I used to be that "goody two shoes" student who always strove for straight A's and who always followed the rules. You can be as involved as possible and do everything you're supposed, and high school will still kick your ass. I still don't know why most of this stuff happened to me; sometimes it felt like some teachers just wanted to watch us fail.
Now, most definitely, this does not apply to a lot of teachers that I had the pleasure of studying with during high school. In fact, a lot of them went against this stereotype and helped morph me into the person I am today. Unfortunately, so did these bad teachers. So, without further ado, here are the things even the best of students will get yelled at for.
1. Walking too fast down the hallway.
I used to volunteer my free periods as an aide for one of the secretaries, which involved running passes to certain students. Once I wore an illegal strapless dress underneath a long-sleeved cardigan, and since I was hurrying, the wind pushed the cardigan off of my shoulder. A teacher yelled at me for 'indecent exposure.' I'm sorry that my bare armpit turned so many people on in that short amount of time.
2. Forgetting three words in a project.
This one will stick with me forever, because it almost ruined my senior year. I only had a few weeks to go before graduation, and in a Spanish project, I forgot to use three different forms of a new word. This failed me for the entire project and the class. When I tried to talk to the teacher about this, she said that I can "redo the project like everyone else." It just so happened that this occurred during the musical I was starring in and the two AP English tests that I was studying for.
Did I mention that this was my third year of being one of this teacher's best students?
3. Not being in choir.
In one of the musicals I was a part of, I was never given any lines, and was only allowed in three scenes, because our then-director valued those who were in her choir rather than those in her drama club. I went to every single rehearsal even though I was never given anything to do, and the one line that I had the opportunity to get was given to a girl in choir who had joined the musical a day before.
4. Forgetting homework once.
A lot of my teachers were pretty sympathetic when it came to forgetting to read a chapter or to write a paper. But there was always that one teacher who immediately saw you as a delinquent when you forget your first homework assignment. Sometimes it doesn't matter how well you listen or participate; you forget one thing and you're a bad student in their eyes.
5. Wanting the whole class to succeed.
This one is definitely biased towards me, but it still baffles me to this day. In English the entire class would have to participate to correct a poorly written paragraph, and if we succeeded we got candy. There was one student who argued with me and two friends about one of our corrections, and so we proceeded to explain to him our reasonings.
Then the teacher took us all out in the hallway and screamed at us for "ganging up on him" and "bullying." Then she yelled at the first student for "inciting" the incident. Then she told me I acted this way because of the way my family raised me.
Excuse me, what the fuck?
6. Being assigned to sit in a group of "not so goodie" students.
A lot of time, the "goodie two shoe" students would have to sit next to the "delinquent" students. I've been used to this for a while. But in a class where you're in groups of fours, working together is very important, and I happened to get along very well with the students that the teacher deemed "delinquents" (which is a rather harsh term). I got along so well, in fact, that the teacher suddenly started viewing me as a delinquent too and snapped at me every time I talked out of turn, while the other three could talk as much as they wanted.
Joke's on you, teacher: you turned me into the monster that I am.
7. Having emotions.
High school students are going through a lot of shit as they grow up. So what do you do when these emotions are too much to handle? Well try yelling at them, see if that'll help! Seriously, the last thing an emotional young woman needs to hear is, "You're too emotional, you need to suck it up," especially coming from a teacher that they expected to help them through this tough time. Thankfully, I had other adults to turn to.
8. Reading a book in class.
As it turns out, some teachers don't like it when you read. Am I reading while they're talking? Or when I'm supposed to be doing other work? Of course not. I read when I finish all the work I was supposed to do in that class, and my classmates are all staring at their Smartphones. And yet this teacher would continually yell at me for reading the disgusting piece of literature known as "The Grapes of Wrath" while ignoring the fact that my neighbor was currently cheating on his homework with his Smartphone.
9. "Dressing like a slut."
No teacher has ever said this to me specifically, aside from the occasional, "Your skirt's too long" or "You need a sweater". But I've gotten looks from teachers before, and parents as well, that make me feel awful about what I'm wearing. Nothing extraordinary; usually a skirt and a tank top. But both skirts and tank tops have to be heavily regulated because God forbid someone sees my knees or shoulders.
Not to mention, once I got in trouble for wearing a shirt with a vampire smilie face that said, "Bite me" on it. I was given an embarrassingly giant, XXXL shirt to wear over it. I saw an upperclassmen with the exact same shirt on a week later, and guess who didn't get a XXXL shirt?
10. Doing all the work in a group project.
It's common to be that student in a group project who ends up Atlas-ing the entire fucking project on their shoulders. And yet my teacher took points off and took me aside for doing the whole project by myself. She told me that we had to be working together and that it was my fault we didn't get a good grade.
Lady, if you noticed I was doing all the work, how come you didn't go after my classmates who obviously weren't doing work? Are you sure you're blaming the right person here?
11. Nothing at all.
Sometimes it feels like the world's against you, and nothing you do will help. Sometimes you're the one who gets yelled at while the problem was someone else's fault, but you're not allowed to say so because you're just a kid. Your
opinion doesn't matter. You're going to pay for someone else's mistake.
You don't get a chance to plead innocent. You're guilty because I say
All it takes is one teacher to attack you for you to suddenly feel like an abomination. You can do everything in your power to be a good student, and sometimes that's not enough. It feels like you don't get a break because you're supposed to be "perfect", and when that teacher finds out that you're not "perfect", they're going to prove it in any way possible. Even when they don't realize how much they're hurting you, that unfair punishment or unfair 'F' can make high school unforgiving hell.
In my middle and high school careers, I've really only come across two or three teachers like this. In fact, most of these stories are about the same few people. When listing of positive influences from school, I run out of fingers to count because so many people have influenced my life in a good light. They're the ones who helped me raise my grade, or listened to my story, or gave me a break from class. They're the ones who allow me to smile when I think of all the terrible things that I had to endure from high school. I don't know why these negative teachers picked on me so much, I honestly don't, and I like to think that it was all because of a misunderstanding between young adult and adult. Obviously some of this stuff was my fault, but it never truly felt like I should take blame. Even when I was 18 and rightfully an adult, I was still treated like a 10-year old who didn't have any worthwhile opinions and must only speak when spoken to. How are young adults supposed to act like young adults when they're treated like children for 12 years straight?