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31 Nightmare Teaching Moments Straight from a Horror Movie

Teaching Horror Movie

Teachers, for better or worse, are uniquely equipped to handle a bunch of different stressors. But when those nightmare stressors come all at once, life can seem like a horror film – minus the gore.

We’ve collected 31 of these different teaching moments because there’s nothing better to get you in the Halloween spirit than thinking about scary times in the classroom. Just make sure you don’t check them out right before bed.

1. TMW the kids decide on mutiny during your observation

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It’s so weird. It’s like they know you’re extra anxious about getting observed by a school admin.

2. TMW the TV cart you reserved weeks ago is suddenly taken

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I literally signed up for this weeks ago. I don’t care if your class wants to watch “The Grinch” today – I’m taking the cart back.

3. TMW you’re teaching “The Crucible” and Proctor says “Arse”

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Come on, class. Get it together.

4. TMW little Stevie asks about your spiritual beliefs

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Today’s really not a good day for that kind of question, Stevie.

5. TMW a parent asks about your credentials

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Oh, no, I just come here to kill time. Thank you for asking, though.

6. TMW a parent calls the day after you taught evolution

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Will there ever be a year where this doesn’t happen?

7. TMW you hear “Those who can’t do, teach”

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Thanks a lot, Bernard Shaw.

8. TMW you mix up Brayden’s and Cayden’s names

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What were those remembering student names tips again?

9. TMW you find coffee filter trimmings from snowflake decorations . . . in your hair . . . from three days ago

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At least it’s not lice, at least it’s not lice, at least it’s not lice.

10. TMW you say “Luck” and students hear the version that starts with “F”

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I really can’t tell if you’re messing with me, but regardless, let’s move ON.

11. TMW no one gets your ’90s kid reference

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Nobody remembers Saved by the Bell? Nobody? Really?

12. TMW a parent won’t allow their kid in the “devil classroom”

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Ms. Carter, these are Harry Potter decorations. Not sacrificial alters.

13. TMW students say the text is boring, and you want to agree

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Am I yawning a lot, or is it just too warm in here?

14. TMW hall monitor duty, bus duty, PD requirements, lunch duty, and an after-school meeting happen in one day

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And then I get to grade when I get home!

15. TMW the guy at the wine shop remembers your name

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Sorry I’m late tonight! I had hall monitor duty, bus duty, PD requirements, lunch duty, and an after-school meeting.

16. TMW Shelly’s great-grandmother dies for the 14th time

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Shelly, I really feel like I’ve heard this story before.

17. TMW every single student laughs . . . and you have no clue why

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Did I say something? Is something on me?

18. TMW students find out your Twitter handle

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Delete, delete, delete!

19. TMW curriculum requirements change for the umpteenth time

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Making completely new lesson plans is EXACTLY how I wanted to spend my night.

20. TMW you sleep in . . . JK, what teacher ever sleeps past 6 A.M.?

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Too many times have I gone through my morning routine only to realize it’s Saturday.

21. TMW you get another friend request . . . from a student . . . or parent . . . or grandparent

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I knew I should have put something about this in my syllabus.

22. TMW you run into a student at Target while buying underwear

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It’s too late to hide. How can I stuff this in my bag without looking like I’m shoplifting?

23. TMW you’re having date night and find a crayon in your pocket

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Note to self: Remember to clean out pockets before leaving the classroom.

24. TMW you break bad behavioral news during parent teacher night

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Well, the good news is that there’s still progress to be made!

25. TMW you can’t separate the thought of cat litter and vomit

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A necessary and impressive cleanup tactic but still disgusting and impossible to stop thinking about.

26. TMW you can’t wash whatever that sticky stuff is from your hands

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It feels like glue, but it doesn’t look – or smell – like glue.

27. TMW quieting the class takes longer than your lecture

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Why did I plan this immediately after lunch?

28. TMW you’re running out of supplies, and the semester still has months to go

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What did I do with that crayon from my date the other night . . .?

29. TMW your students don’t understand that you will, in fact, catch them cheating

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This may be as surprising to you as it is to me, but all of that black text scribbled on your hand is a real attention-grabber.

30. TMW people think that, by virtue of the profession, somehow teachers are removed from student debt

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Trust me – I have student loan debt up to my eyeballs.

31. TMW it finally clicks. They finally “get it.” They’re really learning.

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Wait. No one’s laughing? Or whispering? Or looking like they’re up to something? They’re actually focused?

Teaching can be so stressful, it’s scary. That’s why Advancement Courses offers K-12 educators more than 240 online, self-paced professional development courses covering both foundational topics and emerging trends, including courses based on self-care and stress reduction. Ditch the horror film routine, and check out these courses that will help alleviate stress:

  • Self-Care Strategies for Teachers: Tap into necessary self-care tactics to ensure a prolonged and stable career in teaching. This course focuses on techniques to help you manage stress, respond to difficult scenarios, and generate long-term reflective practices to track your progress.
  • Stress Reduction for Better Teaching: Manage your emotional, mental, and physical health with one of our most popular courses. This comprehensive overview will prompt you to identify what triggers your stress, where you should respond most appropriately, and how you can ultimately build on your resilience – both in and out of the class.
  • From Burnout to Productivity: Creating a Path for Teacher Wellness: Avoid burnout and create a more sustainable approach to teaching. Our course on teacher wellness focuses on a series of self-inventories and assessments that help mitigate the effects of long hours, stressful situations, and intense instances of emotional and intellectual vulnerability.