Awful Teacher (RANT)

Right, hi, hello – I need to rant. I’m not going to bother with an introduction, instead I’m going to get straight into it because I need to get this off my chest and my friends and I have already ranted about this a lot.

Okay, firstly, a very short back story: Due to ‘personal reasons’ my amazing English teacher is not teaching my class for the next 8 weeks and for the past few lessons the literal devil, in the form of a substitute teacher, has been ‘teaching’ us. I use quotation marks because no one in their right mind could seriously count that as teaching.

This teacher is truly a demon. She pronounces key words incorrectly, she doesn’t listen and most importantly she doesn’t teach. We’re currently working on poetry and our actual teacher let us contribute and build upon ideas when analysing so that the whole class was involved and with our combined knowledge, each analysis of each poem ended up detailed, accurate and worth high marks. This teacher, however, put a (may I say, extremely awful) YouTube video on and expected us to learn from that. Let me just repeat that: she made us learn important analysis that we need to know for our exams…from a YouTube video. 

As her inability to pronounce words bothered me greatly, I wrote two words on a sheet of paper (enjambment and caesura) and put my hand up, preparing to ask her how to pronounce them even though I knew perfectly well what the correct way was. I literally had to wait 10 minutes before she finally came over to me. Oh, but it gets worse. Instead of telling me how to pronounce them, she proceeded to try and (wrongly) explain what they mean. 
Frustrated, I kept telling her that *insert actual teachers name* had already taught us this and that I already knew what they meant but she continued ‘explaining’ them, angering me more. However, I’m a top student and have never even received a detention so I stayed calm and didn’t confront her, simply repeating that I already knew what they meant and correcting her errors. After she finally told me how to wrongly pronounce the words, she then had the nerve to tell me I’d spelt one of them wrong (spoiler alert: I hadn’t – I literally went and got a dictionary to check  and oh, who’d of guessed it, she was wrong). 

That all happened on the second lesson I had with her (the first was pretty uneventful as most of the class was missing for a sporting event). Moving on to the third lesson, well, let’s just say everyone has the same view as me and we all dislike her strongly. The first offence she made that lesson was literally just the poem she chose to analyse. We had, up until that point, been working through our anthologies in order (which only makes sense seeing as that’s how the exam board recommend you do it) but this teacher chose a really random one from the back of the book. 
Having already angered the majority of the class, she then doesn’t even let us read the poem before playing the first YouTube video she saw that coincidentally was really bad at analysis. She also refused to let us look at any context for the poem, which may I add is a key part of our assessment.

Having not even had the opportunity to read the poem and with no idea what was going on, many students simply put down their pens and decided against any form of analysis as protest. I attempted to take a few notes from the lesson but mainly just used my own ideas.

 Usually we spend anything from one to three lessons of detailed analysis on a single poem and usually at least half a lesson on context. This teacher gave us half a lesson with a youtube video to analyse the poem with no context at all before moving on to the next poem. Oh, did I mention, the next poem she chose to analyse was actually before the one we’d just done? It’s also apparently the hardest poem to analyse in the entire anthology…and all we had was an awful video…ahah, watch us fail our exams.

Another point was the fact that none of us really got much work done because we were all taking it in turns to argue with her. Though not starting any arguments myself, I did contribute to them simply by stating fact and pointing out many of her countless errrors. One of my friends asked her what a word meant and though my friend genuinely didn’t know the meaning, even she could tell just how wrong this teacher’s words were due to her inability to explain. In fact, this girl simply stood up half way through this teachers ‘explanation’ and went to the back of the room to get a dictionary and find out herself.

I’m the end, almost everyone in the class took it in turns to ask to go to the toilet simply just to escape from this teacher and lesson. Of course, the teacher must have noticed something was going on and this annoyed her greatly but she was too oblivious to realise much else.

 She spent most the lesson telling us things (which we all later looked up and saw to be untrue), wrongly correcting our correct spellings, wrongly pronouncing words, arguing with students, not listening to us, wrongly answering questions, not letting us read the poem we were analysing, not telling us any context, rushing us through poems and ‘teaching’ through a YouTube video. Oh and many more things I simply cannot be bothered to list.

Rant over (for now): do you guys have any ‘teacher horror stories’? Let me now in the comments!
[UPDATE: I wrote this rant around half a month ago and I can safely say we never saw the demon teacher again after those few lessons. Whether that was because every class she taught reported her for being a bad teacher or whether she just wasn’t needed, I don’t know. We still don’t have back our actual teacher but the ‘English specialist’ we have teaching us now is bareable. Though he did say that we were going to be taking ‘much notes’ in a lesson (rather than many) so he’s definitely not perfect]

{951} My LifeOnline {16/04/17}

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34 thoughts on “Awful Teacher (RANT)

  1. I’m glad things seem to be looking up! I’m actually an English teacher myself and your description of their approach to teaching, especially poetry made me squirm! If you are in the U.K. and if by any chance you are studying AQAs Power and Conflict Anthology I’d be more than happy to help if ever needed! Fingers crossed your original teacher returns happy and healthy soon. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I would suggest grouping the poems by theme and more than just ‘power’ and ‘conflict’, I.e Kamikaze can be about both literal and psychological conflict. This way you can suss out poems which cross over and cover a variety of themes. Out of this I would prioritise what you revise; if there are poems you simply do not get on with, it may be best for you to drop two or three as even if they come up in the exam at least it will be printed and you can use unseen poetry skills to analyse it and compare it with a poem you have revised in depth. Be smart about which ones are best for test and for you personally to remember and connect with. In order to remember lines, particular techniques or contextual information I recommend cue cards/flash cards to test yourself, perhaps a set of 3 – 5 for each poem as you can only remember so much. If you prefer to write out notes and read, stick to one side of A4, perhaps two poems for each side – condense the information so it is memorable. Another technique which personally worked for me was recording myself reading my notes and then listening to it. Practising poetry comparison essays is also good, due to it being Power and Conflict the exam board will be limited on what they can ask you – write your own questions i.e How do the poets present the effects of conflict in ‘insert poem’ and one other poem of your choice? or How do the poets present the power of nature in ‘insert poem’ and one other poem of your choice? This practice will develop your speed, what you remember and if you repeat essay titles it may just be a blessing in the real thing! You mentioned you are a high ability student so mrbruff on YouTube and his Grade 9 analysis of the poems is a great way to pick and choose original, sophisticated ideas you can add to your own annotations. BBC Bitesize is good for context. If you haven’t got a text book to help you annotate originally I would recommend the one by CGP. Overall, for every exam focus on brief revision materials which you can look at for perhaps just 5-10minutes a day, short bursts will benefit you far more than rolls and rolls of notes. If you get the hard work in now on producing cue cards etc, you’ll thank yourself when before the exams you can perhaps just spend 10 minute intervals revising. It is the way our brains revise best! Hope this helps, any questions, let me know!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Now that you have ranted about the teacher what has it taught you about yourself. There is always going to be incompetence, it not about how you handle incompetence but how incompetence handles you. I think incompetence won.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s taught me that I am, in fact, more calm, collected and patient than I thought I was. At least, I can appear it even when on the inside I’m screaming. Even whilst this teacher was telling me I was doing everything wrong when it was in fact her, I managed to stay completely calm and just smiled, nodded and told her I understood.

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  3. I can totally relate to this! A few years ago I had a really bad teacher, who honestly didn’t know how to teach. We were preparing for end-of-year tests and she didn’t start teaching us the material we needed to know until the week before the test! Also, she spent most of our lesson telling us uninteresting stories about her children (one of the ones that sticks in my memory is the one she told us about her son’s head lice… ew). She also told us really random things, like what happened to her when she went to the dentist?! All in all, the whole class hated her and by the end of the year she had mysteriously left the school…

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  4. I feel your pain! My normal awesome English teacher left on maternity leave, and then we got this new teacher. He’s nice, I’ll give him that, but she’s awful at teaching. He basically does everything your horrible teacher does, plus he can’t control the class to save his life. Luckily, many students and parents complained, since our school starts GCSE prep for English and Maths in year9, we kinda needed a teacher who knew what they were doing! So he was taken away from our class, and now we have a new teacher who’s awesome and she’s gonna get us sorted for year 10. The sad thing is, she told us that all our grades dropped during his time teaching us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh, I hate how teachers like this are allowed to ‘teach’ us! I had a teacher for a whole year once who was bad but not bad enough for us to complain – our whole class dropped from being way way above the national average to being below which for a top class is really bad!
      I’m glad your awful teacher has been replaced though!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. She sounds HORRIBLE! I hope the rest of the time she’s there goes quickly for you. I had a terrible calculus teacher who would refuse to answer questions, then get mad if we didn’t know how to do something. He was the most arrogant being on the planet and it drove me up a wall. I ended up dropping his class halfway through the year because I couldn’t take it anymore. So I can relate! Good luck xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve had a few “teacher horror stories.” There’s a professor in my department who teaches mandatory classes for my major, and the only thing she does is read from a binder, word-for-word, every class. In a class that was technology-focused — and for many of us, our first experience with it — it was incredibly infuriating to have to go back to your dorm and turn to Professor Google to be able to do your assignments.

    Liked by 1 person

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