Category: Ignoring/Inattentive

Hoping It’s Just An iFad

| Buffalo, NY, USA | Ignoring/Inattentive, Teachers, Technology

(My physics teacher is… “unorganized,” kind of. Our school uses an iPad program, and he is the only teacher who never puts up his assignments on ‘Schoology,’ an app the entire school uses for almost anything relating to the school, including posting notes and assignments for students, communicating to others, submitting work, and announcing events. Because of this, most work is done on our iPads. He has told us a few weeks ago to do a specific exercise on finding the horsepower of a car. He never told us to put it on paper, and the students who did remember (it’s not uncommon for people to forget) did this work electronically.)

Teacher: “All right, hand up your work for horsepower.”

Everyone: “Wait, what? We have to hand it in?”

Teacher: “Oh. I probably should’ve told you to put it on paper.”

Dumbed It Down To The Bottom

| ON, Canada | Ignoring/Inattentive, Students

(At a mandatory training day with a bunch of coworkers, we are listening to the lecture and following along in our handouts. There are a couple of guys that are chatting and disturbing the rest of the group. After discussing a particularly difficult concept the teacher asks one of the group disturbing the rest some questions to see if he was paying attention.)

Teacher: “[Coworker], can you please reiterate what I just said to the group?”

Coworker: *mumbling, haltingly, reads out the related confusing paragraph from the handout*

Teacher: “Thank you. Can you put that in your own words for us? Dumb it down in case there is anyone who didn’t catch the drift.”

Coworker: “Well… if have a thing that you don’t mean to have… or shouldn’t have a thing… if you might have it you need to get another thing… or just not have a thing… or something.”

Teacher: *faltering for something to say* “Well, that certainly was… dumber… so… thank you?”

Your Reasoning Doesn’t Add Up

| Basingstoke, England, UK | Ignoring/Inattentive, Math & Science, Teachers

(Due to issues with my family, when it came to time to do my GCSEs — the last exams of mandatory education in the UK — I did far worse than expected. A few years later I’m trying to get the important two, maths and English, covered. English goes fine, but I had for some time strongly suspected that I have a learning disability called dyscalculia which affects, among other things, my ability with numbers and basic mathematics. My teacher has me see a specialist who confirms this. Then we have this conversation once we’d moved onto the maths.)

Teacher: “Hm, well, it seems like a lot of the problems you’re having are because you don’t know your times tables.”

Me: “Yes, I know. I told you that I’ve never been able to learn them.”

Teacher: “Well, we need to get you to learn them. Once you learn them, you’ll be able to do division with no trouble, and-”

Me: “Uh, I’m not sure that’s going to happen. Believe me, I’ve tried to learn. Unless you have a magic wand-”

Teacher: “No, it’s fine. Here—” *she pulls some papers out of her folder; a times tables square and some basic times tables number puzzles* “Do these. They’ll help you to learn them.”

Me: “I’ve used things like this before. Over and over, in fact. It doesn’t help.”

Teacher: “Give it a go. It got all of my sons to learn their times tables.”

Me: *after a long pause of being too stunned to respond* “Do your sons have DYSCALCULIA?!”

Teacher: “No, but it worked on all of them! Give it a go.”

Me: “My parents had me use these before! They. Didn’t. Work.”

Teacher: “Do them. They’ll work.”

(My parents used to lock me in my room with nothing to do until I “stop being lazy and learn the times tables” with sheets just like these. It was like trying to decipher a foreign language with no context. It worked about as well at this point as it did in my childhood. This was when I stopped trying to get a better grade. The good news is that eight years later I’m training to be a counselor,  and nobody gives a d*** about my mathematical ability!)

Do You C What I C

| USA | Ignoring/Inattentive, Math & Science, Teachers, Travel

(This all happens in one math class. Most of the students are away on a field trip and there is a very relaxed atmosphere. One student stands in the back of the classroom bouncing a badminton shuttlecock on a racket.)

Student #1: “This is [Name]. He’s on exchange from Denmark and he’s going to all of my classes this week. This is his first day at [School].”

Several Students: “Hi!”

Teacher: “Today I’m going to be introducing vectors.”

(She explains what vectors are and then starts showing us a proof of something but she makes mistakes so it takes a long time and we get confused. In the meantime, the student in the back loses control of the shuttlecock and it very narrowly misses the exchange student’s head. She apologises, retrieves the shuttlecock, and keeps going.)

Teacher: *still writing out the proof* “So then we simplify that and get C equals…”

(She pauses, looking confused.)

Student #1: “C equals C. We did all that and just proved C equals C.”

Teacher: “No. That’s shouldn’t be right.”

Other Students: “We proved C equals C! We didn’t prove anything!”

(We laugh uncontrollably.)

Teacher: “Well, anyway…”

(She abandons the proof and moves onto other topics.)

Teacher: “These vectors are parallel. These vectors are orthogonal. That’s just another word for perpendicular. Let’s look at an example. Can someone tell me what the relationship between these two vectors is?”

Student #2: “There’re orthodontal vectors.”

Teacher: “That’s right, but the word is orthogonal. Now just so there’s no confusion for our exchange student orthogonal means parallel but orthodontal has to do with getting braces.”

(She draws a pair of orthogonal vectors and a set of teeth on the whiteboard and labels them appropriately. This is the first and only thing she explains clearly in the entire lesson. We are all laughing. The exchange student sat silently for the entire 90-minute lesson and probably had a terrible first impression of American education.)

How Do You Say “I Don’t Speak French” In German?

| UK | Ignoring/Inattentive, Teachers

(I have just started year nine of high school, prior to which we all chose what subjects we wanted to take for the last three years. I select German as my language, but somehow end up in the class with the French teacher I was trying to avoid. She is extremely stern and well known for refusing to listen to students. It should also be noted I’m well known for being impertinent and having a short temper.)

Teacher: *starts waffling about French class*

Me: *raising hand* “Um, excuse me, miss, I th—“

Teacher: *cutting me off* “No! You will not speak until I call on you!”

Me: “Okay, but—“

Teacher: *cutting me off again* “—be silent!”

(At this point I realise she isn’t going to listen so I shrug, put my hand down, and wait. Everyone else is taking notes or has their French books out; I don’t because obviously my book is German. After thirty minutes she finally stops speaking and asks if we have any questions, so I raise my hand.)

Teacher: “What is it now?!”

Me: “Miss, I was trying to tell you my timetable put me in the wrong class, I’m meant to be in German not French.”

Teacher: “Why didn’t you say so?!”

Me: “I tried; you cut me off and told me to be silent.”

(The class giggles.)

Teacher: “You shouldn’t be here!”

Me: “I know. That’s what I was trying to tell you.”

(She got very flustered, found out where I was supposed to go, and sent me on my way, though by now there were only 15 minutes left of my German class. I spent all of it regaling the group about my wasted period, and my German teacher was a very lovely woman who thought it was hilarious.)

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