Will Have To Make It Up Later

| AR, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Family & Kids

(On Fridays, our band director usually allows free days for the music class. Today, however, he has invited a class of second graders over for the next twenty minutes or so. Let it be noted that I am female, and don’t usually wear makeup. Today, though, I chose to wear my ‘dark look.’ It’s just black makeup and my hair all to one side, since my resting facial expression allows me to pull this off. Of course, with second graders, they are awfully nosy. There is no exception with this particular girl.)

Second-Grade Girl: “Why are you wearing makeup?”

Me: “Why aren’t you?”

(There is a brief silence from the other girls in my class, until one with a better-than-thou attitude tries to butt in.)

Girl #1: “Oh, my God, [My Name], I can’t believe you said that to a little kid!”

(The band director pulled me aside and talked to me about it, but the expression on everybody’s face when I said that made it all worth it!)


Erasing Your Self-Confidence

| Paramus, NJ, USA | Games, Teachers

(When I was in elementary school, we had old-style blackboards that still used chalk. Each one had a metal strip along the bottom to hold the eraser; the strip spanned the entire length of the blackboard and was about two inches wide. We used to play a game where you balanced the eraser on the edge at one end of the blackboard, and you had X chances to push the eraser along the strip. If by the end of those chances, the eraser was balanced on the edge at the other end of the strip, you gained a point. If it fell off the side or went over the edge, you lost a point. One day, our teacher is lecturing while walking back and forth across the front of the room, idly pushing the eraser along the strip. At one point it falls off the side.)

Student: “Negative one!”

Teacher: *looks at him, bewildered* “Is that your IQ or the number of friends you have?”


Not Presentation And Correct

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Bizarre/Silly, Teachers

(I’m in a third year sociology class, giving a group presentation. I’m also, like most of the class, not a sociology student as the class is mandatory for another, somewhat unrelated, degree. The teacher picked our utterly ridiculous topic of ‘how globalisation has affected craftwork development’ and we’ve made the best of it. I present first, introducing the history of it with a somewhat improvised and note-free speech. The next presenter gets up to speak on how it’s been enhanced, using her word-for-word prepared speech.)

Student #1: “Globalisation has allowed the increasing use—”

Teacher: “Stop right there. Look up at me, not your notes while talking.” *bemused, she does so* “Now go.”

Student #1: *goes back to reading speech* “Globa—”

Teacher: “No, look up. Okay, now tell me what you’ve just said without looking at your notes.”

(My co-presenter stumbles through a summary of her speech so far and is allowed to continue, taking twice as long because she has to find her spot again.)

Teacher: “You have to think like you’re at an international conference presenting this.” *starts banging on the table* “They do this when they approve.”

(She continues banging on the table for the rest of the presentation whenever someone says something she agrees with. Student #1 finishes and the other presenter gets up. He takes a seat by the computer.)

Teacher: “No, stand in front of the screen.”

Student #2: “But I have to change the slides. The others don’t know when to change them.”

(The teacher grumbles but allows it. Student #2 delivers his somewhat dry, word-for-word prepared speech on how craftwork has been ruined by globalisation, using his own experience as a blacksmith. He gets through with only minor interruptions asking for him to summarise what he just said (like Student #1), until:)

Teacher: “Stop! Look at the pictures.” *we all look at his current slide, a bunch of random but related pictures* “Do you see what you’ve done?”

Student #2: “Um… no?”

Teacher: “Come back here. Come on, come back to the back of the room and look.”

Student #1: *whispers to me, as [Student #2] goes back* “How long was this presentation meant to be again?”

Me: “Thirty minutes.”

Student #1: “And it’s been?”

Me: “Just hit forty now and [Student #2] still has to finish up and I’ve gotta sum everything up after that.”

Student #1: “What’s the bet [Teacher] complains about us taking too long?”

Me: “Not even going to bet.”

(She didn’t complain, thank goodness. She gave us a very good mark despite the issues her constant interruptions caused but was replaced by the uni the following week for a completely unrelated reason. The new teacher actually let the other groups present!)


The Sugary High

| Seattle, WA, USA | Criminal/Illegal, Language & Words

(This happens in math class, two days before Thanksgiving break. My math teacher is an old, conservative man. Somehow, we get on the topic of going to other countries over the break.)

Teacher: “My family and I love to travel. My daughter has a boyfriend, and he’ll travel to Mexico, just to get Coke.”

(Cue laughter from a class of 14- to 16-year-olds. Meanwhile, the teacher has realized what he said and is desperately trying to fix the situation.)

Teacher: “Wait, no! I meant Coca-Cola! He likes the real sugar!”

(Seeing our teacher so flustered just adds to the laughter. It took a minute or two, but he finally got the class back on track. People still giggled about it occasionally until class ended.)


Teacher Challenge? Let’s Dance

| Louisville, KY, USA | Awesome, Musical Mayhem, Teachers

(My high school gym teacher was also the coach for the school’s cross-country team. He had a great sense of humor and liked to give his students nicknames. He also liked to make us do cross-country training drills all class. One of the girls he nicknamed “China Girl” after the David Bowie song.)

Gym Teacher: “I’ll make a deal with you guys, if anyone brings in the song the next time we have class, you can have the entire period free.”

(The next day we have class, I wander up to him and pull out the David Bowie CD with “China Girl” on it that I borrowed from my dad.)

Me: “I believe we had a deal.”

Gym Teacher: *laughing* “I seriously didn’t think anyone would do it!” *to the rest of the class* “Bow down to [My Name]! She just saved you!”

(We got the free period!)