By Lola Lolita of Sammiches and Psych Meds (a teacher)

Child Yells At Her Teacher

Now that another school year is upon us, many people will find themselves interacting with a teacher at some point, whether it’s at a parent/teacher conference for one’s child, at a dinner party where a teacher is in attendance, or in a classroom as a student.  And while most teachers have just about seen and heard it all, there are some things they never want to endure again.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, a parent, an administrator or a friend; you should avoid saying the following at all costs.*  (Unless death by eye daggers sounds like your cup of tea.)

1. Are we doing anything important today?  Well, actually, you’re in luck!  We aren’t doing anything important whatsoever.  Come on in, kick your feet up, and play around on social media for 59 minutes, or better yet, blast your iPod on volume eleventy million so nobody else in the room can hear themselves think.  Learning’s overrated anyway.  AMIRIGHT?!?!

2. Can I turn my assignment in late?  Because, uh, what had happened was, my dog ate my homework right after my computer crashed and my grandma died.  Oh my goodness.  That sounds terrible.  I’m going to have to say no, though.  By the way, how many times is it now that your computer has crashed and your grandma has died in the same night?  Are they cats by any chance? Because they just keep coming back to life and dying all over again.  At this rate, I think you have a pretty good reality TV series pitch — Computers and Grandmas: Defying the Odds.

3. Have you [graded my essay/written my letter of recommendation/scored the tests/gathered my makeup work/completed my application] yet?  Oh, you mean the one you handed to me 42 seconds ago?  You know, I haven’t.  I know.  Lazy bones over here! {*maniacal chuckle*}  I really need to get my life in order, huh?

4. I need you to email me every single time my student fails to turn in an assignment or scores below a B.  I’d love to, except then I’d have to remember to do it for the other 149 students in my classes, and I can barely remember to pick my own children up from school.  Tell you what.  How’s about you email me whenever you want to discuss the progress report you have access to online 24 hours per day?

5. I called you one hour ago, and I haven’t heard back yet.  What’s your problem?  Yeah, I saw that call come in while I was teaching class.  These pesky classes.  Always gettin’ in the way.  Can you believe I have to return calls during my own free time?  Nutso, I tell you.  You’ll hear back within 48 hours.  Promise.

6. We’re [writing, reading, solving word problems, completing a lab experiment, engaging in higher order thinking, taking a test] today?  Ugh.  SO STUPID!  Tell me about it.  It’s just so stupid and dumb and…and…and stupid that we have to actually do learning and stuff in school.  Whose idea was this, anyway?!

7. I need you to attend 7 IEPs and 4 504s and one staff meeting and 3 professional development sessions and 2 nights of conferences on top of teaching all day in the same week.  That’s not a problem, is it?  No, of course not!  I was just thinking, if there’s one thing I need, it’s meeting on top of meeting morning in and evening out.  I’m sure my kids will understand why the dogs have to raise them until February.

8. I need to meet with you immediately about my student’s grade.  I’ll be there at 6 pm tomorrow evening.  Yeah.  Here’s the thing.  I’m not available tomorrow evening.  I have graduate classes to take and soccer practices to attend and doctor appointments to keep and dinners to make and children to parent.  Here’s a better idea.  Why don’t we work together to decide on a mutually acceptable time?

9. My student spends all his time studying and doing homework.  When are you teachers going to realize they need to live their lives, too?  Gosh.  He spends all his time doing that?  Because today in class, I caught him watching YouTube videos of cats baking brownies and stoners laughing hysterically about fart jokes when he was supposed to be completing his essay.  Weird.

10. You offer extra credit, right?  Sure.  Forget regular credit.  Let’s just inflate the grades with extra assignments.  The point of grades isn’t to assess actual learning, anyway.

11. You’re cool with sponsoring Video Game Club and organizing the Freshman Ski Trip and chaperoning the Sadie Hawkins Dance and tutoring students in stuff that’s not part of the curriculum in your free time and without a stipend, right?  Totally.  I love to work extra for nothing.

12. We have a test today? I didn’t know that!  We do.  Sorry about that.  I imagine it was difficult to figure out, what with the fact that I only said it 7 times yesterday and it was written on the board all week and I put it on our online calendar and I posted a reminder on my website.

13. I know I was 15 minutes late, but it’s OK.  I was with Mr. So-and-So and Mrs. Who’s-Her-Pants.  Definitely OK.  Their classes are WAY more important than mine, anyway.

14. Why didn’t you tell me my 18-year-old college-bound senior failed that test?  Um.  Because she’s an 18-year-old college-bound senior?????

15. Does this assignment count?  No, of course not.  I just thought I’d have you do this thing here to waste your time and mine.  It’s not like we have a bajillion state curriculum standards to target in 9 months or anything.

16. It’s your fault those students aren’t turning in their work.  You need to make them do it somehow.  You know, you’re so right.  Tomorrow, I’ll drive over to their houses and stop their step-dads from molesting them and make them breakfast and supply them with warm clothes and hold the pencils in their hands and force them to write the answers on the paper and follow them home and help them take care of their dead beat parents’ 27 kids and make dinner and give them a comfy bed to sleep in.  In fact, you know what?  I’m just going to adopt all 32 of them and move them into my guest room.

17. It’s taken you two weeks to get that assignment back.  What could you possibly be doing that it takes you that long?  Question: Do you like your teeth?

18. I’d like my child to work beyond what the curriculum requires.  If you could develop an individualized curriculum for her, we’ll pick it up next week.  Absolutely!  I’m noticing I have a lot of free time now that I’m down to 3 preps, anyway.  Why don’t I extend that curriculum into next year, too?  It’s not like I’m busy and stuff.

19. This [assignment, lesson, project, activity] is stupid.  I hate this.  It’s pointless, too.  You’re so right.  Thank God I have you here to put me in my place.  I did not work late into the evening for a straight week making sure I differentiated my instruction and included a number of state curriculum standards and scaffolded the complex tasks and tried to make the work relevant and rewarding as I was planning it.  I didn’t do that just for you.  Not at all.

20. Are we watching the movie?  I will cut you.

What things would you advise people avoid saying to teachers?  (Psst. To see 20 things teachers love to hear you say, click here.) 
*NOTE: This is straight sarcasm and reflective of some of the things that wear on teachers over time.  It’s not actually how we approach our constituents.  It’s strictly for entertainment and not reflective of the profession in general.  So if it upsets you for some odd reason, just chill out.  I’m embellishing a whole lot here.

— — — — —

sammichespsychmedsgravitarLola Lolita is a wife, mother, educator, recent inductee to the Parents of Children with Special Needs Club, and self-proclaimed wine addict. She lives in Detroit with her husband, two and a half sons (#3 in the oven), two dogs, and a lifetime of self-esteem issues. Follow along on her blog, Sammiches and Psych Meds, on Facebook, and on Twitter.



  1. #13 is the corporate world too. “Oh yeah, sorry I’m ten minutes late for YOUR meeting. I was in another meeting.” And I give a crap about that person’s meeting why? And then you expect my meeting to run ten minutes late so we can discuss everything I had planned to discuss in this meeting…OH but you were late so we need to push it out. Show up on time and we’ll discuss everything on my agenda. Show up late? You miss out. Jackhole.

  2. I like the complete circle created by both of the posts. I think it shows many teachers are excellent at responding to the good and bad in their profession with humor and grace. Bravo, and from a parent of a school-aged child: thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

  3. I noticed, in my experience, teachers hate it when you correct them in front of the entire class. I still can’t help it. The purpose is to learn, and the student can become the teacher, especially if the student takes the time to research and learn more about a subject than the class teaches. A lot of the textbooks are wrong in some fashion. I noticed that when I took a college course called Income Tax Accounting. Before I took the course, I already did the VITA classes, taught some VITA classes, taught the 12 week tax course at Jackson Hewitt and prepared all kinds of income taxes in real world scenarios. I’m here to tell you, the textbook on Income Tax Accounting was NOTHING like the real world. Some of the things they mentioned was in direct opposition to what the IRS thinks. What happens a lot is a teacher will put too much stock into their textbook for classes they have little to no real world experience in. Math is one that I correct teachers the most. Unlike most of my teachers, I always ask why in math. They can’t answer it, but that doesn’t stop me from exploring math on my own to find the answer myself. What happens is I find something new to the material they are teaching, and I add my information, and they doubt my knowledge instantly arguing it because it never dawned on them that I just might not be stupid. I think this why people like Einstein never do well in the school system. There’s a fine line between genius and well educated, and well educated aren’t prepared to handle higher IQs. For most of us, it’s not an ego thing. Other people make it an ego thing.

  4. Pingback: Teachers Share The One Thing A Student Said That Made Them Think 'There Is No Hope For You' - Humaverse

Write A Comment