Educators see and experience a lot of unique things during their time in the classroom—to say the least!
And while seriousness, focus, and a desire to exceed goals are important ingredients in the recipe for educational success, the reality of teaching—for many hours per day and during most days of the year, it should be emphasized—is that occasional funny moments do appear. What's more is that when these moments appear, the best thing teachers, students, and faculty can do is take a step back and laugh.
To highlight the day-to-day struggles and eventual hilarities of the contemporary classroom, let's take a look at five funny stories from educators!
1. The Raisin Reason
During one particularly uneventful—meaning no crying, fighting, or acting up—elementary lunch period, a first-grade student approached his teacher, who happened to be the lunch supervisor on this particular day.
The student explained that his grandmother had made him cookies, and that he always loved her cookies, and that her cookies were probably the best in the world. And after the teacher politely nodded and affirmed her way through this dialogue, the student held up one his multicolored raisin cookies, inspecting it, and asked, "Why are some raisins black and some yellow?"
The teacher smiled, nodded, and prepared to affirm her way through the dialogue, realizing just before she spoke that a simple "yes" wouldn't cut it here. Stumped, she admitted that she did not know why some raisins were black and some were yellow—she hadn't thought about it before. With just a few minutes left in the lunch period, the teacher flagged down a second-grade educator, who was walking in the direction of the gym to pick her class up from PE.
The first-grade teacher repeated the student's question, and the second-grade teacher responded, "Black raisins are made from red grapes, and yellow raisins are made from green grapes."
The first-grade teacher thanked her coworker for the assistance and noted that she probably should have been able the answer the question herself.
The student indicated that he was satisfied, but added, "I guess that's why she teaches second grade and you teach first grade—she's a little bit smarter."
The teacher promptly walked away and started to coordinate the dismissal process.
2. Mark Twain's Advice is Issued in Vain
With the warm air and excitement of summer rushing through the middle school halls, students began to gossip about the approaching summer vacation and weekend plans and, of course, one another. As it happened, students gossiped during the first period, the second period, the third period, and so on, without any sort of break whatsoever.
An English teacher was rightfully fed-up with the gossip she overheard, and when the last period of the day was nearing its end, she turned to one especially mean-spirited group of students and said, in the words of Mr. Twain, "It's better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
One of these students promptly responded, "What does it mean to remove all doubt?"
Instead of launching into a full-fledged explanation or a diatribe on irony, the teacher shook her head and allowed the day's final bell to ring. Some lessons need more time to tackle than others.
3. The Trading-Card Technicality
In a relatively well-behaved kindergarten class, a teacher filtered throughout the room while his students completed their holiday-themed art projects, which they planned to then bring home to their parents. He approached a table of three boys comparing trading cards, and when they saw him, they shuffled and shifted nervously.
"What are you guys doing?" asked the teacher pleasantly.
"Trading Pokemon cards," said the bravest student.
"That's nice, but listen, we have to work on our holiday projects now, alright?" said the teacher. Because he really wanted each student's "gift" to be completed before break, he added, "Don't let me see any Pokemon cards out again, alright?"
The student agreed, and the teacher continued checking in on others' progress. About 10 minutes later, he spotted the same group of students leaning down and trading cards. He quickly approached and sternly said, "Guys, I thought we said no more Pokemon cards."
The same boy that previously spoke lifted his head and declared proudly, "I know. These are Digimon cards!"
The teacher sighed, fought off a smile, and acknowledged that he didn't say anything about Digimon cards. Then he made sure to ask the students to finish their holiday projects—no more cards!
4. A Solid Lesson is Hindered by Very, Very Bad Timing
To the dismay of his teacher, one fifth-grade student refused to hang his coat up. Said coat would end up on the floor and desks and play areas—just about everywhere else besides the coat rack. After issuing ample warnings and making countless requests—with the usual reasoning being that the student would be in sixth grade soon, and sixth graders don't toss their coats wherever they want—the teacher became frustrated and decided to act.
She picked the student's coat up off the floor in front of the chalkboard and placed it in the garbage can, which had a new bag, intending to remove it after a few moments and to provide a meaningful lesson in the process. In those unfortunate few minutes, fate, as it so often does, disrupted careful plans. A different student leaped from her desk, covered her mouth, and threw up…right on top of the student's coat!
The teacher sealed the area off and phoned the jacket owner's home. While damage to the coat appeared to be minimal, it did in fact get tagged, and she explained the situation in full and offered to have the item dry cleaned.
The parent on the other end was also annoyed with the youngster's penchant for tossing his coat wherever was convenient, and he said, "No. Send it home in the garbage bag!"
Needless to say, the teacher was very relived and a little taken aback. If this didn't teach the student to hang his coat, nothing would!
5. Unfortunate—and Unfortunately Amusing—Plans for the Future
High school educators also encounter their fair share of peculiar behavior and odd conversation. And as high school teachers can attest to, when students begin talking to one another, they, for some wild reason, seem to assume that no one else can hear them.
A student told his friend that he wanted to be an astronaut when he grew up—because he wanted to be the first person to land on the sun!
The friend, incredulous and surprised, responded that the sun was way too hot to land on; it just couldn't be done.
The student indicated that he had planned ahead for this dilemma; he would land at night.
Their science teacher, who had overheard the entire exchange, simultaneously smiled in amusement and rubbed his head in frustration.
As was mentioned initially, there's a lot more to school than lesson plans and tests; teaching individuals during life's most fun years will produce no shortage of comical moments and laughter. The amusing stories included here represent the tip of the iceberg, and educators who don't yet have stories of their own will have stories of their own before long.
Thanks for reading, and here's to making memories and surpassing goals in the classroom!