Your Teacher Is Fuming

, , , , , , , | Learning | August 15, 2018

(I am part of the Gifted/AP program at my school. This conversation happens in fourth grade, with my Gifted teacher for that year.)

Teacher: “Well, kids, this weekend I learned a very important home safety lesson. I was deep-cleaning my bathroom, and after I used [Ammonia-Based Cleaning Product] on the floor, I decided to bleach the tub–”

Me: *gasps* “Are you okay, Mrs. [Teacher]?!”

(She stares at me.)

Teacher: “Um, yes, [My Name], I’m just fine… I started feeling lightheaded, so I stopped cleaning. We opened all the windows and ran the fans…”

(She then explained to the class that she read the cleaning product label, and when ammonia and bleach are used together, it can create toxic fumes. I was the only kid who knew. The teacher asked me later how I learned that, and I told her my mother taught me. I’m pretty sure that teacher thought we were a family of mad scientists.)

What An Ugly Opinion

, , , , , , | Learning | August 12, 2018

(When I was in high school, being or acting “geeky” was still considered “uncool.” The first couple years were a nightmare. They enjoyed bullying me for being new and for my “nerdy” appearance. It wasn’t until my last year in the school that I earned respect from my classmates and had my own circle of close friends. After a two-week break, I return to school with a new, more modern haircut, which helps me feel a bit more confident in my own skin. As I walk down the stairs during our lunch break, I see a group of elementary-school kids waiting in in a line on the opposite side of the stairs. A teacher who is very popular with most students due to his friendly, casual teaching style, starts walking up and stops midway to greet me.)

Teacher: “Hello there, [My Name]! Good to see you back. There’s something different about you, though.”

Me: “Oh, I just went to the salon the other day and decided to get this new haircut.”

Teacher: “That explains it! It looks great!” *while the little kids are looking at us* “Yeah… Your old haircut made you look a little immature, you know? It hid your features! Now you definitely look like a senior that’s about to graduate!”

Me: *surprised he would mention my appearance* “Thanks?”

Teacher: “Like I always say… There’s no such thing as an ugly girl, just one that doesn’t take care of her appearance!”

Me: *shocked and embarrassed he said in front of impressionable kids* “Wait… Who thinks I was ugly, or that I don’t take care of myself?”

Teacher: *stares at me in surprise*

Me: *as the little kids look at us* “Ugliness comes from the inside, and I’ve never considered myself to be ugly. You don’t have to look a certain way to be considered healthy or be socially accepted. Don’t you think?”

Teacher: *as he starts walking up away from me and the kids* “Yeah, yeah, of course! I was just joking!”

My Friends: *who were in the corner waiting for me to walk down* “About time you stood up for yourself!”

Me: “How dare he? I just didn’t want the little kids to think that was an okay thing to say.”

(After that, that teacher avoided me like the plague.)

Flipped Their Last Bird

, , , , , , , , | Learning | August 11, 2018

I have severe motor skill impediments, which includes an inability to lift parts of my hands independently. In gym class, there are two teachers; one is hated as she is extremely strict, rude, and generally not nice.

We are playing soccer out on the field, and the opposing team is a group of bullies who are well-known for accusing people of things they didn’t do. My team has just scored a goal, and the bullies, who dislike me a lot, run up to the teacher, claiming that I flipped them off. The teacher, who also dislikes me due to my lack of athletic ability, immediately yells at me, while I try to explain to her what really happened.

She sends me to the discipline secretary, who is a notoriously cranky woman who loves her job and hates kids. Upon hearing what the teacher said, she writes a referral, and tells me to sign it.

I stubbornly refuse to sign it, as I have done nothing wrong.

They call my dad in, and, when they had explain the “situation” to him, he tells me to do something any student would love to do: flip the teacher off. I do so, or try to; due to my motor skill problems, I cannot lift my middle finger by itself. Upon seeing this, the principal decides that I am telling the truth.

The bullies get detention for lying to the principal. After a full investigation, which includes several union reps, the teacher is reprimanded, and fired the next year. Turns out that this is not her first lying incident to cover for her favorite students.


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Misogyny Is Catching

, , , , , | Learning | August 10, 2018

(My high school gym teacher tends to favor the male students in my gym class, with certain exceptions made for members of the women’s basketball team — he coaches the men’s team. As an uncoordinated female, I am always relegated to the “B-Group” in every sport we learn. During this story, it is volleyball, a sport I actually like and can play to a certain skill level, but I am still in the B-Group. There are no male students in my game rotation, and only one female student — a basketball player — in the A-Group.)

Teacher: *to the players in my section of the gym* “You see, the problem with you girls is that your fathers probably never took you outside and played catch with you.”

Me: *snapping at the term “you girls”* “But sir, my dad taught me how to shoot for the leg for a good takedown and two back points.”

(The teacher could not respond, because my father was the coach of the wrestling team and, indeed, had taught me how to grapple instead of catch. His look of realization was priceless.)

Doctor How?

, , , , | Learning | August 6, 2018

(I am in year-eleven chemistry class. I am one of those people who is capable of retaining interesting — but completely useless — information. We are looking over a series of revision questions for the exam. The teacher has continually stressed that unless the question specifically tells us what a certain compound is and we haven’t learnt it in class, then we don’t need that information in order to answer the question, as the question will provide the info we need. One student who is notorious for not paying attention raises his hand.)

Student: “Mr. [Teacher], we haven’t learned what EDTA is.”

(The teacher looks like he is going to spontaneously combust out of annoyance. He asks the class at large:)

Teacher: “Who here can tell [Student] what EDTA is?!”

Me: “Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid.”

(The entire class and the teacher fall silent, staring at me. Eventually, the teacher manages to find his tongue.)

Teacher: “Well… [My Name] is correct, but you don’t need to know that… [My Name], how do you know that?”

Me: “It was on an episode of Torchwood.”

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