Help! A Mom Called Me a “Teacher from Hell” on FB—Should I Call Her Out?

“Do I just take this one on the chin or let her know I saw it?”

Illustration of a teacher holding a Science Teacher From Hell mug

Dear WeAreTeachers,
I’m in a large Facebook group for moms in my community. Recently someone posted asking about middle school recommendations, and a woman responded with, “Stay away from Grove. We’re dealing with a science teacher from hell right now.” I’m the science teacher at Grove Elementary, and this is definitely one of my jackhammer parents. Do I just take this one on the chin or call her out? —Fuming in Fullerton

Dear F.I.F.,

There are many ways of responding. I will present them to you ranked on a star system, from my best ideas that I strongly recommend (five stars) to my worst ideas that will probably land you in trouble but are very fun to think about (one star).

Don’t respond to the post at all, and don’t watch it for updates.

She wants you to read this post and get mad. Don’t give her the satisfaction of knowing she upset you by commenting back or reacting in any way. It might feel like defeat, but she loses as the adult with no conflict management skills.


Take a screen shot and send it to an administrator you trust.

Administrators needs to know when their teachers are being dragged on a public forum (even if it is gated), and they should know that this mom deserves zero favors, special treatment, or positions of power in the PTA or other parent groups in the future. Your administrator can be the one to call out her bad behavior if they choose.

Ask the moderator of the Facebook group to take the post down.

You might get the post taken down, but you run the risk of the moderator spreading the story of how the teacher from hell couldn’t handle the heat.

Ask a friend in the group to come to your aid.  Their defense might feel good in the moment, but the stress and adrenaline of watching a back-and-forth comment section fight is, to quote The Young, not a vibe.

Comment on her post “OMG, who is the teacher?!!”  Don’t do it, but how great would that be?

Write a post in the Facebook group saying, “I’m a science teacher at Grove dealing with a mom from hell right now. UGH. Any advice?”Hahahaha.

Force her child to do her science fair project on passive-aggressive moms.

Choose wisely, my friend.

Dear WeAreTeachers,
I want to switch schools next year, but I don’t want to tell my current principal until I have a job lined up. Can I ask prospective schools not to contact my principal, or does that look weird? —Don’t Tell My Mom

Dear D.T.M.M.,

I feel like education does this (asks for references from current supervisors) more than other industries. It makes no sense to me. You shouldn’t have to tell your boss that you’re looking for another job until it’s a done deal, or at least not until the absolute last stages.

If the online application doesn’t require your administrator’s contact information, just leave it blank. If it does require it, write your name and email. Then, in the space for comments in the application, clarify that you’re happy to share references if you end up being considered as a final candidate, but that you’re not wishing to notify your administrators that you’re looking elsewhere just yet.

Dear WeAreTeachers,
It drives me up the wall to see how much fruit gets thrown away in our cafeteria. I think there’s a state requirement that students are served fruit with their meal, and the vast majority of them just end up in the trash. I asked my principal if we could donate the unused fruit, but he said no because of weird red tape issues. Is there anything else we can do with it? —I’m Going Bananas

Dear I.G.B.,

It’s so frustrating watching good food go to waste. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Using the leftover fruits for compost for a school garden or campus landscaping.
  • Creating a culinary arts class that can use the discarded fruit in pies, cobblers, lessons on chopping, etc.
  • Get your students in on petitioning your district and/or state for better responses to waste. You could turn it into a whole unit complete with writing letters, rhetoric practice, etc.

Hope this leads to less waste post haste!

Do you have a burning question? Email us at

Dear WeAreTeachers,
We have a monthly after-school faculty meeting that usually runs about an hour. After our last faculty meeting, my principal stopped me on my way out and asked if I could keep my purse and coat in my classroom from now on. When I asked why, he said it’s because it “looks like I want to go home” and people at school look to me as a leader. What do I do with this absolutely bonkers request? —Deep Coat

This week on Ask WeAreTeachers, we cover a drama-seeking Facebook parent, a major flaw in teacher application systems, and food waste.