Teacher Feels ‘Pathetic’ For Having To Take A Half Day After His Students Misbehave — ‘I Couldn’t Stop Crying’

The mix of the students' disrespect and his burnout was too much.

frustrated teacher with head in his hands Elnur / Shutterstock

Anecdotal evidence from teachers supports the fact that students are struggling in the classroom, and not just academically. 

Student behavior at school is getting progressively worse. One teacher experienced this for himself when he was unable to stop crying in the classroom.

A teacher had a complete breakdown at school after his students behaved poorly.

After a teacher had a particularly bad day, he found himself a mess of tears in his pod leader’s classroom. He shared the experience on Reddit to get advice from fellow teachers.


“First period of the day was awful,” he said. “I was getting through it, but it was terrible.”

Unfortunately, this teacher feels like nothing affects his students or changes their behavior.

@katyhoffmanteaching We are taught as teachers to suppress emotions when handling student misbehavior….but sometimes our students need to see that we are human, too! I have never cried in front of my students when dealing with misbehavior, (I’m blaming pregnancy hormones & state test anxiety) but I can just see so much more potential & the feelings came from a place of love and care. I felt like my students could feel that. #classroombehaviormanagement #elementaryteachertok #elementaryteachertok #behaviorissues #realteacherstories ♬ original sound - Katy 🍎| Classroom Management

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“It doesn’t feel like consequences exist for these kids,” he shared. “Redirection doesn’t work. Yelling doesn’t work. Phone calls home, the office — nothing works.”

While this man is no stranger to difficult days in the classroom, this particular day just happened to be the one that broke him.

He said, “The last straw [was] two kids throwing things at each other, and one missed, I think, and a pencil hit me in the eye.”

After this, the teacher needed to take some time to step away.

upset man with hand over his eyes dotshock / Canva Pro


“After class, I walked to my pod leader,” he said. “On the way, students were asking me if I was okay. When I got to the pod leader’s class, I just started full-on bawling. I couldn’t help it.”

Because of the man’s age and stature, he felt ashamed of his tears. “I’m … a large adult man, almost 30, and I couldn’t stop crying,” he stated. “I had to take the rest of the day off because I literally could not stop crying in front of a co-worker.”

“That even feels embarrassing to type,” he concluded. “I feel like a pathetic failure right now.”

This poor teacher was at his wits’ end because of his students’ behavior and felt embarrassed by his understandable reaction.


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This man is far from the only teacher whose students have a behavior problem.

Now more than ever, teachers are reporting bad behavior and disrespect among their students. Many blame the pandemic, but there are multiple reasons for this.

According to The Hill, “More than 200,000 students have lost a parent to COVID-19, and several states reported an increase in youth suicide during the pandemic. Scholastically, the Nation’s Report Card 2022 found students had lost decades of learning.”


However, this may not be the only or even the real reason for this reported misbehavior. In fact, teachers may be coming down too hard on their students.

“Experts say it is also important to acknowledge that teacher’s perceptions of student behavior could be skewed by their own mental burnout,” The Hill reported. “During the pandemic, teacher stress soared as educators struggled to switch instruction to online learning and manage all the changes thrown at them.”

While classes are surely misbehaving and students are acting disrespectfully, the teachers’ own issues may be affecting their perspective of their students and potential behavior problems.


Teacher burnout certainly seems to be a problem.

Based on the comments on this teacher’s Reddit post, teachers are used to feeling burnt out.

“It’s so demoralizing when you are trying your best and nothing is working,” one person pointed out.

“I taught grade seven for 13 years but it only became too much in my last two years after COVID,” another person said. “I threw up two or three days a week before school. In the parking lot.”

@ohhappydayteaching teacher burnout getting to me today & i am just popping by to say that if its getting to you too, its okay to choose you! #teachertipsandtricks #teachertips #teacherburnoutisreal #teacherburnout #teacherburnouttips #teacherburnoutsolution #teacherburnoutsolution ♬ Wash. - Bon Iver

The combination of bad student behavior and teacher burnout seems to be mixing in a terrible way. Teachers are facing both financial and emotional burdens, and their struggles inevitably trickle down to their students.

Some kind of action needs to be taken because, inevitably, uneducated children and teacher shortages impact us all.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news, and human interest topics.