A Very Plane Teaching Method

| USA | Language & Words, Math & Science

(Our math teacher is explaining to us what coplanar means: that two or more objects are on the same plane.)

Teacher: *holds up two pieces of paper* “We can all agree that these two papers are both planes, right?”

Class: “Yes!”

Teacher: *points to whiteboard* “We can all agree that the whiteboard is a plane too, right?”

Class: “Yes!”

Teacher: *puts papers on whiteboard* “Okay, so now any points on both of these two planes are now coplanar because they are on the same plane, right?”

Class: “Yes!”

Student #1: “So we have two planes on a plane?”

Teacher: “Yes.”

Me: *referring to the fact that both papers are blank* “So we also have two plain planes on a plane?”

Teacher: “Yes, and if you fold those two planes a certain way, you would have two flying planes.”

Student #2: “Now that’s just plain funny!”

You’ll Learn That In Another Period

| CA, USA | Health & Body

(I’m in seventh grade English. Our teacher is out, so we have a sub. We are watching a documentary on Anne Frank, currently at a scene where she’s sitting on a toilet and crying. Note I’m a female and not even sure why she’s crying.)

Girl: *to substitute* “Why is she crying?”

Sub: “She started her period.”

Boy: *turns to me* “What’s a period?”

(I don’t know how to explain what it is to a guy.)

Me: “In you start bleeding from a certain spot.”

Boy: “Which spot?”

Me: *shrug*

(I hope that guy later learned what it is.)

When You’re Seriously Sick Of Graphs

| Philadelphia, PA, USA | Language & Words, Math & Science

(I am a student in a high school algebra class. This exchange happens between our teacher and another student.)

Teacher: “So, when you have a function that is raised to the second power, it is called a quadratic. Its graph will be in the shape of a U. We call that graph a parabola.”

Student #1: *raises hand* “Wait, is that the thing that’s been in the news?”

Teacher: *pause*

Student #2: “No, that’s Ebola!”

Student #1: “Oh, so, is it the same thing?”

Teacher: “No. One is a type of graph and the other is a disease.”

Student #1: “I thought that since they both end in ‘bola’ they must be the same thing.”

Teacher: *longer pause*

Teaching Them How To Be Yes-Men

| San Antonio, TX, USA | San Antonio, TX, USA | Students

(Teacher is finishing up the lesson so we can go to the computer lab to do other work.)

Teacher: “Okay, so before we go to the lab, you guys understand [design style #1]?

All Students: “Yes”

Teacher: “Do you understand [design style #2]?

Students: “Yes”

Teacher: “Do you understand [design concept]?”

Students: “Yes”

Me: “Are we all saying yes just to say yes?”

Students: *laughing* “Yes.”

Driving Home The Point

| WI, USA | Students, Transportation

(It is the first day of Driver’s Ed, and the teacher is about to start the class.)

Teacher: “The first thing I want to say is that I don’t think teenagers should be driving. I don’t think teenagers should be in Driver’s Ed. I have a teenage son, and I refuse to let him take Driver’s Ed until I’m convinced that he knows enough about driving.”

(The entire class is struck speechless by this point, since we’re all between the ages of 15 and 17. The teacher proceeds to hand out pages that outline, in gruesome detail, what happens to a person in a car accident. By the end of the first day of class, I overhear some of the other students.)

Classmate #1: “Well, now I’m terrified of driving!”

Classmate #2: “I know! I don’t ever want to get behind the wheel of a car!”

(I’m surprised that any of us ever managed to get our driver’s licenses!)