These are Your Teachers’ Pettiest Pet Peeves

The excruciating feeling of a cinematic experience ruined by the chatter of other theatergoers. The grating sound of fingernails slowly being dragged down a chalkboard, sending shivers up your spine. The stress of getting caught behind someone walking at a snail’s pace. 

All of these are common annoyances held by people worldwide, but some Portola High teachers have oddly specific pet peeves.

Kathryn Beechinor, social studies teacher

“Sesame Street.” “Phineas and Ferb.” “Adventure Time.” Many of us grew up loving the humor of our favorite childhood television shows.

But one show drives social studies teacher Kathryn Beechinor to her breaking point: the one and only “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

“For me, ‘SpongeBob’ is the epitome of uselessness,” Beechinor said. “I just don’t think it’s funny. I just think the storyline is weird. Why is he a sponge under the sea? Why does the squirrel have to wear a helmet? To me, it just doesn’t make any sense.”

Beechinor said she has enjoyed telling students about her passionate hatred of the show, her controversial opinion earning her looks of awe. However, Beechinor’s distaste for “SpongeBob SquarePants” has been part of her identity for as long as the show has been on the air.

“I think it’s always been a part of me — always ingrained in my DNA,” Beechinor said.

For me, ‘SpongeBob’ is the epitome of uselessness. I just don’t think it’s funny. I just think the storyline is weird. Why is he a sponge under the sea? Why does the squirrel have to wear a helmet? To me, it just doesn’t make any sense.”

— Kathryn Beechinor

Samantha Gardner, dance teacher and visual and performing arts department chair

Whether it be grading essays or writing FRQs, one thing both students and teachers use in their daily lives are pens. Yet dance teacher Samantha Gardner has a distaste for one specific type: blue pens. 

After growing fond of felt-tip pens, Gardner said blue pens started to feel less professional to her.

“I just really hate [blue pens],” Gardner said. “I think it looks so unprofessional and so haphazard. It looks like you were searching for a pen to write a phone number down really quick. And so, to write on a full piece of paper with a blue pen intentionally is wild to me.”

Students will never see blue pens around her classroom because of her perpetual disdain for them.

“I think it originated because I used to keep a written planner,” Gardner said. “And I didn’t like having all the different ink colors in my planner or on my calendar. I do everything digitally now, but my hate for the mismatched random blue ink or red ink drives me insane.”

Courtney Moder, science teacher

For science teacher Courtney Moder, her pet peeve is a little more academically loaded. 

As a teacher of many lab-based classes, Moder often finds her classroom filled with leftover scraps from various projects. 

“My biggest pet peeve is the lingering pieces of projects that are left around my room such as dead leaves, or little bits of wood from aquaponics,” Moder said. “[I’m] always finding little tiny pieces of plastic from ego columns that seem to spontaneously regenerate themselves.” 

But lucky for Moder, there is a silver lining to her pet peeve. Being conscious of her distaste for a messy classroom environment helps Moder regroup and focus more on her classroom environment.

“It makes me feel like I need to stop everything that I’m doing and clean my room,” Moder said. “And so it ends up being nice because I ended up having a clean room.”