Things Educators Hear

In all the years I have worked in education, I have had the dumbest things said to me. I thought the enlightened reader might enjoy this brief selection.

Disbelief at People Claiming to be Educators

Teacher: I don’t read broadsheet newspapers. The articles are too long.

Teacher: (proudly) We use the Bible to teach numeracy. The mathematics department doesn’t take us seriously.

(The Book of Numbers, presumably.)

Odd Religious Claims

Adult Student: In the past, human beings were ten feet tall and lived forever.

Teacher: Interesting. Where are they?

Meaningless Statements that Defy Reason

Student: Teacher, you are a bus stop.

Desperate Attempts to Claim All Worldly Events on Behalf of Islam

Adult Student: Neil Armstrong was Muslim.

Adult Student: The first American President was Ibrahim Lincoln.

Confusing Historical Figures

Teacher: Yes, that is a picture of the Beatles. A very popular band in the 1960s.

Adult Student: John Lemon was a communist.

(‘Lemon/Lennon’ I can forgive. It took me a few seconds to realise he was confusing Lennon with Lenin.)

Odd Grasps of Geography

Teacher: What is the capital of Spain?

Adult Student: Real Madrid.

Teacher: Where is Dubai?

Adult Student: Africa.

Teacher: What are the names of the planets?

Adult Student: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Satan.

No Firm Grasp on the Principles that Govern Reality

Adult Student: Teacher, is it true that if you get bitten by a spider, you turn into Spider-Man?

Teacher: No, of course not.

Adult Student: (in disbelief) It happened in the film!

Obsession with the Teacher’s Marital Status

Adult Student: Why do you not have children?

Teacher: My wife earns more than I do, so it’s difficult.


Teacher: What do we call the thing we make bread from?

Adult Student: Fish.

Not Understanding Pictures

Teacher: (points to a picture of some whale conservationists): What is happening in the picture?

Adult Student: Fishing.

(Just two things wrong with that statement…)

Teacher: (holds up a picture of an orangutan tugging at the lock on its cage): What can we see here?

Adult Student: I like this picture. It’s cute.

The Horrors of Redundancy

Adult student essay: This diagram illustrates the 4-step life cycle of a salmon fish. Salmon is a large species of fish.

Adult Student essay: They all get poured down into the mixer, then the mixer would mix them all together by rotating them.

Published by Lee Russell Wilkes

Been bouncing around the world for a while taking photos. Like most people, I have gone to ground during the pandemic. Decided it was time to put some of them out in the world.

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