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You Suck, Sir
October 24, 2013 2:25 PM   Subscribe

"My students are funny. Sometimes, it's intentional."
posted by holmesian (100 comments total) 101 users marked this as a favorite

 
We reached the heights with the Child Philosopher thread earlier today; I get these are the depths. O Youth! Where did your uncanny wisdom go?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:35 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Me: “What was Hitler’s last name?”
Him: “Hey, he’s so evil, he doesn’t deserve to have his name memorized.”


Like the Night's King!
posted by The Tensor at 2:37 PM on October 24, 2013


Her: “Are Koreans good at nails? I thought Koreans did laundry stuff.”

I don't know why it took me so long, but I just now realized that sometimes an ethnic group can have two or more stereotypical occupations.

Speaking of doing more than one thing, is there a way to page through the archives without going back to the calendar view all the time? I guess alternately, I can open a bunch in new tabs.
posted by ignignokt at 2:38 PM on October 24, 2013


The depths?

Senior Student: “Sir, where did you get that jacket?”

His peers are laughing at me.

Me: “This is my friend’s Members Only jacket. We used to all wear these in the eighties.”

Him: “What were you members of?”

Me: “An exclusive club of cool dudes.”

Him: “Now we know you’re lying.”


Brilliant.
posted by three blind mice at 2:39 PM on October 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


Yeah, this had me laughing out loud more than once. He has a great relationship with his students.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:43 PM on October 24, 2013


Daily interactions with students are what make working in education simply fabulous. These little moments, little funnies, are my joy. One of my very favorite moments happened when a tough young man was sent to my office to discuss a problem he'd been having in class. I'd recently purchased a beta fish for my desk, thinking that it would be entertaining/calming/interesting for students to interact with while they met with me.

Me: So, what seems to be the problem?

Student: What's that? (Points to fish.)

Me: 'That' is a fish.

Student: Why your fish ain't flappin' his wings?

Me: (Looks closer.) Well, I guess he's dead.
posted by WaspEnterprises at 2:45 PM on October 24, 2013 [33 favorites]


My fave:

Grade 11 Student: “Sir, how did you write essays if you didn’t have computers in high school?”

Me: “We used typewriters or wrote it by hand.”
Him: “How about research?”
Me: “Books and libraries.”
Him: “So you spent, like, hours at libraries?”
Me: “As long as it took to do my research.”
Him: “Man, your generation wasted so much time doing simple things.”
Me: “So what do you do with all your free time?”
Him: “I don’t know. Hang out?”


Not that there's anything inherently wrong with hanging out ...
posted by philip-random at 2:48 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Me: “Let’s just say that if I ever went up to another grown man and asked him to be my BFF, I wouldn’t blame him if he punched me in the face.”

Her: “Well, then he’s not your BFF.”


The young lady ain't wrong.
posted by teleri025 at 2:52 PM on October 24, 2013 [37 favorites]


Grade 11 Student: “Sir, my next class is all the way over in D-wing.”
Me: “Then you better get a move on.”
Him: “Can you call the teacher and let him know I’ll be late?”
Me: “He’ll know you’re late when you show up late.”
Him: “But if you call him and tell him I’m late for a good reason, he won’t give me a detention.”
Me: “You don’t have a good reason. The bell went three minutes ago and you’re still sitting here.”
Him: “But I’m in your presence, soaking up wisdom.”
Me: “Do you think I’m stupid?”
Him: “See? You saw right through me. You’re very wise.”
Me: “Go.”
Him: “Okay.”


I think this was me in HS.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 2:52 PM on October 24, 2013 [40 favorites]


Him: “Man, your generation wasted so much time doing simple things.”

As much as I like the L.A. Public Library, I'm kinda bummed that I'm no longer in Boston to take advantage of my alma mater's alumni lending privileges. I love wasting time at libraries.
posted by mykescipark at 2:53 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I remember a college English teacher who used to bring a sack lunch to school every day, and leave it sitting by the window. For one assignment, we were supposed to bring in an object, then do an unscripted lecture on it. I had forgotten to bring an item (surprise, surprise), so I got up and introduced my lecture on his sack lunch for the day.

He didn't bat an eye, so I proceeded to obtain and empty out his bag, item by item, with my factual-sounding guesses as to why he'd chosen each item, its backstory, and the benefits of including it in the lunch. Most of the items were typical lunch items, and I'd pulled them out blindly, so imagine my delight when the last item removed was an absolutely black banana. Not just over-ripe, but totally and completely black.

Needless to say, the other students found this hilarious, and I didn't even bother to speak; I just held it up, made an appropriate "this speaks for itself" face, and let everyone laugh their asses off (followed by a curt "thank you for your time" and reassembly of the lunch into the bag.)

He stopped me from putting the banana back, thanked me for the lecture, then proceeded to tell us how early banana marketing efforts in the US focused on teaching people not to put bananas in the fridge, because people were doing that to keep 'em longer, and they'd inevitably turn black, causing people to think they were spoiled. With a glimmer in his eye, he advised that it was a triumph of marketing but not of practicality, because inside every refrigerated black banana was -- and he peeled it as he finished the sentence -- a perfectly ripe banana that would last much longer than if it were kept on the countertop.

Then he ate the banana, while we all applauded.
posted by davejay at 2:54 PM on October 24, 2013 [108 favorites]


Me: “Can you please just jump to your request next time?”

God heavens, yes. Students, please take note of this.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:54 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm curious as to what country and/or universe the writer lives in where instructors are called 'Sir' by their students.
posted by dmd at 2:56 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


inside every refrigerated black banana was -- and he peeled it as he finished the sentence -- a perfectly ripe banana that would last much longer than if it were kept on the countertop.

Wait, what??? Is this true?
posted by kmz at 2:56 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Peanuts universe.
posted by sweetkid at 2:57 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Me: “Have you ever heard of Pong?”

Snort.
posted by Slothrup at 2:57 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


MY favorite classroom interaction may be this comment by emmling.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:00 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


After reading the archives for a while, this was just perfect. Ha.

Student: “Sir, if you could buy any car, what would you buy?”

Me: “Hmm, that’s a tough one. I’d probably feel guilty if it was too expensive. It would have to be practical. Something good off road and could fit both my dogs. Maybe a Land Rover?”

Him: “Thanks.”

While they are walking away…

His Buddy: “See? I told you he can’t give a simple answer to anything.”

posted by vytae at 3:00 PM on October 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


Grade 11 Student:  “Sir, if you didn’t have cell phones when you were our age, how did you talk to friends on the phone, especially girls?”
Me:  “We rarely talked too long on the phone back then because everyone’s parents would answer the phone first.  Plus, everyone had only one line to share with the whole family, so no one could hog the line.”
Her:  “That sounds horrible.” 
Me:  “I just realized this is my generation’s walked-barefoot-to-school-in-the-snow story.”



It gets worse. When I was a kid, we were on a rural party line, which meant that not only did you have to share a line with your family, you had to share with your neighbors. If one of the neighbors was on the phone, you could pick up the receiver and hear them, and vice versa, as if the phone was in your own house, and you had to wait your turn for the phone. Also, no answering machines - if you weren't home when someone called, you would never know.

/has smartphone. NEVER talks on the phone.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:03 PM on October 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


Me: “You’re right. How’s the letter F?”

Her: “I’ll make the corrections.”


To be fair, these students are more sensible than some I have had.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:04 PM on October 24, 2013


Too Weird

Senior Student: “Any big plans for the weekend, Sir?”

Me: “Some dinner. Maybe go out for a movie. You?”

Him: “No thanks. It’d be kind of weird.”

Me: “Is this your first conversation?”




I don't know why, this strikes me as hilarious.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:04 PM on October 24, 2013 [92 favorites]


Metafilter: Is this your first conversation?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:05 PM on October 24, 2013 [43 favorites]


I'm curious as to what country and/or universe the writer lives in where instructors are called 'Sir' by their students.

1988-2001, Newfoundland Canada. All male teachers were "Sir." All female teachers were "Miss." Universally, no exceptions ("Miss" had nothing to do with marital status and is, to me, more problematic and odd than "Sir").

I'm sure there are other places that use "Sir." Perhaps other recent British colonies? It's not so absolutely beyond the pale, is it?
posted by erlking at 3:09 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


TRUTH.

Grade 9 Student: “Sir, did you listen to hip hop when you were our age?”

Me: “Only when I was dancing.”

Him: “So all the time?”

Me: “It’s like you were there.”

posted by like_a_friend at 3:11 PM on October 24, 2013 [24 favorites]


One of my cousins teaches in South LA and it's all "sir" and "miss" there as well. It was weird to me; I attended H.S. in rural Minnesota.
posted by craven_morhead at 3:18 PM on October 24, 2013


Me: “Is this your first conversation?”

Adding that one to the ol' Teacher's Toolbox.
posted by absalom at 3:19 PM on October 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


This guy makes it clear at several points that he's in the Vancouver area, particularly when he mentions Richmond BC.
posted by crazy with stars at 3:22 PM on October 24, 2013


I'm in the UK and our schools are still all over Sir and Miss, at least for kids over the age of 11. If I ever find myself in a position of authority over school aged kids, it's all MISS MISS MISS! and very disconcerting.

(historically, married female teachers were not allowed).
posted by emilyw at 3:24 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Grade 11 Student: “Sir, how old are you?”
Me: “Early forties.”
Him: “Wow. You’re older than my dad.”
Me: “Yup.”
Him: “But you don’t seem that old.”
Me: “Thanks, I guess.”
Him: “Do you think about death a lot?”
Me: “I’m thinking about it right now.”
Him: ”Why’re you thinking about your death now?”
Me: ”I didn’t say my death.”
Him: “Oh.”


I officially love this.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:34 PM on October 24, 2013 [67 favorites]


I almost missed all the other pages cos of ridiculously tiny arrows.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:39 PM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


The depths? This basically makes me want to teach.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:40 PM on October 24, 2013


The depths? This basically makes me want to teach.

It's not all this fun.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:46 PM on October 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


I’m sitting in the middle of the classroom while the seniors quietly work. I’m eating a bag of Doritos.

Senior Student: “Sir, what’s up with that?”

Me: “I suspect a few of you are high right now. First one to drool goes to the office.”

Her: “You’re the devil, Sir.”

posted by rtha at 3:56 PM on October 24, 2013 [22 favorites]


Grade 10 Student: “Sir, can we read Twilight in English?”
Me: “I’m sure you can. If it gets boring, try reading it in another language.”
Her: “I meant in English class.”
Me: “Oh, I’m sorry.”
Her: “Well?”
Me: “Oh, we still talking about that? No.”


I love this so, so much.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:01 PM on October 24, 2013 [19 favorites]


Added to the toolbox:

Grade 9 Student: “Sir, we don’t like your detentions.”

Me: “What’s the problem? Don’t be late and you don’t get a detention.”

Her: “But the sign you hang outside the door.”

Me: “Oh, that.”

I grab the large sign behind my desk. It reads in large letters, “FART CLUB IN SESSION.”

Me: “You have to admit it works. None of you have been late since I threatened to hang this outside during detentions.”

Her: “Can’t you use something else?”

Me: “Well, I was considering HERPES CLUB but—“

Her: “Never mind! It’s fine.”
posted by like_a_friend at 4:04 PM on October 24, 2013 [29 favorites]


Very, very funny. Wow, what horrible site design.
posted by Cosine at 4:09 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I watch as a popular senior asks an introverted classmate (Student A) for a piece of his Kit Kat. Student A obliges. Three other students ask for a piece and within a few seconds, Student A is left with nothing. I call Student A to my desk.

Me: “Who’s your best friend here?”
He points to his buddy. I hand Student A my Starbucks card.
Me: “This is fully loaded. You both go buy whatever you want. Just make sure you’re back within thirty minutes.”
Him: “Thanks, Sir!”
After they leave, the popular student raises his hand.
Him: “Hey, how about the rest of us? Why do they get to go?”
Me: “Cuz sometimes, karma’s a teacher.”


And lessons, too!
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:13 PM on October 24, 2013 [54 favorites]


GenjiandProust, that one is one of my favorites.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:14 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


This was done by Paul Bae - a Vancouver teacher/Comic and a sometimes guest on Stop Podcasting Yourself.

On one of these he references Justin Treadua subbing for him and the students fawning over his beauty.
posted by kanata at 4:16 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Senior Student: “Sir, how many times have you fallen in love?”
Me: “Too many to count.”
Him: (To his buddy) “See? He was a playa.”
Me: “No. I was a fool.”
Senior Girl: “Same thing.”
I high-five her.

posted by Navelgazer at 4:24 PM on October 24, 2013 [37 favorites]


A bit of a puzzler, he refers to Benjamins but is in Canada and knows a Newf accent?

...well, okay, I suppose a Canadian might know "Benjamins" from movies etc. But I didn't as a high school kid.

...well, okay, that was 25 years ago and NEVER MIND ALRIGHT SHEESH
posted by hearthpig at 4:24 PM on October 24, 2013


Kids say the darndest things.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:33 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am at my computer eating my lunch. The familiar noon hour sounds of teenagers fill the halls and echo into my room. There is a knock at my door. Standing there with hunched shoulders is one of my eighth graders. He is 6’ 1” with full facial hair who is a gentle giant yet scares his peers due to his size and slight autism.

Me: “Hey, how’s it going?”

Him: “Sir, can I eat lunch here today?”

Me: “Sure, have a seat. I could use the company.”

He sits across from me at my desk, unpacking his lunch. He doesn’t like to talk too much so we both quietly chew on our sandwiches while looking out the window.

Me: “You should really hang out here more often for lunch. I get kind of lonely here.”

Him: “You do?”

Me: “Fo sho!”

He has a huge grin on his face as he takes another bite and looks out the window.

Him: “I made the Honour Roll today.”

Me: “You did? Wow. Now that’s a reason to celebrate!”

I open a drawer and break out a Twix bar.

Me: “We’ll share this after our sandwiches, okay?”

He’s happy.



wow.
posted by dabug at 4:37 PM on October 24, 2013 [26 favorites]


Shkespearean Tragedy
Senior Student: “Sir, if I ever opened a Shakespearean themed deli, I’d have a breakfast item called a Denver Hamlet.”

Me: “I really wish you could put that level of thought into your essays.”


A Shakespearean themed deli! That kid is gonna go places. Automatic A.
posted by Mizu at 4:37 PM on October 24, 2013 [17 favorites]


This strikes me as stuff this teacher wants to say but may not: many of the teachers I know are quite funny, but bite it back because of Reasons. All the same, plenty of these vignettes have made me laugh, so here's to Sir!
posted by wenestvedt at 4:48 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I do a lot of this sort of thing on my Facebook. Apparently it's what keeps my friends checking my status updates.

9th Grade Physical Science this afternoon:
Me: Flammability is an important chemical property. Everybody likes to burn stuff. I love to burn stuff, too. Just not at school. That's bad.
Students: What do you like to burn?
Me: Oh, you know, wood, paper, the still-beating hearts of my enemies.
Students: (Jaws drop. Stunned silence.)
Me: What? You guys don't do that?
Co-Teacher in the room: (Uncomfortable glare)
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:49 PM on October 24, 2013 [29 favorites]


Also, once happened in my (very small) senior "practical writing" class:

Boy student: Yeah, I was with her after the party. We got it on.
Girl student: Bullshit. You wouldn't even know what to say.
Boy student: Yeah, I did. I told her I was like a lion and she was my gazelle.
Me: (Slowly rising from desk, about to break in and say that no girl in the history of ever would fall for such a line.)
Girl student: HAH! What did she say?
Boy student: She swallowed.
Me: (Sitting back down, pretending not to have heard, no longer willing to engage.)
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:52 PM on October 24, 2013


Him: “Hey, he’s so evil, he doesn’t deserve to have his name memorized.”

I hearby petition to call this the Ron Weasley Defense.
posted by The Whelk at 4:53 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


This strikes me as stuff this teacher wants to say but may not: many of the teachers I know are quite funny, but bite it back because of Reasons.

It does indeed depend on the individual school's climate and your class's ability to take a joke. Some are very sensitive for obvious reasons. Still...

Students (because I've said something): Oh my god! You're so rude!
Me: I am never remotely as rude to you as you are to each other.
Students (crestfallen and sadfaced): Oh my god, that's so true...
posted by scaryblackdeath at 4:54 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Grade 11 Student: (Pointing at a line in a book.) “Sir, what does this saying mean?”
Me: “What do you think it means?”
Her: “But I can think of way more certainties than death and taxes.”
Me: “Name one.”
Her: “Love.”
Me: “Not everyone finds love or has it.”
Her: “Everyone has someone in the world waiting to love them. They just need to find each other.”
Me: “Can I write that down?”
Her: “Why?”
Me: “I want you to visit me twenty years from now and I’m going to show you what you just said. It’ll be hilarious.”


Wow - adolescent determinism vs. cynical reality.
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:07 PM on October 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


The kids get to say all kinds of things. The teacher gets to say all kinds of things. It's part of why we teach.
I stood on top of a stool today and said to my students, "Lecture time: Number 1: You know that guy who says 'I'm bad at spelling and grammar, so I just won't try.' Don't be that guy. Number 2: You know that guy who says, 'Ooooh, you spelled that wrong, you dummy.' Don't be that guy either. The only people who get to criticize spelling are your English teacher and your grandmother. End of lecture." I got down from the stool.
"How about my grandfather?" said a student.
posted by Peach at 5:13 PM on October 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


I think this is an excellent answer to a word problem.

Fractions

I am covering for another teacher. It is Math 9 on the subject of fractions.

Me: “Okay, John and Ed are roommates and they’ve just ordered pizza. There are eight slices. Now, John starts eating and leaves Ed three slices. How much of the pizza did John eat?”

Student: “A douche amount.”

posted by Chuffy at 5:14 PM on October 24, 2013 [47 favorites]


Peach: The kids get to say all kinds of things. The teacher gets to say all kinds of things. It's part of why we teach.

I wish my town had more teachers like you, honestly! And fewer parents & administrators who make joy-killing policies that suck the passion out of schools -- both kids' and teachers' passion
posted by wenestvedt at 5:43 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wish my town had more teachers like you, honestly! And fewer parents & administrators who make joy-killing policies that suck the passion out of schools -- both kids' and teachers' passion

No matter what you say or do in a classroom, someone will tell you that it's wrong. And much of it could easily be spun until you're on Fox News as the Most Awful Teacher In America.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:45 PM on October 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


Speaking of doing more than one thing, is there a way to page through the archives without going back to the calendar view all the time? I guess alternately, I can open a bunch in new tabs.

Very small, easy to miss arrows at the bottom of the page. It's one of my biggest complaints about some tumblr pages, terrible page design on some that make navigating a pain.
posted by usagizero at 5:49 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Commotion at the back of the English 8 class.
Me: “What’s going on here?”
Two boys are making a huge fuss and leaning away in disgust from the new, shy girl, who looks mortified.
Boy 1: “She farted, sir! It stinks.”
Me: “Sorry, fellas. That was me. I was hoping no one would notice. My bad.”
I walk away. The class explodes in laughter at me. I glance at the new girl who looks even more confused now.
You always hear stories of teachers sacrificing everything for their students. I now know that at the very least, for these kids, I’ll take the blame for a fart.


What a champ of a teacher!
posted by porn in the woods at 6:20 PM on October 24, 2013 [18 favorites]


inside every refrigerated black banana was -- and he peeled it as he finished the sentence -- a perfectly ripe banana that would last much longer than if it were kept on the countertop.

Wait, what??? Is this true?


Yes, kmz, this is true.


My favorite:
Grade 11 Student: “Sir, Jerry changed my Facebook status behind my back.”

Me: “Then don’t go on Facebook during class time.”

Him: “But he wrote that I have a hairy rear end.”

Me: “I can’t do anything about that.”

Him: “But you’re the teacher!”

Me: “Just shave it or wax it. It’s none of my business.”

Him: “Oh, man.”

posted by BlueHorse at 6:26 PM on October 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


I swear I read these in the voice of my freshman English teacher.

He was the best.
posted by tooloudinhere at 6:36 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


But don't worry, he's still alive!

Irony /end scene
posted by tooloudinhere at 6:42 PM on October 24, 2013


I read all of that, and now I want to go be a teacher.
posted by owlrigh at 7:02 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


These are awesome.

Grade 11 Student: “Sir, what’s the first album you ever bought?”

Me: “Kiss, Destroyer.”

Him: “Is that the name of the band?”

Me: “What?”

Him: “Kiss Destroyer. That’s a cool name.”

Me: “No, no. Kiss is the name of the band.”

Him: “That’s a stupid name.”

Me: “You’re kidding.”

Him: “You’re telling me if you had a band, you’d rather call it Kiss instead of Kiss Destroyer?”

Me: “You’ve got a point.”

posted by oneirodynia at 7:03 PM on October 24, 2013 [14 favorites]


Spring Break

Senior Student: “Sir, what are you going to do for Spring Break?”

Me: “I’m not sure. Probably take my dogs out a lot.”

Him: “You’re not going to party it up?”

Me: “Your forties are going to be a great disappointment to you.”



Wait until he hits 50!
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:20 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Anxiety

In English 11, on the topic of anxiety…

Me: “Anxiety can also be caused by positive experiences. For instance, I remember when I was your age and I really liked this new girl at school. I couldn’t sleep all night just thinking about her.”

Student: “You know what you should have done?”

Me: “Whatever you’re about to say, I’m going to repeat to your mother at the next parent-teacher night.”

Him: “Never mind then.”



My father would have given me an 'attaboy' when he got home.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:33 PM on October 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


Grade 9 Student: “Sir, may I use the hall pass?”
Me: “Where are you going?”
Her: “Just want to go for a walk.”
Me: “I can’t give you the hall pass just to stroll through the halls.”
She looks like she’s been having a rough morning.
Me: “But if you need to go to the restroom, you can have the hall pass.”
Her: “I don’t need to go to the restroom.”
Me: “I don’t think you get me. I’m saying (clearing my throat) you can have the hall pass to go walk to the restroom.”
Her: “But I really just want to go for a walk.”
Me: “Take the hall pass.”


I had drama class 1st period my junior and senior year. Now, I don't remember when exactly this happened or what I was going through at the time, but it's worth knowing that I have always been very resistant to sharing anything personal with parents, teachers, any other authority members.

But one morning, towards the end of class, my drama teacher comes up to me, hands me the keys to her pick-up truck, and tells me that she's written a note for me to be absent for the rest of the day.

Which is probably a fireable offense, all told, but damned if I didn't need to know that somebody was paying that much attention to me and cared enough to let me just take a break and have some time to think, you know?
posted by Navelgazer at 9:02 PM on October 24, 2013 [17 favorites]


I'm curious as to what country and/or universe the writer lives in where instructors are called 'Sir' by their students.

I teach in a public school in Australia. I tell my students they can call me whatever they want. A few call me Robert. Most call me Mr Corr or Sir interchangeably. One student called me "Mr… uh Sir" because she forgot my name, and now that class all call me Mr Sir.
posted by robcorr at 10:13 PM on October 24, 2013 [16 favorites]


My fave:

Lesson Planned

Grade 9 Student: “Sir, can we have our class outside on the grass?”

Me: “No. Sorry.”

Her: “But it’s so nice outside.”

Me: “But I need the board for today’s lesson.”

Her: “Do you have to do that lesson today?”

Me: “Yes, because it would push everything else back.”

Her: “So? Would we all fail or something?”

Me: “That’s not the point.”

Her: “Then what’s the point?”

Me: “I don’t have another lesson for today except for the one I planned.”

Her: “Why don’t you read us some of your favorite poems and we can talk about it on the grass?”

Me: (To whole class.) “Who’s into that idea?”

Everyone raises their hands.

Me: (To the girl.) “Looks like I’m the one who learned something today.”

posted by Admira at 10:28 PM on October 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'm curious as to what country and/or universe the writer lives in where instructors are called 'Sir' by their students.

I went to a public school in Wellington, NZ and we called our teachers sir. That was... a while ago, not sure if they still do.
posted by Sebmojo at 11:01 PM on October 24, 2013


What an asshole a teacher would have to be to have a blog making fun of his students. Luckily this has never happened, as all of these things are, 100% of the time, entirely works of fiction.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:05 AM on October 25, 2013


This guy is hilarious. It does remind me how annoying and awful kids are, luckily I rarely have to interact with any.
posted by bongo_x at 12:20 AM on October 25, 2013


Re: Sir

I think he probably uses "Sir" whenever students would have said "Mr. ____".

However, circa late 80s in West Coast Canada, most of the kids I knew decided that "Sir" would mean an expletive and we used it consistently with any teacher we did not respect.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 12:35 AM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


A couple a friend has related to me from their biology lessons:

Student 1: Do sperms have eyes?
Student 2: Of course they do, how d'you think they see where they're going?

Teacher is writing "vagina" on the board.
Student: Miss you spelt it wrong, it's fagina, with an 'f'.

- I'm curious as to what country and/or universe the writer lives in where instructors are called 'Sir' by their students.

-- 1988-2001, Newfoundland Canada. All male teachers were "Sir." All female teachers were "Miss." Universally, no exceptions ("Miss" had nothing to do with marital status and is, to me, more problematic and odd than "Sir").


Same here in UK secondary school (age 11-18) over the same sort of time period. I think you'd sometimes call them by their "full" name (Miss X, Mrs Y, Mr Z), but mostly in class it's easier/quicker to just use Miss/Sir.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:00 AM on October 25, 2013


Man, my funny and sweet moments in class are totally obscured by the brain explosions I experience when, say, I read a paper that claims that the Holocaust occurred during the Civil War. I am not making this up.
posted by angrycat at 2:31 AM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


When I was at high school in Australia in the 80s, it was all "Sir" and "Miss", but that wasn't the case at all schools. We were never told to address them that way, and I remember it being weird for the first few months (after primary school being Mr X and Mrs Y or Miss Z), but all the older kids did it, so we did too. I guess it was tradition?

I don't know if it's still the same. I must ask my niece.
posted by Diag at 3:11 AM on October 25, 2013


Live report from correspondent in the field (state secondary school, UK):
Sir/Miss and Mr/Miss/Mrs Surname are "used interchangeably", and "sometimes Mum too", ha.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:21 AM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


A couple of recent conversations I've had during daycare:

M (5 years old): Emmalee, do you know nikibi?
Me: Yes, M. I know what nikibi is.
M: How, how do you say nikibi in English?
Me: Pimple. Or, zit.
M: Zit. Zit. Zit is easy, so I will say zit. Emmalee, you have zit here (points to my face).
Me: Yes, M. I am aware.
M: I think you have zit from stress.
Me: Probably, M. Probably.

(I'm playing with some plastic dinosaurs with a group of three-year-olds and I made my T-rex bite one of the other dinosaurs)

H: No! No eating!
Me: But he's hungry!
H: Dinosaurs are not food!
Me: So what does the T-rex eat then?
H: Cabbage.
posted by emmling at 3:36 AM on October 25, 2013 [19 favorites]


Student: “Sir, can I write about you for my Hero Project?”

Me: (flattered) “Me? Why do you consider me your hero?”

Him: “Cuz you’re marking it.”
reminds me of this:

Dear Miss Manners:
My home economics teacher says that one must never place one’s elbows on the table. However, I have read that one elbow, in between courses, is all right. Which is correct?

Gentle Reader:
For the purpose of answering examinations in your home economics class, your teacher is correct. Catching on to this principle of education may be of even greater importance to you now than learning correct current table manners, vital as Miss Manners believes that is.

posted by namewithoutwords at 5:05 AM on October 25, 2013 [15 favorites]



What an asshole a teacher would have to be to have a blog making fun of his students.


I agree. Which is why I'm very relieved that is exactly what this blog isn't.
posted by absalom at 5:21 AM on October 25, 2013 [19 favorites]


Wow, thanks for pointing out the tiny arrows, y'all. I could have sworn they were dust particles on my screen.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:27 AM on October 25, 2013


Wow, thanks for pointing out the tiny arrows, y'all. I could have sworn they were dust particles on my screen.

I think all of us at MetaFilter have learned a Very Special Lesson today.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:32 AM on October 25, 2013


I certainly have. I'll go clean my screen right now.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:51 AM on October 25, 2013


Grade 8 Student: “Sir, the gym teacher makes us take showers after class.”

Me: “Yeah, that’s the system here. It’s hygienic.”

Him: “But it’s all of us in one big shower room with our junk hanging out in front of everyone. It’s creepy.”

Me: “You’ll get used to it.”

Him: “That’s creepier!”



This is EXACTLY how I feel about public showers, and why I am grateful that we never had to shower after gym class in high school (though, hoo boy, we were smelly).
posted by coppermoss at 6:42 AM on October 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


A lot of these seem to be posted not for the students' funny but the "snappy answers" from the teachers.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:54 AM on October 25, 2013


Grade 11 student: “Sir, what’s a misogynist?”
Me: “Someone who hates women.”
Him: “That’s stupid. I don’t hate women.”
Me: “Who called you a misogynist?”
Him: “Some chick my sister knows. She’s the misogynist. A man misogynist.”
I pull up a chair.
Me: “Have a seat.”


To be fair, this is a much shorter read than some FPPs....
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:19 AM on October 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


Grade 11 Student: “Sir, can you teach me how to dance?”

Me: “I can teach you how to move that.”

I point to his feet.

Me: “But you have to teach yourself how to move that.”

I point to his heart.

Him: “Maybe I’ll just take lessons at the community center.”



Heehee!
posted by ian1977 at 9:49 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


This one made me disrupt the cube farm:

Senior Student: “Sir, if you could do it all over again, would you be a teacher?”
Me: “What are the parameters? Will I retain the same knowledge as I do now in new contexts or is it just a replay of what’s already passed?”
Her: “I haven’t thought of it.”
Me: “And if it’s the latter, will I also arrive at this moment again?”
Her: “You never play games, do you?”
Me: “And you never think about time travel.”


I would be this teacher. :)
posted by blurker at 11:11 AM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


My favorite of the bunch so far:

We’re holding one of our outdoor classes in the park across the street.

Senior Student: “Sir, you ever look up at the clouds and try to figure out the shapes?”
Me: “To be honest, not any more.”
Her: “Why not?”
Me: “Because I forget to do it.”
Her: “How do you forget to do something like that?”
Me: “When you get older, you’re going to forget to do a lot of important things.”

posted by JaredSeth at 11:39 AM on October 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


that is a really awesome one. Aw. I forget to do that too.
posted by sweetkid at 11:41 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


dmd:I'm curious as to what country and/or universe the writer lives in where instructors are called 'Sir' by their students.
I visited a school in India a few years ago and students started and ended their utterances with "sir". Sometimes they threw a few "sirs" in mid-way just to be careful, the way the youths in the American country and/or universe might use "like" as a filler syllable. Respect.
posted by knile at 1:42 PM on October 25, 2013


Honestly..10 minutes ago..I'm walking down the hall to an outside door..a good 50 ft. away and a student holds the door for me. I get to him and say 'you didn't have to do that, I was way back there' he says 'That's ok, I didn't have anything better to do'
posted by judson at 2:14 PM on October 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was crying at this:

During presentation on social media safety and privacy to grade 9 class, guest police officer moves onto sexting.

Officer: “You don’t want to take a picture of your junk and send it out there cuz it’s out there forever.

Student: “Can you advertise it on Craigslist?”

Officer: (after a confused silence) “Why…what?”

Me: “Junk. He’s literally talking about junk.”

The Officer looks over at the student who is patiently waiting for an answer.

Officer: “Let me start that that one over.”

posted by Carillon at 2:55 PM on October 25, 2013 [15 favorites]


Oddly enough, many of the weird and funny conversations that get posted are absolutely true. Being a teacher, you get to have some truly wonderful chats, and not just with kids.

For instance, parent conferences were today. For one couple that came in, I described their boy, my advisee, as I see him, having known him now for two months. The boy is bright, distracted, impulsive, likes to perform, likes to succeed in unusual arenas rather than take on things that define normal success because of his fear of failure, thinks deeply about things, and wants to impress his peers in order to make friends, though impressing people doesn't work well as a way of making new friends. The father, who has told me he finds the boy difficult to understand, began to look perturbed. I kept going, and when I finished, the father said slowly, "You're describing me."

"Yes, I know," I said.

The father is also our brand-new headmaster, whom I've also known for two months.
posted by Peach at 5:41 PM on October 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


My story/crisis of the week. In classroom during change of classes as students are entering the room. Since it's an advanced class, the students usually run early rather than late:

Me: Hey, ___, how you doin? You look terrible.

Him: I'm fine, just tired.

Me: You're not sick? You can't get us sick. Do you have a fever?

Him: No, not really.

Me: Not really? That's yes!

Him: My temperature is only 100. I'm just tired.

Student (who was already in her seat): You slept through the last class!

Him: I ended up sleeping through every class... I'm just tired! I'm not sick, I'm just sore. I'm just sore for, like, no reason.

Me: You are sore because you have the flu! Do you not remember what it felt like when all of us getting the flu last year? I'm not going through that again just because you want to hear about the Hundred Years War.
posted by absalom at 6:25 PM on October 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


I teach in a public school in Australia. I tell my students they can call me whatever they want. A few call me Robert. Most call me Mr Corr or Sir interchangeably. One student called me "Mr… uh Sir" because she forgot my name, and now that class all call me Mr Sir.

Heh, I'm back in university now for a masters degree. While I just can't bring myself to calling any lecturer sir or madam because of my international orientation or whatever, I can't bring myself to calling the lecturers by their first names, thanks to my Indian upbringing. So I end up calling lecturers as as Prof Their First Name instead.
posted by the cydonian at 7:29 PM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm in a quite traditional UK school, it's Sir and Miss all the way here despite attempts from many teachers to get students to address them more casually.

The student council has also just organised a petition to bring in a stricter school uniform. Kids are weird.
posted by brilliantmistake at 2:35 AM on October 26, 2013


What do American kids call their teachers if not sir or miss? Is it always Mr Smith/Ms Smith or do kids call the teachers by their first names?
posted by bystander at 6:12 AM on October 26, 2013


Stricter school uniform could be an equity issue. I know a few current school kids who like the ability to get dressed without considerations of fashion and trends that a uniform provides.
posted by bystander at 6:13 AM on October 26, 2013


I (American teacher) prefer to be called Ms. Dani rather than have students butcher my easy-to-pronounce last name, but the last school I worked at said I had to use my last name. All the schools I've worked in (public charter and alternative) use Mr./Ms./Mrs./Ms. (first or last) Name. All the (Catholic) schools I went to were Mr./Ms./Mrs./Ms Last Name.

As for school uniforms, kids can be surprisingly conservative. It's also stressful to have to think about what to wear every day, knowing you'll be judged on it. The student council also proposed it when I was in high school lo these many years ago, but most of the kids were against it.

I've noticed that people outside of schools think that administrators propose uniforms because they're old fashioned tyrants or they can't handle how the kids dress these days, but it's usually, as bystander says, an equity issue. Every kid starts the year with at least one set of new clothes and nobody's is really much better than anyone else's. (Says the woman who was horrified 20 years ago when her mom brought home plaid culottes and a sweatshirt with the old logo on it from the church rummage sale. I just wanted my uniform to be the same as everyone else's!)
posted by MsDaniB at 6:51 AM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Growing up in the US (graduated high school in '99), it broke down thus:

- Kindergarten and early elementary school, say up to age 7 or 8, we would go with Mr/Ms. Firstname, though this varied and some teachers REALLY wanted to be called Mr/Ms. Lastname.

- Elementary school and up, Mr/Ms. Lastname, though by senior year I had one or two teachers (generally arts teachers) who wanted to be on a first name basis. I went to a high school that had a lot of PhDs, and we were generally expected to use Dr. instead of Mr/Ms. for those teachers.

In everyday use, though, we didn't use any particular name at all, since there is typically only one teacher in the room. So if I raised my hand and was called on, I wouldn't say, "Sir, I'm having trouble with this geometry proof." I would say "I'm having trouble with this geometry proof." There wouldn't be any doubt about who I was addressing. Are UK/Commonwealth students expected to begin every instance of addressing a teacher with an honorific or a name?
posted by Sara C. at 11:30 PM on October 26, 2013


Says the woman who was horrified 20 years ago when her mom brought home plaid culottes and a sweatshirt with the old logo on it from the church rummage sale. I just wanted my uniform to be the same as everyone else's!

My parochial middle school changed the uniform the year I started, but hand-me-downs were allowed so the old uniforms were sort of grandfathered in. It was a mark of cool insider status to have the old plaid skirt, weirdly enough.
posted by Sara C. at 11:32 PM on October 26, 2013


In Australia in the 70s/80s/90s (I did some teaching, I wasn't that slow!), Sir/Miss was used the way you might use "Waiter" in a restaurant, to get the teacher's attention. "Sir, can I rule off here, or do you want a new page?".
Or if you were pleading "On come on Miss, you can give us till Monday."
We would have seen calling our teachers 'Mr Smith' in class cringingly formal, while, 'hey sir, how was your weekend?" would be how you would greet your maths teacher with whom you got on with well on a Monday morning.
If you want to see it in use in Australia today, see Chris Lilley's comedy take on a year 8 kid, Jonah in Summer Heights High. While Jonah is a bit extreme, the way sir/miss is used is standard.
posted by bystander at 5:58 PM on October 27, 2013


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