People From Around The World Share Their Teacher Meltdown Stories

People From Around The World Share Their Teacher Meltdown Stories

Being a teacher is a difficult and often thankless job. It's hard enough dealing with one kid, but 30 or 40? It's enough to drive even a decently patient person to drink, especially after a few decades. It might even be enough to make someone snap.

These folks from all around the world recently went online to share stories of the worst teacher meltdowns they've ever witnessed.

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34. Stealing bases

My 8th grade Spanish teacher and the freshman baseball coach were having an affair. It eventually became public knowledge and she had several breakdowns as her divorce played out over course of my 8th grade year. I had the pleasure of joining the freshman baseball team the next year and experiencing his own share of breakdowns from his own divorce.

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34. It's hard to work when you're going through that

My math professor in college was going through a divorce and they were fighting for custody of their two younger children. You could tell he was irritated because he wore his emotions on his sleeve. One day he came into class about 5 minutes late and he was physically shaking. He was violently crying and apologized to us and said the class was cancelled. He apparently lost the custody fight with his ex wife.


33. This guy was so committed to his job

Physics teacher came into class late. Walked past the podium and walked into the chalkboard. Like, he would have kept walking if it wasn't there. He then picked up one of those plastic pen things that you put chalk in. Proceeded to try and write on the chalkboard even though the pen was empty of chalk. All the while mumbling incoherently. Found out later he had a stroke and managed to drive himself to the university.

He didn't return to teaching that year and as best I recall he ended up retiring due to health complications. He was in his 60's and along with the stroke he had fallen and hit his head.

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32. A moment of compassion

My favorite science teacher in high school was slowly being forced out by administration. One day in class she stopped teaching and sat down in front of us and told us she had just been diagnosed with MS and began sobbing. The entire class got up and gave her a long group hug. It is one of my most cherished memories from that chapter of my life.



31. Midwestern twang

I feel legitimately bad about causing this one.

Junior year of high school, my lit teacher was from Wisconsin, and had a very thick Midwestern accent. This was in the south, so a number of her intonations were very noticeable. In particular, words with an -ag syllable stuck out (eg. “Bag” would be pronounced like a mixture of “Bay” and “Egg”).

She was reading a passage from Beowulf to the class one day, and to paraphrase the modern English translation, came across the following sentence:

“Beowulf killed the dragon with the dagger.”

It was too many Midwestern syllables too close together for my friend and I to handle tactfully in our 16 year old mindsets, and involuntarily, we laughed. Upon attempting to cover it up, it probably sounded more like a snicker, and she did not take it well.

I wish I could say that she scolded us, but it was so much worse than that.

She shut the book, looked at the floor and straight up cried for what must have been 45 seconds, but felt like an entire 45 minutes. Dejected, breathless sobs. Once she had recovered from this, she picked it back up where she left off, like it hadn’t happened.

Even though, generally speaking, I really disliked that teacher, it sucked knowing that our immature reaction caused her to feel ridiculed. We didn’t have malicious intent, but the result was the same, and we of course apologized to her privately after the fact.

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30. Some wars never end

We had a substitute teacher that would make all students in the class pop open their metal binder rings in unison. Otherwise, the sound of multiple binders rings opening at different times would remind of him artillery sounds. Vietnam messed a lot of people up for life.

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29. Apparently class is optional

Some guy came in late and started talking to his friends. The teacher chimed in with something like, "If you're gonna be late, you might as well not show up at all!" So he said, "Fine, idiot," and left. She stared blankly at the door for a good 30 seconds, and then yelled at EVERYONE ELSE in the class for what ONE (now absent) student did. I distinctly remember her claiming at one point that "everyone in this room is failing this class!"

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28. The bitter butter battle

We made our English teacher cry. But we didn't want to, because we really liked her. She was about to switch to another school and she had some really important things to do, she needed to call someone, so she gave us a task to do and left the room for like 5 minutes. We were a horrible class, around 16/17 at this time ad mainly boys.

We had breakfast together that day and food wrappers and things were still in the classroom. So the boys decided it was time to throw it around and hit the window with stick of butter. While one boy tried to "clean" the window, using a squeegee, someone else decided to throw the whole trash can out the window.

Another teacher came, because she saw the trash flying by the window of her classroom and in the moment she stared yelling at us, the other teacher came back. She immediately started crying as she saw what was going on. I think she was angry, and overwhelmed because she liked the school and didn't want to leave, but in this moment we were the little jerkwads making the decision easier.

But the next week, she came into the class and had written a small poem for us, about being too old to throw around trash and playing with butter.

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27. Can't really blame the guy for that

Junior year in university, my genetics professor was in the middle of a lecture when authorities took him out of the auditorium (thank goodness) and informed him that his wife (the dean of our college) had been struck and killed by a motor vehicle that morning.

He retreated to his office and proceeded to tear the place apart like a tornado had gone through it. He ripped the top of his desk off its frame, pulled down all of his book cases; books, pages, papers, all sorts of documents and furniture strewn everywhere in pieces. By the time I graduated he still wasn't the same man as he was before that awful day.

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26. Good for her for breaking free

I had the same morning tutor from the age of 11-16. She was really, really lovely. She was an English teacher and we always chatted about literature and films. She was always up for a laugh and joked around with us all the time. A few times a year she'd buy a load of food and treats to dish out.

Then, when we were about 14 she got engaged. A year later, the relationship was over and she was a wreck. She suddenly got really quiet. Then, one day, we were all talking and laughing but she was trying to get our attention. She couldn't get the attention, and suddenly burst into tears. Took off her ID card and - in the dead silence of the room - said: "I can't do this." She walked out of the room and we didn't see her again for weeks.

She's now travelling the world. I have her on Instagram, last time I checked she was in Nepal.

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25. A lot of teachers like coffee

In high school our Government teacher freaked out on my class.

We had a few talkers in the back corner but they finally broke him. He flipped his podium over and started screaming at us. He called us the worst group of kids he'd ever had to teach and that he was 110% accurate that we were going to be nothings.

Then he went to his desk and drank his entire thermos of coffee. A few years later, he was having a retirement party at his house, (I was close friends with his son) he revealed that the thermos was... well, shall we say 80% not coffee. Which explains why he was chugging it so desperately.

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24. That's clearly how he swears

Maybe not a meltdown per se, but I had a chemistry class that was held in a huge auditorium with really steep stairs. The professor always walked all around the room while we took quizzes and tests.

One day he tripped halfway up the auditorium stairs and took a heck of a fall. He landed face down-- unhurt apart from bruises-- on the floor and before we could really react he starts banging his fists on the floor and screaming, "ENTROPY, ENTROPY, ENTROPY!"

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23. How hard is it to say 'I was wrong'

I had a teacher get corrected by a classmate of mine in 8th grade. He misspelled something on the board and the student caught it, notified the teacher, but the teacher swore he was correct. The student then grabbed the dictionary from the back of the classroom to search it out, and the teacher tried hard to get him to not look for the word. Started yelling at the kid saying he was being disobedient for getting out of his seat during lecture.

Well the kid opened the dictionary anyway and the teacher threw a box of chalk at him. Ended up hitting him in the eye, swelled up pretty badly.

That teacher got fired pretty quick.

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22. Et tu, Britney?

High school English teach walked in one day with her head shaved. She told us that she had an epiphany the prior night... She was Julius Caesar reborn. That was her last day as our English teacher.

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21. The ultimate flashback

My fifth grade teacher. He was and still is a really nice and laid back guy for the most part. He was a Vietnam vet and had occasional problems with flashbacks. Usually nothing more extreme than hitting the floor if a kid dropped a pile of books.

Well, a few years after I was in his class, his wife (who was the vice principal) died rather unexpectedly from breast cancer. He took a short leave of absence, but came back to work. Administration thought it was too soon but let it go, thinking he was a work-through-the-grief kind of guy.

As a few weeks went by, you could tell he was losing it. He didn't shave for weeks, his clothes were unkempt, he looked a general mess.

Finally, he has a complete mental breakdown. Stops in the middle of a lesson, grabs a little Asian girl in the front row, calls her a slur, then throws her through the door and into the hallway.

It ended with cops hauling him away after they dragged him out from under his desk. He was committed for a while and forced to retire. But he was never charged with anything. The little girl was just scared, not hurt, and her parents ended up being really understanding about the whole thing.

He got the help he needed and I hear he's doing much better now.

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20. It's tough to do

I got called a 'goat [bleeper]' and he kicked a bin at another student. Our art teacher was quitting smoking...

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19. Yeah, I fear her pain

I had a Spanish teacher in middle school that was so tired of us turning in broken Spanish on our homework assignments that she screamed at us and called us stupid Americans before throwing pieces of chalk at us one after the other. Another time she got on her knees and started praying the rosary in front of us when a girl said "el pollo nugget".

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18. The rumor mill

When I was 10, a friend and I accidentally started a rumour amongst our mums that our teacher was pregnant by commenting on her glowy skin and swollen ankles. Apparently mums gossip quite a bit... which resulted in an awkward exchange at a school fundraiser event where one of the said mums approached her and said, "You think you're hiding your secret but we all knoooooow."

The meltdown came on Monday where the poor woman had to sit down the entire class and tell us that no, she wasn't pregnant (at this point she started crying), and that to make sure there was no more gossip she needed to explain that she never would be because she couldn't have children. I don't know what exactly prompted her to share this very sensitive information with us all, but I do know that I have never felt like a bigger piece of crap than I did then sitting there as she hysterically cried because of something I said when noticing that her skin looked really, really nice one day!

Moral of the story is: until a woman's water literally breaks all over your shoes, ONLY THEN may you assume she is pregnant. Trust me.

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17. The birds and the bees

We had a physical education teacher who used to sweat like a hog whenever adult subjects were raised. Which is tough because, I mean, that's a major part of your job, dude.

He ended up having to be a substitute teacher for one of our birds and the bees lessons. We were very aware of his discomfort discussing the subject and asked him lots of in depth questions, making sure we used all the correct anatomical terminology.

The poor guy had a class A anxiety attack (pity no-one had taught us about those), and I was genuinely afraid he was going to have a heart attack. Red-face, profuse sweating, breathing difficulty and a look of primal terror in his eyes. We got the early mark we were fishing for, but I think we did the poor fellow some real emotional damage.

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16. Eyes on the prize

In high school, they would do trivia questions after the announcements sometimes, and the first teacher who dialed the office with the correct answer would get a prize for the class. My math teacher really wanted to win, and hadn't yet this year.

So one fateful morning, the question goes out, and we had the answer, so he called it in, but we were the second caller.

In a fit of pseudo-rage, he yells a curse and kicks this little plastic trash can across the room, where it bonks a kid right in the head. His eyes go wide and he apologizes and asks if the kid is okay, which he is. Everyone got a good laugh afterwards, including the kid who got hit, and later, we would pretend to duck whenever we didn't win the morning trivia contests.

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15. Everyone has a berserk button

Not so much a breakdown but a "break" in normal behavior for sure. Our freshman English teacher was a small, soft-spoken woman who was kind of known to be a teacher you could walk all over with little (but not no) repercussions.

We were in a review session after school and some upperclassmen were just hanging out in the hallways making lots of noise, so she was constantly poking her head out in the hall asking them to be quiet.

As we are all very silent reading or something the classroom door absolutely SLAMS shut. So hard the latch didn't have time to catch and the door bounced back open. The teacher immediately yells "Oh heck no!" kicks off her heels and takes off out the door.

She caught up with the kid, who had taken a running start and kicked the door shut, and berated him for a good ten minutes, which we could hear clear as day from the end of the hall. It was like nothing we'd ever heard from her.

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14. Napoleon keeps you coming back

I had a history teacher in high school who was always stern and serious, which was great since it gave a reverence to what he was teaching about and his unpretentious nature meant he spoke about what was important/interesting. One day however his voice broke and after he cleared his throat it broke again. He stopped talking, put his hands in his pockets, frowned, and took a few breaths.

"Students. Sorry about this lecture, my wife and I just decided to get a divorce." He blankly stared ahead for a second and then walked toward the door, loosening his tie. "I need a drink..." He exited the door. After a second he poked his head back in, "...Of water! I'm coming back. Don't think I've forgotten about Napoleon..."

Not too much of a melt down, but he was a pretty manly dude in a nerdy sort of way.

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13. I think we can forgive her for that

My eighth grade LA teacher cussed a kid out for spilling his juice. "EVERY [BLEEPING] DAY YOU DO THIS CRAP. CAN YOU PLEASE CLEAN UP MY FLOOR! MY[BLEEPING] GOD! YOUR PARENTS DIDN'T TEACH YOU TO CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF?! WHAT THE--! STOP MAKING ME YOUR PERSONAL CLEANUP CREW!" That was followed by a thrown roll of paper towels and a bloody nose. Apparently she found out her sister had died in surgery that morning.

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12. Snap, then snap back

I was in band. One day, one of the regular always in trouble/disruptive students was being extra disruptive while the director was trying to tell us something important. So after about five different times of going the normal route to get him to settle down, he cracked.

It got quiet and then the director bellowed "[Student's Name]! ARE YOU STUPID, OR JUST DON'T GIVE A [BLEEP]?!" The whole room was quiet, all eyes were now on the disruptive kid who was then trying to hide behind his tuba, then, the director continued with his announcement like nothing happened.

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11. Art comes from pain

We had an art teacher when I was 11 years old who would lock himself in the supply cupboards and scream and rip his hair out. It was, to put it mildly, unsettling..

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I had a history teacher in high school; for context, this was in about 1980. To this day, I can't quite recall what prompted this, but he stood in front of the entire class, shaking with rage, and said, "I am a homosexual!" We were all just dumbfounded. Not that he was gay, I think most of us had figured that out already, but that he felt obligated to make that announcement.

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9. Well, that shut them up!

My super dorky history teacher in 8th grade was the nicest teacher I've ever met, but there were a couple "class clowns" in our class and he usually dealt with them ok. One day though, they were obnoxious the entire class from the moment he walked in and he snapped, yelling and chucking his stapler across the room. He nailed a staple right into Ben Franklins forehead. He immediately apologized and went about his day normally, while all the students went silent. Nobody ever bothered him again after that day.

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8. The old desk slam

A Spanish teacher I had in high school ended up having a meltdown on the day of the final exam. The whole semester my class had been pretty chatty but really nothing that out of the ordinary.

On the day of the final there was an event that set her off. If I remember correctly he was talking during the exam (his cell phone may have gone off instead, its been awhile). She proceeded to attempt to pick up the desk with a 17 year old sitting in it and slam it on the ground.

The kid got up and then she flung the desk along the floor slamming it against the door and told him to finish his exam outside. Then she proceeded to tell the rest of us what terrible people and students we were. She also told us that she had gained 20 pounds over the course of the semester because of how bad our class was. Then she felt the need to tell us about her personal relationship problems as she broke down sobbing. After that I just did my best to finish my exam as quickly as possible so that I could go home as that was my last class of year before summer.

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7. To answer your question: YES

This was in high school. We had a band teacher. His nickname was Pinky because he had very red hair and pale skin with a red tint. Borderline albino. Every time he got mad his entire face turned tomato red.

I don't remember the sequence of events, but he was already frustrated. Everyone in the room knew to shut up so that we didn't tick him off. Well, everyone except this one dippy girl. She asked something along the lines of "are you mad?" and kept pestering him. He finally snapped. His face turned that familiar shade of tomato red and he threw the pencil he was using to conduct across the room. He then stormed out, and slammed the door hard enough that it could be heard on the other side of the building.

He quit soon after.

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6. Justin takes a trip

Eighth grade math teacher. He was well known for his short temper, but this particular day was bad. There was a kid in my class, Justin, that never listened and never did his homework. One day, math teacher just had it with Justin. Grabbed his desk (with him in it) and picked it up and slammed it back down on the ground a few times. After that, he shoved the desk with Justin in it across the room. Justin was fine, thankfully. Math teacher just stormed out.

Told my mom and I guess a few other parents called the school about it too. He was gone for a few weeks and had to take anger management classes. I just went by my old middle school a few weeks ago and he's the assistant principal now. Who would have expected that?

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5. The lunch lady levels up

Had a sub in 5th grade. I was a really unorganized kid and having to dig through my desk for stuff wasn't uncommon.

Sub went to collect our homework one by one and I was still digging through pulling a bunch of stuff out when she got to me. She got all towering and told me this was unacceptable. Dumped my desk in front of me and told me I was staying in from recess to organize it.

One girl said "you can't make him do that" and the sub raised her voice and spit out "YOU don't tell ME what to do, brat. I can do whatever I want!"

The whole class revolted and a neighboring teacher came in to see what was up, the sub claimed I was being lippy and this was my punishment. Then the whole class spoke up and informed him of what really happened and we were all let out for recess. Came back in and a lunch lady was sitting at the teacher's desk instead.

As the kid who was always picked on by everyone, it was nice to see the whole class stand up for me that day.

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4. Nurse your wounds

My junior year in nursing school we took a nursing psych class. The professor was, not a good teacher to put it lightly. She regularly would talk about her personal life instead of teaching what was outlined on the syllabus.

About halfway through the course we had our midterm exam which was consisted of about 75% of questions of stuff we had not covered in class. I think the highest grade anyone got was 65%. The next class she berated us and told us all we were going to be bad nurses. One of the people in my class wrote a letter to her saying that she spends most of the classes not teaching the material and it is not justifiable to give us exams if we know more about her personal life than what we are supposed to be taught, citing the syllabus given to us at the beginning of the semester. All of us in the course signed the letter.

Next class she absolutely lost it on us, screaming at us about how disrespectful we are and how we will never amount to anything. This got the point that the dean of the nursing program heard her from down the hall and had to come remove her from the classroom. Next class we had another professor for the rest of the semester. The dean told us she was on hiatus and said that we brought up our grievances in a respectful manner, and commended us on that. The professor who broke down never came back to teach at the school.

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3. It worked in the long run

I hope I'm not too late, but when I was in sixth class (from Ireland, I think that's 8th grade in US?) we had a pretty young teacher.

I was bullied a lot around this time, and I started fighting back against the bullies. The teacher noticed this and thought it'd be a good idea to remove me and who was essentially my arch nemesis from the playground during lunch, and make us do crafts in a classroom instead. I think they were trying to make us get along by working together, but that doesn't happen with 11 year olds, UNSUPERVISED for a whole hour in a LOCKED classroom.

She leaves, and when she returns halfway through the hour, the classroom is a mess- chairs strewn everywhere, our school jumpers and shirts are torn, I had a bleeding ear and he had a swollen lip, bruises everywhere. We freeze as soon as she catches us, and she just collapses to the ground. She sobbed into her hands, "All I wanted was for you to be friends, was that so much to ask?!" She wept uncontrollably for the next 5 minutes.. We felt awful about it; we shook hands, and tried to clean up the classroom.

The next day we had a substitute teacher, who eventually became our permanent one, and he was horrible.

I guess it worked though: it's 16 years later and I'm on the way to my nemesis' house to drink and play board games, so...

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2. I'm guessing no one came to her baby shower?

I had a 10th grade history teacher who was very much pregnant at the time. We all walked into class one day and she was slumped over her desk sobbing. Since we were all awkward teenagers, and nobody particularly liked this teacher to begin with, we all day there awkwardly for a good 15 minutes in silence while she tried to pull herself together. For the remainder of the period she forced us to play baby shower games.

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1. Those who don't learn their history...

I went to school in Germany and once when we had our history class, the lesson started off really weird. The teacher started dictating to us a math problem, in which you had to calculate what the costs are for treating disabled people and how much the state could save if there weren't any disabled people.

Most of us immediately realized that this was one of the propaganda math problems students in the Third Reich had to solve. We were kind of confused, since the Third Reich was not the topic which we were discussing at this moment. Nevertheless, we wrote down the problem and even started calculating, when the teacher suddenly snapped. He began to scream at the whole class with an intensity I have not witnessed before, about how we as the students should have rejected solving a task like that one. How we were educated to question everything, but still obeyed when he gave us a task which discriminated against disabled people.

He was as furious that he left the classroom and only returned after half an hour. We spent the rest of the class talking about the dangers, that a new movement like the Third Reich could arise again in Germany and how we always need to be aware of that.

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