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    Category: Students

    Having A Ball With The Bully

    | NY, USA | Bully, Geeks Rule, Students

    (I am fairly well-known as kind of odd and geeky, and have been teased and mocked all my life for my various quirks. Lately, I’ve figured out a method to deal with people being jerks. The classmate in question is spectacularly obnoxious, and has seen me playing Pokémon while waiting for class to start on several occasions. We are working in groups.)

    Obnoxious Classmate: *stumbles repeatedly over pronunciation of an Italian word*

    Me: *politely* “It’s actually [correct pronunciation].”

    Classmate: *angry and offended* “Oh, what do you know about it? Go buy an ultra ball and leave the rest of us to actually STUDY!”

    Me: “Actually, I generally get pokéballs; they’re the most cost-effective. Great balls and ultra balls have higher catch rates, but the increased expense is far higher; an ultra ball is twice as likely to catch, true, but six times as expensive — meaning it’s more effective and cost-efficient to just buy six poke balls, for six times the capture chance.”

    Classmate: “…”

    (He never bothered me about playing Pokémon again!)

    The Canterbury Wails

    | USA | Books & Reading, Rude & Risque, Students

    (I am a junior in high school taking a course on early British literature. At the moment, we are reading The Canterbury Tales. My teacher breaks us into groups and assigns us each a tale to act out. One group is assigned The Miller’s Tale, a sexually explicit story about a cheating wife. Their turn:)

    Girl: *in character* “No, we mustn’t. We can’t!”

    Boy: *in character* “Of course we can! Nobody will know!”

    (He then proceeds to lift the girl onto a table at the front of the room and physically simulate intercourse, complete with moans and banging on the table. My best friend, in the group, holds out a yard stick with the word ‘censored’ taped to it. The class is dying of laughter at this point. Our teacher has buried her head in her arms at her desk and refuses to look up.)

    Group: *when finished* “The end!”

    Teacher: *after several moments* “I am so glad an administrator was not walking by.”

    (The door to our classroom was wide open. Years later when I visited her classroom, she introduced me as “[My Name]. Her class is the reason we don’t act anything out anymore.”)

    Teaching With Love

    | Spain | Family & Kids, Students

    (I am an American, but am currently living in Spain teaching English. I’m teaching a five-year-old girl about different ‘family’ vocabulary. She has just learned the word ‘mom.’)

    Girl: “Do you have a mom?”

    Me: “Yes, of course!”

    Girl: “Where is your mom?”

    Me: “Well, she is in the United States. That’s where I’m from.”

    Girl: *starting to look quite concerned* “But when will she come to visit you here?”

    Me: “She’s pretty far away so she won’t be able to visit me here, but I’ll get to see her again soon when I go back to the US.”

    Girl: *absolutely devastated* “Doesn’t she love you?!”

    Projecting His Voice

    | San Diego CA, USA | Excuses, Students

    (It is the day a month-long book report project is due. The student in question has a habit of submitting work late, but is usually respectful. All of the students have turned in their amazing work…and then this happens:)

    Me: “[Student], I’m waiting for your project. Do you have it today?”

    Student: “No. I’m going to need more time to finish.”

    Me: *rolling eyes* “Really? What’s your excuse this time?”

    Student: “I didn’t understand the instructions.”

    Me: “So, even though I explained the project on day one, again on our check-in day two weeks later, and a third time with one week to go…and continued to ask if anyone had any questions, you still didn’t understand the project?”

    (The rest of the class is beginning to snicker at this point.)

    Student: “Oh, ah…” *mumbles* “I mean that I needed supplies. I didn’t have any supplies to do the art portion.”

    Me: “So, for the last two weeks, when I continued to announce to the class that I had supplies available for anyone who needed them, you chose to ignore me?”

    (Snickering gets louder.)

    Student: “Well… um… I didn’t know I had to be ready today! I just need a few more days, really!”

    Me: “So, remember the day we met about the project? Half-way through? I asked everyone about the status of their work. I sat with you and you assured me that: 1) You had finished your book; 2) You had been taking notes; 3) No, you didn’t need any supplies; and 4) You would be done and ready on time. Remember that?”

    (Student nods his head.)

    Me: “And, that big red countdown clock on the wall behind me… You do see that, right? So… care to tell me another story?”

    Student: *mumbles*

    Me: “Sorry? I didn’t quite get that.”

    (His face goes from rage to shock to pale in the space of five seconds.)

    Student: *raising his voice* “I said f*** off! I’ll turn it in when I’m damn ready to turn it in!”

    (The class is silent for about five seconds, and then a collective ‘OOOOOOH’ rises from the students, gaining in volume and pitch.)

    Me: “Well, [Student], I guess you just earned that extra time. You can complete your project while you’re home on suspension.”

    (That was two weeks ago. I’m still waiting for that project…)

    That Choice Rings Hollow

    | NSW, Australia | Students

    (We are asked to list five things we would take with us if we had to leave the country.)

    Classmate #1: “My dog, my fiancé—”

    Classmate #2: “Oh, you’re good… I just took the ring!”


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