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Teachers Describe Their Worst Encounters With Nightmare Parents

Updated September 7, 2018 25.4k votes 6.2k voters 495k views17 items

List RulesVote up the parents who are in dire need of an education of their own.

When teachers vent about parents, you usually hear of pretty shocking stories of terrible people. You can get the normal annoying parents who come in and hover around their children or ask a lot of questions. But the actual worst parents are a totally different beast. Because teachers really see the worst of people. They see the negligent parents, the helicopter parents, and even parents capable of horrible abuse. 

Going far beyond just teacher pet peeves, the more annoying parents can make it straight up impossible for educators to do their jobs. From parents who think children potty train themselves (or that teachers should) to parents who actually threaten teachers for just doing their job, it'll relieve you to know your dad simply asked some embarrassing questions at parent-teacher night. When you see what these teachers of Reddit have to say, there's one thing you'll realize for sure—teachers just don't get paid enough.

  • 1

    All The Extremes

    From sciencenerd86:

    "I have stories from both ends of the spectrum. When I taught second grade I had a parent leave alone her eight-year-old (my student), her four-year-old and an infant for several days when she went on a trip about four hours away. No adults staying, checking in, etc. She told him not to leave the house when she left on Friday, so it wasn't until Monday when we called and no one answered (not unusual) or Tuesday's welfare check that anyone realized the situation. It was terrifying to think of what could have happened. Injuries, fire, what these poor children ate (especially the baby who probably wasn't on solids yet) just to name a few.

    The other is a more regular occurrence. I now teach middle school to the most helicoptered children. I have students whose parents check our online grade book and daily webpages eight-to-10 times daily and email their student's teachers nearly daily to check up. These children are 13-years-old and aren't allowed to make any kind of mistake or learn from having any responsibility or self-advocacy skills. It's terrible to think what a disservice this will be as their children are forced into the 'real world' without their moms there to solve their problems."

    Is this the worst?
  • 2

    She Can't Just Let It Lie

    From Captain_Steve_Hiller:

    "I taught English and one boy was a reluctant reader. No biggie though, all he had to do was read one chapter in a book that was 100 pages or longer. I gave them nine weeks to read the book and put together a project. Basically, a book report.

    During the first two book reports the mother asked if I could extend her son's project another week because he didn't finish the book. I denied the request because I needed to put grades in for the report card. She went on to bash me on Facebook, Twitter, and to friends saying how I was ignorant, that I didn't understand because I don't have kids. (Luckily I had some parents of students coming to my defense saying how the project was fair, that I gave deadlines that parents were to sign off on, and that nine weeks is plenty of time).

    She complained still about every single assignment I sent home. She continued to complain on social media. She would then turn around and buy me a gift. She would walk into school in the morning while kids were coming off the bench to tell me that I needed to give her child another test because his 86 wasn't a fair representation of what he knew.

    Finally, the principal banned her from contacting me directly, and then had the sheriff's office come in to talk to her about her Facebook rants. The sheriff more or less called it slander, and said if she didn't delete each post that I could press charges against her. She did, but by that point the year was almost over."

    Is this the worst?
  • 3

    Friends Til The End

    From vogdswagon26:

    "My wife has been a preschool teacher for several years now, she has noticed a disturbing trend of parents refusing to punish their children and instead take their side in all situations.

    There was one child in particular who would run away from the classroom and hide, disrespect the teachers, and on several occasions even struck teachers and staff. Whenever the mother was confronted with his behavior she would ask what they did to provoke the child and would blame all the child's problems on the teachers. She even went so far as to scream at one of the teachers in front of all the other parents and kids of the class. She yelled at her and said she is failing as an educator and doesn't know what she is doing. The next day her child bit a teacher.

    This is the kind of thing that happens when parents are trying to be friends with their children, instead of being parents." 

    Is this the worst?
  • 4

    Who Does Potty Training These Days?

    From HoosierDoc:

    "When I was a TA, I had to interpret for a mom who couldn't speak much English. Her child was a kindergartner and he had trouble with his bowel movements. Basically, he always pooped his pants. Aside from that, he also displayed some signs of possibly being in the spectrum. So we have mom come in and she comes in in pajamas. Whatever.

    As we begin the conference, we asked her how he did at home with his homework. She said, 'I do it for him because he never stops crying about it. I know how to copy his handwriting.' We were all like 'WTF,' but moved on. Finally, we asked her how it was like potty training him, and she said, 'Potty train? I didn't potty train him. Isn't that something we just know how to do?'

    Her lazy parenting skills killed me. Folks, don't be a lazy parent."

    Is this the worst?