8 Autistic People Share Their Worst Tales of Troublesome Teachers

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Every profession has its set of bad eggs, so to speak. You know what I’m talking about, right? From nasty nurses to snappy salespeople, they are the ones you look at and think, “How on Earth did you manage to get into this position…and stay in this position without getting immediately fired? And what on Earth made you think this particular profession would be a good career path for someone like you?”

Without a doubt, there are millions of fantastic teachers out there—men and women who care deeply about their students and do everything in their power to see to their academic success. But while most are awesome, there’s no denying that schools can also have troublesome teachers. Some are quick-tempered, unfair, or just downright mean. And that was the focus of one particular Reddit thread on r/Aspergers: bad teacher tales.

Here are some of their autistic students’ stories. (Note: responses have been lightly edited for grammar and length.)

Photo: Adobe Stock/Syda Productions

Photo: Adobe Stock/Syda Productions

8. Failed Understanding

“Ugh, first day of advanced English in 6th grade, which was also my last year in public school. The teacher explained something one way, I didn’t understand, so I asked her to explain a different way. She didn’t. She repeated herself. I asked her to please explain it a different way, because I really didn’t understand. She…didn’t. She repeated herself.

“This went on until I had a full, snotty, sobbing meltdown. Then she got mad at me for crying, and spoke to me after class about ‘maturity.'” —Reddit User amaezingjew

7. “TL;DR: I got punished for asking my teacher what the date was that day.”

“Year 9 biology lesson (14 years old for those not in the UK). At the start of each lesson, we were required to write the date, lesson title and learning objectives in our exercise book.

“The date was not written onto the white board and was not readily available elsewhere. I elected to raise my hand and wait until the teacher noticed me.

“My classes were naturally quite loud. This teacher therefore spent more time elsewhere in the class trying to get everyone’s attention, calm the class down and so on.

“Recognizing that I was not getting any attention this way I said out loud ‘excuse me sir, can you tell me what today’s date is?’

“He immediately sent me on to a table to work on my own.

“I wasn’t upset that I was working alone, more the fact that I had, in my opinion, been entirely reasonable, yet was punished for it. I still do not know why exactly I was ostracised but I guess I might’ve been the ‘last straw’…? Did he read my question as a condescending statement alluding to his potentially lacking teaching abilities (i.e. you’re such a bad teacher, do you even know what the date is?)” —Reddit User Throw-away6158

Photo: Adobe Stock/svetazi

Photo: Adobe Stock/svetazi

6. This teacher sure is questionable…

“One time I had a teacher that got so frustrated with my questions that he screamed [at] me in front of the class “I’m here to teach you about social sciences, not to answer your [curse word] questions, so shut up unless you have something good to say.” —Reddit User julianblanco11

5. Challenging the Teacher

“Back in the days of middle school, I had basically no understanding of hierarchy. I perceived myself as an equal to my teachers, and would freely express in class my concerns about rules and instructions that I didn’t understand the rationale for. I would ask ‘why’ expecting a rational explanation (and possibly a rational debate), but my question was instead interpreted ‘socially’ as a challenge to the teacher’s authority. When they responded by asserting said authority, I only became more upset that my concerns weren’t being acknowledged. The situation would often escalate to a meltdown requiring my removal from the room. A ‘bad day at school’ for me was whenever something like this happened.” —Reddit User MehBerd

See the next page for more horror stories…

A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.
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