Am I getting on your nerves?

As a teacher, I certainly know what annoys me about students. But do teachers ever get on their nerves?

Yes, it turns out we do.  My students came up with a list of pet peeves they have about teachers. (Present company excluded, of course!)

Interspersed throughout the list are some direct quotes from my students that they thought would help illustrate their points.

List of Grievances

  1. Punishing the group as a whole when only one student is misbehaving.
  2. Taking too long to teach a lesson and then assigning all of the work in the last five minutes of class so that it’s homework.
  3. Not letting people go to the bathroom or get a drink of water.

Teachers have complete disrespect for human rights and freedoms. -7th grade boy

  1. Too much homework, too many projects.
  2. Using only textbooks, packets and worksheets to teach– boring.

When teachers assign work to keep you busy, it ticks me off. I don’t like doing work without a purpose and it makes me feel like they don’t care about us. -7th grade boy

  1. Teachers who don’t actually teach in front of the class or do anything fun in class.
  2. Teachers who think they’re funny, but aren’t.
  3. Leaving you with boring movies to watch when they’re absent.
  4. Teachers who talk about themselves for a really long time.

My pet peeve is teachers who are too absorbed in their own problems to teach: “Then I saw him with STEFANIE at the dance, when he said he couldn’t come with me because of FAMILY OBLIGATIONS!” *sob*  -7th grade boy

10.  Assigning homework and not checking it.
11.  Teachers who choose favorites.
12. Yelling. Screaming. Shouting. Shrieking. Sarcasm.

I can’t deal with short-tempered maniacs who send me into the hall for no reason. -7th grade boy

13.  Complainers, whiny teachers.
14.  Teachers who embarrass us.

I don’t like it when the teacher “jokes” about me not having friends. -7th grade boy

15.  Teachers who go on their phones or eat in front of us.
16.  Dressing too young or wearing ugly outfits.

This is what I don’t like: teachers that don’t brush their hair, messed up nail polish on a teacher, teachers who wear WAY TOO MUCH make up, gym teachers that are way too serious about their jobs, and teachers who dye their hair REALLY BLONDE. -7th grade girl

17.  Wasting too much time checking homework.
18.  Teachers who won’t help you.

I don’t like how teachers don’t let you ask questions. The will like let you ask them, but won’t give a response. They will say something like, “Look in your notes,” or “We covered that last class.” Sometimes people actually have legitimate questions. -8th grade boy

19.  Teachers who call on you when your hand isn’t raised.
20. Moody, unpredictable teachers.

Here’s a final quote from one of my more colorful 8th grade boys who had plenty to say about teachers!

I hate how they make you put your phone away. Like I’m playing a game and about to win and then they are like, nope it’s gone now. You’re in trouble.

I hate how I don’t get to pick my own seat. Like I wanna sit by my friends. That’s why I’m sitting in this class.

I hate authority. Like I wanna do what I wanna do.

 The good news for these guys? Only 11 more days of putting up with annoying teachers, homework, and rules!

16 thoughts on “Am I getting on your nerves?

  1. Sounds like 7th grade boys are the culprits! and probably the cause of quite a few teacher headaches more so than the other way around. Then they turn into 8th grade boys….

  2. This is a great post. I think it is so funny. There are some good points though and I am sure there are “bad” teachers out there. I can really agree with the student who said if they ask a question they don’t want the, look at your notes answer. Makes the teacher look stupid and I certainly wouldn’t respect them, even as an adult. But, when did it become “okay” for students to “expect” that going to school is playtime and not work. School was always considered a training ground for eventually entering the workplace. No wonder there are so many problems out there. This is just my humble, opinion of course.

    • Yes, not answering a questions is annoying for students and often problematic when they truly don’t understand the material. Teachers who do this are either being lazy OR are trying to teach students to think for themselves. Many students don’t listen to lessons or look very hard for answers before seeking help and often want a private lesson. Kind of a judgement call. Students want to be entertained these days…that’s a fact. I’m not sure if it’s because they’ve grown up with social media and so much tv, but they are not fans of traditional school and neither are their parents! Everyone has a “personal learning style” and wants to be taught in that exact way. Good times!! 🙂

  3. Bless you for teaching middle school aged kids! I bow to you repeatedly. 🙂 Such formative and critical ages but boy are they challenging! My daughter who just graduated wants to be an English Teacher but thinks she would prefer to teach high school aged kids. She interned at the middle school and could not get a lesson in because they were so disruptive. I am sure they knew to take advantage of her, she will have to learn how to manage students well. 🙂 You must enjoy your summers! 🙂

    • That’s great that your daughter wants to be a teacher! I love teaching and enjoy my students so much. Everyday is different. 🙂 High school kids terrify me!! Middle school kids I can handle. I’m sure they did take advantage of your daughter though. It’s too bad the hosting teacher didn’t help out more to provide a smoother experience. I would have roasted my kids if they behaved like that!! It is so difficult walking in to an unfamiliar classroom and the kids know when they can take advantage, especially if they know the “real” teacher isn’t going to lend a hand. Happy summer and good luck to your daughter!!

  4. Very interesting post, I couldn’t help but notice that the one comment from the girl focussed on how her teachers looked except for the poor PE teachers who get a black mark for taking their job too seriously.
    The boys seemed more concerned about how they were treated – have you noticed whether that’s a typical gender difference?

    • No, there isn’t typically a difference. That was quite a comment from that particular girl, I must admit. Some students really dislike certain teachers and really pick them apart. And we all know girls know how to be mean! Middle school students are very dramatic and self absorbed which makes them fun to work with and sometimes a bit overwhelming!! Some students can be pretty judgmental as far as how teachers look and whether or not we are entertaining enough or are “trying to hard.” It’s just where they are in life and younger teacher probably have a more difficult time dealing with the level of eye rolling, attitude, and disdain some kids throw out in order to fit in themselves. For the most part, my students have great attitudes and that is what I focus on! 🙂

  5. Oh dear, it sounds as if some of those poor children have never experienced the joy of a fantastic teacher who loves their job and loves their students. I do wonder what kind of adult the boy who says:”I wanna do what I wanna do” will turn out to be. Not very pleasant, is my prediction.

  6. You know, I think it’s great that you bothered to find out what pisses them off. So many of our esteemed colleagues would never dare think they’re doing anything wrong! I’d teach with you. You seem to quite rock. x

  7. Pingback: Sunday Sweets & Smiles: Dream | Wax's World

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