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.