Educators, for the most part, always try to be fair and balanced. However, when a student is particularly sociopathic, a little revenge could be just what the teacher ordered. My father is a high school basketball coach and PE teacher. I’ve seen him “get back” at sh*tty kids my whole life with extra sprints, no playing time, etc. Now, I don’t condone this behavior, but according the Reddit teachers below, sometimes it is necessary to teach the child a REAL life lesson.
TRIAL BY A JURY OF YOUR PEERS
I had a letter mailed to my office, as in paid postage etc etc, that was basically threatening me, saying I better stop handing out Cs and Ds or “word on the street” was going to be that I was a bad teacher and no one would take my class and I’d be out of a job. I had a pretty good idea of who it was, obviously immediately ruled out all the students doing well in my classes, but didn’t think direct accusations would be really effective anyway. I decided to take it to each of my three classes and turn it into a lesson on faulty rhetoric. My expectations were exceeded when I began to read the letter out loud and without fail each class erupted in laughter and exclaimed things like “what an asshole!” before I could even weigh in. The kid I suspected the most definitely sat slumped in his chair without much to say that day.
OKAY, THIS TEACHER IS JUST AWESOME
My favorite English teacher once led a discussion about the Vietnam War novel The Things They Carried in to a discussion about drugs and paranoia in order to mess with the dude that always showed up to class high. She didn’t look at him ONCE- just kept saying stuff to f–k with him (while, might I add, actually leading a very interesting conversation about drug abuse in Vietnam). I was sitting across the room from him and he looked like he was dying.
0 TO 100 (REAL QUICK)
A group of lousy, talkative students started acing the weekly tests in the seminar periods. We’re talking marginally passing to a sudden spike of consistent 100%’s. Figured out that they had a friend who was in an earlier seminar period in the week feeding them the questions before they took it themselves. I emailed them, and instead of busting them, asked them to teach the whole class on their new found study habits. I made them all stand in front of the class and “teach” how they study. The whole lesson was a load of shit, and was plainly visible to everyone. Then for the next test, rotated the questions for their seminar time. The whole group got 0/10 across the board. I emailed them again and plainly said “Guess those study habits need some tweaking, huh?”
IF A EQUALS B AND B EQUALS C…
There was a kid in my class who ALWAYS was cheating on my tests and quizzes. I caught him several times and contacted the parents, but nothing was ever really done about it (aside from the fact that he got 0’s if I caught him). Once on the midterm, he missed the test. He came back the day I gave the kid their scores back which also had the answers, but not the questions. I saw him “sneakily” talking to his friends and they gave him their papers that had the answers on them. I didn’t say anything, but the make-up midterm has the same questions with all of the answer choices moved over by one letter. He got a 3% on a multiple-choice midterm. I assume he must have read one question and then copied the rest from his friends. Justice.
WELL, IT WAS WOODWORKING…
My dad taught high school woodworking in the 80s and 90s, and he had one student that was just an obnoxious dick. Disruptive, annoying, with an ego the size of a planet. So one day after school had finished, Dad graffitied “[Student] is a dickhead” in the classroom, and the next day the kid was so pissed off and couldn’t figure out which of his classmates had done it.
FEIGNED IGNORANCE IS BLISS
High school teacher here. Had a little shit of a kid we’ll call Anthony. Complained about everything, did no work whatsoever, talked shit about everyone, made fun of kids with disabilities, you name it. And, of course, he was always the first to start shrieking that he was the victim in every situation, everyone was against him, how come he always got picked on and so forth. The worst thing about him was his constant tendency to immediately crap upon anything that anyone else had put effort into, including my lessons. We would nearly have these very vulnerable, tender moments in the classroom - where kids were talking about big, important issues and really growing intellectually in awesome and uncomfortable ways - and then Anthony would call them gay or whatever else. One day, this girl Patrice - an incredibly sweet girl, sensitive, with an artist’s heart - is sharing something in class for the first time. Visibly nervous, shaky voice. Anthony, of course, begins making fun of her hair, her glasses, her face. Loud enough that it’s plausibly a whisper, but loud enough so that we can all hear what he’s saying. I start walking toward his desk but am interrupted when Patrice very, very calmly says, “f–k you, Anthony.” The entire class was dead silent. Everyone’s eyes are on me, waiting for me to react. Anthony starts screaming “DID YOU HEAR THAT? SHE SAID F–K! YOU ALWAYS GET ME IN TROUBLE WHEN I SAY F–K, THIS SHIT AIN’T FAIR, HOW THIS UGLY BITCH GONNA…” I say “Huh? I didn’t hear anything,” turn back around, and continue the lesson. A few kids cheered. It felt really good.
THE PROFESSORIAL BOO-YAH
I’m a professor at a State University for the past 17 years, and teach pre-health and pre-med students. I’ve never felt the need to retaliate against a student. Until one day, I met my Nemesis. This student wanted to go to medical school, though they were of very middling intellect, and came off as socially inept and personally odious. I and my class stood in her way, so I had to be shoved out of the way on her route to being a healer. She figured the best way to get ahead was to be the squeaky wheel, and bitch about everything. So Nemesis went all out to find everything and anything to complain about. By the end, she had escalated these issues all of the way to the top, and I got called into the Dean’s office. My administrators above me have worked with me for years, giving me no fear of a student “going over my head” with a complaint. But this student tried.
Dean: “Go easy, don’t antagonize her. Just ride it out, and be done with it.“
Me: "Thanks, Dean. Good talk, bro.”
My Nemesis kept it up. I gave her a higher grade than she deserved. Then I washed my proverbial hands. A year later, I was assigned to be the committee head of the faculty that create group letters of recommendation for medical school applications. And she submitted the form for our committee to create her recommendation packet. Students can, and SHOULD, waive the right to read these evaluations. If you are afraid of what a professor will say about you, don’t ask them for a letter. My Nemesis made sure to point out to the committee in a formal letter that because of problems with ALL of the professors that would be writing letters, she wanted to make sure their letters were appropriate and of the correct tone and content before we sent them off. Therefore she would review them before approving them for inclusion in her packet. Nobody wanted to drop the atom bomb on her and write a true letter as, you know, … lawyers. And she would see all of these letters, as would her counsel, before we sent them. So our hands were tied. But one brave soul went around and solicited her letter writers into creating sublime choruses of praise; these would be the letters you would expect to read to the Nobel Committee about Hawking, Einstein, Newton, and Feynman. We are talking true works of art. Nobody would believe that a student with this background or MCAT score could get one of these eulogy masterpieces, let alone a whole panel. I included a note from the committee stating that the student had previously filed academic complaints against each and every professor that wrote her a letter, therefore these letters may not reflect her true academic potential. We got our FERPA lawyer to check this with a fine toothcomb, but our committee “had a duty in our committee recommendation letter to inform those reading the professors’ individual recommendations if there may be a mitigating circumstance or formal action that could influence the veracity and quality of the recommendations.” The student didn’t have the right to see that part unless they request it later. After the letters have been sent out, unfortunately for them. So she carpet bombed the medical schools with primary applications; every MD, DO, and offshore school that existed got one. Within her application packet came those beautiful letters, and those three explosive paragraphs explaining that this student filed academic complaints against every letter writer, and did not waive the right to keep their letters secret. It doesn’t take a genius on the admissions committee of each of these schools to read between the lines on this one, and drop that application in the trash before granting an interview. She did not get one interview. More than 30 applications, not one school invited her to continue her application process. That gets a professorial BOOOO-YAAAAAH!
I graded his test fairly.