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Category: Teachers

Third World Problem Solving

| London, England, UK | Awesome, Geography, Politics, Students, Teachers

(Our geography class has been divided into groups, each representing a country, and sent to a table in the school dining hall. The tables are filled with a mix of paper, pencils, scissors and rulers. Each country is given $500 of its local currency and we are told we have to create shapes from the paper to sell at the world bank, who is represented by our usual geography teacher. The catch is that countries like the UK and USA have lots of scissors, pencils, and rulers but not much paper, and the third world countries have lots of paper. Since their national currency isn’t worth anything they cannot afford to buy the scissors or rulers to cut their paper, but rich countries with lots of money can buy the paper really cheap and make shapes to sell. I wound up in a third world country and decide I wasn’t going to lose, so I take all of our paper and money and go to the USA.)

Me: “Hi. I’m from Ghana but we’re losing badly. If I give you my nation’s resources and money can I be American?”

USA Team Member: “No. Go away.”

Me: “Okay, fine.”

(I go to the UK instead.)

Me: “Hi. I’m from Ghana but we’re losing badly. If I give you my nation’s resources and money can I be a UK citizen?”

UK Team Member: “Sure. Just start cutting out squares quick.”

(My best friend is also in a third world nation and decides he wants to win, too, and cheats by stealing from other countries and ‘sneaking’ across international borders when restrictions of trade were put in place. At the end of the class we are speaking to the head teacher.)

Me: “So, you aren’t annoyed that I cheated my way into another country?”

Head Teacher: “You stole your countries natural resources and sold them out for personal gain… Who said that was cheating?”

Me: “You mean to say that although probably not what you expected I behaved exactly like someone with power in a third world nation might by exploiting his own nation to benefit himself, right?”

Head Teacher: “Exactly.”

(To this day that ‘geography’ class is still the best education I have ever had on how world politics works.)

Bang Goes Their Education

| Brazil | Extra Stupid, Students, Teachers, Technology

(We are in the electronics lab.)

Teacher: “This is how you use an ammeter to measure the current in a circuit. You should NOT connect an ammeter directly to the power supply, as you’re going to blow up stuff.”

(Suddenly, a loud bang is heard.)

Teacher: “[Student]! What did you do?”

Student: “I connected the ammeter to the power supply and turned it on… I wanted to see how powerful it was.”

Teacher: “[Student], go home. You have failed this class.”

Socially Unacceptable

| Glasgow, Scotland, UK | Bad Behavior, Lazy/Unhelpful, Teachers

(I am in my second year of college. Our sociology teacher is incompetent and infantile. We are close to the end of the year and we’re due to start our last unit; crime and deviance. Due to various scheduling difficulties we end up missing two sociology periods. One day we learn from another lecturer that all the other groups are already half way through the unit while we haven’t even started. We go to the sociology class.)

Teacher: “Okay I have a little ice-breaker activity so we can all have lots of fun before we have to do all the nasty hard work.”

Student: *anxiously* “We are actually going to start the unit today, right?”

Teacher: “Sure! Before we can even think about crime in society we have to think about how we think about other people. So, we’re going to write down all the things we call people.”

Other Student: *confused* “What?”

Teacher: “Just write down all the words you use to describe people. You can even use naughty, sweary words!” *childish giggle* “And then we’ll talk about them.”

(We get started and as time passes it becomes obvious that nothing of worth is going to be taught today. 25 minutes before the end of the class she starts calling on people for answers, squealing and giggling every time someone uses an ‘inappropriate’ term. She gets to me:)

Teacher: “What did you write?”

Me: *reciting in a monotone while fixing my eyes on her* “Infantile. Incompetent. Patronizing. Annoying. Useless.”

Teacher: *joyful squeal* “Your words are sooooooo good! You have a very good vocabulary! In fact you’ve all done so well I’m going to end the class early!”

Student: *while we’re packing up* “I’m going to be revising most of tonight. What sections of the unit booklet should I specifically focus on?”

Teacher: “Oooh, just have a wee flick through when you’ve got the time.”

Student: *panicking slightly* “It’s about 60 pages. Surely it’s not all vital to the exam? I mean we are getting close—”

Teacher: *heading for the door having lost interest* “It’s all in the booklet.”

(In the end absolutely none of the course was taught in class. Instead we were told to do ‘research’ without being told what we were supposed to be looking up and were given very vague hints about what will be in the exam. Astoundingly, we all passed first time. Our lecturer claimed the fact that we missed two periods completely ruined our chances of covering anything in class and whined about the administration being incompetent. I’m just praying we don’t get her next year.)

Has No Street Smarts

| Bay Area, CA, USA | Teachers, Technology

(A former classmate organized a reunion dinner for those who took Japanese class in high school. The teacher, who is near retirement age and a bit slow at technology, gets lost on the way, and we spend over an hour giving her directions by phone. By the time she arrives, everyone has finished eating and the restaurant is closing.)

Classmate #1: “I’m so sorry, Sensei! I should’ve picked somewhere closer!”

Teacher: “No, I’m sorry for being late. I tried to follow your directions, but the street names were confusing.”

Classmate #2: “What kind of phone do you have? Maybe next time you can use the GPS on your phone. Let me see.”

(The teacher shows him her iPhone.)

Classmate #2: “See! You do have a smartphone!”

Teacher: “Yes. But I am not smart, so I don’t know how to use this one.”

Firing Up A Passion For Science

| Vienna, VA, USA | Awesome, Math & Science, Teachers

(My chemistry teacher in high school is a bit of a pyromaniac.)

Teacher: “Today, we’re going to learn about endothermic and exothermic reactions. [Student #1], can you hold this jar for me?”

(Student #1 holds the plastic jar that has two nails driven into the sides. The teacher pours a chemical into the jar, and closes the jar with a rubber cork.)

Teacher: “Okay, [Student #1], I can take the jar. [Student #2], can you take this copper coil and touch one of the nails?”

(Student #2 does as directed, and the rubber cork shoots across the room, putting a dent into the whiteboard.)

Teacher: “Okay, that was an exothermic reaction, caused by electricity. As you can see, the chemical is still on fire. Watch this.”

(The teacher pours the chemical out onto the floor, where it continues to be on fire.)

Teacher: “I love having tile floors. Now watch this.”

(The teacher pours more of the chemical into a line, connecting to the line that is currently on fire. The flame starts to crawl along the line.)

Teacher: “This is also an exothermic reaction.”

Student #3: “Um, Ms. [Teacher], you got some of the chemical on the table leg. Isn’t the table made of wood?”

Teacher: “Oh, crap. Does anyone have a bottle of water handy so I can cause a quick endothermic reaction?”

(This teacher also set fire to an M&M, made Dragon’s Breath for fun, and showed us how marshmallow Peeps inflate and deflate in a vacuum chamber.)


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