and picked them up, just so that they could attend tutorials that I conducted without pay. Daily, I get to school and go home with the moon out, not the sun. My school is in a poverty stricken area, so many of the parents lend minimal support. However, because I don’t play hang with the “in crowd”, I’m a bad teacher. The “in crowd” manipulates situations and lie to parents and new principals. In fact, they even go up to the school in the summer and convince new principals that I am a bad teacher. This school year, I watched the teacher next door sneak out to meet her new boyfriend while the kids are left unattended, talk on her cell phone, and even run across the hall to gossip. Because she’s in the “in crowd”, her evaluation is good. This lady even trained the class, that on some days, ithey pretended to be reading if the principal stopped by, she would give them a free day of no instruction. She and her friends cover for each other and travel to the other side of town to buy lunch, while the kids wait. Guess what? She gets a stellar evaluation. Although I provide “bell to bell” instruction, my evaluation was bad.

83. TeacherFirst says:

[8/2/2008 - 2:33 am]

Vanetta,

Slow your road. Teaching is a profession that is, if you do it correctly, a labor or love. Few other professions require you to extend yourself as you have, (picking up students,staying late, etc.. However, do not get yourself into a situation where it is unsafe for you or you may be acussed of wrong doing. In my near 30 years, I have a rule,that I do not transport students in my cars. If I have to stay at the school until midnight, sitting outside the school until the student’s parents arrived to pick them up after a school event, I will do that.

Next. Your efforts are appreciated with the students. Slow down a bit. The other teachers are jealous at your new spirit and resent this because they remember when they used to be that way. Some teachers are angry that testing, social ills, disrespect, poor parenting all get in the way of the love they had for teaching when they started. Remember, to keep positive, and find a balance between your work life and home life. Your family needs you. Also, document your good deeds and bring these into your evaluation review, if nothing else, you have informed the principal of your works. Lastly, keep a journal of good lessons, not so successful ones, negative interactions with teachers and students for your own records and to “jog” your memory when you start “trusting” those teachers who were rude to you. Do not be a victim teacher. Good Luck!

84. Anonymous says:

[8/5/2008 - 12:08 am]

Teacher First,

Thanks for responding. You’ve inspired me in more ways than you know. As for transporting students, I stopped that a few years ago. God conditioned it where my own children are now participating in after school programs and must be picked up at a certain time. Also, as far as tutorials, the principal stopped me from doing so. She only allows her friends to teach them, which is a big joke, because many of them use this time to gossip and cover for each other while they take turns leaving early. In the meantime, the kids are “slapped” with worksheets and no instruction. They do it strictly for the money, but I was doing it for free. The parents were outraged when I was prohibited from tutoring, but now I have other things to do with my time after school. Nevertheless, I do believe that there is a reason for everything in life. With all of the allegations of teacher/child abuse in the media, I’ve learned to never put myself in a situation where someone could question my actions. I never have and never will cause harm to a child, but some people are evil, and their atrociousness and voraciousness could destroy not only careers, but lives. Good luck to you as well, and thanks again.

85. Estie Cuellar says:

[8/8/2008 - 4:41 am]

I just spent the better part of an hour reading all the comments posted here. Wow! What content! I read a number of concerns, complaints, and such…but few of the posts attempted to answer the question posted by Mr. Seal –

How do we get rid of bad teachers?

Honestly, I’m not sure. I left business/industry several years ago to teach…a calling if you will. I am about to begin my 7th year in teaching and I love it. I am exposed to (a few) teachers that are stuck in the status quo and do little to provide quality teaching to their students. I, on the other hand, have committed myself to life-long learning so that my content will always be relevant to my students…I rewrite my lesson plans every year; last year’s lesson plans are just so, well, last year.

But I digress…Getting rid of bad teachers is the topic here. From what I can tell, this issue is but one manifestation of a system that’s broken. To solve the problem of bad teachers, we need solve the problem of the entire system, overhaul it…–heck, we need a brand new system.

In industry, successful companies are always looking to improve their systems…most of the time these companies are proactive and solve problems before they even become problems. If/when an issue does arise they resolve the problem systemically. In public education (possibly because it’s a government entity), few (if any) issues are resolved systemically–we’d rather “whack the mole” to hide problems for a short time (the bandaid approach) rather than re-engineer our processes. In my estimation, it’s this bandaid approach that has led to the issue of not being able to get rid of bad teachers.

When/if education is re-engineered from a systemic level, then I believe that the issue of bad teachers and bad teaching will no longer exist because there will no longer be any bad teachers screwing up our kids.

This may sound simplistic, but it’s reality. When I get sick, I go to my doctor. Let’s say she determines I have strep throat. If she gives me a cough drop, that may help my throat feel better right then, but it doesn’t heal my illness, does it? She gives me antibiotics which heal me systemically, thus my illness goes away and I get better.

By approaching the issue systemically, we solve the various manifestations of a broken educational system, thus eliminating bad teachers/teaching from our schools. JMHO

86. anonymous says:

[8/13/2008 - 7:19 pm]

I have never had a bad teacher. I have found that if I study enough, I do fine. Most teachers will at least tell you what chapter to read. I have always viewed learning as mostly my responsibility and the teacher is just there to help. If I don’t understand them right away, then I just study harder. I put my focus on improving my own performance. I avoid the students who gossip about the teacher.

The only time that I have struggled in a classroom is when I did not have the preliminary courses necessary in order to do well. I also have seen teachers say things that could have been better left unsaid. Teachers are people and people do imperfect things. I don’t dwell on them.

This attitude has always worked for me as a student. It has always worked for me in the world of work. I am not a teacher. I am an engineer.

87. Don't mess with my kid says:

[8/25/2008 - 12:59 pm]

What do you do with a teacher who passes kids along just so she won’t have to deal with them the next year? In my state of Utah it’s so difficult to hire teachers because they are paid so miserably that if one is fired they won’t be able to replace them. We decided that we wanted my son who is now in 9th grade at Evergreen Jr High in Salt Lake City, Utah to retake Algebra because he was not ready for Geometry. So here it is the first day of school and the teach marches him down to the counselor’s office and won’t let him back in her class because he’s “too good” to be in her class.

88. mike says:

[10/8/2008 - 7:59 pm]

My daughter is in 5th grade. Her math/science teacher leaves a lot to be desired. No test papers came home until a few days before the mid-term progress report (in which she has a “C” in math and an “F” in science. She has been an A-B student in science up to this point. My daughter says that she goes entirely too fast and that she seems to be preoccupied with keeping up with the other teachers as opposed to taking time to present the lesson. The length and complexity of the tests seems rather excessive as well. One science test covered two or three systems of the body at one time. Over a week and a half has passed since her last science test, which still has not been returned. On the night before a recent math test, she sent home a math worksheet (due the next day) that was completely unrelated to the test. So my daughter, needless to say, was quite stressed trying to study for her test and complete an unrelated worksheet on the same night. In class, the kids have to go through the ridiculous act of standing up straight and then delivering their answer. If they don’t, the answer is counted as wrong (even if they are right). My daughter is doing quite well in her other subjects, which, of course, are taught by a different teacher.

89. A Guy in California says:

[10/23/2008 - 6:54 am]

Holy crap, Todd, you are really naive. There is NOTHING you can do if there is a crappy teacher in a public school — NOTHING. You keep suggesting that you document your complaints and meet with other parents, and all of that jazz… but in the end, all you will do is brand your kid and yourself a troublemaker and the teacher will NOT get fired, because of the union and tenure. Then, the bitter and pissed-off teacher will continue to wreak havoc on other innocent unsuspecting students and parents.

I find your suggestions laughable and rather Quixotic. Do you REALLY think mounting a crusade against a teacher will do anything except get that teacher really pissed off at your kid and waste YOUR time for naught? I would like you to tell us all about the times when your suggested strategy was actually successful. I bet there aren’t any such real-world incidents.

I can offer better solutions for your troubled parents… first, do not aggravate the teacher. Instead, kiss their ass and make nice. Then, get some good counseling for your kid, and/or outside tutoring. That will actually help your child learn and progress regardless of what the retard with the Masters degree at the head of the room decides to do with that poor creature. In the worst case, your kid will keep up and learn the material and you can then mount a challenge to future placement (or lack thereof) based on your kid passing a test and/or oral examination.

Forget trying to change the system. The teachers who are bad are bad because of personality flaws. They should really leave the profession but by fact of their remaining have demonstrated an obliviousness that will be impenetrable and unyielding, much like an insane person who can’t see their own insanity. Combine this with the “Go Fish” system of teacher placement shuffling, and the “code of silence”/”live-and-let-live” arrangement teachers have with one another, and it is truly a lost to try to get rid of a teacher. Stop trying to tell people it can actually be done unless you can pony up actual examples.

90. Todd says:

[10/23/2008 - 8:18 am]

You’ve mistaken who I am. I’m a teacher, Guy, not a parent. I don’t have kids. I see how this system works and see a way to change it. If a teacher has enough complaints formally lodged and documented, that teacher will be dismissed. Trouble is, paperwork falls through the cracks, parents/principals/superintendents aren’t diligent enough, and it’s easier to turn a blind eye than go through all the trouble of doing it right.

But it can be done. What I suggest here is one way to do it.

I find your analysis the exact type of thinking that keeps this system as damaged and broken as it is. We need to change the system, as idealistic as it might sound. It seems you’ve given up hope of that entirely. I’m sorry that’s the case, but please don’t encourage people to keep playing the same stupid game with the same corrupt rules. You know this is wrong, but you tell others to play along. That’s a shame.

91. Teach or get off the pot! says:

[11/8/2008 - 12:23 pm]

Why become a teacher if your not there for the right reasons? Why stay if you’re burned out? Really? We’ve personally encountered all of it. The small town schools seem to be the worst. They have a special good old boy system as an added bonus. Blech! Here’s my favorites…
Screamers ( you make me sick )
Bully teachers ( again… sick! )
Blind eye teachers ( do your day & do the minimum right? )
LAZY
Teachers who demean kids. ( is that all you’ve got? )
List goes on and on.
You hear about bad kids but let’s hear about these wastes of flesh making children miserable. School’s demanding enough without staff being pathetic and insufficient. By the time you go through the fifty steps to do something… ANYTHING about a bad teacher you and your child’s gone through hell. It’s not JUST teacher’s. We’ve encountered bad school nurses, office workers, lunch ladies, Principals, teacher assistants,and Superintendants. No wonder home-schooling’s become so popular. You want a job with summer’s off? Work at Burger King and stay out of our kids lives!
I meet with them and nose to nose let them know they’re WORTHLESS as a teacher and I will be on their @ss daily the entire year until the buck up and fly right. I have no respect for staff aware of other bad staff either. They’re enablers. Teacher’s are NOT what they used to be. It won’t change unless parents collectively step on the back of their necks and quit being TOO BUSY to investigate their childs complaints. Period.

92. Teach or get off the pot! says:

[11/8/2008 - 12:36 pm]

I’d also like to add that I COMPLETELY disagree with California Guy’s assessment that you should suck up to bad teachers. sticking your head in the sand makes you an enabler. You may not be able to get a teacher booted but by God you CAN back them up several steps.I don’t have time to change the system especially if it’s firmly held in place by nimrods. BUT, I CAN make the Administration right down to the regular staff miserable. I encourage other parents to do the same and I’ve even dragged one school into the newspaper. I blame the parents. They give up, don’t listen, seem too busy, too shy, WHATEVER! It’s YOUR taxes and YOUR child. Parent up people. Parent up!

93. Teach or get off the pot! says:

[11/8/2008 - 12:51 pm]

Also one more added note. There ARE laws governing these slackers and yet they’re not enforced. They manage themselves. WHY should they be above the law? I retained copies of the laws and shoved it under their noses. They really hate well armed parents.

94. Jagdog says:

[11/9/2008 - 11:33 pm]

What about a third grade teacher that my 8 year old son comes home and says he experencied a ” Lofton Meltdown” where the teacher grabbed a book from a childs hand ( the child was reading it when she was not supposed to) and then begins a rant and pointing out students in the class in front of the rest of the class and telling them that they are going to fail! What do you do with a teacher that teaches third graders by intimaditadion, and bullying.

( forgive me for my spleeling please) my boy was not one of those she said was going to fail, yet he sat there in terror watching this unfold.
This is not how you teach third graders!

95. Veronica says:

[11/13/2008 - 2:33 pm]

Well, I have been looking EVERYWHERE for this answer and I have not found it… YET…

I am a college student.
During my previous school years, I had been blessed to receive a great education from great teachers. However, I did not run with the same luck now that I am in college.

I am writing a research paper on HOW TO GET RID OF BAD TEACHERS; however, I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND THE ANSWER.

I have talked to several teachers, counselors, principals, deans, students… I have read books, articles, papers, magazines, blogs (including these 94 posts)… I have looked everywhere on the internet and all I find is: “It is very hard. It is almost impossible. It is a very complex and very long process… tenure… union… blah, blah, blah…”

Of course it is very frustrating. Mostly because I NEED TO KNOW, not only for my paper, but because I have some unprofessional, lazy, racist, and… well… just very bad teachers, and I, unlike many other people will “do something about it” because I KNOW it is not IMPOSSIBLE.

ALL I WANT TO KNOW IS…

Does anyone know the exact process? (Step 1. Talk to such and such people/ Step 2. Fill out such and such paperwork, etc…) I will HIGHLY appreciate it.

PS. Todd… you are such an inspiration :)

96. Veronica says:

[11/13/2008 - 6:40 pm]

I mean in CA…

Thank you again…

97. Anonymous says:

[11/14/2008 - 8:39 pm]

I’m hearing so many references to bad teachers, but what does a teacher do, when he/she does all within his/her power to motivate a child, and the child does not produce? We’re talking about capable students. The game of education is so political. Yes, there are bad teachers, those who neglect or refuse to do their job, but what about the cases where the parents refuse to support, and the school’s administration expects you (the teacher) to ensure learning and not bring problems to their attention? We’re living with a generation of kids who play video games and other electronic devises. Teachers can’t just always jump “out of hats” like rabbits, and why should they be made too? All I’m asking is what should the teacher do, and why is it always the teacher’s fault, but if the teacher doesn’t produce a certain score, he/she is considered a bad teacher.

98. Anonymous says:

[11/14/2008 - 8:45 pm]

In our country, child abuse should also include neglect, in terms of education. If parents are made more responsible for making their children focus on academics, the number of “burned out teachers” would certainly decrease. Why not file charges on the parents who don’t make their kids do their best in school? After all, it is their child. In the media, we’ve seen countless cases of teachers committing unlawful acts, and yes, they are bad; however, many of the “bad” teachers as described in this blog, are victims themselves, thus making them “bad teachers”. Think about the other countries, such as those in Asia and Africa. The students excell, because the value of an education is overlyemphasized at home. These kids know that failure is not an option. In America, we allow failure to be an option, and that’s why others are excelling in our country.

99. bees says:

[11/15/2008 - 7:36 pm]

I’m from Canada, but I doubt things are really different. Sometimes, bad teachers are those who don’t give kids the grade they want. Sometimes bad teachers are those who don’t give kids the grade their parents think their angel deserves.

Where my mom teaches, two girls were very disruptive. The teacher asked them to leave the classroom after numerous requests to behave. They did, but brought back several other boys to the classroom and proceeded to heckle the teacher. The teacher closed the door. Those girls told the principle the teacher pushed them. Why? Because that teacher wasn’t a pushover, wasn’t going to tolerate bad behaviour. Does that make her a bad teacher?

For plenty of students who don’t have their way in class, the teacher is bad. For plenty of parents, those teachers are bad – never mind that their kid’s not exactly an angel.

I’m not saying there aren’t bad teachers; I’ve had one. But the point is, I’ve only ever had one and I’ve heard more than that number being called bad by my friends.

100. BabyCakes says:

[11/23/2008 - 4:49 pm]

Labeling someone a bad teacher is not the end all be all to a teachers career. Let’s think about the question at hand: How do we get rid of bad teachers? My answer is a bad teacher is but someone who cannot communicate affectively. Someone who decides to go into teaching should be admired from the start of this decision. An individual who decides to teach goes into the profession for two reasons, 1.)They were affected by a teacher they had in the past in a positive way and feel as if their lives have changed for the better for knowing that person. 2.) That individual was someone who did very well for themselves in an academic environment such as high-school and feel that they should continue with their studies because education is something they have always been good at. The problem with #2 is that person may be a book worm and not be able to communicate affectively with the students they inherit. Let me say for the record that you are not a bad teacher due to lack of knowledge on the subject or else you would not have made it through college. From what I gather, being a bad teacher is someone who cannot relate their subject matter to the student body due to being socially inept. Let’s not complain when the person’s heart is in the right place.

101. Been in the real world says:

[12/6/2008 - 6:40 pm]

I had 30 years in various jobs (management and non-management) and I still cannot understand how we judge without real evidence. By the way I attended, developed, and taught adults. I believe teaching should be entirely based on understanding… not just good grades. If a student understands they will get good grades.

1. Culture: This is a valid excuse but we are looking at the wrong determinents of culture. It is not race, economic, or social parameters. We somehow deem that all students want and will go to college– this is an impossibility as there are not enough college level jobs. The culture we should be looking at is what desired profession students are aiming for. If they change their mind then there are many ways for them to readjust their education.

2. Technology: Technology is specifically designed to eliminate highly skilled employees (less pay) as well as their numbers. There will always be students that excel to higher standards due to their nature. Look at the US and we see immigrants doing jobs that citizens have deemed “below them”. Adam Smith was wrong–people are not solely motivated by greed ( I ama Maslowvian).

3. Economics: Unfortunately, theprevalent view of make lots of money has caused the living expenses to soar. The tax laws and the US econmy encourages this destructive notion. I remember when people were judged by the quality of their work, not by the prestige and salary.

4. We need more professionals: I was witness to the reason many immigrants are chosen over US citizens. One: they work for less; two: their employers sponsor their visas to stay and work in this country. No job no visa.

5. Medical professionals: Foriegn students becoming doctors are admitted for two reasons: significantly higher tuition and better scores on “standardized tests” –mainly because they are the best of the best in their country. Many stay beacuse that country’s salary is low.

6. Student’s desire: There are some students that do not want to learn all the material deemed necessary by society. Sure we can entertain them with “fun learning”, but is this really establishing a solid foundation for further work, ro will it be used and discarded? Sometimes desire is due to stress at home or they just are not getting the proper management from home or they would rather not go to school. Let’s face it, school can be tough.

7. Make learning fun: Learning is not fun… attending class may be fun but learning is a chore–understanding what you are doing is fun.
Example: I read many articles on teaching the addition and subtraction of negative numbers. However, no one simply said that “subtraction is adding a negative number, and adding a negative number is subtraction”. Further, in higher algebra we only add terms. Terms are always multiplication and division is multiplying by a fraction. Students understand getting versus taking , or gain versus lose. Elementary has so ingrained the four operations that 7th grade must unprogram this way of thinking. “Just do it” gimmicks are used for finding answers that do not substitute understanding.

8. NCLB: NCLB may have higher pass rates but the quality of education/testing across-the-board is lacking (George may have been right about 1984, only a few years off). Further, grade level test are good tools for student review (like the test we have always had)but not as a education system’s performance. The only real evaluattion is the SATS because they test the entire K-12 impact on learning. Also, determination of a teacher based on NCLB tests alone are as ridiculous as firing an accountant because their software worked improperly. Human bahvior research is the most complicated type of research… especially for intelligence (which has not been universally defined).

9. Length of education: I would like more times for my classes but students are getting “burned-out”. Too many different subjects with structured “recess” combined with sports and clubs moving further down the grade levels wear students out. Reccreational sports, TV, video games less outdoor playtime (for whatever reason) and less parental time is a burden. Perhaps adults should try this for 180 days with homework–I do not think they could handle it.

10. It amazes me that those calling for changes in education were taught with the “old” methods that obviously worked for them. We complain about the quality of workers but we just do not understand the basic concept of education. Learning is entirely the student’s responsibility. Encouragement or penalty is the parent’s responsibility. The teacher only presents and validates the student’s learning. This teaching responsibility is the same for college, vocational, and employee education. The difference is that the teacher cannot accept failure without trying their best. The others’ responsibility is to their employers goals, so those not “making it” are moved or expelled.

102. Momsy says:

[1/1/2009 - 5:54 pm]

My child’s Grade Four teacher was a bad teacher. This is not the first time he has encountered a bad teacher. In fact, it seems to happen about every second year. It is no coincidence that these bad teachers are sandwiched in the years that “don’t count” — that is, years without the standardized tests. So, Grade One is an Important Year. Grade Two and Four have BAD teachers and Grade Six is another Important Year. Administrators place these people where they do the least harm, theoretically.

After the Grade Four bad teacher, 15 of the 25 students in my child’s class left the school. Many of these students also had siblings who left the school. Do you think someone would get the message? Well, actually they did. After many complaints from parents, the administration had to listen. The teacher was foolish enough to put demeaning and unsubstantiated value judgments about her pupils on their school documents. The teacher has taken a part-time job in the school’s attached preschool program. She also teaches part-time in the school’s reading program.

Another wasted year, with the Grade Five teacher playing catch-up in all subject areas. It must be hard work to sweep up after these bad teachers. Some of the damage to hearts and souls is permanent.

103. sam says:

[1/6/2009 - 9:33 am]

My son has a bad 3rd grade teacher. Her previous job was working with juveniles who come from troubled homes and have issues such as drugs, drinking, and or abuse. She is so hardened from that experience that in teaching in a public school in a rural area she treats all the children like criminals. I have met the students and these children are not difficult-nor are they con artists trying to get over. She is constantly accusing them of actions that a fifth grader may try-these students skills are not there yet.The students who need tutoring are not getting it and the students who are excelling are left alone -she just doesn’t want to put the effort out to challenge their minds-she already has all the necessary supplies- it all comes down to her lack of desire to truly teach these children beyond the scope of finishing an assignment, turn it in, put a grade–end of day for her.Bad teacher.No -I can’t call her a teacher-she is an assignment designator,paper collector, tree destroyer, busy work supplier-not a person who teaches.

104. chanel danice true says:

[2/5/2009 - 9:25 am]

we have the worst unfun teacher who we think is races tords black people in his class. he treats other kids with respect. so we need to know what to do to get rid of him.

105. Hal says:

[2/11/2009 - 11:52 pm]

I would mess with his/her car, mail, things etc. Use psychological warfare, it works. Even with bosses. You cannot use legal stuff to fire a teacher. Strike from where they cant get at you. They will change or quit.

106. Anonymous says:

[2/26/2009 - 5:16 pm]

“Learning is entirely the student’s responsibility.”

So is it the student’s responsibility when a teacher ‘doesn’t have the time’ to mark essays? Is it the student’s responsibility when there is obvious bias in grading? Is the teacher not at fault when, not one, but the ENTIRE class is failing?

Learning and teaching is a two way process, you cannot say “Learning is entirely the student’s responsibility”. How can a student learn, when a teacher cannot teach?

107. Loriann says:

[3/2/2009 - 9:16 am]

I have been searching websites for a week now. I have read everything from Teachers Unions to Teachers being thrown in rubber rooms. I have read hundreds of comments of teachers moaning about their side and I have read hundreds of comments from parents and students. I am a parent who has done a good amount of moaning and groaning on posts and personally I’m getting tired of it. There are soooo many bad teachers in public and private schools I just can’t believe it. A bad teacher isn’t just someone who doesn’t effectively educate acadamically, a bad teacher is the one who wastes so much time by disciplining students with humiliation and sarcasm. They can waste a whole hour of class just trying to figure out who let out a whistle while she was speaking or waste a whole hour by berating one student in front of their peers. A bad teacher is someone who creates a bad reputation for a child or even their family. So many kids that come from good homes go to school for the first time happy as clams. After a few years of constant interaction with bad teachers, these kids develop chips on their shoulders for authority that may last a lifetime. The emotional abuse done by teachers is not only appalling, it is criminal. If we saw a parent in the grocery store telling their child that they are stupid, worthless,disgusting, and pathetic, we would think what an awful parent. This is what teachers are doing everyday behind closed doors! No one in this world has the right to treat someone else’s child in this manner. It kills me that I am paying teachers like this a paycheck. But what kills me even more is that our wonderful government protects these abusers of power. When you read about the Columbine tragedy, you read about those two boys who did this, you will see that they had been treated this way by school staff for all their years in school. These kids came from homes where they were loved but it’s easier to blame their parents. Teachers are not this special group of human beings who have given up their lives for children. Maybe 2 out of 100 teachers are even worth being with our kids. Elementary schools are far more worse than any other schools. Almost every teacher there could be considered an elderly person and believe in the “old school” ways which of course means, if all else fails humiliate, berate, and out cast the child they find a bother. Oh and by the way, these teachers are also the ones talking to the parents about medicine. So many parents are putting their kids on meds because of old teachers who just can’t handle 20 some kids anymore in a classroom. People, the only answer to this problem is video cameras in classrooms. So many bad teachers would quit if this would happen. Instead of b****ing and moaning for the next 20 years, us parents need to fight for the rights of our children by getting video cameras in classrooms. It can be done if parents would all ban together. The cameras would not only let us see how our children are being treated, it would definitely stop alot of bad behavior in the classroom and most defintely stop theft from the classroom too. Get video cameras in the classrooms and just watch how this could change. As far as the teachers not wanting cameras, too bad! This is a public classroom, not the teachers bedroom.

108. Diane says:

[3/23/2009 - 3:27 pm]

Finally, someone who believes in video cameras in the class room. We use them in Daycare for the protection of our smaller children, so we know what they are doing all day, make sure they are well taken care of. These bad teachers will never be fired the way our Unions work. They would be ashamed, hopefully, if caught on tape. Ofcourse, we will never get the right to place webcams in their rooms. So, kids all need video phones, etc., to get these psycho teachers on utube or something. That’s the only way to get any action on firing them. Unfortunately, so many more kids must sacrifice their sanity and education while this is being done.

109. Julie says:

[3/27/2009 - 12:03 pm]

My sons teacher is inexperienced band teacher in a rought inner city class. She lent out his instrument for 2 months. When it came back he promptly got cold sores covering both lips. When I took it up with the principle she lied and said the instrument was gone 2 weeks and that no one had used the month piece. Then an incident happened that got my son suspended while this teacher was in the classroom. It should not have happened. It came out the girl who accused my son was lying. The point I’m making is that none of this should have happened. She should have double checked the instrument and took out his mouth piece. The teacher sees what she wants to see, she’s walking around with blinders on. This is not all that has happened through the year, I’m keeping it short. This teacher should not be teaching where she is not in control, new to the system, and not experienced enough for middle school system. She seems intimidated by some students and lets them go, the other students she’s constantly on them about their actions. She is very defensive, lies, and knows the system will back her up. There is nothing I can do as a parent. My son is scarred with cold sores for life, he is bullied by other kids, and she sees only what she wants to see. This is my problem with a bad teacher.

110. Nightheart01 says:

[3/30/2009 - 2:24 pm]

I am a student at Ebenezer Middle School and am in advanced classes for Social Studies and Science. My teacher in social studies is named —-. She IS a bad teacher. Only five people (in a class of about 25 or 26 students) are actually passing. My mother does not believe me and whenever we complain to other teachers or councelors or anyone in charge they just say something like, ‘We will talk to her.’ or ‘We will handle it.” or some bull like that. Our grades have not gone up, but gotten worse. Her tests consists of things coming from 50% from notes, 30% from her mouth, 10% from the book, and another 10% that comes from tests when she just decides to introduce new things to us. We only get to keep the answers, we can’t copy the tests down, we can’t keep up with all she says and remember it all, and we are only allowed to take home one book out of two to study when most of it comes from the book we aren’t allowed to take home, and we take so many notes we can only study half of them before the tests that she gives weekly. She gives at least two quizzes a week and most of the time everybody fails. She’s a sucker for a suckup, because she’s giving 100’s on report cards to this girl named McKayla for sucking up and commenting her and everything. Parents have been taking their kids out of her class because she’s failing them, but the teachers, princial, nor vice principal will do anything about it. What can i do, because my mom won’t let me quit GT (Gifted and Talented) or transfer out of the class because my mom insists that i can do better. I study for three hours every night and am making a 56 in the class, so what can i do?

111. Jenni says:

[4/9/2009 - 8:51 pm]

I am a junior in high school. I go to a public school with little funding, but for the most part, all the teachers are great. There’s one teacher that I would honestly label as a “bad” teacher, although I’ve been trying to work things out with him.

I’m not an outstanding student, but I make an almost all B average with a few As here and there. That was until this year. I have all Bs and As except for my Chemistry class.

At first I did fine in the class, but my family went out of town for vacation for a week. When I came back I asked for make-up work, because I was concerned I was behind. All my teachers gladly gave me the work except for my Chemistry teacher who said it was too late to ask for make up work and gave me Fs for every assignment that week, including a major lab and test without giving me a chance to make it up.

Apparently the principal thinks the teacher is within his rights to refuse me make-up work when all the other teachers allowed me to make up everything.

After that incident, he has done nothing but gotten worse. His class is my last class of the day, and the only time I can get allergy shots, so I’m checked out of it weekly to go get the shots, because the clinic closes at 4, when school lets out. Anything I miss, he will not allow me to make up, even when I ask the day after, or before I know I will be taken for allergy shots. I always bring the doctor’s note to show him, in the chance I can get my work.

Because of missing all the make-up work, I’ve lost track of the times I’m there. Because we don’t have books, everything is off of notes. And it is mostly complicated math, so when I copy someone’s notes, I don’t understand it, and no one can explain it. I have asked the teacher multiple questions on notes or assignments and each time he won’t help me.

I honestly try to work in there, yet I’m lucky if I get a D. I have 38 days left, and if I don’t pass this class I will have to take it over, with him, again next year.

Any ideas?

112. Todd says:

[4/9/2009 - 9:43 pm]

This teacher is certainly not within his rights to refuse you the opportunity to complete work missed during excused absences. That’s actually part of education code in my state, so you’ll want to look that up to see if that’s the case where you are (a tough process, so just ask around and see you can find out). Teachers are required by law to provide make-up work for excused absences. That could very well be your way out of this and a trip to make-up city, though I realize that’s probably not as pleasant as it sounds.

Ask your parents to get involved, to call the principal and the superintendent about this. The whole point of excused absences is that those days are excused and should not be held against you. They should demand that you be given make-up work for days you missed due to excused absences. It may even be illegal to do otherwise.

113. Mad Mommy says:

[4/20/2009 - 2:55 pm]

We just moved to this town a few months.And am very active in my childrens school life.Buts since my younger daughter has been attending this new school she has been stabbed with a pencil twice,Kicked and brused.And nothing has been done about it.And today my daughter came home and said the teacher made a comment about her shorts being to little to other people and the whole school knew about it.What do i do about this out of order teacher please help me before i take matters into my own hands.

114. Guy who hates his teacher =P says:

[5/26/2009 - 9:05 am]

My french teacher is the most retarted man on earth he is never in, and when he is in he never teaches he just shouts out random words, im about to do my junior cert and i can bearly string a full sentence together. [edited] thats how f**ked up my school is!

115. pissed off kid says:

[6/4/2009 - 1:14 pm]

my careers teacher got me in trouble for no reason because i told my friend to turn off my other friend’s computer. Then my other friend got pissed off at me and wanted to turn my computer off and i was push him away. then my careers teacher got pissed off and sent me and my friend (the one who turn off my other friend’s computer) to the principal.

The computer didn’t even have any thing important on and my other friend was talking with his friend. Also I was even pushing my friend away that hard just a little nudge.

116. Slay evil at once....and that means you!!! says:

[6/21/2009 - 10:17 am]

bad teachers seem to keep growing in number….i have a math teacher who just skims through the pages of the concept instead of actually taking the time to explain. She has one answer to all her ‘problems’—ImPoSiTiOnS!!…..impositions are supposed to help the student grasp the concepts he/she doesn’t understand. For that to happen, the most one can do is write it 3 or 4 times, not 160 times!!!
My computer science teacher is so poor at English that she didn’t even know the difference between an adjective and a name!!….instead of “squiggly red line”, i had written “red squiggly line” and she had marked wrong. When i went and argued, she said she couldn’t accept it as it was “squiggly red” in the text book and also had the nerve to ask me if i would accept it if she were to call me with my name with the 1st and last part switched!!!

oh and one more thing, its been two months since school reopened and we haven’t had a physics teacher since the previous one left the school owing to bad salary…..talk about shit ass management huh….

117. Winnie says:

[8/24/2009 - 4:45 am]

bad teachers r idiots. coz they dunno how 2 treat kids.
they never listen 2 kids doubts.

118. Winnie says:

[8/24/2009 - 4:53 am]

I have a bad math teacher. Shes on porpose making me get scoldings just coz I once failed in maths at the 3rd term in 5th grade. So now Im in 6th grade and she keeps telling new students that- ‘thats y this girl failed last year.’ Well…
I DID NOT FAIL LAST YEAR, ONLY ON D 3RD TERM NOT 4TH (THE LAST) sooo…. I really lost my confidence in maths because of her like shes a demon and i have to serve her. Before I was a smart person in maths.

119. St. George says:

[8/24/2009 - 10:17 pm]

I know of a case in Coventry at one of the largest secondary schools where inappropriate and spurious comments were leveled at a 12 year old child, now18 years of age.
The child was dragged aside by a teacher, Miss. W. and told, “I know what you did”. She “knew” what the child had done, as the head teacher had told her.
The comments made to the child were horrifying and fictitious. As a result, a cover-up began. The teacher Miss W. left only several weeks later, at the next school break.
The child’s parents were never allowed to meet Miss W. The parents, on more than one occasion asked for a meeting to be arranged with the Board of Governors, again this was refused. What of the head teacher, she’s still head teacher. Most of the staff you were present when this all took place have now moved on to pastures new, so it looks like she’s got away with it.

The Coventry Telegraphs Lucy Lynch missed out.

120. Larica says:

[9/10/2009 - 9:35 am]

My teacher told me that i would grow up 2 be a School Janitor.I’m trying 2 get rid of all bad teachers.I’m actually Writing a report about it Now.I’m in 9th grade.I’m 15 and My teacher Sucks Ass!

121. madhavan says:

[9/12/2009 - 8:55 am]

in our school there was a bad teacher,she always would keep on staring at everybody and if she asks any question and if we answer her question correctly she would stare at us and if we do not answer her question she would send us to principle. and she is a maths teacher so she teaches oly one sum and tells us to do 4 sums on class and 8 sums as homework.

122. tristan says:

[9/17/2009 - 2:38 pm]

i am ten and there is a rude jerk teacher who EVERYBODY!!!!! exept the principal hates becuase the princeipall iss bff with here it pisses me off LONG SOTRY SHORT HOW DO I GET RID OF HER JUST ME AS A STUDENT

123. Teena says:

[10/11/2009 - 11:22 pm]

she mocks at me,teases me,she makes me cry.i want to get rid of her but how????she always scolds me.only me.

124. Cam says:

[10/27/2009 - 6:25 am]

My son is a freshman this year and he has a coach who likes to egg on the other students by saying my son can do this that and the other what are yall gonna do about it? This started his 8th grade year. It just so happened that his wife was my sons english teacher that year and 3days after school started she complained about how he didnt do something and how she didnt want to teach this grade but it was the only thing available. So we didnt have a good year. This year she is my 10yr olds teacher, yep she teaches the 4th grade and my daughter has been a straight A student since she started school and here in the second 6wks she has one A on her progress report. I asked her how did this happen and she said ” I dont know I guess she is unorganized or something”. My daughter has a bunch of missing papers and lots of F’s but when I quized her over something she took 2wks ago that the teacher says she made a 49 over she got them all right. Everyone is buds in this school and we are the outsiders so when I say something about it, they just ignore me like I am just complaining. They all have this attitude, when my son had a problem with one of the upper classmen who happened to be over 18 and on the football team I came in to take care of it and coach told my son at practice that next time he had a problem with one of his boys that he better come to him instead of running to your momma to soften things up. This year his spanish observing teacher gripped at him the whole period about a comment he made with me there to another teacher. He simply said,” I didnt understand and didnt want to ask to many questions because she was fustrated and told me to just go do my work”, and the teacher he made the comment to just so happened to be her mother, we didnt know that. So the next day the observing teacher yacked at him about how she goes to college, goes to work, takes care of her children, feeds her horses,pigs, cleans house,etc. and can still get her work done unlike him. Then told him he can go home and tell him mommy about it.

I think teachers shouldnt be able to talk to a student like that, My son said he didnt say a word he just listened and she did this in front of the whole class. The students wont take up for my son cause they say they dont want to get on her bad side. They all chat on facebook and hang out together so whatever they do she overlooks that. My son is slow at what he learns and they dont have any patience with him. What is this world coming too? What do I do? I have recently become a Christian and my children love going to church, they are always trying to make someone else’s day better. This is really trying for me, It makes me want to go up there and tell them off and hit them right in the mouth. I want my kids to come home and talk to me about what is bothering them. Now my son feels if he tells me something and I try to take care of it that he will get it worse. Sorry this is so long, I still didnt tell everything..yep there’s more!

125. Jerkman '09 says:

[11/3/2009 - 12:16 pm]

I’m a teacher. I’m trying to figure out if I’m a bad teacher or just inexperienced. The problem is I’ve been having the same question in my mind for that past two year since I started teaching. I’m in the beginning of my third year now and I feel like I’m not getting any better. My question is, are good teachers made or are they born? I probably don’t make good activities for the students. I’ve lost my temper in the classroom and have been rude the kids. I’m sure I get a lot of those complaints that I’ve read about from parents and students. I give notes that the students either don’t use or don’t know how to use (I can’t figure out which). It’s not that I’m lazy when I go home, I do work. it’s just that I’m tired or the activities I plan don’t really work too well. Personally I feel the students need to study more on their own and they don’t but after reading some of these posts that sounds like it’s an excuse for me not being better at what I do. I would like to hear from parents what they think, if they think I should quit or if they think teachers can get better over time. I also want to know what Todd thinks.

126. Todd says:

[11/6/2009 - 6:06 am]

I think if you even have the concern that you’re a bad teacher you aren’t. Really bad teachers think they are going a great job and never question their curriculum. Jerkman, you’re worried that what you’ve put together isn’t good enough. That’s where you need to stay. I mean, sure, increase the number of days you feel good about what you do, but you can always do it better. As long as you continue to look for that better way, you’re likely doing fine.

You give notes students don’t use; who doesn’t? Your students don’t study enough on their own; whose do? That doesn’t make you a bad teacher. Just don’t keep doing the same thing you know doesn’t work. You lost your temper. Look back at what happened there and try not to get yourself into that same position again. Some of your activities aren’t good. Don’t do them again.

I think what you’re feeling, Jerkman, is the sole indication any teacher has that they are on the right track. Keep trying to improve. We all have to.

127. Laurie says:

[11/7/2009 - 8:41 am]

Jerkman,
I would also suggest that you find a teacher who you can help you with your lesson plans. I have cultivated a collaborative relationship with a couple of colleagues and it has made all the difference in my planning. That may help you refine your lesson plans so that they are a better match for your students.

I think a collaborative workgroup is critical to any teacher’s growth and essential to every new teacher. Find that person on your staff. You both will benefit and so will your students.

128. Ideas with Experience says:

[11/10/2009 - 8:22 pm]

Here is my simple plan that got rid of my middle school teacher, and yes i am a student who detest’s bad teachers and wishes to remove them from the classroom, but not befor receiving a vast amount of humiliation and slander. For that is the best way to get rid of a teacher. So my middle school science teacher, was a horrible teacher, first of all he made fun of me, makeing an example, for me having an F in my band class, I told him when he commented on it, that I had sever allergy induced asthma, and that ragweed the one allergen that aggitates it the most was very strong at the moment and that I had a doctors note that was to be given to the band teacher stateing why I could not play the oboe at that particular point. (I quit band shorty after she told me she didn’t care. His response was to say that I was just makeing up excuses and that he would not tollerate this in his classroom, HE TEACHES SCIENCE. Thankfully a fellow teacher saw this and saw what he was doing and came in and removed me from the classroom. At that point I had learned how to make allies. I told my parents after the science teacher called my house stateing that I was inturupting his class. My parents were furiouse, even more so after they learned I was failing the class because he kept “LOOSING” my papers, and when he did find them they had mispellings or I did not us the latin name of that animal. NO ONE else did this. During all this the teacher that removed me that first time told me that anytime I felt picked on I could leave his classroom and walk over to hers. Gradually he started to pick on more students and the process was repeated. Gradually we devised a plan and we all started to fill out complaint papers, then we divised a plan, that all revolved around the fact that he was now picking on the only black girl in class. She was all for stateing that he was acting racist in his lectures and the way he spoke to her. Then we found out he toutched one of the 6th grade girls buts. He started in August was fired by Feburary.

Now I am a Junior in high school and there is a new teacher I am encourtering trouble with, but she is that same band teacher that was failing me my 6th grade year, except she is in charge of the play, she picked a horrible one and fired me cause I wasn’t memorizing my lines, she tried to get rid of me a few weeks earlier, but I was the lead and the female lead would only do the play if I was the male lead. So she gave me an understudy. I was furiouse at this outrage, cause she said she never planned on replaycing me but another teacher had heard the whole conversation between the new male lead and this teacher. This teacher told me what happend. So I made my way back into the play because she went about it the wrong way and new she would get in trouble. So I decided to outsmart her and make the play an embarresment. I convinced my understudy it was not worth it to do the play and said he would be embarressed, I also told him not to tell the teacher, next I talked crap about the play and told everyone how bad it was, so that when the time came when she found out my understudy would not do it no other person would do it either because they new it was so bad. My original plan was to bail about a week away from the performance, but Karma was on my side, and the female lead was kicked off because she was caught cheating. This was perfect cause the female lead had no understudy, The teacher had also been slowly picking off some of the minor people saying they weren’t good enough. So everyone now had three or more parts, SO everyone was in every scene. This was brilliant cause now one of the people who had a large role was moved up to become the lead and anther person was to become her old part. 2 people in new roles about 2 weeks from the performance. The day she found some more people to fill in for small roles, she fired me yelled at me saying no scripts on stage, I was recieting lines with the new lead cause we had never done this together. This made me rather mad so i sprung my plan into action sand forgot most of my lines and threw my script off stage. She fired me and those new poeple also quit that day. When it came time for her to find a new me, she couldn’t find anyone and was close to having an anxiety attack. She did however get a student to become a more minor role so that she could move someone else up. Perfect now 5 new people to learn there roles in about 7 practices. I watched the play tonight and it was an utter discrace, the principal was there, along with some of the board members. This teacher has been at our school for 5 years and there are juniors in her band class that do not know how to play an instrument, that have A’s. Our choir is doing horrible and now the plays suck. She is tenured. But our school district is going to be making more cuts. My plan still has a few more months to work it’s magic but I see a pretty bad, Muscial next year. If there is one. I go to a small school with a community that prides it’s self in it’s school after today i do not think anyone backs her. I hope she is removed so our school can reclaim its glory.

129. richard says:

[11/15/2009 - 11:18 am]

By Popularity
If a teacher is that bad students will notice. When a teacher starts acting unproffesional in the classroom then that teacher must be reprimanded. When this happens again, as still does at West Side Elementary School in Groton, CT., Let’s say a science teacher acts eratically and tells students he is cranky because he did not take his meds. A daughter feels uncomfortable when her teacher makes fun of a special needs student in front of a class. This teacher must be let go. When an educator exhibits dangerous behavior like speaking about his or her mental illness they need to be arrested for endangering our children. My question is why after speaking with the principal, he states that Mr. Science Teacher is the only teacher for 6th grade in the school? Why can’t the superintendant see the dangerous situation that will inevitably come from this and effect this administrators financial well being? I have no idea. But as parents we need to constantly be on these bad teachers , every day if need be and get rid of them . Make it impossible for them to teach in the state.

130. FED UP says:

[12/2/2009 - 9:07 am]

Hello,

My child is in high school in a district that “thinks” they are perfect and above reproach. When I spoke to one of the Principals about a teacher he proceeded to tell me he is friends with said teacher and that he is an excellent teacher, he said “all of the teachers at this school have a passion for teaching and do not care about money” Which is a load of BullSh*t considering it is one of the highest paid school districts. This teacher is demeaning to the students and copies his reivew questions straight from the internet… so he is using some other teachers work from a different school… The principal thinks because he is hard that makes him a good teacher… NOT!!! He is hard because he doesn’t explain meanings and expects them to just know it… so many teachers are just reading or writing straight from the book without actually teaching anything!
Oh… and he (principal) also accused my child of being a liar because they don’t want to admit that other students and parents have complained about this teacher…

131. Dude says:

[12/6/2009 - 4:45 pm]

I WISH TO DECLARE THIS TO THE ENTIRE WORLD.
I HATE BAD TEACHERS.

SERIOUSLY JUST GO AWAY DONT BECOME A TEACHER BECOME A PREACHER. NOT A TEACHER. YOU HAVE PERSONAL ISSUES SO DO OTHER PEOPLE THIS SHOULDNT BLOODY EFFECT YOUR TEACHING. YOU HAD A BAD DAY SOMEONE DIED WHO CARES DOESNT MEAN YOU SLACK IN YOUR SCHOOLING YOU WASTE YOUR BLOOODY STUDENTS TYM WHICH COSTS THEM SO MUCH.

I AM TALKING ABOUT YOU MRS STUPID DHEAD. SERIOUSLY EVEN I AM SMARTER THAN YOU. WHO GAVE YOU A DEGREE. YOU PROBALY FORGED IT ANYWAY.

SERIOUSLY YOU COME 20 MINS LATE TO EVERY BLOOD CLASS THIS IS MY LAST YR OF ALEVELS AND IM SUPPOSED 2 GO UNI GET A GROOD GRADE. I HAVE NO SUPPORT ALL MY LYF HERE IN THIS COUNTRY SINCE LAST 3 YRS I HAVE JUST BEEN TEACHING MYSELF EVERY BLOODY THING.

YOU COME TO EVERY CLASS SAYIN LAST CLASS WENT BAD. SAYING WE NEED 2 PROGRESS. YOU DNT MARK NE WORK CONSTRUCTIVELY. YOU DNT REPLY 2 EMAILS. YOU DONT ORGANISE I HAVE NEVER SEEN YOU CARRY AN ORGANISED BAG/PENCIL CASE.. WORK SHEETS.

YOU TELL STUDENTS DEY CAN GO HOME ANYTYM.YOUR DA JOKE 0F 2010.
YOU DO MAD THINGS IN CLASS. AND WEN UR BLOODY STUDENTS TELL U DNT TEACH U START CRYING. THIS AINT DA WAY OUT BEST THING YOU BECOME A PREACHER IN A CHURCH.

I AM SICK SICK SICK OF BAD TEACHERS SERIOUSLY SO SICK ITS THE BLOODY 8TH BAD TEACHER.

why not teach. if you bloody dont UNDERSTAND UR SUBJECT DONT GIVE WRNG INFO DONT SOUND LYK UR ACTUALLY KNOWING WHAT YOU SAY I SWEAR DOWN IVE ALREADY SUSSED U OUT TYM AGO. THE REST OF THE STUDENTS THINK DEIR BEING THOUGHT N NO SOONER DO UC SMART STUDNENTS GETTING U’S AND E’S IN DA CLAS… YOU.. BLOODY BAD TEACHERS DNT THINK THERE ISNT AT LEAST 1 SMART KID IN DAT CLASS HU KNWS XACTLY WHAT SHIT UR MAD OF. N KNOWS XACTLY DAT U DNT KNW UR STUFF. DONT THINK ALL STUDENTS R STUPID SITTING THINKING THEIR TEACHERS R PROFESSOR EINSTEIN’S/

THIS IS DA 21ST CENTURY WE AVE EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES I SIT AND CAN BORROW THE SAME BOOKS U BLOOD USE 2 TEACH ME.

LISTEN DEAR BAD TEACHER TO MY ADVICE CAREFULLY. LOOK YOUR ONLY MAKING THINGS WORSE YOUR POOR STUDENTS WNT TO BECOME SUMFINK. YOUR JUST A WASTE OF SPACE U CANT TEACH. IF XFACTOR TEACHING EXISTED YOUD BE OUT IN NO TYM. YOU CANT TEACH U WAS LUCKY CUZ U MANAGED 2 PRETEND . BUT NOW DA FUEL AINT LASTIN. SOON U WILL B EXPOSED N FIRED. HOPE DA DAY IS SOON.

AND T2 DA TEACHERS OUT DEIR HU R BLOODY WORKING HARD 2 TEACH 2 DA BEST ABILITY EQUALY FAIRLY CONSISTENTLY ORGANISED SYSTEMATICALY TRYIN ALWAYS HARD.. IMPROVING TAKIN CRITICISM ON BOARD. CARING CHASING I LOVE U .WELL INFORMED. WELL SPOKEN (YES CANT STAND WHEN TEACHERS HAVE COMMUNICATION PROBS WHAT THE)

132. DIANE says:

[1/10/2010 - 3:03 am]

I have a problem with a dept head at a performing arts school. This individual has used his position and authority to stress students out and always threatens to not have them selected for another semester. I had a conference with this person about a “problem” he was having with my son and he was bold enough to rudely and in a nasty way express his personal feelings about my son when he should have just been voicing his concerns about my son’s performance at the school. None of his teachers have had a problem, but for some reason this man that stands in the doorway watching the kids has a problem with him. This teacher has some long going grudge against another theater director in town and when ever any of the students audition for the other director’s shows, the performing arts teacher gets mad at them ( of course when i brought this up he denied it). Of course my son told him he was going to do a show with this other company in december and this man has been on his tail every since. He told my son that he is going to recommend to the next selection panel that he feels my son is not right for the program and that he shouldn’t continue there. There was no problem before my son mentioned this other company. At our meeting I feel he was rude and it took every bit of me not to be just as rude and say what was really on my mind. I was visibly upset after his comments (and I’m not one to get offended easily), but i was offended by the way he said what he said. I’m not upset about him not wanting him to return if it was because of his performance, but it isn’t. The assistant director of the school was present at our conference, but did not correct him about his attitude. I saw her look at him when he spoke about my son and know she recognized his attutude. I took a friend with me to witness our conference so that it wouldn’t be hear say when i talk to him. Isn’t there some guidelines or rules teachers are supposed to follow when addressing parents? I plan to file some kind of complaint, but other students and their parents won’t speak up because they don’t want to get put out of the program. Arte there state guidelines that teachers should follow on their behaviors towards students?

133. Usdating says:

[1/10/2010 - 11:09 am]

Great done and keep posted. Looking forward to reading more from you.

134. bianka says:

[2/24/2010 - 4:03 pm]

please someone help me get rid of my geography teacher im in middle school nd i cnt stnd her. no one in class likes her she is the worst teacher ever she has her favorites nd she gives ppl more attention she cursed in the class befor about one of the other teachers she sits there nd puts all her fustration on her class especially 4th pd! i also heared her my self sit there nd critisiz another parent to one of her little friend on the phone from i guess the office or something lik that. i dont like her nd i wish our prinicble will hurry up and c that shes a bad teacher nd fire her! some1 please help me with this situation

135. dustin says:

[3/2/2010 - 10:01 am]

hey my name is dustin and my girlfreand is still in school she was in math class one day takeing notes to bring home and studdy she left then in the desk the next day they had to take a text she was in a different desk bye the teacher! the hole time the next day the teacher found the notes in her desk and seid she was cheating and gave her a f even thow she wasent even siting there that day and she was bye the teacher when she took it the bad thing is she is trying to get in a good col. and the teacher wont even let her retake it in front of her to prove she wasent cheating i dont no what to do?

136. enocentia says:

[3/23/2010 - 2:29 am]

teacher who work as temporary teachers must be given an oppprtunity to prove thems selves that they can do it, because most of the permant teachers they are bad and the dont teach learners in a proper way. so temporary teachers they do have familiees to support so they should be given jobs as permanant teachers; they went to school to sudy but still they dont have jobs the government must do something about it. now some of the parents cant even sent their kids to schools becouse they do not have the money to sent them to school.

137. a student says:

[4/17/2010 - 8:58 pm]

I am a current high school student, get good grades, and was completely apalled at what Blaine said about the classes he thought students should be taking. Just a recap, he said that we should be taking more core classes and have the arts on a limited basis, only available to kids with good grades. Art classes have numerous benefits including creativity, better concentration, COMMUNICATION, and many others. Also it provides a way to let kids express themselves and take breaks from the stressful world of high school. So if if taking art classes has so many benefits why would we limit them, only allowing kids with good grades take them? Wouldn’t that be like the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer (with knowledge)? All classes have their needed benefits so they should all be taken equally.

Anyways, to the teacher part. I have a couple of teachers that are fun to be in class with but don’t actually teach a whole lot. Often, I have to teach the material to myself which isn’t really a problem for me but I see other students suffer. Is that a problem that would need to be addressed? Also, I have an advanced placement class that is supposed to be college prep and the teacher has the attitude that if we don’t cover a topic it’s not his or her problem. I know it’s supposed to be college prep but where does the role of a teacher who is supposed to teach us end and the student’s role to want to learn or something start?

138. Teacher Beats Student (Watch) | Manolith says:

[5/13/2010 - 9:24 am]

[…] starters I will say this. What the teacher did in this video was wrong. Absolutely wrong. On the other side of the spectrum, I’m surprised this hasn’t been “caught on […]

139. April Veilleux says:

[5/28/2010 - 9:11 am]

There’s this Native Language Teacher that teache’s in
Eagle Lake Ontario First Nation.
All day long she call’s all the student’s down.The one word
she use’s the most is,’STUPID’ to all the children.The grade’s she teache’s are kindergarten to grade 6.

So after school hour’s whenever she see’s any of the children she teache’s,she make’s very, very rude comment’s
to these young helpless children.So these poor children
think they are stupid and worthless. She just put’s them down so hard they feel what she call’s them.
I think she’s the “STUPID and BAD one”.
So what do I do about this teacher.
I think I’m going to go to each of the student’s house’s
and get this teacher fired and I think I’m going to see a
Lawyer also because she also had used force and assulted
some of the children and she also threatend the children she
had done this to,if they told their parent’s she would
take away certain trip’s. So she is also manipulating
these poor children.Well that is it for now.

140. Kirsten Spall says:

[5/28/2010 - 1:13 pm]

I am an “at will employee” at the charter school where I work. It forces to me continually improve my practice and reflect on my student’s progress. There is a clear culture of teaching as a profession, not a job. Teachers who are unwilling or unable to maintain high professional standards usually leave for other schools.

141. top secret says:

[6/29/2010 - 4:00 am]

I am an experienced teacher with a special needs child. We have a frightening number of scary scenarios to tell about with respect to how my child was treated over the years. We also have some very special teachers who have been so good to our child.

As for the bad ones, they remain. Physical assault? Transfer to another school and we won’t even tell your new boss. Verbal assault? Nothing will happen there.. maybe a little weak apology, but then right back at it. Emotional abuse? Big cover-up. Ask too many questions? Cut off the parent with union support.

It’s laughable and frightening. Seriously, someone has to take on the unions. Every layer in the ‘chain of command’ is frightened of them … schools can’t afford the lawsuits.

We do appreciate the special ones who have given our child hope, and a standard we can discuss with all teachers who will deal with us.

142. top secret says:

[6/29/2010 - 4:28 am]

Some good reading for teachers: The First Days of School by Harry Wong. This is such a wonderful framework to go by … absolutely essential to have a framework and a high level of professionalism. Just because you earned the title professional does not mean you get to go forth without proving you are a professional every single day of your career. Check our your school district’s policies … and adhere to them as they are the standards you are supposed to follow. Ask yourself every single day if you have done everything in your power to meet the students’ needs while respecting the entire district’s education framework… sounds like I’m simplifying things but one must have some aspirations in this profession.

Another good read is Lost at School. It is your professional obligation to read in your spare time, even if it is not your official year for evaluation. Treat every year as your official evaluation year..follow the framework for what the district considers an exemplary teacher. And please make sure you share what you have learned with your colleagues. There are best practices out there and we need to make sure we are open to hearing them, and that we pursue knowing what they are.

Please care about absolutely everything you do in your day. Be a caring leader amongst your colleagues, which might mean, sadly, that you have to publicly distance yourself if your colleagues’ behaviour begins to favor THEIR union-protected rights as opposed to the child’s rights.

Have you ever humiliated a child in your class? Have you ever used the students as a pawn for your tirade against their parents? Have you ever made yourself feel better by detailing how stressed you are in front of your students? Have you ever done something in your classroom that you would never have done if the administration or a group of parents were present? Have you ever been called to the carpet for something someone accused you of doing, that you knew you did but that you now feel yourself lying about, covering up, spinning, etc.? Have you ever told a child that he will be in jail one day? Have you ever coached other children to stay away from another who is a bad influence? Have you ever sworn at a student? Have you ever just shown movies instead of delivering high-quality instruction? Have you ever asked students personal questions about what goes on in their homes simply because you are ‘fishing’ for information about this ‘wacky’ family who is giving you a hard time? Have you ever pushed a kid into a wall with no witnesses? Have you ever called a child an idiot and told a kid they have problems? Have you ever felt so much pressure from a parent or your administration that you decided to seek union protection rather than truly reflect on what might have landed you in this situation in the first place? Have you ever just assumed that what you say and do in your classroom just stays there? Never underestimate what is processed by the collective student body.. and then what is discussed in school parking lots. Have you ever felt ashamed of yourself, but this shame was alleviated because you felt ‘supported’ by your administration and your union? Your administration may just have lost some respect for you.

Reflect and change if you need to.

143. Donna says:

[7/13/2010 - 9:49 am]

I just have to say….as a parent who has had to deal with a teacher for 8 years (since he teaches both middle and high school music) who frequently belittles and insults students, parents, teachers and administrators – I’m at a loss as to why anyone would keep this teacher on staff!
The theory that everyone turns a deaf ear to a bad teacher, is certainly evident in this situation.
My worry is…what long term effects will this have on the students he constantly belittles, and how many students have chosen to not pursue music, to avoid dealing with this particular teacher?
And really, a middle 50’s man who continually insults younger men…anyone want to guess what the true problem is??? Anyone??

144. I can't belive its happening to me says:

[7/19/2010 - 9:22 pm]

Over the years Ive dealt with all types of teachers. Difficult, boring, careless, ext… but this year for reasons beyond me, I decided to take a phlebotomy class at this private college(THE COLLEGE OF OFFICE TECHNOLOGY). I watched the video made by the medical program director about the class online and he seamed nice and sane. Well the first day of class he was the total opposite of nice. He yelled at the entire class as if he was yelling at a grade school class, actually worse. He said “PICK UP YOUR SHIT AND GO TO THE OTHER ROOM NEXT DOOR”. (FYI, on our class schedule it is stated that our first class was to be where we were in the first place). Of course we all looked at each other with disbelief as he continued to yell. Our class consists of ages between 21 to 45. There aren’t any children in the class. The next incident was when we were reading from a book and he asked me a question about something we had just read. I was thinking about the answer I was gonna give when he yelled at me saying “HELLO, IS ANYBODY THERE?… He yelled so loud that he messed up my concentration and everyone in class laughed. I had to literally hold myself together to keep from braking down. My feelings were hurt, and the embarrassment was too much so I took deep breaths to calm myself down. Another moment was when he yelled at a student for coming in 25 minutes late. She apologized in advance for her tardy and explained that her car had broken down but she still made it. His answer to her was “DON’T COME NEAR ME TO PICK UP THE PAPERWORK I GAVE OUT TO THE CLASS BEFORE YOU CAME IN BECAUSE I WILL BITE YOU. I AM A BITCH AND YOU WILL FIND OUT SOONER OR LATER”. He also, in the middle of his class while explaining how the heart works, moved over to the door and said “YOU SEE THIS DOOR, ITS LIKE A VALVE. THE NEXT TIME YOU COME IN AND DISRUPT MY CLASS THIS VALVE IS GONNA CLOSE ON YOUR FACE”. He slammed the door, opened it, and slammed it again as he smirked at her and continued on with the class. That same student has asthma and had a small coughing attack in class, he told her “DO YOU HAVE TUBERCULOSIS? THIS IS A SMALL CLASS FOR YOU TO BE COUGHING LIKE THAT, YOU NEED TO LEAVE”. Most recently he yelled at me when I asked a question about our lab techniques telling me “DID YOU FORGET? WHAT, DID YOUR BOYFRIEND DO SOMETHING TO YOU TO MESS UP YOUR CONCENTRATION?”. First of all, I am paying him to teach me not to get into my personal life (which he knows nothing about). Second, if I forgot and I am asking a simple question, there is no reason to yell, I asked respectfully so I deserved a respectful answer. I have never been intimidated, insulted, belittled, or disrespected by any teacher or staff member at any school. I intend to go to the higher authorities with this complaint. I am not going to sit there thought the whole quarter and be humiliated and watch other get humiliated by this person. Just wanted to share my horrors with you guys and encourage you to not give up. Do not be intimidated, these bad teachers are human just like the rest of us.

145. Tom says:

[8/18/2010 - 8:57 pm]

I have just spent the evening with two newly qualified teachers, aged 28 and 24.

Neither one could explain the differece between left wing and right wing. They both voted this year and one is teaching all quiet on the western front.

I am disgusted by this.

I hope that more effort will be put in to rooting out the dross in future.

146. Tom says:

[8/18/2010 - 9:07 pm]

It’s a shame that this message board has been given over to personal vendetta instead of highlighting the terrible state of teaching.
An A-Level English teacher friend of mine didn’t understand the word melancholy.

147. Todd says:

[9/16/2010 - 3:06 pm]

Actually, this post was all about what to do when you encounter a bad teacher, how to start the process of getting that teacher out of the classroom. It isn’t here to “[highlight] the terrible state of teaching.” You can post those stories elsewhere, please not here. How can we give students and parents a chance to enter the conversation over what makes a teacher effective or ineffective? Is that conversation even happening at all? That’s what I want to focus on.

148. Roscelette says:

[10/2/2010 - 11:05 am]

I know about bad teachers. From the ones who tried to keep my child in Learning Disabled classes to pad their special education funds to the college professor of today, who is so stupid his own syllabus is riddled with grammatical errors and typos. It’s too bad there isn’t a list somewhere that students can check to make sure they don’t get put into a class with a bad teacher. Until the unions yank the weeds out of their garden, I feel no sympathy for teachers. If they are underpaid, it’s because many of them deserve to be. There have only been a handful of good teachers, ones who inspire and really love teaching. Most are negative discouraging sloughs who ruin school for students.

149. Roscelette says:

[10/2/2010 - 11:06 am]

watch out for one of the english teachers at CCC. he is a bad apple.

150. Todd says:

[10/2/2010 - 3:40 pm]

Wow, Roscelette, you really feel that most teachers are bad? I’m sorry your experience has lead you to believe that. I think most teachers are trying hard to do right by their students, it’s just that we remember those really horrible ones. It’s the same for teachers: most students are good and try to go along with what you have planned. It’s just that the horrible ones tend to dominate memory.

There are bad teachers, cops, trash collectors, and deli owners. That’s the way of things. But I can’t get behind the idea that most teachers are doing bad things. I work with a lot of terrific colleagues and I don’t think my school has more than its fair share of winners; we probably have a normal distribution. There are teachers out there doing fantastic work, so don’t feel like all is lost.

151. An Actual Schoolkid says:

[10/15/2010 - 7:31 am]

Look, i’m an English kid and in year 5. My teacher is literally CRAP. It’s not my fault that shes rubbish.

152. Phylis says:

[10/19/2010 - 12:16 pm]

I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO GET RID OF A BAD TEACHER!!!!!!
She constantly looses the students papers and tests!! The principal admitted that he made a bad decision when he recommended her hiring. When he he was told to take the responsibility for his actions and fire her. He did nothing! Other teachers actually supply her with curriculum because she can’t do it.

Help Help Help.

153. sierra and carena says:

[10/22/2010 - 10:46 am]

[name removed] Told Sierra And Carena on October The 22nd 2010 11;47 That black girls go to the office and thathe has white kids running around writing our names down!!!! HELPPPP SOS

154. lilly says:

[11/1/2010 - 2:25 pm]

Im in college and my teacher doesnt know the material she is teaching. when you raise your hand and she asks what your question is after asking your question she acts like she completely did not hear you or like you didnt even ask a question and continues to teach class like shes crazy or something. she also has told multiple students while seeing them around school or in her office questions that are going to be on the test and answers to questions and asks them what they think should be on the test. she tells these students to tell everyone else. when you ask her about it in class and tell her its not fair she says that she told the specific student to tell everyone else and if we didnt hear the news we need to get better friends in class. she constantly grades our quizes and tests wrong. she gives us the wrong information and answers to our questions because she doesnt know the answer her self. we have already gone to the head of the department and the dean and nothing has been done our grades and GPAs are being affected

155. hi says:

[12/2/2010 - 9:39 am]

i have notioced that the union is no longer fighting to help students receive proper learning skills but for the teachers themselves. Us children are thew future so by not letting us receive the proper education to defent a bad teacher they are depriving us of our right to a proper education. The union is ruining the students education!

156. Susan Hurley says:

[1/7/2011 - 11:59 am]

Bad teachers are doing a lot more damage to our kids than we think. Having a bad teacher causes students to fall behind academically, but even worse it can break their spirit. It has come to my attention that their are some who misuse the power differential between teacher and student, making many children feel powerless. This in my opinion is most damaging because it can cause many students to give up and stop trying.
The fact that the teacher’s union makes it almost impossible to fire a teacher creates several problems. Any one who has been in a position of management knows that even one sour employee can have a terrible effect on the moral of other workers. Good teachers must be frustrated because horrible teachers are give the same rewards and benefits as they are. The union really only protect bad employees and keep excellence form being rewarded. But most importantly the relationship the union mentality creates puts a wedge between student,parents and teacher. Transforming what should be a relation of mutual advocacy to one of adversary.
I have been reading some really ridiculous opinions on teacher’s blogs. One in particular referring to so called research supporting the notion that firing bad teachers will not make schools better. Really? I suppose that keeping bad teachers will help improve the quality of education? This same blog complained that it was not possible to determine which teachers are good and which are bad??? Really?? Everyone knows who the bad teachers are. Parents are getting fed up. Teachers feel they do not get enough parental support. Well supporting a system that protects lousy teachers at the expense of students will not inspire parents to throw more money at the schools. How wasteful to keep so much dead weight around. Even the good teachers seem not be held to any where near the same performance standards that the students are held to. A late assignment means loosing a lot of points while a teacher can be two months behind on grading and returning tests and other assignments. Isn’t feedback an important part of the learning process? Aren’t most assignments and tests pointless if the students do not receive this feedback and learn from their mistakes? Two months after the fact do they really remember the material? Would you? Would the teachers? What happened to leading by example?
I also feel that the so called good school districts higher test scores are not necessarily due to superior teachers and programs. I actually think that in part bad teachers are insulated from the effects their substandard work has on the students. In wealthier school districts it is very common for parents to hire personal tutors and other help outside of school to augment their child’s education. This results in higher test scores and better performing students which the school and teachers get credit for.

Parents need to stand together and fight all the inherent inequities in this cumbersome, overly bureaucratic and inadequate educational system. It is time to challenge this status qou which forces tax payers to contribute to our ineffective schools while having almost no say in how it is run.
I believe it is time for parents to start talking about how we can exert our influence. There are more of us then them. Perhaps it is time to talk about forming a parent union!

157. Cindi says:

[1/12/2011 - 5:25 pm]

I am all for a parent union. I work in the school system and see far more than I want to see. Something needs to be done. A parents union just might be the answer. Unfortunately no one has the time or energy to get rid of tenure teachers. I have seen brilliant first year teachers and they are the first to go when times get tough. The big dollar teachers stay year after year sucking the system and tax payers dry and lack any teaching, caring, motivation, and comprehension of their job. They continue to teach the same garbage they taught 20 years ago that did not work then and does not work now. They barely work their scheduled hours, let alone put forth any effort. All I know is that for me, teaching is a 24/7 job and I continually work on evaluating and improving myself. To bad more teachers do not feel this way.

158. James muturi says:

[1/28/2011 - 9:06 am]

Teachers of oakland primary school in Ruiru district, box no. 17, are very corrupt. They are demanding tuition fees of sh. 210 and if you fail they expel your child. Please somebody answer me. Is tuition compulsury?

159. question says:

[2/4/2011 - 11:06 pm]

It is interesting how many complain. I have some of the laziest, good for nothing students in my classroom. I pass grade work out within 2 days, but they will not do projects and expect to pass. They only increase my failure rate, as I am done talking to them. Remember, parents and students must assume some accountability and responsibility in the learning process. Teaching is not a congeniality contest. F**K liking me- just do the work.

160. A Student says:

[2/23/2011 - 2:36 pm]

I’m a student in the ninth grade right now, in a high school near St. Paul, Minnesota. Everything you’ve been told on how bad the school system is true. The teachers seem like they don’t even care about what they’re teaching; it’s just, “Here! Take this worksheet and get it done before you come to class tomorrow!”. I mean, what kind of help is that to me? Another problem I’ve been having with at least one of my teachers, mostly my Algebra teacher,is that she goes over what we are learning WAY too fast. And when you ask her about it again, she explains it even faster, or she explains it in terms I can’t really understand. I would go back and ask her about it for a third time, but I’m seriously afraid that she’ll yell at me for being stupid, or she’ll just tell me to read what our textbook says. At least, that’s what I’ve seen happen to other students in my class.
And then she also, everyday, gives us ONE problem that we are assigned(this is not our homework, by the way). Then, however well we do on that one problem determines the amount of homework we have that night. Since my brain isn’t really a “math” brain, I’ll have some trouble with the problems. And the one time that I didn’t, I just forgot to put the negative symbol in front of my answer, and she made me do ALL of the homework, and more, and it also docked me some points. Also, I had been gone about seven days this trimester because I was having trouble with Hyperthyroidism(a disease linked to the thyroid gland in your throat that boosts your metabolism and makes you lose weight at an alarming rate, among other side effects). I was getting fatigued and dizzy from my Hyperthyroidism, so I stayed home on those days in fear that I collapsed at school. Then, the other days I wasn’t at school were spent at the Doctor’s office, getting diagnosed and tested.
My teacher also yells at the kids a lot. I mean, she’ll skip lightly over the subject she’s teaching, and then slaps homework in our faces. Then, if we talk AT ALL with our friends, she’ll yell at us and say something like, “You’re all such horrible children! Why did I even start teaching!? You’re taking away from everyone else’s education by talking, you know?”
Is saying “Hi!” to your friends, quietly, really that much of a distraction?
I think the only teacher of mine that I can actually stand is my Choir teacher. I love her so much! She’s kind, understanding, intelligent with her subject, and gets the kids really involved with what we’re doing.
My other teachers? They’re either mean, mediocre, or you can tell that they hate their job. My Gym teacher doesn’t discipline the kids who hog the ball all the time, then docks points because I’m not “participating”. My English teacher slaps a novel in our face, expects us to read the 500 to 600 page book in a week, and then tests us and then hands out worksheets and essay prompts. My Foods teacher spends all her time on the computer while we’re actually cooking. You all know about my Math teacher. :). My Science teacher is okay, because he actually teaches what we’re learning, even if there are a lot of random worksheets and packets packed between.
You may say that I’m just a bad student who resents the teachers, but I’m not. I have straight B’s and A’s in all of my other classes besides Math. And in Middle School and Elementary, I got straight A’s in EVERYTHING. Do you think my Algebra teacher is a bad teacher? Maybe I’m just really stupid when it comes to math? I’m confused here.
P.S:Excuse me if I have some weird grammar and punctuation here and there; I haven’t been reminded of how to properly construct a sentence since first grade.

161. Jake says:

[3/19/2011 - 12:43 pm]

Im a sophomore at ##### Highschool. For the last few years many students have had a ##### for english. she is the absolute worst teacher ever. She constantly accuses me of rudeness when i raise my hand to ask a question, or insubordination when I put it up while she is teaching. She gives me bad marks ON PURPOSE,(as i compared it to another student’s who got 50/50, and i had the same answers for the most part), She is disrespectful and quite rude herself, as my good friend gave a presentation and used a model purple dragon as the object of presentation, and ##### says “Why a purple dragon?”, my friend replied “Because it represents my mom, she died last year.” “Well thats just silly.”-#####, with a smile on her face, and then when my friend told her to “Fuck off.” She writes her the refferal. She traps students in situations to get them in trouble, like for instance, this past wednesday, i had a SEALED bottle of gatoraid, and brought it into class. The bell rang, and she says, jake, back out here(out of the room). She forced me to put the bottle in my locker,(even though there were others with bottles OPENED in the classroom drinking, and apon my return said, “Oh yeah, you’ll need a latepass now.” Sorry if im a little over the edge, but telling her to go to hell and stop trapping students and be a real teacher felt merited there. I hate her, and tenure has done this to me and several hundred other students.

162. josh says:

[3/23/2011 - 7:24 am]

a teacher called miss Prophet gave me a after school detention for saying “whatever” to her and I came here to look for ideas and so far the gauntlet idea seems best but how do I do it for most of the other teachers please help me.

163. John says:

[4/7/2011 - 6:08 pm]

I wish my algebra teacher would get fired in front of my face!!!!!!!

164. Hal says:

[4/26/2011 - 10:22 am]

U need to mess with the teacher to rid them. Cars, papers, rumors, etc til they go. Forget the system, its useless.
I was home-schooled and loved it. 100x better than the stupid classroom, attitudes, schedules and nonsense. Teachers have power trips, they often like to control kids and even insult them in the class. I threw my milk into my 1st Gr teachers face as the class watched after she insulted my parents. It was my last day of school, but I dont regret it.

165. Incredulous says:

[4/30/2011 - 11:00 am]

This teacher teaches auto body. He brings in cars that he has bought cheap, makes the kids work on them, then sells them for his personal profit. He does this over and over and won’t let the kids bring in their own cars to work on. Says it is “his” shop and he can do what he wants. Doesn’t it belong to the taxpayers???? Administration looks the other way. Everyone hates this abusive man but he is protected with the shield of the union. The kids want to get him alone in the locker room and just beat the **** out of him or sink one of his many cars in the river. What to do????

166. Brady says:

[6/6/2011 - 1:49 pm]

Tenure is gone in our state, yet my terrible teacher remains. The true problem is not the union or tenure, both of which have been banned in Idaho. The true source of problems I administrators refusing to act on the problems reported by students, parents, and fellow teachers.

167. I learn nothing says:

[6/20/2011 - 1:23 pm]

My maths teacher is foreign and can not spell in one lesson she slept pizza “pisser” and wrote it on the board. She picks on me and if you say hi at the start of a lesson she sends you outside for the whole lesson. Then a boy cut the top of his finger of and didn’t let him go to the medical centre and just watched his hand bleed. She calls me names in lessons like idiot she got my friends book and ripped it up. When we asked questions she says she is busy when she just does nothing. She called a girl in my class a bitch and she swears in the lessons.

168. Bad students says:

[7/20/2011 - 12:00 am]

I have read many of these comments, and I can tell you that many of you complaining about ‘bad teachers’ need to start listening in class instead of whining.

Judging by the level of grammatical, spelling, and structure errors in these posts, I weep for the future of America.

On a side note, some of the parents complaining about their children’s teachers could have also paid a bit more attention in grade school judging by the conventions in their posts.

169. justcommenting says:

[7/22/2011 - 5:16 pm]

It is interesting that we place so much confidence in children these days. Children who refuse to complete assignments, complain if the teacher teaches and holds them accountable, and operate in clandestine fashions with administrators who hold a grudge against a competent teacher. When does it become obvious that politics do happen in public schools- and in most cases parents have no clue and are so gullible- they often get what they deserve- a sorry teacher- that their little darlings soooooo deserve-if they get one at all!

170. Anonymous says:

[8/29/2011 - 7:21 pm]

I have a foreign language teacher who is really bad at her job. Half the time she’s lecturing the class about “life lessons” that are unrelated to the subject. Once she got really angry that no one greeted her when we came into class and proceeded to scold us about “how kids today have no respect for elders” for about 12 minutes and started crying. The fact that the district even employed this incompetent person makes me question the education system of this country. The worst part about it is that we can’t do anything about it. Only sit still and learn barely anything for an entire year.

171. guy from middle school says:

[9/27/2011 - 9:56 am]

our director is sooo unfair (imagine we are 1345 kids in our school. whoever doesnt wants to go to religion class, has to sign a paper (wich i didnt because i wanted to have religion with my friends. i am orthodox. and then it came out that all russians and georgians need to go after school to aother school, just for religion!!!!!

and the stupid thng is i have violin class right at the same time when this religion class starts. stupid…

and you cannot unsubscribe FOR A WHOLE ONE YEAR!!!!

i dont want to have 1 year religion with that stupid teacher..

please help

172. Anonymous says:

[11/3/2011 - 5:09 pm]

My oldest kid is a sophmore so weve been through alot of teachers over the years and I dont want to make generalizations because of course there are many exceptions but,,,,I have noticed that the best teachers have mostly (in our case) been the ones whe havent been doing it long,,,usually very young,,,just out of colledge,,,eager to try methods based on statistice of what works best….not the “Ive been teaching for 30 years I think III know everything” ones like my youngest has now. This type of teacher reminds me of the ones I grew up with….it was decades ago when treating kids with no respect was acceptable…sadly apparently there are still at least some of these dinosaurs teaching… are we just supposed to wait for them to all die out?

173. Luis says:

[12/12/2011 - 3:57 pm]

like to le everybody knows how bad teachers are specially those online, I I would was in Microeconomics with … at the … university. i had grades in my assignments of 73’78,90,90,etc and at the end of the class he gave me an “F” this is the classical type of teacher that make students to become parasites in this society.F means you are not welcome in this society. for those that one day get in touch with him,drop the class,write a note to the president of the school to get rid of him.His intentions are a poison for America, He doen’t deserve to be teaching anywhere.

174. Hao Yi says:

[1/18/2012 - 5:21 pm]

I’m assuming that most people here are from western countries. In my case, I’m from Asia. In Asia, there’s a screwed up, not to mention biased, idea that just because someone is a teacher, his/her character is of absolutely no problem. Of course, there are times when one or two teachers commit errors that are so serious that the public is unable to cover up with just , ‘He’s a teacher. There can’t be anything wrong with him.’ At times like these, they’ll just explain it away with how that one teacher is a rare exception.

With that kind of idea well established in everyone’s head (and also backed up by the kind of values we are taught), getting people to recognise the bad teachers are difficult enough. Let’s not even talk about getting rid of them. It really takes a lot for the students, who by the way are suffering, to even see the teacher as bad.

And then, there’s the other Asian value that dictates that we must respect the ones who are older and more experienced. Even after getting over the hurdle of recognising a bad teacher as bad, getting people to deal with the problem is close to impossible. Just so happens, a lot of the bad teachers I’ve met whom are still exploiting their authority as a teacher are the old and experienced ones. There’s nobody within the school who wants to go against them.

Well, I’m glad I’m out of that screwed up education system now.

175. mia says:

[2/22/2012 - 7:56 am]

too bad i have a bad teacher right now.
i’m an 18-year-old student and is an asian
in the country where i reside, teachers create a unified pact that when you attack one, other teachers would get back on you. i have this teacher who always points out my wrongs. it was okay at me at first cause i assumed it was constructive criticisms til i figured out that i was the only one she critizes a lot. i’m on the honor list so i’m worried. to other students she may criticize them but always voice out their good points whereas wnhenever i do good, she never acknowledge it.
ike when i topped a requirement. she never made a fuss about it in class but when i did not became the highest the next time, she dedicated half of the class period criticizing my work ALONE! i tried to voice it out to my mentor but i am afraid that teacher would get back at me thru grdes and i also overherad her talking with my other two teachers something about my “poor leadership” and other stuff.
i guess she never let an opportunity to redeem my self to her. it’s really hard. i remember when i cried because i presented my radio program as part of our requirement and while i’m on air, she has her headset on and is texting. afterwards, she told me thta my work was sloppy. i cried and all that i could think was this phrase “i would be much better than you are”
i did not know i would be capable of holding a grudge against her and i am totally pained and hurt in her class psychologically. i just hope i get over this semester. NOW.

176. Laura says:

[3/2/2012 - 6:25 pm]

I had the worst teachers at my elementary school. Grown men who would yell, split flying, faces turning red, into the faces of 11 year old kids making them cry…

The Education system is horrible, it needs to change.

177. i HATE TEACHERS! says:

[3/7/2012 - 9:22 am]

i HATE MY TEACHER SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!

178. emmie says:

[3/8/2012 - 12:30 am]

I know what you mean, iv’e complained several times, and my folks talked to the teacher. And the principle talked to the teacher and she still hasn’t changed! I have four teachers and out of those four only one knows how to teach.

179. Anonymous says:

[3/11/2012 - 7:23 am]

Hello,

I grew up and raised and educated in a different country as a teacher. I have thirteen year experiences in teaching in my home country. I have a six year old, biracial son who went to school early because of his birthday cutoff. He is smart and learned how to read before he entered kindergarten. He is the youngest one in his class. I do not like my son’s teachers. They both do not have passion to work with children and somehow they just became teachers.
His first grade teacher is undereducated.My son found out her mistake. There was homework “say the name of the pictures and the color the picture if you hear SHORT “O” sound.My son colored the pictures of Lock, Frog, Pot, Knot, Log, Sock. There were 3 words not colorod because they sound “Long O” like Nose, Goat, and Boot.

But his teacher marked that my son made 2 mistakes. He has to color Nose and Goat. They are “Long O” in these three words. My son learned all phonics watching some educational DVD -s and he realized that his teacher made a mistake and he asked me to ask why she wanted him to color these pictures. I asked her but she said just color them. Isn’t that rude?

I saw her facial expression that she did not like because my son corrected her. How could she teach the children if she does not know the phonics???????

180. Carley says:

[12/18/2012 - 5:09 am]

Pretty nice post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I’m
hoping you write again very soon!

181. Chilly willy says:

[2/20/2014 - 12:53 pm]

Is it illegal to make a petition and get a certain number of people to sign it to get rid of a bad teacher?

182. Someone says:

[3/12/2014 - 10:03 am]

i was wondering, how do you get rid of very old teachers who just mostly sit there and are not teaching you correctly like they are suppose to? i go to a college, and i have a spanish teacher who is very old and she goes on about her personal spanish experiences, stares at you for a couple minutes, stays quiet a lot, and writes like a misunderstaned 5yr old on the board, and gets lost on the schedule. i already spoke to the dean but he just says it will be hard to get rid of her because of her contract. i know there is something! BUT WHAT!!?? Petition perhaps? Please HELP!

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