Every profession has it's frustrations. And sometimes you just feel like giving up on humanity. Teachers are no exception to life's aggravations.
Reddit user Cubbysablo asked "Teachers of Reddit, what is something a student of yours has said that made you think 'wow, there is no hope left for you?". Within 9 days over 15,000 responses were received. Here are some of the most shocking.
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High school teacher here
"Dude, if you don't start coming to class and doing the work, you'll fail out of school."
"School's done nothin for me. I'm gonna rap to pay the bills, bro."
Kid was an awful musician. Couldn't make a beat. Couldn't write a rhyme to save his life.
My wife told me this story about a time she was lecturing a kid on why he should try to do well in school. She asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up... his response "I want to be in jail. That's where my dad and uncle is." She had no response. Probably the only time in her career that she was left speechless by a student.
I had a first grader throw chairs and desks at me for about a week (after 2 months of horrific behavior that the parents and administration ignored), one hard enough to injure my knee, before I finally had enough video evidence for the principal to get involved. He (student) refused to speak to me at all. Eventually my co teaching partner got him to explain why he was doing it. "I just don't like him."
I feel bad for the kid. He has serious emotional problems. I don't know if I'd say there is no hope left, because 1st grade is pretty young to write someone off. I hope he gets treatment.
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I had one 4 year old who couldn't hold a pencil. He couldn't remember how to pick it up, and didn't have the strength to push it down hard enough on the paper to get any leverage. He couldn't color, had no motor skills whatsoever. He didn't have a dominant hand. His parents liked to leave him at my learning center for an hour, even though he couldn't use the bathroom on his own. He was 4 years old and didn't have the slightest grasp of the alphabet, and couldn't retain anything we taught him. It took a month to get him to count to 10.
My theory on all this is, on top of a learning disability/developmental delay his mom was in denial of, he was a natural lefty who was forced to use his right hand but, because of the disability, couldn't, and ended up not developing any motor skills in either hand. Poor kid.
Not a teacher but worked at a school for awhile. Had a 4th grader say that he didn't need school because he was going to have a wife and she would do everything. Same student while disrupting the entire class also said "what are you going to do? I know you can't hit me."
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I taught lower elementary. Most teachers will get frustrated at some point by how hard it can be to get a child who may be lacking upstairs some extra help. This was the case with one of my favorite students. It didn't matter that he couldn't do any of the work that his peers were doing, due to his incredibly low IQ, he was performing "at his ability level." But he was just SO NICE to everyone.
I had set aside time every day to help him with his reading. We were using the short story of the ugly duckling. It had one short sentence on each page and after two weeks, he could get though it with minimal help. However, reading the words isn't all there is to reading. I had asked him if he could tell me what the story was about since we had spent time on it every day for the last two weeks. He starts his oral retelling off great and I'm super excited. This is a HUGE deal for my man because up until this point, I couldn't get any retell or comprehension out of him. I'm super pumped and he is feeding off my energy and he's so proud of himself. This kid is glowing.
We are only 3/4 through the story though. We come up to the end of the Ugly Ducking and he's telling me that the duckling CHANGES (this word took is forever to say, much less read!) But then he stops. And goes into this deep think stage. I prod him a little bit- "He changes? What does he change into bud?" He brings his eyes back from the ceiling and then with the biggest smile, he shouts out "A butterfly!"
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My wife had a student in 3rd grade who refused to do any writing assignments. My wife told him that she was going to call his parents to explain to them what was going on if he didn't start doing his work. He said, "I don't care. My mom said I don't have to do anything I don't want to do. Rules don't apply to me." My wife called his mom and his mom told my wife that she (meaning my wife) just has to understand how her son is and if he doesn't want to do the work, then he doesn't have to. His behaviors all made sense after that and it was a very tough year. He stopped doing all work and started harassing other kids (probably partially due to boredom since he was doing nothing else by the end of the year). As long as he was happy, my wife couldn't get the mom on board.
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University professor here. A student last term never purchased the text book (and thus never did his homework), sat in the back and spaced out all class, failed one exam, and barely passed the other. He came to me during the final week of class to ask me if he could do all of his missed assignments and then asked why I didn't remind him to do them. Bro, this is university. I'm not chasing after you.
I had one who stopped coming to class for the last 6 weeks of semester, and instead of writing the essay on the exam, wrote a 2 page rant about how "unfair" it was of me to base the exam on stuff that happened in class. Also in the rant, complaints about how I had not called her to remind her to do assignments, come to class and find out what was on the exam.
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There's a young boy who can be very sweet and is an adorable blonde butterball. However he has pretty severe behaviors and gets restrained at some point on a daily basis. I saw his parents one day because they live in government subsidized housing close by and walk him to school. It was 50 degrees out and the little boy was in a basketball jersey and shorts. His parents looked exactly how I expected them to look and were rude to all the staff they interacted with. It just showed me that no matter how much we do, he spends most of his life with his shitty parents.
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I had a student say, "I don't need to learn any of this, I won't use it in real life". When I tried to explain why math was going to be useful, he responded, "you're a dumba**, watch me get rich without even going to school." I mean sure it's been done but probably not the best idea.
"Are we ever going to use this as an adult?"
"You won't, but some of the smart kids will."
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I teach Computer Science in university. I get alot of freshmen that plucked the major because they heard it was a high paying major, but don't actually like the subject.
But the worst was a recent student that asked if they could just do the assignments by hand. They didn't want to use a computer, they didn't really like using them. "People use computers too much, I don't start doing that." Also thought computers could do too much, and wanted people to stop using them. Brah, this is a programming course. For computers. In a major about making computers do things. You are gonna need to use a computer.
Needless to say, I told them this wasn't probably the major for them...
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I had one student at a bilingual school in Mexico, who after being at this school and supposedly learning English for 5+ years, still couldn't speak it and barely tried to make any effort to learn anything. Didn't do assignments and failed almost every test. When we mentioned it to her parents, their attitude was that she doesn't really need it because she will just marry someone who will take care of everything for her. My thought was, "Who would want to marry someone who doesn't know anything and makes no effort?"
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