30 Terribly Mean Things Teachers Do To Ruin Students’ Lives

We’re so awful.

Paired photos of two things mean teachers do to their students

Expecting kids to do their homework.

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Jeez. Could teachers be any meaner? We rounded up all the rotten things teachers do every day to ruin kids’ lives.

Caring about student safety

“I ask kids to be careful while walking and staring at their phones.” —Elizabeth


“I won’t let my students play chase around the library shelves.” —Jennifer S.

“I make students wear winter coats, hats, and gloves outside at recess. When it’s 20 degrees. I’m so awful.” —Jen

“I asked a student to leave his shoes on at recess. You know, so he doesn’t hurt his feet stepping on anything.” —Erica

Being generous

“At the end of the school year, I have the audacity to send my departing 8th graders a survey to their school email to indicate their favorite kind of candy and cookie. This is so I can make them special treat bags. I always get one or two who ask me why they have to tell me what their favorite cookie or candy is and if the survey is graded.” —Jenna

“I had the temerity to suggest that the proper response to a teacher-provided doughnut was ‘thank you,’ not ‘I WANTED one with sprinkles.'” —Lori

“I made my students personalized cups with their names on it for Christmas. Two came up to me to let me know that they would have preferred a different color.” —Madison

Being old

“I ask them to begin sentences with a capital letter and end them with correct punctuation, even though ‘people don’t always do that anymore.’ (Sounds like I’m mean AND old-fashioned).” —Sherry

“I wore school colors on our school’s spirit day. Turns out I’m ‘waaaay too old to celebrate things like that.'” —Erin

Wasting students’ time

“I made them miss gym because there was an assembly … that I didn’t schedule.” —Rhonda 

“I require kids to actually PRACTICE for band outside of the half hour a week for band class.” —Richard

“I make my students walk all the way across the classroom for a dictionary, even though I could just spell the word for them, which would be WAY EASIER.” —Tabby

“I make my students ‘waste’ their time rereading and editing their own writing even though it’s SO BORING.” —Kiley

“I made my students quiet down before dismissing them at the bell. It robbed them of 12 precious seconds of their passing time, which caused them to be tardy to their subsequent classes. One kid was 10 minutes late, which was ALL MY FAULT.” —Erin

“I require my students to read for 20 to 30 minutes every night of the week, even though it ‘totally ruins their weekends!'” —Kathleen

“I ask them to write in complete sentences, even though THAT TAKES WAY TOO LONG.” —Sue

“I make my students take their school-provided calculators out of their backpacks instead of using Siri.” —Allison

Positively draconian rules

“I expect students to use Spanish sentences in their homework. Because, you know … it’s Spanish class.” —Brandi

“I make my kids underline and highlight in their text so they actually have to read their stories instead of just copying answers from their friends. I’m a monster!” —Jennifer

“I don’t let my students sit with people who distract them because I want them to do well.” —Sarah

“I require them to write their names on their papers if they would like to receive credit for their work. WHAT am I thinking???” —Karen

“I make my students bring a pencil to class, even though they can’t be expected to remember EVERYTHING.” —Karen

“I make my students take their spelling tests in cursive, since we spent the first half of the year learning it—which is dumb ‘because cursive has nothing to do with spelling.'” —Selena

“I won’t let my students listen to music on their smartphones during class even though EVERY other teacher in the WHOLE world lets them.” —Phend

“I make my second graders write a rough draft and a final copy of their writing. Oh, the humanity! Kids pout and huff and puff every time, and it STILL doesn’t change my mind.” —Abby

“I expect my students to do work during group project time, even though there are MORE IMPORTANT things they need to talk about.” —Paula

Making students learn

“I had a parent report me to the principal for walking around the classroom and asking her son and the other students to complete their assignments.” —Julie 

“A student said to me, ‘I’m getting a headache because you’re making me think!'” —Paula 

“Math teacher here … I make my kids show their work!” —Kellie


“I make them READ in reading class!” —Whitney

What’s the worst thing you do to ruin students’ lives? Let us know in the comments!

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We asked our Facebook community to share some of the rotten things teachers do every day to ruin kids’ lives. Read it and weep.