Teacher Funny Stories
I was substituting in my own son’s kindergarten classroom, and it happened to be his birthday. He told one of the children, and she asked me, “Is it really his birthday?” I replied, “Yes, he was born six years ago today.” The little girl looked at me in amazement. “You mean he was BORN on his BIRTHDAY? What a lucky boy!”
I went on a nature walk with a ranger and my 23 third graders. The ranger asked the kids what kind of tree stays green all the time – they answered “evergreen”. Then he asked what kind loses its leaves in fall – they had no answer for the longest time. Finally, he gave them a clue – it starts with D. One of my boys suddenly shouted “DEAD”.
I was working with a grade eight class on the concept of decision making and the steps we go through to get to a decision. I was attempting to make the point that, although we go through the steps, we usually do it unconsciously. I asked the class what they would do, for example, if they were fishing in a fast-flowing river with their father, the bank collapses, and their father fell in. Chuck put up his hand and responded, “I’d let that *^@#! drown.” I met Chuck’s father later on. I agree with Chuck.
(I was substituting a 2nd grade class and the kids were working on their math workbooks. A little girl came up to me and said she didn’t understand a page that said to write an addition and subtraction story problem. I asked her “What is a story problem?” She hesitated a second and then said “It’s when something bad happens in a story.” I smiled and told her it was the best answer I had heard in months.
I was standing in front of a high school English class and the class and I were discussing the theme of the unit. All of a sudden I felt the whole floor jiggling under my feet, slightly. I thought to myself, “man, someone is really doing something active, or moving something heavy.” I went on with the lesson, not letting the kids know I felt anything, yet. Then I noticed that a lot of kids were moving their knees up and down in rhythm. And then I really laughed out loud and said, “Now THAT’s a good one!” They were all wiggling their legs up and down in rhythm to get the floor moving. They were surprised at my laughter and good humor. They also were delighted that they got me going for a minute. I wondered how much of this it would take to get the upper floor falling down. Mind you, this is a very modern school building.
This past summer I had the unique opportunity to work with some mentally challenged teenagers. We were having a special day of activities devoted to teddy bears. I wanted them to try and sing the song “Teddy Bear Picnic.” Some of the words were long so I thought it would be good to see if the kids knew any of the definitions. One word I thought they would have trouble with was disguise. So I asked if anyone might know what it meant. One young man got up and said, but Mrs. R. its pretty, and is blue and has white stuff in it and things are up in it. My response time was slow. Finally I caught what he meant only after I turned and saw my aide doing contortions trying not to laugh. What a wonderful experience that group was!
My first year in the business of substituting I found myself in an 8th grade US History class. The students sensed my “newness” and let me have it, or so they thought. One boy walked to the window, opened it and threw his book out. The class roared, waiting for a response. I walked toward the window and the boy; he jumped out the window. A quick response of shutting the window and asking the class to carry on with the assignment worked in heading off problems. I then sent a note to the office and they handled the situation. I walked out of school that day and wondered if I’d be back. “I really like elementary school!” The secret is to keep your sense of humor.
In between classes, I was talking to a student who had just returned from a dentist appointment. Later during the hour, I heard a nasty, grotesque sniffling sound followed by a thunderous cough. Afterwards, the entire class was laughing hysterically. I walked towards the back of the room, where I came upon a different student who had sniffed some dental floss up his nose, and coughed the other end out his mouth. He was pulling the floss back and forth through his nose and out his mouth. Although I had found it rather amusing myself, I could only think what would happen if the principal had come into my classroom and saw this young man flossing his nasal cavity.
I was subbing in an 8th grade science class that was showing a National Geographic video on predators and prey. This particular segment was about tigers. Being A National Geographic video, I thought to myself that there might be a seen where two tigers might be mating. “Nah,” I thought, and shrugged it off. Indeed, fifteen minutes into the movie, they started going at it. “Ooohh, they’re doing it Kitty style!” was one of the many comments I heard. Trying to maintain a serious face, I walked over to the VCR and attempted to skip this segment. Naively, instead of pressing the “stop” button and pressing “fast forward,” I just press the fast forward button. You can only imagine what the kids saw next, only twice as fast!
I was subbing for a 6th grade class and my last class of the day was horrible. Please consider that it is the end of the school year and we are having unseasonably warm temperatures. I had to discipline a student and he looked at me and said that I was crazy. He then lost his cool and the class went wild. The class eventually settled down and he was removed. Well the next day I was back at the same school and one of the parents was very impressed by the way her daughter had talked to her about how I had handled the situation. The mother decided to send my flowers and a card of encouragement. It made my day. It is so unusual to be appreciated as a substitute. How thoughtful of that parent. See we are important I had to share this story with you as how good comes from bad.
I arrived at the school on a wintry day, took off my boots and pulled my shoes out of my bag. I put one on, then bent to put the other on when I noticed to my horror, that one shoe was a different color than the other! Too late to go home, couldn’t wear my outdoor boots, so I had no choice but to enter a grade 5/6 class with one brown and one black shoe! Thank God they were the same style of shoe! Before I let the kids notice, I announced to them that yes, I was wearing two different shoes. One boy asked if the class could laugh at me, so I simply said, “yes, by all means, I laughed at myself!” Of course, it didn’t take long before someone said “you know, Mrs. H, I think one heel is a little higher than the other”
One of my first experiences in subbing was quite humorous (for me anyway). This was a 10th grade math class. I usually just stand in the back and talk with students. While waiting for the bell to ring, a young man approached me. He was a student in the class. He was very nice and very charming. Just as the bell was ringing, he asked me out on a date, not knowing I was the Sub. I just smiled and headed for the front of the classroom. I looked directly at him while I said, “Hi my name is Mrs. Wilson, and I’m your substitute teacher.” His face turned bright red and never looked at me again. Needless to say, he was very quiet and well behaved after that!
My first day of subbing one student arrived a half hour early, and before the class asked me if it was my first day. “Yes, it is.” I said. “How did you know?” He thought for a few seconds and then replied, “You’re too happy.”
Soon after I earned my teaching degree in 1982, I decided to sub. My very first experience was to substitute teach a wild sixth grade class in my home town. While all but one of my little darlings were at recess, I asked her if her teacher yelled much. “No,” she answered with a straight face, “he mostly kicks desks!” “What in the world have I gotten myself into?” I wondered. Another time while subbing, one of my elementary students drew a picture of their substitute (me, of course), being rushed to the local hospital in an ambulance!
About a quarter of my first period students were late coming to class and one young lady (who had more body piercing than I have fingers) was particularly disruptive as she entered. When I asked her to please take her seat and work quietly, she gave me the look — you know the look: “I don’t have to do what you say because you’re just a sub.” About 20 minutes before the end of class, she asked for a restroom pass, which I refused her because it was near the end of the period and because the school’s policy (written policy anyway) is for subs to *not* give hall passes. She proceeded to argue (loudly) with me about the restroom pass in front of the class for several minutes before returning to her desk. After a few minutes, I noticed she wasn’t doing her class work, so I asked her if she had finished. When she said she had, I asked if I could see it. “I don’t have to show you ****!” (obscenity omitted) she screamed. I had taken enough of her disrespect and defiance, so I wrote her up a referral and sent her out to the support room (on- campus suspension). She ripped the referral from my hand, threw her backpack against the wall on her way out of the room, and slammed the door behind her. A little while later during nutrition break (a 15-minute break between 2nd and 3rd periods at this high school), I had the good fortune to run across this student again. On seeing me, she began screaming obscenities at me in the halls. I related this behavior to the assistant principal, whose only response (despite the school’s “no hall passes from subs” policy) was “Next time, give the student a restroom pass to avoid this sort of situation.” *sigh* I got an encore performance in 3rd period — Not just one student, but two, got referrals and got sent out. One was for repeatedly shouting obscenities in class and the other was for *gulp* threatening the substitute teacher with violence. As the latter was on the way out of the room, he called me all sorts of pleasant names and swore he would get me back. I sure love high school students. So the day continued until 6th period — the period when I was to fill- in for the English teacher. I went to this teacher’s classroom and found his lesson plans, with the following notation: “During 6th period, I am in charge of the support room around the corner in room E16.” I nearly fainted — the support room is where discipline cases are sent as an alternative to off-campus suspension. As it turns out, though, the support room wasn’t too bad — most of the students there were sufficiently cowed by being sent out of their regular classes. As I was trying to quiet down one rowdy student near the end of the day, though, another student made a comment that pretty much summed up my day: “Man, if I were a substitute teacher, I’d be an alcoholic!”
At age 52 I started a new career;teaching. Needing experience, I offered my services as a substitute to some local schools. One of my first assignments was three days working in a pre-first grade classroom. This was a truly wonderful experience as I am a husband, father, and a grandfather and do love the little ones. My decision to pursue teaching was cemented on the second day of class: During our “group talk time” I was sitting on the floor with fifteen animated and smiling faces arranged around me in a half circle. As I listened intently to an excited student tell her story, I felt a presence behind me and felt a small warm hand rubbing the top of my thinning hair. I gently asked; “Yes, what is it Billy?” In a very serious tone came his reply: ” I’ve never had a bald teacher before.” I knew I was in the right place……
I had my worst subbing day so far in an 8th grade Spanish class. I sent 8 students out of the classroom, for offenses ranging from swearing at me to refusing to sit in their seat and telling me that I was just the sub, they didn’t have to listen to me. The last one to leave ran screaming out of the room when I refused to allow her to continue passing notes and throwing spitballs. At the end of the day, the guidance teacher showed up to get my side of the story. After listening to ALL that happened that day, he turned to me and with all seriousness, asked “Miss Eastman, would you please consider teaching full time?” That was not the day to ask me THAT question!
It was my birthday, and I was subbing at a school that I frequently sub at. One of the third graders remembered that is was my birthday since he and I have the same birthday date. One boy asked how old I was. I told him that I was 167 years old. He and rest of the class decided that I would be dead if I were really that old. The kids went out to recess. After recess, one child, in line said, “you know Mrs. Johnson, I’ve been thinking. You couldn’t be a day over 80.” grin, I love the kids, just hate the lack of denero..
I normally sub at the middle school and high school level. However, one day I got called to be an elemantary PE teacher. Which I thought might be really fun, and for the most part it was. Lots of running around with them and playing games. At the end of the day the first graders came to the field for their play time. We were playing this game which involved chasing balls and throwing them over the opposing teams line. They were so cute running and playing. I was begining to think I should sub more often at this level. Then, a little girl came up to me and said, “May I please go to the nurse?” I asked, “Our you sick?” She said no. I asked, “Our you hurt?” She said no. I was very confused as to why she would want to go so I asked her why. She said in a sweat little voice, “I was running after the ball and fell out in and some poop came out.” I sent her right away.
I traveled all over the US as a “guest teacher” in assemblies for a touring comedic basketball team. Normally, we would perform the assemblies for 2nd-8th grade students. On this particular day we were performing for a kindergarten class. Part of the “script” was to ask the students what they wanted to be when they grew up. The normal answers were flowing. One wanted to be a doctor, another a lawyer, some policemen, some firemen, a pro athlete or two and of course an actor or rock star! Finally, we came to one young lad and he blurted out, when he grew up he wanted to be a “bunny rabbit”. We fell over laughing. The next kid said he wanted to be a bunny rabbit, too. Before we knew it, every kid in the class wanted to grow up to be a bunny rabbit. We had all the little tykes arguing and some crying about growing up to be bunny rabbits!
I was substituting in a third grade gifted & talented class. The class had one “stinker” who attempted various actions to be a show off. When I escort a class in the hallway, I tell the students that if any one does not behave appropriately that I will hold his/her hand. Sure enough Mr. Show off acted up in the hall. So I grabed and held his hand. He was wearing a sweatshirt which he removed. I soon realized that he had released himself from my grip when I was walking down the hall ahead of the class holding this boy’s sweatshirt. There he was dancing and smiling with the rest of the class laughing at me and him. Although I outwardly indicated my disaproval to this boy for his misbehavior I was laughing inside.
First graders were writing “at least two thoughts” in their journals following a film about Ireland, prelude to St. Patrick’s Day. One little mite of a girl very soberly read me her entry (with invented spelling that I cannot begin to imitate): “The English people were very greedy on the Irish people. Because the leprechaun had a pot of gold.” There you have it: the basis for Irish/English animosity in a (slightly cracked) nutshell.
I received an assignment for a high school Spanish teacher’s classes. However, the first period was a classroom of Spanish-speaking students who were learning English (recent immigrants). To help understand why the story is funny I should mention that I am a young white male and I don’t appear like your typical sub since I look barely older than some students. I also happen to speak Spanish fluently. I was sitting in the teacher’s desks as the students entered the room. Two girls walked by the desk and giggled as one said “guapo,” meaning handsome or good looking in Spanish. Since I am white I obviously don’t know Spanish right? I decided to have fun with this, so I said in Spanish “thank you-Ddo you know that there are a few white people who speak?” They both laughed very hard as the one girl covered her face while blushing.
I’ve come to teaching as a career-changer, and am using substituting as a way into a full-time position. Two things happened within a week of each other this fall to confirm my belief that what I was doing was right… I was subbing for a 12th grade English Teacher. She characterized one class as “great” and another class as “pretty good, but chatty” and told me that the 2nd class might be tough to deal with. She also left a list of reliable students. The first (“great”) class proved to be loud, obnoxious, disrespectfull and generally no fun. I was in survival mode almost immediately. The other class was amazing. Most amazing was one of the so-called reliable students. I recognized his name as he was the star running back for the school’s football team. This was a Friday and the entire school was fired up for a big game that night. Mr. Reliable’s seat was in the middle of the front row. We established a rapport right away. The class was being noisy and refused to get down to work. He looked at me and said “I got this one, Mr. Marcus.” He stood up, turned around and said “Sit down, shut up, do your work. If Mr. Marcus doesn’t tell Mrs. Portner, I WILL.” He then said “They’re all yours, Mr. M.!” They listened and we had a GREAT class! Second story happened a week or so after a 2-day assignment at a great school. I had spoken to the teacher beforehand (her idea, very much appreciated) and had a good idea about her students. The kids were great, we got a lot done and I left very happy. The teacher called me to see if I had an afternoon free, as she needed some time off. I did amd when I got to the classroom she was still there. We chatted for a few minutes as her students came in from lunch. Several of them said “Cool, Mr. Marcus is back!” and one said “Mrs. Rowley, if you EVER get sick, you gotta get us Mr. Marcus. He even made Caterbury Tales fun!” I’ve had worse moments! And Mrs. Rowley has proven to be a trusted colleague, who’s helping me line up that permanent English position I so desperately want.
I got called in to cover for a science teacher who had gotten sick in the middle of the morning. He handed me a video and left in a hurry, obviously very sick. The freshman biology class was very well behaved, so I started grading some stuff when all of a sudden the class erupted. Yelling, laughing, groaning, whooping. I looked up to see, projected on the 9-foot screen, a very close up shot of a human baby emerging from the womb. Twenty minutes later, we continued our lessons.