Posted on: October 22, 2008 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 19

Every student has had their run-in with a bad teacher. Overly strict teachers, teachers who grade you unfairly, dim teachers, mean ones or the worst kind—abusive teachers. One thing they have in common is that most of their students walk out of classrooms disliking authority figures and learning close to nothing in their classes. Here are some ways to deal with bad teachers and get the most out of your education.

First, Some Considerations

Sometimes, it happens that your teacher just does not jive well with your class or his/her teaching method does not go well with the way you learn. Before taking steps in getting rid of your supposedly bad teacher, it’s best that you and your classmates find out that your teacher is a consistently bad one. Ask around: people from your class, older students, former students, fellow teachers. Chances are, if your teacher is a truly bad and ineffective one, it will be a shared experience by not just one but by all.

Many teachers say that teaching is a vocation and a calling, and they say this for a reason. Teaching requires a lot of patience, a willingness to perform in front of many students on a daily basis and a genuine enthusiasm for educating and teaching.

Remember that teachers are also human beings and that teaching is their livelihood. Proposing to remove teachers is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. Try to see other course of actions open to you; consider the gravity of the teacher’s shortcomings before taking a step towards that direction.

Ask Questions

Some bad teachers are bad teachers simply because they are ineffective educators. You don’t learn anything from them. Either they are not thorough when they teach or they are simply ineffective communicators.

The best way to deal with ineffective communication in the classroom? Raise your hand. Ask a lot of questions during class, especially on points that you feel were not discussed well. You may even connive with your fellow classmates to fire as many questions as you can (sensible ones, of course). Getting a lot of questions one classroom session after another will clue your teacher in that something is off with his/her teaching method and he/she may shift these methods accordingly. Or he/she may even ask the class in turn on points how to make his/her teaching method more effective.

Approach your Teacher

Any good teacher’s goal is to make sure that their students learn their subject matter properly. Approach your teacher by yourself or with your classmates, and directly tell them that you and the rest of the class are having trouble understanding your lessons. Tell your teacher that you would like to have a discussion on the best way for both parties to have a more productive classroom session.

This can also be applied to teachers who are overly strict or teachers who you feel have graded you unfairly. You can approach them and tell them that you would like to discuss their policies and grading methods. Some things to keep in mind in cases like these:

  • Be objective and stick to the facts. “You didn’t give us enough time to review,” may not be accepted by your teacher as a reason to put your exam grades up, as you had all those classes as opportunities to learn. However, “You did not discuss these items during the course,” backed up by notes and testimonials from classmates is. Explaining your answers may also help, as sometimes wrong answers come up from different interpretations of the exam questions.
  • Don’t make excuses, but point out unfair policies. For example, your teacher may be too strict on punctuality for an early morning class. “But the class is too early!” may not be taken as a legitimate complaint. You can instead point out to your teacher that factors like distance, traffic and modes of transportation can make it very difficult to make it exactly on time or earlier. You can then propose a compromise, such as a grace period, and meet halfway.

Parent-Teacher Associations

Most schools have parent-teacher associations that act as platform for concerned parents and teachers to discuss school-related issues. Request that your parents bring up the subject of your bad teacher in the next PTA meeting. Make sure that your parents know all your complaints against the said teacher so that all points will be taken up in the meeting.

Bringing up your complaints against bad teachers in PTAs is a way to resolve the issue without the students directly confronting teachers. It’s also a way for parents to be actively involved and informed of the current issues within their children’s schools.

Document Evidence

The more evidence you have against bad teachers, the better. For example, you can discreetly make recordings of your verbally abusive teacher, or keep past exam papers and quizzes to show against the teacher who suddenly failed you when you were doing so well. Hard evidence is your best argument in convincing your school to get rid of a bad teacher.

File a Complaint

Unfortunately, some teachers are inflexible and even take a certain pride in making sure that students fail in their classes. You can take an active stance against this by filing a complaint against the teacher. Make sure you carefully and objectively list your grievances against your teacher. Ask for help from your parents or your fellow classmates.

It’s also better to check your school’s rules and regulations on filing a complaint. You can also find out how you can forward this complaint to the teacher’s union, as any action against the teacher has to pass through the union as well.

Filing a complaint is usually the best way to make a grievance known to your school authorities. Putting your complaints in black in white ensures that it is recorded and filed under your teacher’s name, which may be referenced to later, just in case this initial complaint does not bear any results.

In the event of more serious grievances and abuse, it’s also recommended to seek legal advice to find further recourse in the courts of law.

Make a Petition

When it comes to bad teachers, you’re not alone. It’s more likely that your classmates also dislike wasting their time in classes where they learn nothing. List all your grievances against your teacher (ask help from your classmates) and have your fellow students sign it, anonymously, if they don’t want their name attached. You can attach this position to get rid of your bad teacher with your formal complaint, or even post it on message boards throughout the school. You’re not alone, so make it known!

Boycott Classes

Boycotting classes is a strong expression and a unified stance of students against issues they feel strongly about. Activism can take place in classrooms too, and refusing to take classes against widely-known bad and ineffective teachers will send a strong message to your school administrators and your teacher, too. However, be warned: Boycotting classes may seriously affect your grades and your class standing.

Write Letters

Write letters about your grievances about the said bad teacher: to the school paper, to the student council, to your principal, to the school’s board of directors and even the superintendent. The more you get the word out there, the better.

Suggest System Change

Bad teachers always seem to stick in schools because there aren’t any safeguards in the school system ensuring quality teaching (some unions forbid peer review). You can suggest student appraisal after 1-5 years of teaching to your student council, PTAs, principal, board of directors, and so on, so that students have an active hand in which teachers have been the best for them. Students are, after all, the ones who have to deal with teachers on a daily basis.

As students, we’re trained to look up to our teachers as authority figures and bastions of knowledge. However, this does not mean that we should be afraid of them and shy away from taking a stand against them, especially when we see them doing something wrong. It may be a long fight ahead, and it will almost always require a group effort, but it’s always worth to stand up for what you think is right and what you think you deserve—quality education from quality educators.

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19 People reacted on this

  1. The number one way to get rid of a bad teacher would definitely be to seduce him or her and take a video of your wild nights. One Youtube upload later and your teacher is GONE.

  2. School is not worth attending. Home-schooling or private is the answer. I gave up after 10th grade – bullies, bad teachers, etc as the stress is NOT worth it.

  3. Tape them and post it on youtube, then make a website like I HATE MR.CASEY .COM and put the video on youtube and your website and give flyires to everyone at school exept to the teacher’s suck up and tell the to watch it and e-mail it to all of their friends. then go to a library and setup a fake e-mail their and send it to the princepal and all of the teachers, WARNING (when you make the fake email DON’T use your real name) and send it to the teacher a million times and keep sending flyers and they’ll be sure to leave. (happned at my school) lol
    this teacher makes fun of me calls me fat and gave a kid are you ready 9 detention’s i swear to god 9 detentions in 2 day’s aka 14.30 hours with the teacher(good luck) and suspension. also in detention she MAKES!!! you stare at a tiny dot on the wooden desk. good luck kid >:(.

  4. Man, you guys are all so off! I am a teacher who puts everything I have into my teaching yet I still have students tell me to f. off, try to violently assault me, say the most awful things to each other etc. The problem often is not the teacher, it’s that students are simply not socialised properly and have never learned to, a. simply sit and listen, even when they’re learning a necessary subject they may not enjoy, and b. understand that sometimes in life people will say NO to you and you just have to deal with it!

  5. I have a very bad teacher for biology and english. she is actually a student teacher, trying to get her degree. i have failed every assignment she has graded, and my parents are very mad that i hav an F. how can i get rid of her???

  6. What do you do when a teacher and a student butt heads? When everything a student does she dosen’t care. He can do no right and can’t seem to please her. She and him dont get along he dosent like her and she dosent like him. How is it that everyone else passes her class and my son does not? Problem since the beginning of the year and still no help. Son went to principal and counselor and was told to hang in there. NOTHING was ever done. Now she fails him and he could possibly have to do summer school in his senior year and not walk with his class.How is that fair when it was obvious a personality conflict??????

  7. Well i have a nasty English teacher her name is.. well that will go as a blank but anyways she is a bout 4’9′ and i am 5’6′ i am always polite and considerate to her but she always is rude to me. i am very focused on achieving accedemic eclectce witch our school had archived, planning for collage i took the S.A.T in 6th grade .but anyways in class she talks to us about her faimly and social life insted of teaching us and when she does teach us it alawys seems to be in work sheets or sticking a four thousand page reading assinment(witch i donnt mind) or teaching us about something we have learned about in the past the year is close to finish but i would hate to see another batch of kids waste a year of lallygagging. lastly recently i recived my first detintion ever for not having my old navy colared striped shirt tucked in on picture day.

  8. There is a teacher in my school, he has already been suspended once for telling a female student that she had nice legs, Well anyways he is obsessed with a female student. He always stands above her looking down her shirt. She is the only one to be called on in class by him. He never seems to leave her alone. He also IM’s her with questions like. Hey what are you doing, and other personal questions. How can i get him EXPELLED

  9. My teacher Miss, Dias Is one hell of a bitch… I first vented my anger by talking to kids I knew. But all most evreyone in my class Hates Miss Dias.LOL, one my freind made up somthing, saying she got rabies from her boyfreind eating whip cream off her ASS!!!! Ha, ha. After a while I kinda didn’t want to go to school because of her . Nunber 1( venting is great, talk too a freind make funny jokes about your teacher.Warning DO NOT make up sick or mean ones & tell somone who may tell. Number 2 I finally told my mom about it she talked to the princple. So mabey do that. Hope this…. edvice helps you. Good bye.

  10. I have the worst teacher ever, he spends like all the lesson talking and spliting the class apart, and at the end of the day he says were all a bunch of crap kids. the other day he walked out of his ICT class because on kid was refusing to move from his friend. my advice to people who have annoying teachers are to make them leave. behave badly and no matter the price (dont get expelled) and it would be worth it. trust me mr.o needs to go. good luck

  11. I found this sight four years too late. The woman should NOT be teaching and if she is she should teach high school NOT YOUNG MIDDLE SCHOOL. The bad thing is that the principle likes he and she is well into the union. I cried for two years after i had her at the VERY MENTION OF HER NAME. Now my friends and I just tell horror stories. The best part is she teaches 6th grade in room 66. To former students we do not use her real name we call her Mrs. Devilshnider. She is PURE EVIL my friend clammed that she hit a student and that he was sent to the principal’s office AND CALLED HIS MOTHER for giving a sarcastic response to a sarcastic phrase. Also I could never get to her class on time do to orchestra being on the other side of the school and I sometimes had to cross a parking lot and put my interment away and I got in trouble AFTER I EXPLAINED IT TO HER.

  12. I hate my teacher i wish she was gone!!! She yelled at me for not bringing my excel and i had it in my folder and she like gos crazy then she made me miss recess and me do a much harder excel and made me write malufunction ten times each then she made me cry the whole way home!!! Im sooo scared to go back to school cause i cant find my excel she so UGGGGGG

  13. I have a very bad teacher in my science class it like he dosent evan like us or wut he does hes just mean he says mean things puts us down makes fun of us how can i get rid of him???

  14. I am currently in high school and have a class in Academic Math. Previous to me getting into the class some of her past students that I know told me that she was a bad teacher (I should have switched when I had the chance). At the time I thought she just might have some yelling issues like some of my past teachers, I could deal with that. But once I started class I realized that my teacher could and cannot teach. It’s not that the class is bad or that it is her first year teaching, she just cannot teach anyone. She never gives us notes or examples, she never gives us warnings about future tests/quizzes, she is completely disorganized (whether it be claiming to throw away tests or the actual condition of her work environment), she asks other students for the answers to questions when ever we happen to take up homework, she incorrectly marks tests (she gave me 20% less than what I actually got on one test and other students miserably failed when they should have gotten in the 90’s or even 100%), and the students in the class literally teach her how to do the Math. I do not know what to do, I also don’t know whether she is failing me on purpose or if she is just plain stupid. And it’s not just me, 100% of all her students both past and present hate her and have complaints against her. Some people say the only reason she was accepted into the job was because she had a degree in Bio-Engineering but she never actually attended a teachers college. Some people in my class thought of doing a petition but how can we keep peoples names confidential or do it so that the school principle actually listens to us and not just ignores the issue. I consider myself to be a high academic achiever and I do not want my future to be ruined because of a stupid teacher who does not know what she is doing.

  15. I have this terrible computer teacher and he’s none of the above.just last week we had to make valentine cards and he was like u can make it for ur friend parent or significant other and none of us wanted him to known our personal life so we made the for our friends. Anyways I took a whole period to make this card and I was like one of the last people to print my friend Amy* and I had to print the outside of the card then the inside well hesaid “this is the order me then Amy*” well he put the cards in wrong and I printed and I asked him if I could x out and he said yes.but he put the cards in wrong so I messed up amys* card and he said print again but I had already exited the program without saving like I was told to do. So he starts screaming @me and he had already made me late 4 class and he’s like GET OUT! So I left with out something to get 3days late he’s like I don’t have a card from u so u better see me by the end of the day to make it up so I went to computer during lunch and the outside was still there so I just had to make the inside and print it easy enough right? NO! The printing format was messed up from the previous class so it printed he’s like really pissed and starts to yell he goes over there and changes it but I had to print a totally new card front so I accidentally printed to the wrong printer so that’s three incorrect prints.wen I finally got everything right fourth card. I folded it a tiny bit of and he looks at it and starts yelling that he gave me a bunch of chances and that I’m a screw up that doesn’t listen I (i have a bit trouble hearing) so he’s like well that’s three letter grades off plus spelling and I didn’t know wat to say so I said uh huh and he said “STOP GIVING ME ATTITUDE!” and so he’s like u get a d- and I walked out swearing under my breath. Then the next day my friends like he was talking about how disrespectful u are wen u left to his teachers aid. I was like water he’s not worth the breath and now evrytime I go to his class I walk out with jaw pain cause I clench my teeth.I swear one day Im gig to go mental in tht class it took a lot of displine just to stay in my seat and at my school if u 1 person boycott class thts called skipping which is highly frowned upon anybody got a way to survive my last year in his class? I will accept any thing btw this guy stalked my friends facebooks it’s sort of scary thts why we call him the creeper
    *some names changed

  16. There is this library person that whenever u do the littlest things she will kick out of the libary. Just today I got 3 after school detentions because I wouldn’t tell her who sent me down to the libary cause I was kicked out for a month. She yells at everyone for being a little bit too loud or doing something tiny bit wron.


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