Here is a selection of conversations that I never imagined would really happen in a classroom before I started teaching:
- ‘But space is not really real is it’. This was at the end of a whole unit of work on the solar system. The poor child was convinced that I had been teaching her utter rubbish because space does not really exist, it is simply something made up for sci-fi movies. As far as misconceptions go this was a whopper and I couldn’t quite believe that I had missed it throughout the entire topic.
- ‘My mum says…’. Beware any sentence that starts like this. One very memorable example which had me struggling to control my reaction was a response to the question ‘Why do people have sex?” (it was a Y7 Biology lesson). I picked a very sweet, polite young lady to answer and was certainly not expecting ‘ My mum says its for drugs and money’. Right, I was expecting something along the lines of ‘to make babies’ or ‘for pleasure’. Expect the unexpected.
- ‘See you …’. When you dismiss a class with the sentence with ‘See you next…’ please make sure their lesson is not on a Tuesday. Enough said.
- ‘RC Circuits’. Just say it aloud. Then when you teach electronic principles to Y10 boys, make sure you call them CR Circuits. Lesson Learned.
- ‘Capacitors do what?’. Ok, in hindsight I should have seen this one coming. So to speak. When the charge flows out of a capacitor it discharges. Apparently the same class who thought RC Circuits were hilarious also think drawing capacitor discharge curves is pretty funny.
- ‘Miss is a What?’. In my second year of teaching, I learned a valuable lesson about questioning students when you honestly have no idea what their answer will be. I kept a student back after class to talk about the graffiti on his exercise book. He declined to tell me what the offending statement meant, but did tell me that the student next to him had written it. I made him explain. Poor Lad. The student sitting next to him had written ‘Miss is a MILF’. I gave him a new book. Get yourself and urban dictionary before you go into a classroom. It will be easier for everyone.
- ‘Stop your random ejaculations’. This was a sentence spoken by a colleague in a moment of frustration at an overly chatty class. The students only knew one definition for ejaculation, and it was not the one the teacher had in mind when speaking it.
- ‘Our other teacher…’. I once had a class that I taught all their science lessons to, but timetabling meant that one of the lessons was not in my usual room. At the end of the Easter term (Yes, that is after 2/3 of the school year) one of the students said to me ‘Our other science teacher set us this homework, why am I handing it in to you?’. It turns out he thought I was a different teacher when I was in the other room.
- ‘King Who?’. A colleague delivered a PSHE Lesson about King Cnut. Some of the homework she got back made great, if slightly X-rated, reading!
- ‘What Country are you from?’. This question perplexed me somewhat. I was raised near Oxford, England. One student was convinced that I was from abroad because I spoke ‘weird’. The rest of the class spent quite a while explaining to her the concept of regional accents, and that in actual fact she was the one with a broad Essex accent and that I was, in fact, speaking regular English. She remains unconvinced to this day.
- ‘Like charges repel’. Having established that I do actually speak the Queen’s English, this phrase caused some confusion amongst my students. One was so truly shocked that I was suddenly speaking ‘Essex’ she refused to write down this physics principle until I rephrased it.
- ‘What have you drawn?’. I always warn my students about my drawing ability, and frequently resort to drawing a box with ‘cat’ or ‘tree’ written inside. When teaching moments, I tried to draw a man holding a fishing rod…….
12 Hilarious Classroom Conversations