Demanding, stressful and exhausting are just some of the adjectives used to describe the teaching profession. There is, however, an entirely different side to teaching, a humbling, joyful and often downright hilarious side.
Below are just a few of the funniest teaching stories I have heard recently and for each one listed here there are a hundred more…
- – A particularly cheerful child came running into the classroom to inform me joyfully that, ‘My mum has had her piglets!’ – he meant triplets.
- – I was reading a book to my class about managing fears and how not to be scared of things when a massive wasp headed straight for me. The ensuing screaming and waving of the said book was a perfect and timely example of my lesson!
- – I broke wind in front of my year 10 class and promptly blamed it on my chair. Unfortunately, I am a terrible liar and also went bright red so consequently no one believed me and everyone had hysterics.
- – I was helping a student off the stage during the Christmas production when I tripped and fell flat on my face landing with a thud at the feet of the head. To make matters worse the child I was supposed to be helping then came to my rescue! There is nothing like being in control as a teacher.
- – During my PGCE placement in reception class a boy had the most fluorescent bogey green snot I have ever seen, he sneezed straight into my friend’s face (she was also doing her first placement). She looked like she had just been slimed and although it was absolutely revolting, we could do nothing but laugh. In fact, we still laugh about it now!
- – ‘My nanny gave the book to my mum but she didn’t want it so you can have it. Thank you for teaching me this year’. They tell us everything!
- – As Christmas approached a boy in my class was revelling in telling everyone that the big man in red wasn’t real because no one had seen him deliver the presents. A very quiet boy said, ‘No one has seen God either but plenty of people believe in him’. I had to stifle a very large grin.
- – Not my finest hour, I’d been having a really bad day and it obviously showed as the caretaker asked me if I was ok, I said ‘No they (the kids) are a bunch of feral ***** and I’d sooner teach monkeys’. He then told me that his grandson was in my class and I was his favourite teacher.
- – Kids are brutally honest, they will point out the spot, the bad breath, the mismatched socks. One once told me I smelt like his Nan but she had been dead for years.
- – Be careful what you ask your students to research, even the most innocuous topic can produce some hilarious internet research especially when students phrase the search badly or incorrectly.
- – Their parents have absolutely no idea how much they tell us about their lives, while one poor pupil was having an asthma attack another said she sounded like his parents at night-time.
- – Whilst reading a boy misread ‘oi’ in the word ‘coin’. I pronounced it correctly and he said, ‘oh like, Oi piss off!’
So a few words of warning, whatever you say can have hilarious consequences, kids tell the truth whether you want to hear it or not and teaching about digraph ‘sh’ is always dangerous. Also, be extremely careful with internet searches, what words you use as rhyming examples, duck and rat can produce some hysterical answers and beach, cook, whole and organism can prove quite tricky to spell!
I guess the moral of the story though is to treasure every single moment of your teaching career, the funny moments are the things you will remember long after you’ve finished marking. After all laughter is the best medicine.