On Bad Teachers

I have a teacher that I will call Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith is a geosystems teacher. Mr. Smith is a bad teacher – and unfortunately mine. Those are the main details, you can go to anywhere else on the Internet now, since you know the main details. But you may want to stick around for my vent. Okay. Mr. Smith is not just a bad teacher, he is a teacher of wretched proportions. He’s everything you want your teacher not to be, and yet, here he is – my geosystems teacher. Let me go into the details.

  1. These problems listed below are huge. But I don’t think this one annoys me more than any other: the fact that he doesn’t create or really know anything that he gives us. For example – the other day, I went up to him for a question. We are treated like an experiment – he gives a lecture, sees our test results (we SUCKED so he took out questions he thought ‘weren’t that good’), and decides to not lecture next unit. So in this unit, on plate tectonics, we were given a PowerPoint print-out for us to read and a lab (labs in my geosystems class consists of a set of information and questions that follow pertaining to the information). As I said before, I’ve always had the gut feeling – along with several others – that he didn’t make any of the PowerPoints or the labs or the handouts – he just had it easy. I had a question on the lab, so I went up to him and asked him if he could help me. He had to read the question first. It was clear that he had never, ever read it. He wasn’t sure what the answer was, and after thinking a while, he gave me a half-answer. Basically, he didn’t know what the answer was to his own question.
  2. His favorite words/phrases are “zap”, “…and all that stuff”. He described Earth as “big-ass”. When asked about how we knew what the Earth’s interior was made of and how deep the layers were, he said that “We’re constantly zapping stuff down in there and it bounces back up so that we know. But we also don’t really know because it’s all a theory.” Really, Mr. Smith. Really. Scientific evidence is not a theory. Plate tectonics and Pangea can be, but this is clearly not. On the subject of plate tectonics, Mr. Smith was asked about how we know where the lines are. He answered with, “They’ve zapped wavelengths across the Atlantic Ocean.” Really. In case you didn’t already know, it is physically impossible to “zap a wavelength.”
  3. His language. As I mentioned before, Mr. Smith described Earth as “big-ass”. Teachers should not be using that kind of language, although it can be argued that it’s one of the ‘less-bad’ curse words. However, it gets worse. When a vice-principal was coming to observe him teaching, he said to us, “Mrs. Miller will be coming here to observe, so you better not have your phones out, or she will snatch that s**t out of your hands.” Not even kidding, he said that. It doesn’t stop there. Somehow the Twilight movies came up one time when he was talking to the class, and he told us when he was watching the first Twilight movie with his wife, when he saw Edward pull of his shirt and sparkle, he was said, “he’s f***ing glittering!” out loud in the movie theater to heads turning. Except he repeated it without any hesitation, regret, or asterisks.
  4. He plays favorites. This gets on my nerves all. The. Time. He’s a coach. I don’t have a problem with coaches. However, you run across some coaches and gym teachers every now and then that missed out on their chance and now coach – Mr. Smith reminds me of this kind of teacher, since you have to teach at a school to be a school coach. (My question is, why can’t you just coach an outside-of-school sport team? Seriously, if you’re this bad a teacher, just do something else.) So, he’s buddy-buddy with his sports friends. He laughs with the girl on the track team and her friends. He calls the football players (along with some of his other favs) by their last names. And it drives me crazy. He doesn’t change grades in favor (I sure hope not, at least…) of them, but he acts like he’s the one of them – and not ‘one’ with the rest of everyone else.

So, my question is this: Should I tell a principal about this? Is it that big of a deal? Or should I keep it to myself, be annoyed, and be satisfied with my grade (it’s a B – okay, but I should be able to do better – then again, I’m high above the class average)?

“Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.” -Andy Rooney


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