Teacher Misery

Jane Morris

I would just like to add that it is perfectly okay for students to wear animal costumes in class, but hats are strictly forbidden.

Teacher Misery: Helicopter Parents, Special Snowflakes, and other Bullshit

To kick off the first week of thankful thursday I am reviewing Jane Morris’ work. Keep an eye out for her author interview on Thursday.

I follow a few teacher accounts on Instagram, as most educators probably do, hunting for inspiration. One accounts shared Teacher Misery as a must read for teachers. It was a difficult spring semester, so I bought Teacher Misery: Helicopter Parents, Special Snowflakes and Other Bullshit to humor myself.

Morris did not disappoint. Shortly after reading Teacher Misery, I bought her other books More Teacher Misery and What It’s Like. This review will cover all three.


Teacher Misery: Helicopter Parents, Special Snowflakes and other bullshit

Teacher Misery perfectly encapsulates the comical misery that has become the teaching profession. Morris’ strange, funny, and sometimes unbelievable teaching experiences are told through a collection of short stories, essays and artifacts including real emails from parents, students and administrators. From the parents who blame their son’s act of arson on the teacher for causing him low self-esteem, to the student who offers to teach the teacher how to sell drugs so she can pay her bills, to the administrator whose best advice is to “treat kids like sacks of shit,” one story is more shocking than the next. An important read for teachers and non-teachers alike– Teacher Misery paints an amusing and thoroughly entertaining picture of what has become of our education system, without detracting from the overall point that what teachers have to put up with today is complete, utter, unacceptable insanity.

More Teacher Misery: Nutjob Teachers, Torturous Training, & Even More Bullshit

More Teacher Misery is the second volume in the Teacher Misery series! In More Teacher Misery Morris tackles even more of the hilarious, unbelievable and completely absurd experiences of teachers around the country. With topics such as pointless professional development where the author learned how to make bird noises, insanely incompetent teachers who make the good ones look bad, the shit parades that are parent conferences, lack of discipline even for kids who attack people with weapons, outrageous parent requests such as checking the size and color of a teenager’s poop, this follow-up to the wildly popular memoir Teacher Misery does not disappoint! 

What It’s Like

From the bestselling author of Teacher Misery, comes a collection of outrageous stories from other teachers. In this book, you’ll find a bit of everything including the usual helicopter parents and awful administration, horrendous student behavior with no consequences, and crazy-ass parents and their insane requests. But you’ll also find weirdly entertaining stories about a little kid with a foot fetish, a group of teachers chasing a naked kid around the school parking lot, and two pregnant sisters fighting over the same baby daddy on the first day of school. There’s plenty of gross stuff, like all the strange places kids put their poop and dirty maxi pads, a Barbie in a butthole, and kids who masturbate in class and hump desks. Unlike her other books, Morris included a sprinkling of tales that will break your heart and a few that will give you the warm and fuzzies we all need to keep going. This book is hilarious, shocking, heartwarming, sad, gross, and sometimes inspiring because that is what teaching is really like.

My Thoughts

The Teacher Misery books by Jane Morris cover the humorous dumpster fire of the education world. From poop, vomit, angry emails, and hard to believe administrative personal–Morris covers it all in the snippets from her personal experience and those that shared their stories with her.

I have read a few books about teaching and they all left me with a sick feeling that I was a failure for having days when I fought the urge to walk out. There is toxic positivity that haunts the hallways of school buildings and educational platforms. One that makes you question your emotions. Your feelings are justified and read these books!!

Morris featured all of those bad days and so many I had yet to experience (and hope to never experience). FINALLY I found one educator who put together something that reflected what I was experiencing. Morris does talk about some positive experiences, if you are concerned these books are full of negative they are not. All of the stories within the books are told in away that leave you laughing and shaking your head. I am thankful that Morris covers the bad days in a way that allows you to laugh yet sympathize.

While Morris does feature the underbelly of education, she also offers hope and her reasons for returning year after year. I enjoyed her brief acknowledgments of the problems of education itself, while providing something to chuckle at. There are far too many to list out, see the quotes below. Teaching is a professional that will beat you up, but once you find that right place it can be a rewarding experience.

Millions have been spent on Chromebooks for the mere purpose of taking the PARCC test, a test that 15 states have recently dropped. Meanwhile, we are told that there is a budget crisis and, once again, teachers are warned of frozen salaries and higher rates for health insurance. Due to budget cuts, there are already much larger class sizes and fewer guidance counselors, social workers, teachers’ assistants, librarians, psychologists, social workers, special education teachers, reading specialists, and security guards.

Teacher Misery: Helicopter Parents, Special Snowflakes and Other Bullshit

That’s the real “teacher misery”: when we’re so belittled and micromanaged that we begin to feel like fun in the classroom is a crime.

What It’s Like

Should you read Teacher Misery?

YES! If you are an educator, or interested in what the modern classroom looks like you have to read Teacher Misery. You will laugh, cry, and buy your local educators a bottle of wine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s