I mentioned in class that I have had my fair share of “terrible” teachers, and thought that it might be fun to share these experiences with you. I realized that all of the experiences happened in Sweden, so I’m not sure what that says about Sweden…but oh well!
Disclaimer: we called all our teachers by their first names, let’s dig in!
The following stories were recorded over a six year period in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The people, the locations and the drama…
Joel, Music and Gym:
Joel was your stereotypical French man. He spoke with a very strong accent and would often mistakenly say swear words . The phrase “focus on the sheet of paper” for example, ended up sounding like, “fuck-us on ze shit of papeur”, (noted, this was in sixth grade and swearing was SHOCKING!) Although he brought a lot of comedic effect (never on purpose) to our music class, the only thing I got out of that class, was how to play “Three Blind Mice”… on the kazoo.
Ah, Mike. He came in halfway through the year from another Swedish high school. Other than the fact that he couldn’t speak English, he told everyone that we were fat and stinky. I can still remember the day when we were practicing high jumps in class and my friend Alison hurt her back against the bar. He wouldn’t let her go to the nurse nor sit the rest of the class out. She had a terrible bruise on her back for several weeks, and his response was that “it would do her good”!!!
I have always struggled with Math. I was also the type of kid who would try to do my best, but when I was taught by Preet all of that got shot to hell. At the beginning of the semester, I was struggling to keep up. He insisted that I move my seat near to his so that I could work at my own pace and not rush. For my mid-year grade I received a 4 (basically a C-) in math. Under comments, he wrote that I didn’t participate in the class and that I was moving too slow. When I confronted him about the fact that it was his idea for me to sit next to him and do my own thing, he said, “Ah, yes… well unfortunately that clearly wasn’t working for you either, was it?” Well, if that wasn’t enough, (he wasn’t the favorite of anyone… ) a few months later he received an invitation to join the “Preet is an Ass” group on Facebook! I did not start this group, but I can’t say that it didn’t cross my mind. The worst part was that there were only 4 people from my class that hadn’t joined the group!
This is the teacher that showed our class a video on the first day, of him ripping his shirt of his chest and telling us that we shouldn’t mess with him because he was a cop (at a theme park). ‘nuf said!
Susan is probably the CRAZIEST teacher I’ve ever met! She was in her ten-year, so I really, really hope that this is the reason she was so psycho. Well, not psycho… but definitely invasive of personal boundaries. She would start talking about math, and then all of a sudden, she would turn to someone and ask, “are you girls wearing thongs these days?” or, “when I first got my period…” I won’t even finish that sentence… The worst was when she would use the students restrooms and then before anyone would go in she would always say, “Ooh, honey, I would give that a minute, haven’t been able to shit in a while!”
Monsieur Gasc, French:
Monsieur Gasc told me that I’m not French because my mother isn’t from France. Forget the fact that I was born there and that my dad is from France. He would also pick on this girl in our French class and make her wash her face, or brush her hair if he thought it wasn’t up to par.
I don’t really know how to explain this, but Heidi always gave off this vibe that she was coming on to you… I’m sure she wasn’t actually, and maybe it was just a Swedish thing.. but all of us in the class felt generally uncomfortable. Oh, and she would TALK ALL THE FRICKING TIME! It was an art class and we had to get work done, but she would just talk and talk and talk and talk… She also didn’t speak English very well, so this was just terrible. She also had no idea what she was doing. We went on a field trip to Denmark to visit an Art museum, and then on the ferry there, she said that it was her birthday so she was going to stay in Denmark and “party it up” and that we can take the ferry and 3 hour bus ride back on our own. In 7th grade.
Tom, The Sub, English:
Let me describe to you the situation. At the beginning of 10th grade, our English teacher Steve quit, yelling as he left the building, “You can all go to hell!” for a life of adventure in Thailand. Within a month of his leave, he got in a jet-ski accident and broke both his legs. While we were waiting to hear if he was coming back we got two subs. The first sub was Peter… a fat old man who did not speak any ENGLISH. After a week of class with Peter, we got the new sub. Tom. Oh tom. Tom came to school as if he was going on a month long back packing trip across Europe. He was also the substitute for our drama class… and one day he was explaining what a monologue was and demonstrated one for us… He acted as if he was strangling someone to death. After the awkward “monologue” he told us that he used recall, and remembered the time that he almost killed his brother. Needless to say, we welcomed Steve back with open arms.
Matt, Theory of Knowledge:
The ONLY reason that I don’t like Matt was because he told everyone in my TOK class that I was failing math in high school. I know that this might not be a legitimate reason for disliking a teacher, but I felt like the entire situation was handled terribly. There was no reason for him to tell everyone in my class my personal business, and because I was so sensitive about math, I was really embarrassed and felt humiliated by a teacher that everyone admired.
If you have read this you will probably think that you will never become any of those type of teachers because they were all crazy… and Sweden is crazy… but the point is that we are in charge of how we want to be looked at as teachers. I’m pretty sure that nearly half of those teachers up there think they are great educators, etc… but we need to watch ourselves and hopefully be aware when it seems like our students don’t like us. I would say that we shouldn’t be quick to judge our students, but should take the time to reflect on ourselves. Hopefully none of us will turn out that crazy… well, maybe a few, who knows!? For those that can’t wait to become crazy teachers, I found this blog: teachbad.com. Hope you enjoyed!