1. I once had a teacher tell me I didn’t know what my address was. Apparently the address on file was different than our actual address. I argued with the teacher about this and was sent home with a note very similar to the one above.

  2. My 2nd child’s presence at school resulted in so many slips like this I could have wallpapered the living room by the end of the school year thanks to young Mr. Funny Man.

    Let me see….suspension for renaming all his homework files on his school computer after dangerous-to-download viruses, resulting in a panic that the school’s system would crash. Making an “all about me” poster in 2nd grade that included pictures of diapers, guns, cigarettes and feminine hygiene products with labeled, “Things I do not use”.

    Oh, this link gave me some serious flashbacks….

  3. I once got into it with an art teacher where after she chewed me out in front of the class and started to walk back to her office I said, “You’ll be hearing from my lawyer about this!” and she turned right back around and gave me detention. I object!

  4. My grandmother got in trouble on her very first day of school because the teacher wouldn’t believe that it was also her birthday, when she asked everyone their birthdays. (Obvs, this was way before any sort of standardized forms; probably before 1920.) “No dear, that’s TODAY.”

  5. “Accept my teachings without resistence” – the sort of small minded power trips that got science kicked out of certain school curriculums.

  6. I got kicked out of Science class in 8th grade because I argued with the teacher when she taught that coal was an inorganic substance- she was saying that it was a rock. Even at that age I knew it was made from an organic source. I was correct but lacked the wisdom to know that sometimes one should shut ones mouth.

  7. I hate authority bullshit like this and stupid teachers. I had a teacher like this once: on the date of his inauguration, she asked the class if anyone knew what # president Ronald Reagan was and several of my classmates said “Forty.” Maybe a third or half the class must have said 40 but she was not convinced, nor did she already know this, so she excused herself, leaving us unattended, to ask the teacher in the next classroom if this was true. She also thought it was a great idea every once in a bad mood to “dump desks” before the day started, so we would arrive to find the contents of all the messy kids’ desks (::raises hand::) in a giant common pile in the front of the room for us to spend class time sorting. My sister had her 5 years later also, and she insulted my father’s profession to him on parents’ night. She was a total dick about everything. I’ve never met a worse teacher, but I can’t say I was overly impressed by very many teachers. It’s horseshit like this that makes me disturbed about the quality of education – you want your kids to learn but you can’t be there to see what kind of garbage they are told, what they believe is true that’s actually false, or that their teachers aren’t doing more harm than good, actually. That was 5th grade. My 3rd grade teacher rocked rocked rocked, but she was very rare in my experience. Most teachers seem adequate, but I can’t say I ever felt it was appropriate to challenge them, nor have I ever seen such behavior. I was taught to respect authority of the teachers, and didn’t know any better, but I hate stories like this detention notice.

    I mean, the kid did the right thing, but most of the time, no kids in class know anything other than what the teacher tells them, and isn’t open to challenge, just like this. Teachers should only get the respect they deserve on a case-by-case basis, I would very much like to believe they are all noble, smart, and humble where necessary, but mostly I think they are people with a job just like anyone else, and are not above acting like a total dick. They’re supervising children and infesting them with knowledge and nobody knows if it’s all good or not, because kids mostly cannot describe exactly why they dislike their teacher or know the material they are learning better than a teacher would, or should I say, should.

    1. I had a Math teacher in 6th grade that wrote a note to my mom on the back of a homework assignment once declaring that I had ADD and describing me as a ‘swinging gate: letting some information in while keeping some out.’ Needless to say, my mom wasn’t happy about that and called her, turns out that her complaint was based mainly on the fact that i rested my head on my desk while she taught. I had her first period and she was REALLY boring, also i’ve never really been good with math unless its had some practical purpose.

  8. I guess I must have been fortunate. With the possible exception of a teacher who slept through more classes than I did, I had knowledgeable, interesting teachers until college.

  9. The teacher was a dick, but how many posts do you see on the net about good teachers. Try it as a job and then post your comments.

    1. My primary aversion to becoming a teacher is kids’ parents, and secondarily, the red tape that prevents teachers from teaching as well as they can and should. I attended public school from 1975-1988 in New York State, and coming out of there, I thought I had a pretty good education. In retrospect, much of what I learned was nonsense*. I certainly do respect a respectable teacher – I recall my 3rd grade teacher who went above and beyond (not that above and beyond should be required – what we learned and how she taught should be the norm, not the exception) and thoroughly expanded everyone in that classroom’s intellectual horizons.

      *By nonsense, I don’t mean that it was false information, although possibly extraordinarily revisionist, just that very little of it was useful or effective. It was by-the-book generic stuff, I think I learned US History 3 or 4 different years, the Roman Empire for example, never, and I still can’t remember what I learned now. I graduated near the top of my class, for what it’s worth, acing tests on utter nonsense, learning astrology/mythology as part of the science curriculum (???) and too much emphasis on literature – I’m sorry. Requiring a student to compare and contrast the themes of 28 novels (and then watching the movie versions of each so nobody really had to read the book to pass) seems a bit repetitive compared to ignoring courses on current events, the government, how to make a household budget, what’s in your food, how the economy works in general, how to get a job, what kinds of jobs there are. “Guidance counselors,” optional drop-in the GC office if you can fit it in. Why is literature a required “English” class through 12th grade for people whose original language is in fact English, while science was optional past the 10th grade (and rote memorization at that), and Art History was an elective, but Physical Education was not, where Archery counts as much as Soccer or Volleyball.

      Career counseling seems much more important than that in retrospect, probably the most important function that is a drop-in office if you feel like it. It should be a course. What the hell else does anyone need to know in life that’s as important as how to set goals and how to make money? Tell me. Does the government hope public education makes us all poor planners and end up in demeaning, soul-sucking jobs? Seems like it to me.

      I don’t say teaching is an easy career, but public school is nonsense, so don’t mix up the argument. I think of school as idealistically a place where children learn and grow, but there is a suspicious amount of time-wasting curriculum which causes me to think of it more like a babysitting function under the guise of education.

  10. I concur with DNMEJ, they day a kid comes home having argued against two plus two is five is the day they need removed from the public education system, whether the parents can afford it or not.

  11. “Socialized education + teachers unions = this note”

    Oh, poor deluded fool. Try, instead; Underpaid, overworked profession not attracting the best employees + parents who have allowed the schools to become little more than daycare = this note.

    In this country, primary education has always been “socialized” (I am assuming that you, by ‘socialized’, mean that the society as a whole foots the bill for it.) Not just for a long time, but since before the USA was even a country. As for the teachers’ unions; if the teachers didn’t have unions, conservative old people who no longer have children would insist that 22000 dollars a year is an acceptable wage.

    On the one occasion that my child was in trouble at school, I made doubly sure that what the teacher was claiming was, in fact, what had happened. And when the facts didn’t corroborate his story, I let him know that I would not tolerate any further punishment of my child. Had his story been true, I would have made sure that she knew what she had done wrong and made her apologize to the teacher.

    Be informed, be involved, or be quiet.

  12. Elemental, you couldnt be more wrong.
    Underpaid and overworked? If earning nearly $50,000 for working 9 months a year is underpaid, sign me up! While i agree teaching is entirely necessary, failing public school education nation wide however private school education is thriving (even though the teachers earn lower salaries.)
    The only way to improve our education system is to create competition between public and private education by allowing parents to freedom to choose where there tax dollars and children attend school.
    Reform Education! Pressure legislatures to implement voucher systems in your state.

    1. Fizz, I’m afraid you’re misinformed. As the son of an elementary school teacher, I’m well aware of the fact that the vast majority of teachers do not make $50,000 each year.

      Additionally, 9 months is the amount of time the students work. There is a significant amount of work to be done in the 3 months of “vacation” over the summer to prep for the new school year. Lesson plans don’t write themselves.

      During the school year, the work week is much longer than 40 hours. Homework needs to be graded, and you just can’t automate correcting essays or spelling tests. Interactive lessons that use laminated materials take time to be cut out and organized.

      I understand the frustration with the system. I’m also very aware that many teachers do not put in that same level of effort, but those same teachers do not make $50,000 each year.

      To improve the educational system, we need more teachers. Class sizes have shot up from 12-15 to 25-30 (for my local region). You just can’t manage that many students at the same time.

      There’s also the 80-20 rule to take into consideration:
      80% of a teacher’s time is taken up by 20% of their students. Parents are included in that time as well. Teachers often meet with the parents of their poor performing students, and the parents are often as unruly and poorly mannered as their children.

      1. http://www.payscale.com/research/US/All_K-12_Teachers/Salary


        Sorry, youre still misinformed. The above listed site (while i have not verified its validity) states the average teacher makes around $42-45/yr. The second site charts salaries of larger states where the average is well over $60k. While some may be under $50k, the first chart does not include pensions or health insurance, which is HEAVILY subsidized by the tax payer. On top of that, teachers work a reduced schedule for summer which they usually plan themselves. Most are given tenure after a relatively short period (10-15 years max) which allows them security that cannot be had in the private sector.

        Additionally, teachers have chosen the profession. No one forced them into it. If they feel they are not being treated fairly, they can resign and find alternative employment that pays better and suits their needs. In reality, most teachers who are unhappy with their jobs will not quit because they know it would be nearly impossible to find a job that offers such competitive salaries compared to the required effort.

      2. Fizzing Out, I must be misunderstanding your argument.

        I argued that the majority of teachers don’t make over $50k, and you countered with
        The above listed site (while i have not verified its validity) states the average teacher makes around $42-45/yr.
        I am aware that the median may not occur at the average, and this is actually a good example of the median salary not occurring near the average. As with any profession, most people are below average. You end up with “rock star” savants that skew the curve at the high end, without a similar effect on the low end. What this means is that the average is greater than the median, which means that more than half (significantly more) make less than the average salary that you sited, which was below the figure I argued.

        Your argument about finding alternative employment doesn’t hold up either…
        For starters, Teaching requires a Masters degree which is typically a 5-6 year degree (including Bachelors). Following receiving the masters, most states require a number of years as a student teacher. Student teaching is often an unpaid internship, or cheap labor. So after 5 years of college and 2 years of student teaching, a teacher may acquire a position. If they’re lucky they’ll receive a competitive salary around $35-40k, and finally be able to pay back college loans, which would total $100-120k (20k annually).
        Imagine you applied your argument to another industry, say…engineering.
        Say an engineer spends 7 years gaining the skills to competitively enter the workforce (fast-track PHD), an engineer would expect a starting salary of upwards of $75k. If the job that engineer took was too stressful, you wouldn’t tell the engineer they chose the wrong career, you’d tell them they chose the wrong employer. Unfortunately for teaching, if you work anywhere in the same state, you have the same employer.

        Apparently you didn’t understand me the first time, so I’m going to try this again:
        Teachers often work over 40 hours a week. If school starts at 8AM and goes till 3PM (7 hours), the teacher is working for 8 hours because of the additional prep and cleanup time. That doesn’t include grading homework, correcting tests, and planning lessons.
        Those additional tasks tend to take another 2 hours each day (averaged, some tasks can be delegated to weekends). That adds up to 50 hours a week.

        If a teacher only works 35 weeks in a year, that comes out to 1750 hours. If you divide that by 50 (the number of weeks a “regular person” would work) it comes out to 35 hours. 35 hours a week is full time employment.

        If the teacher works 60 hours for 35 weeks (10 hours a day for 6 days a week) they are working 2100 hours. Divide by 50 again and you’ve got 42 hours each week.

        What this means is that a teacher that is doing their job, is working a full time job like anyone else.

        Fizz, it’s possible your teachers weren’t very good at teaching you analytical skills. This is one of those cases where you don’t understand what you’re talking about. Before knocking teachers for being lazy and cheating the system, you should have a conversation with them and see what it actually takes to be a teacher.

  13. When I was just starting school, my teachers insisted I did not know how to spell my middle name because it doesn’t follow the “rules”. It is Leigh, but because of the “I before E except after C, or when sounding like A as in neighbor or weigh” they insisted it should be spelled Liegh.

  14. My son is a math genius. He was in 3rd grade — student teacher was introducing negative numbers to the class — Son raised his hand and said he understood how to add, subtract & multiply but couldn’t figure out how to divide — was suspended for a week. Student teacher didn’t know how to divide negative numbers.

  15. I grew up as the son of teachers (in Australia however) and I know how much extra work they did. What always amazed me is the number of people who complained about how easy a teachers job is, but when asked if they would like to do it they respond “no way”. Surely if a job is that easy then everyone would love it. From my experience, teachers have the same ratio of competent and incompetent people as any other job.

  16. I’ve taught and I’d do it again. I liked the money and I liked the challenge. The hours were the pits … you’ve gotta love teaching and you’ve gotta love your students or it just isn’t worth it. But every once in a while you watch as 1-2-3 students in your class (sometimes even more!) ‘catch fire’ and from that point forward you are less an instructor than a tour guide pointing out interesting features of the new territory they are ripping through. THEN being a teacher is worth it all.

    If that detention slip was authentic, then the school board (not just the principle) needs to see it. It wouldn’t hurt to find a sympathetic newspaper columnist, either. The teacher was not only a poor instructor, he clearly did not know his topic. “Unskilled and ignorant” does not warrant a teachers salary.

  17. My brother once had a detention for something very similar. He out-smarted a subsitute teacher and she called home crying, telling our mom that he was disrespectful and rude.

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