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    A Window Of Opportunity

    | AL, USA | Awesome, Teachers

    (I am in a sophomore chemistry class, and our teacher is less than helpful. Her explanations aren’t working for most of us. We have chemistry lab with a different teacher, and she would always answer our questions significantly better. My friends and I got caught by our sophomore teacher asking the lab teacher a question and she told us to come to her for help instead. We had no intentions of doing so, but when we next want to ask a question, they are both in the same room.)

    Me: *before going into the room* “So what do we do?”

    Classmate: “I have an idea!”

    (My classmate wrote a sign that said “Please help us! Library. Third Period. Friday.” I slithered through the bushes and popped up at the window by the lab teacher’s desk with our sign and held a finger over my mouth. She saw me, nodded subtly, and winked. What she taught me built the foundation for six semesters of college chemistry!)

    Needs To Go On A Pop Culture Odyssey

    | USA | Movies & TV, Teachers

    (I am doing homework in the lobby while my sister is doing her class; namely, she’s reading the Odyssey. My karate teacher notices this, and talks to me about it while we’re stretching.)

    Teacher: “So you’re reading The Odyssey?”

    Me: “Yup.”

    Teacher: “What part are you on?”

    Me: “The part where Odysseus goes to the kingdom whose name I can’t pronounce.”

    Teacher: “Are you at the part of the sirens yet?”

    Me: “No. Don’t spoil it for me!”

    Teacher: “That’s like the oldest book! Asking for no spoilers is like asking for no spoilers for The Lion King!”

    Me: “…”

    Teacher: *face turns to shock* “You haven’t watched The Lion King!?”

    Me: “Nope.”

    Teacher: “You had a sad childhood. Did you at least watch Toy Story?”

    Me: “Nope.”

    Teacher: *stares* “…You had a dark, sad childhood…”

    Me: *attempting to make him stop mock-pitying me* “I watched Toy Story 3, though.”

    Teacher: “…You mean you watched it without watching the first two?”

    Me: “Yeah…”

    Teacher: *makes some sort of plus sign with his fingers, or perhaps an X, and shakes his head disapprovingly*

    Me: “What’s that supposed to mean?!”

    Teacher: *walks away* “Don’t talk to me.”

    Eclipsing Your Knowledge

    | Dallas, TX, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Students

    (I overhear this exchange several weeks into my AP physics class.)

    Girl #1: “Do we have gravity on the moon?”

    Girl #2: “I don’t know; ask me when I’m awake.”

    The Desk Doctor

    | Joplin, MO, USA | Geeks Rule, Language & Words, Movies & TV

    (I’m observing in a middle school classroom and during the “Advisory” class period they are having free time right after the teacher changes a few student’s seats around. A surly girl is seated (in a four chair cluster) with a quiet boy. I hear them arguing. They are the only two at the cluster.)

    Me: “Hey, guys, what’s going on?”

    Girl: “He says that all three of these desks are his.”

    Me: “Okay.” *to boy* “Why do you feel that these are yours?”

    Boy: *straightens glasses* “Because I and [Other Boy] each had two desks. We agreed that if either of us left their second desk would go to whichever one of us was still here. So that desk is also mine now.”

    Me: *starting down a dangerous and unprofessional path because of humor reasons* “Go get [Other Boy]. I will require his testimony in this case.”

    (The boy goes and gets [Other Boy].)

    Me: “Now, did you and [Boy] have an agreement about the ownership of the desks if one of you were to leave?”

    Other Boy: “I think [Girl] should get the desk. It’s not fair.”

    Me: “I did not ask you what you thought; I asked you if you had a prior verbal contract with [Boy] regarding desk ownership.”

    Other Boy: “Yes, we did.”

    Me: “That the second desk would go to the remaining occupant?”

    Boy: “Yes, but that’s not fair to—”

    Me: “Thank you, you can go back to your desk.”

    (The other boy leaves and I inform the children that. I will need a few minutes to deliberate. At this point, I notice that the boy has been writing up an official Declaration of War against the girl and I have decided that he is my favorite child EVER.)

    Me: “I have come to a conclusion. This decision is to be accepted by both of you. Do you agree?”

    (They do.)

    Me: “Due to the standing verbal contract between the current occupant and the previous occupant, it is clear to me that I have no choice but to support said agreement. However, due to the unfair nature of the agreement and the new occupant’s lack of knowledge regarding it, I will only allow it to stand for the rest of this week. At the end of the week, the second desk will return to the territory of [Girl]. In the meantime, no wars are to be begun, no shots fired, or the desk will return immediately instead of at the end of the week. Are we clear?”

    Boy: “I’m sorry; I don’t speak Doctor Who.”

    Me: “What?”

    Boy: “You sounded like The Doctor. My vocabulary isn’t up to that level yet; could you say it again?”

    Me: “That’s the best compliment I’ve ever received.”

    Girl: “Why? That’s not a compliment.”

    Boy: “If you’re a Doctor Who fan, it is.”

    Me: *rephrases terms in middle-school appropriate language rather than trying to sound like the smartest person in the room*

    (And like The Doctor, that’s the story of how I averted a war and got the BEST COMPLIMENT EVER from a 12-year-old.)

    My Dream School Teachers


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