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?


1. 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.

2. Phylis says:

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

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.

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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!

6. 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!

7. 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.

8. 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?

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. John says:

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

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

14. 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.

15. 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????

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. 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.

19. 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!

20. 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.

21. 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

22. 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?

23. 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.

24. 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.

25. 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.

26. 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.

27. i HATE TEACHERS! says:

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


28. 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.

29. Anonymous says:

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


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???????

30. 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!

31. 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?

32. 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!