worst teaching moment ever

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by kimrandy1, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Sep 5, 2010

    I had something really bad happen in my classroom this week. So bad, in fact, that I'm not up for sharing it yet. Maybe soon, but not yet. I, fortunately, have a really supportive principal and wonderful parents and nothing is gonig to happen from it....but it was perhaps the worst day I've had, professionally.

    So, what I'm asking (purely to make myself feel better) is if anyone else would share stories of their worst moment ever....anyone?
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Kim~I'm sorry that you had to deal with a situation like this. Thank goodness you have a supportive group behind you. There was a time last year that we had to remove every student from a room b/c another student was having a raging fit and would not leave the room.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Aw, I'm sorry...but happy you have supportive people around you.

    I've never really had anything terrible happen as far as choices I've made whether relating to content or reacting to a situation.

    It was pretty bad, though, when I had a specialist in the room last week and I couldn't for the life of me spell vertical. Yeah, I have NO idea what the deal was. I had spelled in a few times already in previous classes, but for whatever reason, I just blanked. I wrote verticle, stopped, cocked my head, said that wasn't right... Ah, long story short, it was embarrassing because it was just one those odd "brain-blips" that can't be explained and it took me waaaaay too long to finally get it settled. Not a worst teaching moment kind of moment, but just one of those doh! moments. :)

    Hugs to you!
     
  5. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I think one of the worst moment ever was when I was working in a daycare center in college and they had an old style swing set. A 3 yr old boy walked right in front of the glider and I couldn't stop him, and he got hit by the glider and it split his nose WIDE open. Blood everywhere, horrible screaming. I've never forgotten it.

    He ended up getting 65 stitches inside and out to get his nose back together.
     
  6. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I was introducing vocab words for Little House in the Big Woods. Many were clothing related and the kids were not getting them by reading the description. So, I turned on the Activboard and we started googling pictures. Well, in the margin popped up a text-only advertisement for sex toys :eek: It somehow got through the filters! I immediately told my P and e-mailed our tech person. It is a good thing that I did that immediately, because a parent who hated me and had already e-mailed the superintendent multiples times sent her another e-mail saying that I was showing sex videos to my class. (All of her other claims were just as crazy including that I stabbed her child with a pencil).
    Luckily, I covered my tracks and everyone knew this parent was a trouble maker! (The parent had been giving my P grief for years about every teacher- however, she must have hated me the most since she took all of her complaints to the county office!)
     
  7. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Kim-I'm sorry you're dealing with this as well. I was in charge of a student who was known as a "runner". The regular teacher wasn't there, so they left her with me instead of a sub having to deal with her. We were lined up at the restroom, she went in, I was standing right there in between the boys/girls restrooms and somehow she slipped by me right out the doors that were a few feet away. I noticed right away and notified the office-we were all running down the street chasing after her-luckily one of the paras is really fast and caught her at the bus stop trying to get on a city bus.

    I felt absolutely horrible because it was my fault. We were very lucky she didn't get hurt or abducted or something.
     
  8. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    I had a drug deal in my class. Was caught on video. Student and parent claimed I KNEW and APPROVED! Thought I'd be fired or sued...was my first year of teaching a HEALTH class! I was helping another student at the time.
    I kept job another year before moving on elsewhere.
     
  9. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    :hugs: I am so sorry. I hope you feel better soon. I am glad you have a supportive team around you!
     
  10. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I once had a dad walk in and threaten to sue me. He was a lawyer. :unsure: I won't go into any more details on a public message board.

    When I was student teaching, one of the university supervisors shared her "worst moment" story from her own student teaching. She was doing a popcorn theme and was popping popcorn and caught a bulletin board on fire. The way she tells the story it's hilarious and her positive spin was that her kindergartners got to see a fire truck up close.
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Several years ago, one of my students accused me of being racist because I had the same behaviour expectations of all of my students, regardless of the colour of their skin. His mother felt the same way and pulled him from my resource program. He struggled through the next two years, reading 4 grades below level--it broke my heart.
     
  12. Cerek

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    I have been fortunate enough to not have a "worst moment" yet, but I did witness some behavior from a group of teachers that made a very negative impact on me.

    I was subbing at a middle school and eating with the teachers during lunch. Several students had been given "Silent Lunch" for misbehaving in class and had to sit at a separate table. Towards the end of lunch, one of the teachers called to a student at the "Silent Lunch" table and asked the student to put up his tray and throw away the trash. A couple of other teachers added their trash to the tray for the student to carry. It was obvious the student wasn't thrilled about this, but he did it without any complaining, After taking the tray and throwing away the teacher's trash, he started back to his table when another teacher (who was sitting right next to the first one) called him over to the table to take HER tray and trash. Then all the teachers had a good laugh as the student came back to the table and grumbled a little as he made a second trip back to the trash cans for the teachers.

    I was absolutely appalled at their behavior. They were deliberately having fun at the kids expense. It's no wonder the kid didn't like being in school. The most disturbing part for me, though, was that I knew two of the teachers personally because we had gone to school together ourselves. I would never have expected that type of behavior from them. But, in a way, I'm glad I saw it because it showed me how callous some teachers can become towards the students and I made a vow I would never let myself reach that point.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    My worst education moments have been when I've learned of the death of a student.

    I'm so very sorry you've had such a hard time Kim.
     
  14. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    We always learn from mistakes. Take some time, breathe deeply, and think about changes you could have made to avoid whatever it was that happened.
    My classroom was taken hostage by a boy with autism and I was powerless to change the situation. Stomping, throwing books, yelling, etc. The learning support teacher came, then the autism support teacher, then the asst. prin., and I'm just trying to keep going with the lesson. Lesson learned: follow my instincts as a teacher! If I had just done that, it would have all been over. Instead I've got all these "rules for dealing with this particular student" rolling around in my head with nothing working to calm him down. Turns out, he just loved the attention.
    All the best.
     
  15. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I've had kids throw fits in class, but nipped that by removing the rest of the class - tantrum ended instantly. I stood outside the door. (I had made arrangements with another teacher and had drilled the whole class on instant line up.)

    I think my worst personal moment was when I was teaching high school and went to clear out the girls' bathroom and a real tough girl was having a tantrum, and I foolishly tried to assert myself. She came at me with her fists raised - she was just super angry, not particularly at me.

    I managed to backpedal and calm her down enough to get out of there, then talked it over with my P. He pointed out to me that I needed to learn how to diffuse hot situations rather than assert my authority at such times. Wow! What a good lesson he gave me! I am so thankful he didn't smooth it over, but taught me how to be several steps ahead of an angry student and "talk them down" rather than confront them when they are angry.
     
  16. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Sorry you're having a hard time.

    Mines not the worst teaching moment, but one of the worst moments at school. It was when I got knocked down by a big kid, it was an accident. We were walking back from the gym and a big kid behind me wasn't looking where he was going, I was in front of him, and he ran into me knocking me to my knees. It was really scary because I was afraid I was going to be trampled. Another big kid saw what had happened, put his arms out clothesline-style and kept more kids from stepping on me. This was when I taught 5th grade, I'm only 5'2" and some of those kids were huge.
     
  17. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I shared one stressful day on my teacher comic.

    I haven't had that terrible day yet (knock on wood) but I've had had days where I cried and thought, why did I become a teacher. But, those days fade from memory and the good days are what I thrive on.

    Hugs!!!
     
  18. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sorry you had a bad situation - but glad you had support!

    I've had my share of awful scenarios over the years. I probably am in denial about the worst of them, but here are just a few:

    the day I sat in a chair and it broke under me and I ended up
    on the floor (admittedly, it was a very cute, shabby-chic old chair, but still);

    the day a second grader handcuffed another second grader just as they got in my room; of course he had no key;

    all the times when I was overwhelmed and couldn't respond to students the way I knew I should be able to .... I hate that.
     
  19. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    The same thing happened to me with an out stool last year!:lol: One of my students' just happened to remind me about it today.:eek:
     
  20. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Mine too. Sorry you had a horrible day Kim.
     
  21. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I think mine was during my first week of student teaching. My CT was out sick and told the substitute that I could just take over and do whatever I wanted to do without benefit of lesson plans (her reasoning was that my parents were teachers so I was biologically programmed to teach). I had no idea what I was doing and the students knew it. It took weeks to win back their respect and my confidence.

    Two students got into a fistfight over some horrible insults involving one's disability and the other's mother's terminal cancer. The substitute didn't even look up from his newspaper as I did my best to separate the two and make them write up their own discipline reports. The kids actually agreed to this so the principal would get each side.

    On top of all this, the school had a minor electrical fire and the students were sent home without being allowed to go back inside for their books or house keys. The students DID have their cell phones and a wonderful sense of hyperbole. The parking lot was quickly filled with hysterical parents screaming that the school was burning down and they had to save their children.

    How I came back to finish my student teaching is still a mixture of miracle and insanity.
     
  22. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    The shooting on campus or the baby dying. Teach long enough and you can see almost anything.
     
  23. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I caught the cafeteria on fire during a Thanksgiving feast.

    I had a child kidnapped and hidden for three weeks during my Easter party.

    I had a mother accuse me of tying her son to her his chair.

    Or maybe it was the 2nd grader that attacked another child and when I got between them he broke my ribs.

    Or it might have been the day a little boy pushed me into a hole and broke my ankle.

    Or the day I slipped on a green pea at the cafeteria and broke another ankle.

    Don't forget the day that the State Supt. came with her bus load of state delegates to visit and I knocked her down running to the bathroom to throw up. I was pregnant and my students kept working. One looked at our Supt and said, "She does that all the time."
     
  24. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I slipped on some juice in the cafeteria and my tray went flying as I pretty well did the splitz on my way down to the ground.
     
  25. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I have had a few occurrences that COULD have been bad, like when my projector screen suddenly detached on one side and swung down inches from my head and slammed into the side of the overhead projector, leaving a HUGE dent in the side. That dent could have been in my head, but it wasn't. And we all took a minute and laughed. Or when an activity I was doing went from controlled to uncontrolled chaos when a kid jokingly pushed another kid who fell over backwards onto a student desk, WITH A STUDENT IN IT. The 2 kids and the desk were totally flat on the floor. I KNEW that the girl had to have a broken bone somewhere - she was sitting in the desk that was now FLAT on the floor. But luckily as we helped them up, no one was hurt. Except the desk, which had collapsed into 4 pieces.

    I watched my good friend fall down the stairs right in the middle of the student gathering spot during lunch. She rolled all the way down head over heels and was unconscious for a minute. Luckily I was there, and so were other lunch monitors. She hit her head really hard and when she went to have it scanned, she was fine from the fall but they found a cyst in her brain that was probably on the verge of causing massive seizures. She had surgery to have it removed and had a pretty serious stroke during surgery but luckily she is doing ok now and still teaching. That was probably one of MY worst semesters - so I am sure it was bad for her.
     
  26. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Worst moment ever- child having a seizure on my floor 20 minutes into the start of his first day of school (though it wasn't the first day for everyone) mom said he had them in the past, but denied any in the last 2 years. Therefore we had no action plan and had to call 911 and take him to the hospital. Luckily we worked in the medical district, but there was also a language barrier between me and the student as well as the family. We also mid ambulance ride got moved to another ER (we have a cluster of 3-4 in that area) and it took 2 hours for the family to arrive. All the while the hospital kept asking me if "this was normal" and all I could say was, um I've known the child for 20 minutes. Hope that that was my first and ONLY ride in an ambulance ever!
     
  27. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Amazing. My worst is waiting for a jealous husband to come and shoot at me while Im teaching PE years ago (no details) One eye on the kids doing exercises and the other on the gate.
    Or the time a non custodial parent but familiar to both of us picked the kid up from PE and we didnt see him for five years (took him up north from the dad)
     
  28. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Oh wait I forgot one...how about the dad that beat his son with a belt so hard he bruised his ear. When I called the sheriff from my Christmas field trip and threatened to "misplace" the child to keep from having to put him on the bus, I was told we will be waiting. When I got back to school, the sheriff and DHS were there to take custody of the child and his brother. Later that night (thank God I lived out of district) I got a phone call from a fellow teacher warning me that I probably shouldn't come to school the next day. The dad had been in town threatening to kill me. I went to school, but the 6 foot 4 military male teacher down the hall shadowed me all day. He even stood outside the bathroom when I went. The sheriff made a visit to the dad and amazingly he left me alone. The sheriff later shared that he told the dad that I was married to a large man that shot with amazing accuracy.
     
  29. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Lets see after 35 years
    (1) Being hit in the eye by a rock thrown by a student in the class room.
    (2) Having to break up a student fight with boards
    (3) Having a student take a punch at me after I broke up a fight with him and another student and then he telling the Principal I hurt his arms when I subdued him.
    (4) Having a student hit by a car in front of the school before a "welcome back dance" the first friday of the school year. I was the only teacher/chaperone who had her in class and she had missed that day and had gotten a hair cut, she had been wearing her hair over half her face. The Principal wanted a written report as to why I could not identify her right away! I need a student to help me.
    (5) Having a student steal $40 out of my desk
    (6) Having a student get a sewing needle in her ankle The Principal wanted a written report as to why she got stuck (she was using it to hold up her sox!) Heck I was the shop teacher not the Home Ec teacher I didn't know.
    (7) Having a student steal a modified shot gun shell (all the BBs were taken out) from my desk that I had taken away from a student.
    (8) Having a machine fall on me while I was under it fixing it (Cracked rib)
    (9) Having a machine kick back and dislocate my shoulder
    (10) having about 5 students cut themselves on some machine (in the whole 35 years)
    (11) Having a student spit on the top of my head while I was giving a demo on drafting and the students were all around me watching. he tried to get away but I was able to grab him (but I grabbed him by the neck) I let go as soon as I knew I had got his neck and not his arm.
    (12) A Mother come on to me at a parent/teacher conference (it was not a misunderstanding she did it to another male teacher too)
    (13) Had a kid tell me his dad was coming to school punch me out,
    one time My skill of oratory saved me (I don't know if I would have been able to give a good showing) when I stood up to the dad he found it "Honorable" and we latter had a beer together. He gave his son a "whip'n" for give his a teacher a hard time and lying.
    (14) Had the school Paddle break as I swatted a student (found out another teacher broke it the day before)
    (15) The very first year I was teaching I had a 12th grader follow me around because she had a crush on me.

    It been a good life :lol:
     
  30. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I can't wait to hear what it was.
     
  31. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I had a lot of bad moments while teaching inner city middle school, but I tend not to dwell on those.

    My worst memory that pops to mind is when a mug of pens/pencils on my podium dropped on a student's head-she was sitting on the floor, leaning against the podium and it wobbled off and dropped. Her mother was in the room for some reason-embarrassing!! The mug shattered, but the student was ok. That same week I reached up on a shelf to grab some papers and had a mug fall on MY head-I forgot it was sitting on the papers. I don't have mugs in the classroom anymore.
     
  32. Hartlepool

    Hartlepool Rookie

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    Leeds Medical Museum.....took a school trip there.....felt ill......vommited over a child !

    .....On the plus front....it was a friday and me and said kid got the day off as a result !!!!:sorry:
     
  33. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    My supt. was impressed by the way my students acted and handled the situation. The State Supt. gave a speech were she talked about the incident and laughed. And I have a funny story to tell.

    The funny thing is until this post was done, I would have never thought of those things as the "worst." In fact to me they are somewhat funny.
     
  34. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Twice in pe over the course of 33 years I have busted my @$$ running pretty fast. The first time when I was about 25 it almost knocked me out with pain. I looked up and all these little eyes are looking down at me with concern. The 2nd time was last year when I was 55 and it was funny. I just hit third base full speed and it was slick and I went head over. They were all
    'coach you alright you alrght?
    Another terrible moment was a tough kid had a severe asthma attack on the playground and he stopped breathing over and over. My only call to rescue ever.
     
  35. AMK

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    Sep 9, 2010

    I had a student die
    I have called child services in NJ is DYFS and whenever I do I want to throw up
    I had a child throw a chair at me
     
  36. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    These are really incredible. God bless you guys!

    These could have been terrible, but turned out to be somewhat funny:

    The lights were off, I was reading aloud, and the computer sparked brightly and went on fire, we ran out the door;

    Again, I was reading aloud, the kids were on the floor, and the ceiling in my closet crashed in from water, I kept reading trying to pretend it didn't happen until one of the kids ran over and opened up the closet door.

    Thank goodness, no injuries either time.
     
  37. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Had to call DYFS on a family who clearly had beat their child. The child recanted the story he had told me. I still worry about him and it's been about 5 years since he was in my class.
     
  38. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Reading more of these posts reminds me of Phillip, one of my students several years ago. He and his siblings were emotionally and physically (denied food) abused in their foster home. Children's Aid workers came to pick them up from school one afternoon and we were not allowed to take them their things or say good-bye. That was the first time I ever cried in front of my students.
     
  39. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 9, 2010

    I cried in front of my homeroom today.

    We lost a beloved member of our school community yesterday. Our school chaplain got on the morning announcements, told the kids of the death of Mrs. J, and we said a prayer for her and for her family.

    Many of the kids didn't know her, and many more didn't know her well-- she was the principal's secretary since 1987.

    But those of us who worked with her for over 2 decades, and prayed that some miracle would repair her broken vertebrae and give her back the use of her body, were heartbroken.

    Probably not "the worst moment ever"-- but it certainly make my top ten.
     
  40. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    My worst?!?
    I have quite a few, and would share each one BUT this one tops them all. A parent accused me of being prejudice.
    The director asked me, "Does she know you are married to a black man?" My response was, "Well! Obviously, not!":D She laughed so hard, and told me that she had to stop herself from laughing, while the parent was complaining to her.:spitwater:
    Rebel1
     
  41. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    Sep 9, 2010

    all the times when I was overwhelmed and couldn't respond to students the way I knew I should be able to .... I hate that.[/QUOTE]


    I feel like I have those every day. I was actually sitting here crying, beating myself up over that. When someone throws me really off guard, I have a very tough time figuring out what to say. I want to pick just the right message and perfect words... and if I say the wrong thing I just feel awful. :(
     

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