Bad Teacher

Engsiong Tan
3 min readDec 8, 2020


Inspired by Netflix and Medium

Welcome to the School of Hard Knocks. Today is the first day of your most important journey.

Photo by Aswathy N on Unsplash

I usually will start with the rules but this is the real world. The only rule is “Don’t get caught”. Moreover, young people have a habit of pushing the boundaries. Testing the waters. So we have as few rules as possible. Come to class. Don’t come to class. The faculty does not care.

There is an institution for learning. If you are unchanged after graduation, we have failed in our purpose. As such, we have strict guidelines regarding your assignment. You must complete all assignments by yourself. No plagiarism, no collaboration, and most importantly, no funny ideas.

If you are found cheating in the assignment, you will be dismissed immediately. There will no refunds. For those students with rich parents, guardians or countries, this is not going to bother you. What will bother you is that we will have a “farewell” gift. On my left is the wheel of misfortune. You will spin it. We will see where it stops and we will apply whatever punishment is listed on the wheel.

Any questions? What was the punishment that was painted over? It was sterilization. The dean was very firm about not seeing future offsprings of any dropouts. It was eliminated when the business in the surrounding fertilization clinics started booming. Why can’t there be a standard punishment? We use to have branding but some fraternities started to have it as part of their initiation rites.

So what if you need assistance with your assignment? We have facilities like the library and the Internet. Do I need to teach how to use Google? You can also ask your tutors. Your tutors are the final arbitrators of your grades. They also judge if you have cheated or not. I strongly recommend that you get into their good books. I can’t tell you how to do that. I certainly won’t tell you that the Dean likes rare Japanese whiskey. Do not try to fool him with the Scottish stuff or god forbid the American version.

The faculty does not tolerate the new ideas from the students. If you want to change the world, please do it after you have graduated. On the rare occasion you have a good suggestion, please share it with the faculty first. There is a reason why we are teaching you.

One way we catch cheats is by informants. Your peers can turn you in. Why your peers make up a lie to accuse you? We are a meritocratic institution and our members would never stoop to such underhanded methods. Yes, this is the part where a few students usually leave. Never understood why.

Yes? What about our outfits? The faculty wear these white hoods and robes to symbolize our purity. It was traditionally black but the Dean decided we need to change with the times. This institution used to be called Old School but the Dean decided that we needed to add character building into the curriculum.

The graduating class gets to decide what new punishment gets added to the wheel of misfortune. For the distinguished students, you will be offered an opportunity to join the faculty.

If there are no further questions, please come forward to the Bursar to pay your dues. This is your first lesson. Nothing is for free.

Warning: Do not try anything stated in the article in your home or workplace. The author does not take any responsibility for unsuccessful outcomes.