Welcome to the Teacher Misery Podcast, the show that digs down deep into the hilarious misery of being a school teacher. The show is hosted by Lauren, also known as Jane, and she is joined by cohost Deandre Rashard.
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Episode 21: Teachers Are Human Too
Lauren welcomes Jaclyn Kirby, author of Teachers Are Human Too. They discuss why she decided to leave the classroom after only two years, how there need to be a lot more opportunities for natural SEL to occur in the class, how teachers cannot have any kind of reaction to trauma, how they destroy the things we spend money on, the time a fart made Lauren cry, there’s no right way to handle a student fight, how sometimes you have to laugh during horrible situations, the weight of not being able to help kids with terrible home lives, and how hard it can be to be the young, new teacher.
Episode 20: Awful PD & Batshit Crazy Teachers
Lauren and DeAndre discuss the most useless and humiliating professional development sessions they had to endure, such as a 4-hour-long training on Microsoft, including how to send an email, country line dancing, and reading from a kindergarten book while in a parrot costume. They also discuss batshit crazy teachers who are completely ineffective yet can’t be fired and students who look up their teachers on the internet and how damn creepy it can get!
Episode 19: Teen Slang & Sex Ed. Questions
In episode 19, Lauren and DeAndre review various slang terms provided by middle and high school teachers and try to identify them. Then, we discuss some of the dumbest and weirdest sex education questions that students had the audacity to ask their teachers. This is a very inappropriate and hilarious episode!
Episode 18: Sarcastic School Psychologist
We talk with Dr. Julia, a former school counselor and psychologist, who runs the @sarcasticschoolpsychologist Instagram. We discuss teacher stress and anxiety before and after COVID, how bad admins keep their jobs in a state with no tenure, the lack of options for teachers outside of the teaching field, how much SPED teachers are expected to do and keep track of, the lack of creativity in teaching, how there’s no support after a serious tragedy (trigger warning: suicide), teaching brings out your deepest psychological issues, teachers don’t get any grace as far as mental health, teachers are held to impossible standards in society, the abuse that Special Ed. teachers have to take, teachers need more resources and compassion for the heavy load they carry!
Episode 17: Nightmares about Admin.
Nightmares about school, what DeAndre learned in his educational leadership classes and, more importantly, what he didn’t learn, kids who are in mainstream classrooms who have violent outbursts and how there is no protocol or solution other than evacuating the class, the 1st grader in Virginia who shot his teacher and how that situation unfolded, a creepy kid who gave Lauren’s kid a bloody nose and how to handle that, kids should be required to take pre-k, too many kids are given melatonin to sleep, and we react to outrageously inappropriate comments on observation reports.
Episode 16: Before the World Fell Apart
We recorded our first podcast in February of 2020, and didn’t record again until the middle of 2023. Here we talk about teachers in elementary school who had a positive impact on us, the lack of options for handling badass kids, how kids get expelled and reenroll in other schools, why teachers aren’t allowed to know a student’s mental health history, how frustrating negative observations are, and lots of other teacher misery-related topics that haven’t changed at all!
Episode 15: Insane Grading Policies and Parent Requests
On this episode, Lauren and DeAndre discuss ridiculous grading policies they have had to implement and other rules that Teacher Misery followers have shared. These policies include the very popular no student gets a zero rule, low scoring assignments (or non-existent ones) getting rounded up to 50% , a 20% passing rate, 50% equaling an A (yes, you read that correctly), incentives other than grades we’ve tried to get kids to do their work and whether or not they worked, and a few parent requests that are so crazy we had to discuss about them! (Warm the toilet seat for your kid? Absolutely not!)
Episode 14: Protect Your Energy
Charlene Lynch, part-time teacher and career coach, joins us to discuss the 10 different districts she worked for, gossipy coworkers and how to avoid them, ways to save your sanity at school, the problem of tenure, ways to protect your energy at school, and how to navigate the world outside of teaching.
Episode 13: Unbelievable Teaching Stories
Lauren tells one of her worst teaching stories where admin. moderated a debate between students about whether or not she is a bitch (spoiler alert: she’s not!); DeAndre tells of his first teaching gig, which was a bait and switch of the worst kind; odd places kids put their poop; teachers buy the supplies and the kids destroy them; kids who put a teacher’s head on a porn star’s body and don’t get in trouble; why don’t teachers ever press charges when kids do violent things?; and we discuss hilariously disrespectful insults that students have launched at teachers.
Episode 12: Pencils Down Forever
Mike Beyer, the co-author of Pencils Down: Career Journeys of Educators Who Left the Profession and What We Can Learn from the Crisis in Education, joins us as we discuss why teachers are leaving droves, what motivated him to write the book, his journey from teacher to principal who was then fired, to non-profit work to the corporate world; the history of teaching in our country and how it’s been feminized; the time Lauren got in trouble for calling 911 when a student was overdosing; how ridiculous the “self-care” attempts of admin. are, the issues that are blamed on COVID; how we don’t trust our children like we used to; why we’re so obsessed with data, why Mike got fired, and we play the “Who Gave These Shitty Gifts?” Game: admin. Or a student?
Episode 11: Teacher Misery Panel Discussion
In Teacher Misery Podcast Episode 7: What Happened to the Teacher Misery Show? DeAndre, Lauren, and MaryAnne discussed the show they thought they were a part of, which turned out to be a scam by the Teach Your Heart Out organization. Part of the scam was making the whole thing feel legitimate by funding a panel discussion about education in NY. This scam has been perpetrated by countless people who have now come forward to TM. An article with specific stories will be out next month, but for your enjoyment, here is the panel discussion before we knew the whole thing was a sham. In this recording, you will hear Jane/Lauren (Teacher Misery), DeAndre Rashard, MaryAnne Piccolo, Kyle Kidd, and Doug Williams.
Episode 10: Teacher Career Coach
We are joined by Daphne Gomez, Founder and CEO of Teacher Career Coach, a program and community that helps teachers transition outside of the classroom; we talk about what prompted Daphne to create the course, the crappy advice people give teachers who are unhappy, how do you know if you will like working alone/from home all day long, how do you know what career is a good fit after teaching, imposter syndrome after leaving teaching and how much teaching can break down your self-esteem, risks of leaving in the middle of the year, the real story of why Lauren left in the middle of the year and why it felt so impossible, overall messages if you want/need to leave!
Episode 9: Fired for Reading a Book Fair Book!
We discuss 5th-grade teacher Katie Rinderle, who was fired for reading My Shadow is Purple, a book that is recommended for ages 3-5; we talk about why people are so concerned about introducing the concept of gender identity to kids; we discuss if bathrooms and locker rooms are really as big of a threat as people think; whether or not sex ed belongs in schools; and a teacher who was fired for reading the unabridged version of The Diary of Anne Frank.
Episode 8: What It’s Like to Be the “Other” at School
Lauren’s sister Julie talks about a positive relationship she had with a teacher and how a vocational school saved her life; We discuss the utter lack of diversity in all of our schools growing up and the homophobia; Lauren’s friend growing up who was bullied by adults and kids yet found enormous success; DeAndre’s experience with a racist teacher in 3rd grade and the homophobic kids who are sliding into his DMs nowadays
Episode 7: What happened to The Teacher Misery Show?
Back in January, Jane/Lauren announced a live comedy tour and a cruise too! The show was going to be in major venues in large cities around the country with very talented people including Doug Williams, Nanny Maw, Tyler Regan, Karen Cassidy, MaryAnne Piccolo, and DeAndre Rashard. And then suddenly it disappeared. Well, in this podcast Jane/Lauren, DeAndre, and MaryAnne tell the entire story, bit by bit, from the show’s conception to the shady business dealings that led it all falling apart. You do not want to miss this!
Episode 6: First Day Foolishness
College isn’t for everyone; a lot of people would be better served to jump into their industry and learn that way; DeAndre’s first day in a gross classroom with wild kids and how he turned it around; Lauren’s first day, which she thought she messed up so badly it would be her last; what Lauren will miss and what we both will definitely NOT miss about teaching!
Episode 5: Just Feed the Kids!
First days anxiety, we hate Harry Wong, school itself is outdated, plusses and minuses of block scheduling, do kids with learning differences want to be in inclusion classes? Lauren can’t do 5th-grade math; we both became teachers for the same reason; it’s harder to be a caring teacher versus a hardass; we need separate counselors, psychologists, college advisors, etc.; FEED ALL THE KIDS!, absenteeism is a huge problem!
Episode 4: Hilariously Infertile at School
4th-grade teacher Karen discusses why she wrote a book and started an IG about infertility, and the emotional struggle of not being able to get pregnant and working with kids who weren’t being taken care of, we discuss gossip and inappropriate/insensitive comments made by coworkers and even students, getting shamed by admin for using sick days, funny, inappropriate names teachers have been called, awkward sex ed questions, moms who breastfeed older kids during conferences, and teaching kids to wipe themselves and blow their noses properly
Episode 3: Dark Triad Admins. And Empathic Teachers
We welcome Milly from the ENM podcast and discuss why she left teaching; how her principal was a psychopath; what a “dark triad” personality is; the guilt and lack of support teachers are given when they want or need to quit; whether or not we were willing to hold our pee all day; and the psychology behind why certain people are drawn to service jobs like teaching and if it is connected to childhood trauma.
Episode 2: Kids Aren’t the Only Bullies!
Lauren talks about when an administrator tried to teach one of her worst classes and the time a student unknowingly had a private part fall out; we discuss the uselessness of the dress code, how vicious girl fights can be, and bait and switch after you’re hired, DeAndre talks about how bullying with no consequences was the last straw, and the Chapter 37 law that says the teacher can remove a percentage of disruptive students.
Episode 1: Ain’t No Going Back!
In this episode, DeAndre talks about why he left teaching for good, how teachers have to deal with unreasonable situations, Lauren tells a story about a mom who cursed her out on the phone and came to school to continue her rant, why middle schoolers are the worst, DeAndre talks about a helicopter mom who Googled him, and what kind of people are drawn to be administrators (hint: the worst kind!)
Where to Listen to the Podcast
You can listen to Teacher Misery episodes on most major podcast providers such as…