Teachers have a very important job of educating the youth, as those kids will grow up and become the next leaders of the world. Unfortunately, that does not mean they'll have an easy time doing so.
Students on Reddit share how they made their teacher cry. Content has been edited for clarity.
"In middle school science, I had a teacher who was always so sweet. She was an older woman, and she always made sure we had materials for her class, often at her own expense. I remember she went out and bought like 20 plastic pencil cases and filled them with pencils, rulers, erasers, everything we would need for the class.
One day, some kids decided to throw a few of the pencil cases across the room. They snapped some rulers and just generally broke a lot of the things she provided for us while she stepped out for five minutes to talk to another teacher.
When she came back, she started crying and I remember feeling so bad for her. She gave the class little pieces of candy after, apologizing for losing control and getting emotional. We were the ones who should have been apologetic. She was so sweet to us even though the class was full of demon children."
"Our class in high school was known as one of the rowdiest in the school. It wasn't the sort of school that has mass fights and stabbings and stuff like that, but for our school, we were pretty bad. In our last year, for whatever reason, we were given a fresh out of university teacher for English, and for some reason, our class just didn't like her. I don't know what she did that turned us against her, probably nothing, we were probably just little brats. She would get ridiculed for having sweat stains under her armpits, which you could tell got to her. People would talk back at her and ignore what she was saying. The beginning of the lesson wouldn't start for 15 minutes as she'd stand there blankly waiting for us to calm down (We weren't just going to calm down). This regularly meant that she'd have to leave the room and go and get a senior member of staff to have a word with us, give a few detentions out, and then we'd be back on track. Our class was regularly on class reports (disciplinary reports with effectively no punishment).
The point that pushed her over the edge that also caused the biggest amount of laughter? Someone blew up a rubber protector, and we were hitting it around the room like a balloon. She tried to get it for a few minutes and failed miserably. I think at one point she even had it but the lubrication just caused it to fly out of her hands. This poor lady looked so defeated. She went and got a senior member of staff again, and when the senior member walked in they demanded that the 'balloon' be popped or handed over immediately. The fact it was called a balloon when it was obviously a rubber protector was the funniest thing on the planet to a bunch of 15-year-olds."
"I had a French teacher once. We were her first class since becoming a teacher; she was a lovely woman but many of us suspected she has mental health problems, always very quiet and mousey and she always came in looking a bit messy. Hair not brushed and makeup a bit smudged.
There were these two girls who would just torment her, they hid pickled mussels around the classroom and were just these loud obnoxious little brats. Long story short, turns out the teacher's mum had just died. On top of the stress of managing a class with some really horrible kids, she had a nervous breakdown and never came back.
About two years later, I was going to a concert and saw her begging for money outside a train station. Just felt so horrible seeing what she had been reduced to all because of some nasty kids that just pushed her way too far."
"I had a history teacher one year, a really good teacher. He had had a teenage son who had committed suicide, and after he took some time off, he came back to work. Standard class clown kid started acting up in his class, and the teacher asks him to go into the hallway so he can speak with him privately.
We heard their exchange get a little heated, but this kid just cranked it to 11. He insinuated the teacher’s kid was right to kill themselves with a father like him. Heard that kid bounce off some lockers about a second after. The teacher came back into the room with angry tears and told one of us to call the school resource officer. It became a big hullabaloo and the teacher ended up suspended for the rest of the year.
At the time I thought it was crazy he’d shove that kid like that. 15 years later and some real-world experience later, I’m surprised that’s all he did."
"We had a substitute teacher in high school sociology. She was older probably 60s, short and stout, spoke overly proper English. At first, we thought maybe the last class was bad because while we were very loud before she started class, we quieted down right away and she was still curt with us. Another aspect was that this room was way too small for how many kids were cramped into the class, so we were more like a hive mind of hands and eyes who could all hear each other whispering better than we can hear the teacher. So, it was an easily distracted room.
Still, we were the 'good' hour and our regular teacher had actually said as much, and that the previous hour was rowdy. Anyway, she gets flustered during role-call and thinks kids are messing with her when they're just giggling at her mispronunciations. Also, she can't seem to hear a certain part of the room very well, and kids have to repeat things other students said for her. She kept taking things as affronts to her that weren't.
Then she starts talking about completely unrelated things. She starts talking to us like we're her friend at a beauty salon, and we're just supposed to agree with her. She kept asking rhetorical questions. The foreign exchange student raised her hand and answered one of these questions without irony, likely because she didn't realize the teacher wasn't asking a serious question for the class.
The teacher's eyes narrowed at her and she said 'Well aren't you just a fat cow, like my sister?!'
Everyone in the class is like 'WOAH!'
The exchange student is this tall, skinny eastern European girl who's two grades ahead so she's like 13, but taller and thinner than most of the 15-16-year-olds. She's normally so meek and she just gets TINY in her chair.
I chimed in, being the usually loud and obnoxious one in our grade, 'You do NOT get to talk to her that way, who do you think you are?'
The teacher bursts into tears and starts screaming and ugly crying about how her sister died of cancer (and later says she died a week ago, then says it was 6 months ago later?) and she doesn't need us kids making fun of her for it. NO ONE had even come close to making fun of her, and even the kids laughing at mispronunciations weren't out of control or anything like that. I tried explaining that and she said some mean stuff to me too, but I just laughed it off.
I said, 'I'm sorry you're clearly going through something but maybe coming into school was a mistake and it's not our fault or problem that you're feeling these things, so stop taking it out on us.'
She called the resource staff to take me and a girl who was also arguing with her out. Oh, she also tried to include the foreign exchange student in with the two of us and said she was 'back talking,' but our class wasn't having it and immediately came to her defense again. When the hall staff got there, they quickly realized the sub was having some kind of episode and the Vice Principal was called who had to repeatedly ask the woman to leave the room and then taught the rest of our class.
The next week after a different sub, the normal teacher came back and admonished us for making a teacher leave school in the middle of the day and how he was so disappointed with us. But the whole class turned on him and defended the girl and me, and explained she was the one who went crazy on us. He had only read her notes, so after he spoke to the VP he finally apologized to us, which was surprisingly big of him for how righteous he usually was."
"When I was about 14/15, my school had an awesome young science teacher. Fresh out of university, eager to do well in his first job, passionate about his subject, and always staying late to help out the kids who needed the extra help. Unfortunately, he was super timid and shy, and not very good at handling behavioral issues. Naturally, the evil and nasty kids (and even the ones you would expect better from) found it fun to completely take advantage of this. It soon became a common 'game' to just see who could do their best at making his life a nightmare. I never saw him cry myself, but I did see him get pushed to his limits, and one day I heard he had a bit of a breakdown.
I can't remember exactly what I was told happened, but he fled a classroom on the verge of tears and some other teachers needed to step in to get the class back under control. Anyway, one Monday we found out he had passed away the day before from an undetected heart problem. His father went to his house the previous Sunday morning when he didn't turn up for their golf session and found him dead in his bed. He was 24.
Needless to say, all of the kids who tormented him felt absolutely awful about it. One girl, in particular, confided in me about how she felt so terrible. She knew he was a great teacher, but she joined in with the pack. Now she had to live with knowing this young, kind teacher died and all she had ever done was contribute to making his life difficult."
"I remember in high school getting a teacher fresh out of college. He was the best - super passionate about teaching, and would often incorporate music and comedy into his teaching to make it more interesting. Almost everyone in the class loved him because of it. There were three football players who would always play up in class though, and the teacher spent extra attention on them, trying to get them just as excited about learning as the rest of the class. But they were simply 'too cool' to pay attention in class.
One day they took it too far. I can't remember the exact details, but I do remember that one of the football players threw a chair 'as a joke' - either at another student or at the teacher himself - and it just broke the poor guy. He lost his cool at the unruly students, and you could see the pure frustration in his face. He just wanted to teach, but these few students were focused solely on ruining it for everyone. He ended up just leaving the classroom in tears, and everyone in the class quickly turned against the kids who threw the chair."
"She was our sixth-grade teacher. Our school had this odd system where you had a homeroom teacher for most of the day, but then rotated around to other teachers for just a few classes. Our homeroom teacher was also the music teacher, and for some reason, during music class, everything would go to chaos.
She went on vacation for a week and came back with a bad sunburn around the eyes. So we would only call her Mrs. Raccoon. It caused her to get more tanning done.
During one music class, she really had to go to the washroom, so she left for about four seconds and a fight broke out between a boy and a girl. The girl took the boy's head and threw it through a snare drum. He got stuck in there. She came back to thinking he was dead.
Eventually, she had a mental breakdown mid-class and ran out into the hallway crying. The 7th-grade teacher saw this and instead of consoling her walked in and just let us. have it.
I’ll never forget that day, he said we were spoiled little brats for treating a teacher who only ever wanted to help us like trash. He screamed that if he had a teacher like her when he was a kid he would do everything he could to keep her. Yelled that if we kept acting this way we were in for a life of disappointment brought on by our own rampant incompetence.
It worked. Some of us cried, but everyone felt horrible and we were all nice to her for the remaining year."
"When I was in high school we were misbehaving as a whole group, just making noise and not listening and, messing around and finding just about everything that was happening far too funny, nothing too major.
A few of us got sent out to stand in the corridor until she got a handle on things. When she came out to speak to us, one dude was leaning up against the door frame with his hand. Upon realizing we couldn’t contain our laughter at this point, she decided to leave us out there and stormed back into the class, slamming the door.
It was at this point, the dude screamed with the force of a thousand suns, I hadn’t heard anything quite like it. The teacher comes back out instantly, steam billowing out of her ears ready to completely destroy our childhoods.
She turned to the kid, and noticed the end of his finger hanging off. She's instantly realizing she’d shut it in the door, her mood changed just as quickly, and she just broke down into tears. I would’ve felt bad but it just topped off the list of things I shouldn’t have been laughing at already."
"I had just graduated from high school a few months ago, and I was going to visit the school to see my favorite teacher during the following fall. It's pretty customary for graduates to do, they start college in the fall than when they come back home for Thanksgiving break they go to the high school and walk around to reconnect with their teachers.
The thing was, I wasn’t home on break from college, I was home because I had gotten diagnosed with cancer when I was about to start college. So when I went to visit, I was bald and had lost a good amount of weight (though I was feeling pretty good at that point). When I stepped in the doorway of his classroom, he was teaching a class but was the end of the period so he was just wrapping things up.
When he saw me there he took a second to register that it was me. He immediately quieted and started tearing up. He stopped talking to the class and excused himself then walked away and took a minute to gather himself. I had no idea I would impact someone like that. My heart dropped. He could hardly look at me, not in a disgusted way or anything just in pure shock and grief. Eventually, I talked to him and explained how everything was going well and I was going to be okay, but his eyes never stopped tearing and looked glazed over.
A couple of days later he emailed me saying he was so happy to see me and that he was sorry he was so shaken and he wanted to hear updates from me. Really crazy time."
"When I was in middle school, we had an older teacher with a larger body and very thin legs. As such, she somewhat resembled a hen. It didn't help that she had a bit of a sagging-under chin, shorter hair that looked like the top of a chickens head, and a very pronounced nose.
We had a new kid in class who appeared to have been held back a few times and had now landed in that class. The guy was a brat in general, but the day he called her a chicken and then proceeded to mimic a clucking chicken, complete with arm-wings, made me realize that she was probably either aware of the likeness and may have dealt with people joking about it before. She immediately started crying and fled the room. The instruction was taken over by one of the vice principals for the rest of class, who used that time to admonish us on the dangers of being brats.
Later, in college, I was taking an anthropology elective in an auditorium-sized lecture hall. The professor had a very thick Indian accent but was still very much understandable. During a lecture on dialects and the concept of texts, she commented about how these can lead to miscommunications between different regional groups, and one student yelled from the back of the lecture hall 'Oh, so it's hard when you can't understand what on Earth someone is saying?'
The professor got quiet for a moment before muttering, 'I have no words. Class is dismissed.'
She gathered her stuff and left the lecture hall. I felt so bad for her.
The next lecture some higher-up in her department came along and addressed the class about how that level of disrespect was absurd at an institution of higher learning. I'm not even sure if the guy who said it was there."
"We had a really difficult algebra teacher and she seemed to enjoy failing people. One day, she announced that everyone had failed a test the prior day except for the dumbest kid in class (who come to find out had just guessed his way through the multiple-choice and gotten very lucky) to shame us all into doing better.
Instead of dropping our heads in shame, we all gave him a slow standing ovation. Her response was to slowly walk back to her desk, put her head in her hands, and start sobbing for the rest of the class period. That was her final year teaching, and I like to think our class played a big part in sparing future generations from her cruelty."
"I went to a wealthy private and bilingual high school in Peru where we had a recurring substitute teacher in that had a severe lazy eye. She was a very nice lady with broken English, so she mainly would substitute Spanish classes where most of the new coming American students would be placed, like me.
This lovely Peruvian lady of modest upbringing was surrounded by wealthy foreign students almost every day she was subbing.
I’ll never forget that one day, while she was trying to help a student with his assignment, the student just interrupts her mid-sentence and blurts out. 'MISS, I CAN'T TELL IF YOU ARE LOOKING AT ME OR JOSH SITTING IN THE CORNER.'
Just about everyone erupted with laughter and a few other jokes were thrown around during the commotion. I’ll admit I laughed as well but my mood quickly shifted when I noticed her tearing up and she ran out of the classroom with her face in her hands.
After the commotion died down, I walked outside the classroom and saw her sobbing, leaning against a pillar a few doors away.
I apologized about the other stupid American students and myself laughing at her expense. She said thank you, and I hugged her. I barely knew this lady before this, but it was obvious that her condition tormented her and she had very few friends in our tightly-knit school culture, even among the teachers who were all foreign as well.
After this, I got to know her a little and it turns out that she was working the substitute job in order to get cheaper tuition for her two young girls in Kindergarten because she wanted them to have the best education possible. Her goal was to become a full-time teacher at the school, which is a prestigious position for local Peruvian teachers.
She put herself through the daily guaranteed embarrassment and ridicule of being around a bunch of rich, elitist kids in order to give her daughters a better future. Broke my heart when I found out about all this and realized that our incessant snickering and jokes were the epitome of horrible rich kid behavior."
"Back in high school, I was in a section of my school that was for those with learning disabilities. One day when we were in a Spanish class (we had been having Spanish once every two days for about nine weeks now), and one of the kids just couldn't understand any of it. This kid also had very severe anger issues, so when he started getting confused he would cup his head into his arms as he would also start to get angry.
The teacher went over to him and started to shout at him, to get his head off the table and things like that. This kid got up, screamed at the teacher, picked up his chair, and threw it at her. My class was silent as the chair hit her and this kid just walked out of the classroom and it stayed silent for what felt like an eternity.
Eventually, another teacher came to the room to find one sobbing mess of a teacher on the carpet. The kid didn't get expelled or anything because the teacher took the blame on herself, saying she just got frustrated and that she provoked him, so he only got a week of in-school suspension."
"In seventh grade, there was this trainee teacher in our class.
How it works here (Germany) is, usually, they stay with a class for a couple of months, then do a didactic examination where they teach one hour in front of a lot of evaluators. If the grade is good enough, they move to another school/department. After four of these evaluations, they can get their certificate as a teacher.
Anyways, this guy taught math in our class. Well, he didn't. Instead, he shamed anyone who could not solve any of his really hard problems in front of the whole class. In particular, two girls got it almost weekly. We tried talking to his supervisor, he was aware of the problem, but could not really do anything, since it was not him who put the trainee there. While I had no problem teaching myself from the book, many others really started to struggle, so we tried to come up with something together.
So the big day of his evaluation came. About seven very important supervisors, the principle and others, were joining the class. Not surprising, the trainee teacher was like the nicest person on earth that day and very well-prepared. Sadly for him, all of our class beforehand decided to not talk at all during the whole lesson. Not even if he called us out. We tried this before and he threatened with bad grades. Gladly we knew that, during the evaluation, he was not allowed to grade us.
So his lesson became a very sad monologue. All of us stayed very tough and kept the promise. After the lesson, evaluators and the trainee talked outside and we kids partied in the room. Minutes later he came in, visibly crying, took his stuff, and left.
He didn't pass and was transferred to another school and got a note about his behavior inside his portfolio. After this, it got a lot easier for us kids to talk about trainee teachers and truly make an impact."