Being a teacher has to be one of the hardest jobs there is. The pay is low, the hours are bad, and the stress is constant. Not only are you dealing with kids, but you've got their parents and your own bosses, too. Former teachers on Reddit talked about what it was that made them decide to quit, and it's not always the kids. Here are the terrible moments when they realized that teaching was just not for them.
A female student I had disciplinary issues with accused me of hitting on her and making obscene gestures towards her. I'm an openly gay man and most of the staff knew this yet the district still put me on suspension while they investigated. They were able to prove she was lying but the district decided that the best course of action was to transfer me to another school instead of, ya know, punishing the student. I quit at the end of the school year and got a job in banking.
End of year assessing students to see who'd progress through to the second year, while assessing the work the department head came in and said we had to fail X amount due to facilities and resources for the next year.
He then returned an hour later and said that due to the budget we actually needed to pass a higher number than originally thought.
I completely ignored what he'd said and carried on marking on merit but it was the proverbial straw.
When admin wouldn't let me take more than four days off after my girlfriend died unexpectedly. "You're letting the kids down" is a phrase I heard over and over again as I tried to reason with them.
I caught a kid selling drugs in the hallway and turned him in. He threatened to kill me with an ice pick. He was super unstable and volatile, and had a criminal record, so I didn't doubt that he might try it.
The principal refused to remove him from my class because "he has the right to have an education."
My other students took it upon themselves to escort me through the school in between classes and walk me to my car after school in a big huddle so ice pick boy couldn't get to me.
Caught a student cheating. But, stupid cheating, cheated off of someone else with the wrong answers and the same wrong spelling. When I spoke to him regarding taking a new test (generous on my part considering it should have been a 0 per school policy) he refused and said i would be hearing from his parents. I, of course, did hear from them via my principal within an hour. (Gotta love kids and their phones readily available)
Fast forward to a meeting with the student, parents, and principal. I had his test and the one from which he cheated. Upon showing this to the parents I fully expected them to understand and hold their son accountable. Nope. Instead, the parents demanded an apology from me for branding their son a “cheater” which would “negatively impact him for the rest of his life,” and also, it’s the least I could do since they were “paying my salary.” When I said I would not apologize for catching their son cheating the father then said I was lucky I was a woman because otherwise he would punch me in the face. Nice.
So, yeah, good times...glad I got my Masters degree for that.
A student had a mental breakdown in the library, smashed a wooden chair, and gouged a pencil in his arm while screaming that he wanted us all to go away, and I got reamed out for not calling campus security before I called 911.
I had a student that copied off another kid during a test. I gave him a 0%. The parents came in to complain to administration that, since I hadn't explicitly said during the first day orientation that cheating wasn't allowed, it was an unfair punishment. Administration forced me to allow him an opportunity to retake the test. He never retook the test, and the grade of 0 stood. Still, I was so disillusioned by the entire experience that I started looking the next day at college programs that I could use to transition away from public education.
Two weeks in to my first year teaching 9th grade math I had a girl attack another girl for no reason in my class. She was grabbing on to her hair really tightly and I was trying to break it up.. Another student tried to help me out and somehow the instigating student managed to punch him in the face and give him a bloody nose while still holding on to the other students hair. Now what makes this story relevant is I literally said the words "fuck this" while trying to break up the fight. Not loud, not to a student, but just like "fuck this this im not gonna let this happen in my class right now". Well... The instigating student decided to tell the principal that I was "cursing at her". Despite the other students in the class supporting me and the fact that this student had a history of violence, I got a letter in my permanent file saying I had used inappropriate language towards a student. FUCK THAT.. teaching taught me a lot but I couldn't do it for more than a couple years. Really respect those that make it their career.
I failed a college student who never came to class and missed both the mid-term and final exams. The influential parents complained to the school. The administration later went into the digital records, and changed the fail to a passing grade without my knowledge. I found it out later, third-hand. Ergo: I refused to sign a second year contract they offered to me.
I used to teach chemistry and O-chem for an MCAT prep course prior to med school. Pre-medical students often have a reputation for being highly motivated, egotistic, and often downright nasty and/or manipulative towards each other; to many of them you're not a colleague, you're the competition.
Towards the end of my tenure there I was giving a lecture and gave the class a break. Walked out to my car to retrieve something and overheard two of my students talking in the parking lot. One of them was confused about a topic we had just covered and was asking the other to clarify it. The other student blatantly told her the incorrect information to make sure she would get questions on that topic incorrect on the exam. I know this student knew what the correct answer was because she was one of my brightest and I had tutored here 1-on-1. It made me sick to think that she would purposefully sabotage a "friend" to give themselves a better chance of acceptance. I never called her out on it but made sure to go over the topic again once we returned from break.
I'm so glad I'm no longer pre-med...