About

I teach Middle School English and as anyone knows, Middle School students can be tough to handle!  Sometimes they say things that help me get through the day.  Share a laugh with me as I chronicle the best things I hear throughout my days in Middle School.

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141 thoughts on “About

  1. Wow, this website is almost better than texts from last night in my opinion. Unfortunately, I feel that the astounding stupidity level of not only middle school students, but the adult population in general would prevent them from getting so much entertainment from this. I bet a website like this one could probably be made by a professor in a college class. I had a girl in a group project ask me how to make a bibliography once. Sigh.

  2. I laughed at your site for about the first 3 pages until I realized that there was about a 90% chance that you teach a class of African american children, suddenly I wasn’t humored anymore. I was disgusted at the fact that you choose to extract these moments in time for their comedic appeal rather than using them to write an editorial, apply for grant funding or do something else on somatic higher moral ground than you currently stand.

    • Thank you for the first three pages of laughter. While I do teach in a school where economically disadvantaged students are the majority, the school is only about 25, maybe 30 percent African-American. I am sorry that my posts disgusted you, but I assure you that it must have been a simple misinterpretation. Thanks.

      • I think it’s really interesting that several replies assume that you teach minority students*, and are therefore a racist. Where does this assumption come from? You never specify where you teach, Mr. K. If anything, this outrage only proves their OWN biased attitudes. As a person of color, it kind of bums me out that these folks are making a judgment like that.

        *You guys watch too much T.V. – not all minorities have such a weak grasp of the English language.

        In any case, I think your blog is hilarious and my friends and I have been laughing nonstop. The best/worst part is that some of these might actually be adorable. . . if they were coming from the mouths of first or second graders. Or ESL learners.

    • @Jason you may want to take a look at your own interpretation of the world and those that inhabit it. It was your own prejudice/bigotry/idiocy that chose to view each post as coming from an african american student. When you take the opportunity to step off of your estate you will (sadly) discover that there is no longer ‘black’ speak. It is all tweeting/facebooking/texting etc lazy speak. So perhaps look in the mirror and be disgusted by your own lack of moral ground and closed mind.

    • I do think it’s interesting that YOU have assumed he teaches a class of African American children, presumably based on the language the kids quoted use. Stereotype much?

    • As an African american student, what disgusts me is the fact that you automatically assume that if a student has poor grammar, they are African american. I know plenty of other African american students who speak very intelligently, and I can’t help but be offended. You may not have intended to sound like a racist, but the students on this site probably don’t realize how badly they sound as well. You should think before you speak, just like these students should.

      • Idiocracy is what inspired my husband and I to finally take the plunge and make babies (when we were dithering about the timing). :-)

        Seriously though, it’s sad these kids can be so clueless. I used to be roommates with a high school English teacher and her stories on a daily basis were similar (except even sadder, because who gets to 12th grade and still asks the same things?). I guess just keep trying to smile and find the humor so you can live to teach another day!

  3. You’ve got enough funny for a blog post, not a website. Most of this just reveals you to be a petty jerk who’ll laugh at your students, hardly quality material for a teacher. Go read “Anguished English” and see how the big boys do it. And shut down the site and end the conflict of interest inherent between teaching and exploiting the ignorance around you. Get back to work.

    • Thank you for your comment. As I have responded to other comments, my students are actually among the only group in the school who have shown gains in their state standard assessments (90% of students do better after a year in my class), so I must be doing something right. The fact that I can find humor in the things young people say doesn’t say anything about my morals, much less about my quality as a teacher. What it tells me is that I have a sense of humor and I can appreciate the little things that keep a hard working teacher sane. I hope you can find a safe way off your soap box and realize that good teaching has little to do with what I decide to do after school hours.

      • Good for you for making the distinction middleschoolproverbs. Anyone who has spent any time teaching knows that one of the only ways to stay sane is to appreciate (and, yes, even laugh at) the little silly things that happen in class. Anyone who says otherwise either hasn’t taught or is maybe too serious for their own good.

        I love the blog. Keep up the good work.

        And Jim, if you don’t like it, don’t read it. No one is taping your eyes open and handcuffing you to the chair. No need for name-calling – in fact, that comment really said more about your intellectual equivalence with the teenagers in question than you probably realize. Using big words doesn’t mean you’re not stunted.

    • Wow Jim…you are a touch pretentious don’t you think? I want middleschoolproverbs to keep the site up if only just to spite you now…but in middle school I would have been labeled Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Alas, now I am a behavioral specialist for my school district…and a damn good one!

      Keep your sense of humor middleschool!! It is the only thing that will keep you alive some days…sometimes I laugh so I don’t quit…

    • Jim, not only are you pretentious, but it is likely that you do not teach. Those of us who do deal with ignorance, such as yours, on a daily basis. We are under-paid, and under-appreciated, as evidenced with your sarcastic comment.

      Of course you are entitled to you opinion, just as I am entitled to the opinion that you need to get a better look at the world.

      Perhaps take a look at Jonathan Kozol’s work…

  4. Hi,

    I read your blog and had to ask, what grades or ages make up your middle school?

    Would you mind sharing which country, region of the world these “gems” are coming from?
    It is mildly amusing but more frightening than anything, I mean how does someone need help in spelling “stop”, scary..

    Cheers,
    Art

    • Thank you for reading. I don’t feel comfortable giving too much information since there are some people who find what I am posting disagreeable. I can tell you that I teach in the United States, and that my students are sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. My youngest student is ten years old, my oldest is fourteen.

  5. While my own children were growing up, their favorite time of the day was when we would sit down for a meal and ask me, “Any funny stories?”

    As an educator, I have heard it all and chuckled along the way (as I still do). This is a nice comic relief for those of us here in the trenches. Thank you.

  6. This website is incredible. I just graduated high school and have always remembered moments like these throughout my academic career. Simply hilarious.

    • Thanks for reading! My hope is that my students remember all of these things they say when they are successful in what they wish to do. Only then will they realize how silly the things that came out of their mouths were!

  7. I used to teach high school. One of the dumbest questions I was ever asked was,

    Ms. L?
    Yes, Tony?
    See this paper you gave us to do?
    Yes, Tony.
    Well, it says here we should write 150 words about 80 Yard Run.
    Yes.
    What do you mean, a 150 words?
    150 words, Tony.
    Oh. Ok. Thanks.

  8. I as an eighth grader, can relate to many of the entries posted on your site. Several of my teachers have a “quotes board” where they post things kids in my class say. Most of these quotes are created when a student does not think about what they are a bought to say. Luckily, I have not had my initials added to the quotes board yet. Although I am sure it is inevitable! :)

  9. I’m sure you have really good stories about the parents. I have a strong feeling that the lack of intellectual curiosity seen in some of the responses has a lot to do with the attitudes of the adults in their lives. Interesting site.

  10. I am a twenty year old college student. I want to be a science (and social studies?) high school teacher. I wonder how bad it will be for me. I would like to test their scientific proficiency on the first day of class. It should be interesting don’t you think right? This is a sad but hilarious blog…

    • Despite the funny things I hear everyday, I think teaching can be very rewarding if you find the students who are willing to work. It all starts at home, and you’ll know right away which students are there to learn and which students are there just because they have to be. Some of these students who are there just because they have to be can definitely be convinced and worked with and you will see great changes in them. These are the most rewarding. Just know that you WILL be overworked, underpaid, and under appreciated. You have to know how to pick your battles, but it can be a great career.

  11. Found this from a Huff Po story. Very entertaining.

    My kids, 9 and 8 (the 3 month old can’t talk yet) are guilty of sometimes speaking before they think. We choose to reinforce proper use of the language by making good fun out of each situation. Far from the point of berating them, or hurting their feelings. Hell, they even catch me once in a blue moon and are able to repay the ribbing.

    I read through all of the comments up through my post. I get discouraged when a certain group of individuals takes offense, and then proceeds to assume a demographic.

    As long as you keep specifics out of the posts, I think you’ll do just fine and develop a solid following. Thanks for sharing a bit of humor from the under-appreciated world of teaching our ungrateful brats.

    • Thank you for the kind words. I also get discouraged when people assume things about me just because I am able to laugh in my classroom from time to time. I will make sure to keep the specifics out, and I do hope to develop a solid following. Thanks!

  12. A friend forwarded me your blog, and after reading through your posts as well as the comments, I still can’t agree with this project. Let me preface this by saying that I do feel your pain — I’m a teacher at a school where 97% of the students are on free or reduced lunch, and I hear ridiculous and sometimes dumb things come out of students’ mouths. I fully appreciate both the need to vent and to find humor in the situation in order to stay sane; I do both. However, I recap my classes with close friends, most of whom are other teachers in similar situations. In fact, I don’t fully share a good number of my stories with friends and family who aren’t teachers because I realize that they have little to no context, and I don’t want them making assumptions about my students. I guess what bothered me the most about your blog is that you take these situations and broadcast them to the world with little or no contextual qualifiers. The immediate vibe I got was “This guy thinks his students are dumb,” not “This guy thinks some of the things his students say are pretty funny.” I’m pretty sure that’s not your intention — if your rate of increasing your students’ performance is any indication, you are a very good teacher. When you post on a public blog, though, you run the risk of people misinterpreting your anecdotes, and I don’t think it’s very responsible, even if you do change names.

    Also, there’s the fact that your students are 11-14 years old. I would have less of a problem with a blog about “sh!t my administration says,” because they’re adults and should be held accountable to the standards of the job for which they applied and were accepted. But pre-pubescent students who have been repeatedly failed by a damaged education system…? Why direct the frustration at them?

    • Thank you for an insightful post. I don’t mean to direct any frustration at the students, if anything I mean to point out how poorly these kids were raised by their parents. While the education system is nothing to be proud of, common sense comes from parents and family, and should be well developed by the time any 11-14 year old enters a classroom. I am sorry that you do not agree with my intentions, but please understand that I do not intend to ridicule my students, and I am sorry if it does in fact come off that way.

  13. I am a grad student (old one, I am 44) in Communication Science and Disorders which translates to Speech-Language Pathologist which translates to Speech Therapist :) My passion is language and literacy and I plan to work with low SES, minority populations. With the work I have done so far I can very much appreciate the humor you are sharing and will definitely be back! We need people that give a damn in our education system and those people will burn out very quickly if they don’t learn how to laugh :)

    • I agree wholeheartedly. So many teachers have poor experiences and begin new careers after only a few years of teaching. I think it is so important to be able to step back and just laugh every once in a while, at the same time realizing that we as teachers need to try to make up for all the mistakes made by the parents of the students we are asked to lead.

  14. This is perfect. My mother is an elementary school guidance counselor, and I have been hearing these stories (sometimes funnier, sometimes even more troubling) for 20 years now. Glad there’s a place where some of the good ones can float around out there for others to enjoy.

    Seriously, astounding.

    • Thank you so much! Oh the stories I’ll be able to tell when I have twenty years of experience! Hopefully some include happy endings of students becoming incredibly successful, much to the chagrin of some of the naysayers of this blog.

  15. I will concur with others that this is a “hilariously saddening” blog. I’m a freshman in college, and I still hear things like this daily. It makes me laugh, yet shiver at what my kids could be hearing/saying/thinking in the future. I’m glad you’re using humor to survive the ridiculous daily grind. Stay vague in your approach, and this blog shall thrive.

    Sincerely,

    The smartass kid sitting in the back.

  16. Just found your blog via Huffington Post (WTG!) I’m also a teacher and I have similar stories. Thanks for helping me realize it’s not just me. We have to laugh or else we’d cry.

  17. Love your blog! I sub for middle and high school. My all time favorite, from a sixth grader, “Do you need a culinary degree to be a cook at IHOP?” Me, “I don’t think so.” Student, “That’s what I told my guidance counselor!” Aim high, kid.

    • But then how do they make the pancakes taste so good!? I had a student who told me her dream job was to be a cashier at the local supermarket. A perfectly respectable job, but as a dream career, I don’t know…

      • At least those are honest professions. I once had a student (8th grader) outline his ‘plan’–he was gonna deal for a while, and then turn snitch, ’cause you know the cops turn a blind eye to what their snitches do in their spare time!

  18. I found the blog via the HuffPo link. Just wanted to say that, in addition to being hilarious, I find some of the posts quite touching. I was a rather bright, yet absent-minded student, especially during the middle school years. I remember trying to grasp this baffling notion of common sense all too well. Luckily, I had a great teacher with a good sense of humor (my mom). Reading these stories gives me a little reminder of how confusing and awkward those years were, and though I’m neither parent nor educator, I think I’ll probably look at the middle schoolers in my life with a little more compassion as a result.

    • Thank you for reading. I’m trying my hardest to be that teacher that kids may not like while in school, but will look back and remember that they learned a lot from me. I had a teacher like that in high school, absolutely hated his class, but now I realize that I learned more in that class than in the rest of my high school career.

  19. Hi! I’ve been a (mostly) middle-school teacher for 9 years…and our kids are hilarious, aren’t they? My *ahem* little darlings are 70% African American/ 30% Latino, most on free/ reduced lunch, etc. To be honest with you, when I first started reading, I was a bit offended, but after reading your responses to people’s comments I think you have a good heart. I have a recommendation for you: PLEASE read Noma LeMoine’s work on Academic English Mastery and the need to compare and contrast home language with academic English (contrastive analysis). Many students speak a home language very different from what we consider “proper” English, but researching the origins of this home language (African-American Language or so-called Ebonics) will give you a new respect for your students. Rather than hearing “I ain’t never been afraid of nobody” as wrong, you will hear it as a creative use of language that is different than your own but that still follows rules. The thing is, many Americans of all ethnicities appreciate African-American language in comedy and music, for its richness, depth, and humor, but suddenly in the classroom it hurts our ears. Congratulations on those high test scores – help students learn to code-switch and the scores will go even higher as you set them up for success. Keep up the good work!

  20. “I don’t mean to direct any frustration at the students, if anything I mean to point out how poorly these kids were raised by their parents.”

    I tend to disagree with this statement. Let’s remember that these are children who are still learning. We all made (and hopefully sometimes still do) careless or silly mistakes. At first, I found this blog funny because children do tend to say and do funny things (which is why we love them) but I feel we should be celebrating and valuing their spunk and ingenuity rather than putting them (or their parents down). I LOVE my job and consider it an honor to do it. Parents entrust their children to us everyday. What an gift we are given.

    • Those students whose parents actually entrust their children to us everyday are the children who tend to be a pleasure to educate and are the ones who make this job worth it. There are, unfortunately, other parents who simply drop their kids off in the morning just to get them out of their way. I have had parents tell me that they do not care about the grades their children get or the way they are behaving in and out of class. They say that it is my problem during school hours, and not to bother them with it.

  21. My mom has been a teacher since I was born and some of the things you talk about she has similar stories as well. I’m cracking up over here!!! Don’t let the haters talk you out of stopping this blog. VENT AWAY! My mom currently teaches 2nd grade and every week she has some story she’s gotta tell me. I just love them.

  22. I am reassured by your promise that these are normal middle schoolers’ comments that I am laughing at. As a mother of a second grader I am dismayed that they have gotten this far in their education and it seems my son knows more than most of these kids about speaking, reading and spelling. However there is the occasional proverb that I see myself saying “yes I was that ignorant in middle school also.” I think this is a very appropriate way to enjoy your job and I appreciate that you chose to share your humorous moments with us. I keep a personal journal to record some of my mothering moments for the same reason. I share some of the funnier anecdotes with my friends.

  23. Seems to me that you are not doing your job as a teacher. There is no excuse for you allowing students to go through your class with a 3% or 4% grade by the end of the term. Your responsibility is to make sure the students learn the material you are supposed to be teaching, not merely present it to them. Each one of these instances was an opportunity to teach the kids; however, you saw it as an opportunity to add a new entry to your blog. I more than understand that lower income students tend to lag behind in terms of educational achievement. I don’t understand why you are teaching. You may justify to yourself, fellow teachers, and followers on the blog that you are not making fun of these kids and so on, but you are wrong. There is nothing funny about ignorance when you objectively analyze the situation at your school. I can’t imagine the negative effect one it would have on your reputation, the school district’s reputation, etc… should a student or parent who cared find your blog. You are reinforcing the stereotypes that teachers are under-qualified, unmotivated, and most importantly, just don’t care. You will see my comment and most likely think that I misunderstood you and am overreacting, find a way to justify your actions, assume I don’t have a sense of humor and so forth. I have a great sense of humor. I have worked with teachers like you and have actually been able to reach them and help them reach their students. You make think that the real problem here lies with the students, their parents, the government, etc… You should add teachers such as yourself to the list. I truly hope that you are a young teacher who is fresh out of college and not someone with years of “experience” who has become disillusioned and decided to just phone it in. We have a responsibility to these children and to our society. Yes, we are underpaid and overworked, but that we teach for money or recognition, we do it because we are needed. You are very lucky to be teaching 7th grade because they are still reachable at this age. I would encourage you to seek out other teachers who care and start figuring out ways to improve the school rather than trying to entertain people who have nothing better to do than laugh at 13 year old kids. This blog comes at your students’ expenses in more than one way. Best of luck to all of you. Please join us in making a difference. Remember: if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the precipitate!

    • I appreciate your comment, but you must understand that with hundreds of students a day, there is only so much energy I can exert for one student. This is more or less the story of the student who received the 3% in my class:

      Began the year poorly, failing his first test (11 or so percent) and not submitting any homework for the first few weeks. I spoke with the student, and he told me he did not care about school and was only there because he hadn’t figured out a way to skip my class yet. I called his parents to discuss this and other issues, and they told me that they did not want to deal with him during school hours, that is why they had dropped him off in the morning. They asked me to please not bother me with “this bullshit” anymore. I didn’t know what to do, but I spoke with the principal and the headmaster and they both told me to just try my best and that there was nothing they could (read: were willing) to do. I continued to try my best with him, speaking to him after class on days that he addressed me or fellow students with expletive-riddled comments. He would sometimes try to cheat on his tests by actually taking test papers off other students’ desks. I honestly can say I did my best with this student, and as much as it might have pained me to give him a 3%, he ended up making it to the next grade the following year. I don’t see how this could be considered my fault.

    • As a child of two teachers, I’m really surprised to see a response like this from another teacher. I find it nothing less than absurd, and frankly irresponsible, for you to portray a student with a 3-4% classwork grade as a victim. It is not the teacher’s responsibility to make sure a student does their work. It is the student’s responsibility to do their assigned work, regardless of their grade level. If they are not doing so, it is the teacher’s responsibility to work with parents so they are aware of their child’s progress. If the teacher has done that and the parents are not willing to help their child learn, that is not — and never will be — a problem with the teacher.

      Moreover, for you to accuse a fellow educator of irresponsibility when you don’t know the circumstances or the efforts involved with the grade is both assumptive and myopic. I respect your passion for education, but your self-important preaching is grossly misguided. I didn’t see you offer any suggestions as to what he could have done differently, but I hope that you at least emailed the author what you have learned from working with teachers “like him.” Otherwise, I don’t see the difference between him and you.

    • You’re a fool. Plain and simple. You live in a wacky world, nowhere near reality. You don’t understand humanity. Plain and simple.

      A student is a failure if they won’t do work. A teacher is a failure if a student does all the work to the best of his/her effort and fails.

  24. I read about your blog on Huffington post this morning and LOVE IT! Your humor and wit remind me of my middle and high school English/Lit/Humanities teachers. They were always my favorite, I think because they encouraged students to express their individuality. Their classrooms were always ‘safe’ places to express yourself and be a little goofy……or ask stupid questions. :)

    • Thank you! I think what a lot of people are failing to understand is that I do not at all make fun of or ridicule my students in the classroom. In fact, they are very comfortable with me in and out of class, which is probably why they are willing to ask me things like if crossing an alligator and a chicken makes a dinosaur.

  25. As a fellow MS teacher, I feel your pain. I hope one day you’ll open the site up to fellow middle school teacher’s anecdotes. I have a doozy about a kid who was certain she could sue the school…

  26. Thank you for making me feel sane. I teach junior high reading and social studies in the inner city, and it frightens me how clueless many of my students are. Every year I do an activity where I have the students line up and order themselves from first to last using important events in history. Every year my students make me sadder and sadder. The Civil War is usually placed somewhere after 9/11 and somewhere in between the Revolutionary War and World War I is World War II. Yikes.

  27. I also found your blog via the HuffPo link and I will definitely direct my friends who are teachers here. I am a little surprised at the level of cluelessness of some of these entries from students of that age group and it saddens me. My 4 year old with special needs has more common sense than these students and the fact that they don’t have IEPs is kind of scary. It does make for entertaining reading, though. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you. I’ve read parts of that book, and I’ve been meaning to get around to the rest.

      More recommended reading: Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America’s Teachers by Daniel Moulthrop, Ninive Clements Calegari, and Dave Eggers

  28. As a high school teacher, I find the old saying is true, that kids do say the darndest things. My favorite moment this year was when my kids were studying Renaissance art. They got the artists’ names confused, one saying that Leonardo di Caprio painted the Mona Lisa and Maya Angelou (instead of Michelangelo) painted The Last Judgment. Thanks for creating a place where I can share in the humor you experience too! I wouldn’t trade this job for any other in the world.

  29. What school district do you work in? I’m just interested by the fact that you have an Armenian last name. I was educated in the Glendale Unified School District in Glendale, California. Wondering if you are a teacher in that district. Cheers!

  30. Pingback: Who Knew Middle School Could Be So Profound | 100.3 Jack FM – Dallas Radio

  31. Wait! How old are these students? Your website is hilarious, but at the same time so terribly sad. I assume this (website) is to help keep your sanity from disappearing entirely…

  32. As someone else who works with middle school kids, I do find some humor in their developing rational thought.

    However, and maybe it’s just the stories you choose to share, it seems like you don’t spend much time teaching. In all of your stories, you seem to write directions on the board to read the story and answer the questions. Maybe your kids need a little more teaching and a little less assigning of silent reading?

  33. I enjoy reading your amusing blog. It is fresh and lively, just like my granddaughter’s stories of her own middle school activites. I would just point out that often the pop speak gets much worse as the youngsters mature. Just read some of the comments to any blog published, or try my Sept 22nd post at orangebloss@wordpress.com. woody

  34. Sounds like you teach in the inner city. Unfortunately, this does not surprise me in the least.

    I teach 6th graders in the suburbs and they are nowhere NEAR this stupid.

  35. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to teach these children. I am a college senior, trying to decide what to with my life, and I’ve often found myself considering teaching. Unfortunately I find myself turning away from the idea a lot, because I don’t know if I would be able to put up with the way things are now, with students and parents alike. I find it admirable that you have found ways to enjoy your job while clearly doing your best to help these kids learn. It’s not your fault that some don’t try as hard as they could.
    Anyway, I have enjoyed reading the posts, even though they are a little sad. They make me realize how lucky I was to go to a great school with decent teachers. :)

  36. I am not a teacher, I previously worked in customer service for many large insurance companies, and I have a feeling that I’ve dealt with these children’s parents on many occasions. Keep up the blog, it is very entertaining, and sometimes everyone needs a small reminder of how clueless they were when they were kids. It also reminds me even more that staying home with my daughter, and quitting my career was the right choice, hopefully she won’t end up as fodder for her teachers in the future. :)

  37. I am the parent of 2 children in middle school. I volunteer at the school and with other organizations for children of that age. I understand completely how important it is to find the humor in these situations or be overcome with sadness, if not outright despair. Our school district is rural, the majority of students are white, followed by African-American, with Latinos coming in 3rd. I knew right away that some people would see racial bias in the quotes and stories you’ve shared. I also knew that they would be wrong for thinking that way. All of our children are suffering from the absolute failure of our education system. Race has nothing to do with it.

    I hope that you continue to be able to find the humor and continue to do what you can to help the children. Thank you for the job you do and thank you for sharing it with us.

  38. i swurr, if my kid evar says sumtin liek dis ima give him a book. please teach your students how to spell whoa, the woah misspelling saddens me.

  39. i love this blog. my sister is a high school history teacher, and let me tell you Mr. K., your experiences seem to be on par with lots of other teachers’ realities as well. I have personally heard thousands of equally frustrating/hilarious/panic-inducing stories from her. You would not believe the in class “essays” these kids create. Half of them are written as though they are freestyle raps (sometimes pretty clever, but a history exam is not the place to prove how well you “flow”), and the other half use nonsensical/nonexistent words or profanity. She once asked her students to do something like form small groups, read a primary source document and act it out for the rest of the class. One group was assigned journal entries from people on the Mayflower or something like that. These kids acted out the pilgrims dragging a “big trunk full of weed” onto the shore. They also told the class the reason the pilgrims left England in the first place was because they “had a shortage of good weed”. Way to go America, this is your future!

  40. At least 5-6 times a day during teaching middle school students I realize I am staring at a student thinking to myself “REALLY!? Did you REALLY just ask/say/do that?? I think I might go insane with your job in English, but even in a high achieving school (according to test scores…) I have several “really” moments a day when I consider my life choices. When we work on career research and students put down that they want to be a middle school teacher, I can’t help but laugh hysterically before taking back my previous rule of not allowing them to list “professional athlete” as a career choice. What’s worse, perpetuating ideas that they can all be superstars or letting them make a gigantic mistake they are sure to regret every day? Of course I love my kids, and have many A-HA moments with them that make me love going to work every day. But sometimes…….REALLY??

    Thanks for sharing, we ALL need to laugh about it sometimes….before we start crying hysterically.

  41. This website is so funny. I am 24 now and all i can think of while reading this is my English class when i was in 8th grade. I am sure we asked some really silly questions and this website is just bringing them back. Thanks for the chuckle! :)

  42. Hi!
    I just wanted to say that I absolutely love this blog. It is very entertaining!
    I thought most of the posts were funny, some were sad.
    The only issues I had was the one with the rubber-eraser mix up. Certainly, you cannot fault a student for saying the British term, even if the school is in America?
    Nevertheless, I thought it was funny, because of what it means- condoms!
    Also, I think it’s a miracle people understand and can speak with double-triple-quadruple negatives. We have to give them credit for the extremely complex sentences! :)
    Finally, I’d like to think that these students are in no way “stupid”. Of course, in some cases, it is a matter of misunderstanding and confusing puns; in others, well, the student is a little dim. I’m not sure whether to be saddened by this!
    Anyway, I enjoy the blog immensely, please keep it up!
    -Susan

    • Well, I didn’t fault the student, but I certainly had a hard time not laughing at the American meaning of his sentence. Also, this student was born and raised in the United States, making his word selection more amusing yet confusing.

  43. I know you keep saying that you don’t make fun of your students here, but the remarks section is full of “hilarious” comments. I have a son who has difficulties with his social skills. He’s on the spectrum and yes, he sees a therapist. I’m sure at some time he would make an inappropriate remark, the kind you would print here. I would really hate to see him laughed at for something he couldn’t control. Keep telling yourself you are not making fun of your students. People are laughing at them.

    • “at no point in any of these posts will I make fun of or ridicule any students with learning disabilities or difficulties of any kind. All of the students quoted are standard students without Individual Education Plans or any evidence of mental disabilities.”

  44. I hope you will share this with teachers — at your school and on your blog, and not just in this comment section — and that your readers will share it, as well.

    In these challenging times, teachers don’t need fruitcakes as holiday gifts. A new nonprofit is offering holiday Thank The Teacher Gift Cards. They are tax-deductible for friends and parents, and they let teachers get the classroom resources they need.

    Please see http://ClassWish.org/TeacherGifts

  45. I’m a college freshman and experienced a moment that reminds me of this site last year.

    During my 4th period yearbook class I would usually leave a few minutes early to drop my stuff off in my next class which was French. There was a German exchange student that would eat lunch in the class room and she would usually be there when I came by. One day another girl; Joan, came in early and heard the exchange student talking with our teacher. She noticed her accent and asked her where she was from. The exchange student told her (for the 5th time this year) that she was from Germany. Joan replied “Wow! You’re from Germany? Can you speak like full German”?

    I had to walk out of the classroom before I started laughing and had to lean up against a wall I was laughing so hard.

  46. I always wondered why no one ever made a sitcom about what really happens in middle school. Maybe because the only witnesses don’t have time to catch a breath?

    Shortly before my son was born I returned to class after a long holiday weekend, looking like I’d swallowed a beach ball.

    One of my Gifted students looked surprised and said, “Oh! You’re here!
    “Why? Where else would I be?,” I queried.
    The reply? “I thought you might have popped or something.”

    I did teach Special Education classes for awhile. I was horrified to discover that most of my students AND THEIR PARENTS thought that SLD was an acronym for Slow Learning Dummies, and decided to do something about it. After a lot of work on self-esteem I asked students to decide what the acronym should stand for.

    A few of the best answers:
    Simply Loving Daddy (from one of my few girls)
    Sports Loving Dude
    Silly Little Demons
    Sweet Loud and Determined (obviously an autobiographical description)

    and the winner is……
    SIMPLY LEARNING DIFFERENTLY

    How cool is that? There’s a kid who absolutely GOT it.

  47. I too teach these same kinds of kids, 7th and 8th graders actually. Been at it for over 20 years now and am ready to retire. I too, see the same language, same phrasing, same questions and the same level of well…everything is the same. You could be eavesdropping in my classroom. Kids come up with some funny stuff the same as adults do sometimes. People ought to lighten up and see the humor here, unless they see their own kid in some of these quotes.
    Sometimes it is these kinds of things that get us teachers through the day.

  48. I have to share this quote with you: This was a question asked by the salutatorian in high school calculus when the teacher was talking about “fifth toe overlay” in one of his kids (he talked about his two adorable kids a lot). She stares at the teacher and demands, “She has a fifth toe???????” Needless to say, the calc teacher wrote that one down!

    Oh, and the smart-yet-rather-ditzy salutatorian? That was me. Four years later I’m still blushing!

    As the asker of many a ridiculous question, I can vouch that you are not making fun of these kids or putting them down in any way! I love your site!

  49. Love the blog. I teach middle school also, and was asked yesterday, “When is New Year’s?” I feel the pain. I will probably be sending you my own stories. I love my students, but I fear the future because they do not think.

  50. A fellow teacher showed me your blog the other day and it made me crack up. I am currently in my first year of teaching middle school after teaching high school for two years. Here is the gem I got the other day from one of my students upon having to research what was going on in Europe and Italy during the time the media he was presenting on was popular i.e (WWII era) :

    Student: “Mrs. _____ nothing was happening in Europe during World War two”

    Me: “Really? How about World War II?”

    Student: “Yah, but that wasn’t in Italy.”

    Me: “What about Fascism?”

    Student: “Oh yah isn’t that when they killed all the fat people in Italy?”

    Me: “umm…”

    Student: “No wait! I remember from History class Fascism was when they killed that fat guy because he wasn’t nice enough to become a Nazi.”

    Me: “You mean Mussolini?”

    Student: “yah that fat guy!!”

    I have no idea who his History teacher is but I am pretty sure they did not tell him that killing fat people was part of World War II

  51. I work in a religious school and asked the students to tell me the names of some of the people in the Bible. Jesus, Mary, Jonah, Noah, David, Obama. None could come up with Abraham, but Obama…

  52. I found your site thanks to a friend. While it’s sad to think this is our youth today, your blog is humorous. Thank you for your job as a teacher and thank you for the daily chuckles.

  53. I love this site! I taught middle school for nearly a decade before making the jump to elementary, and I can “hear” some of my former students in these stories. While they may seem appalling or over-the-top to people outside of the field of public education, these stories are so common to those of us in the classrooms everyday.

  54. It’s all so familiar to me…

    What really breaks my heart is that your students sound just like my grade school classmates. Even more heartbreaking is that now, in their mid-20’s, they haven’t changed at all.

    It all makes for a rather bleak outlook.

  55. I am so sad that I only now discovered this blog; I read through it all in one sitting. Great stuff. Made me sigh in nostalgic frustration as I taught English in a private school to rades 8-12 and recognize almost every story. Not to mention the Wikipedia article turned into me as an essay (which the administration told me not to penalize him for) and the accusations of one student (the only one failing in his class) that I was taunting him with racial slurs. I was going to end this by commenting that at least our kids didn’t have recess, then remembered that one of my classes refused to take a spelling test if I wouldn’t let them spend the class period playing outside. *sigh.*

  56. I’m enjoying reading your blog, but don’t you worry that someone from your school will read this? I read all the time about teachers getting in trouble for complaining about students online, and you complain publicly about your administration as well. I’m just concerned for you, because man, do I understand.

  57. I am a freshman math and science teacher and this site is one of my guilty pleasures to read. Most of my students are pretty intelligent but are seriously lacking in the common sense department. I can only image as an English teacher what it must be like for you with the all the spelling, grammar and speaking issues you hear daily. Good luck and tell your students thanks for entertaining us. :D

  58. I must say, I find your website hilarious! For your readers who are shocked/disgusted/worried, when I was in middle school I said some of the dumbest things (i.e. in Sex Ed asking how teenagers have sex if they live with their parents). I also scored in the top 5% on all standardized tests. It’s not that you’re a bad teacher or that your kids are hopeless idiots. It’s that their minds are still developing and learning how to process information. So keep on laughing!

    • There are few things that would make me happier than that…and I can’t think of any right now! Feel free to tell everyone you know about this blog and maybe the right person will hear about it! Thanks!

  59. I teach Middle School English and one of my favorite student quotes was in an essay for Black History. My seventh grade student wrote: ‘Booker T. Washington’s life got worse when he died on November 14, 1915.’

  60. I too am a middle school teacher. Thank you for posting this blog! Some days, it’s just what I need to cheer up!

    Here is a confusing gem from my 8th grade art class:

    Students were drawing a city that shows two opposites.

    Boy: What should I draw to show the rich and poor sides?
    Girl: Put a cow for the rich and a goat for the poor.

  61. I find this blog hilarious. I feel like this was probably what it was like looking inside my seventh grade English teacher’s head as she graded papers and looked over notes. I am amused by the posts, yet also saddened. I admit that I have said my fair share of things without thinking in class and heard my fair share of things like this amongst my middle-school classmates.

    ‘A condom, that’s like something you put on a hot-dog, right?’ –I overheard this from a girl my age who sat next to me in one of my classes. I thought she was joking until I turned to face her, she was dead serious.

    On another note, I’m going to share this blog with friends and hope they share it too and maybe someday I’ll see a sitcom based on this. I’ve seen worse become television programs and think this would be something along the lines of something I’d watch. :)

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