Teachers Reveal Which Student Left A Lasting Impression On Them
Teachers get to know thousands of students throughout their careers, and some make a lasting impression - for better or worse.
ActualMoon asked: Teachers of reddit, who are your most memorable students?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
File this in the "for worse" column.
In my tenth year of teaching now. The student that tops my list is the 7th grader that broke his own arm. He thought that if he couldn't write he wouldn't have to take the state mandated assessments at the end of the year. So, he researched how to break his own arm, broke his own arm, and still had to take the state assessment. Not because he was provided a scribe but because he broke the wrong arm.
This kid loves his heritage.
I volunteered in a middle school class when I was working toward a teaching degree. (That experience helped me realize that teaching is not for me, btw, but this kid is cool)
One of the kids, I'll call him Juan, spoke very little English. He also had very few f*cks to give about school, and was usually goofing off. The teacher was giving an assignment to write a paper about "someone influential." She then started asking the kids who they'd like to write about. Someone said Martin Luther King, Jr. Someone said Maya Angelou. Someone said Neil Armstrong.
Juan yelled out from the back of the class. "AZTECAS!!"
"Yes, you can write about groups of people, like the Aztecs--"
He interrupted again, yelling at a mile a minute in Spanish about Teotihuacan and chocolate and the Nahuatl language.
"Yes! Put all of that in your paper! ...but we're in the library so keep it down!"
So Juan wandered over to me and drew a picture of a Quetzalcoatl. He showed it to me and said, "I'm so happy to do this project!"
I think the paper had to be two pages long. His paper was five pages long, not including pictures, and he asked me to be his proofreading buddy since nobody else would.
Learning languages is a sacred trust.
I was an ESL teacher in Taiwan for three years. I had a class of 9, 12 to 14 yr old boys. All were a little standoffish to me in the beginning and took a lot of coaxing and games to get them outta their shell. My last day one of the students who truly thought didn't give a f--- about me or my leaving wrote me a letter. At the end he had obviously translated a well known phrase from Chinese into English for me. It said, "There are no never-ending feasts." Perplexed, but grateful that he wrote something at all I went to the office to ask me boss what that meant.... my boss said the student who wrote it must have the utmost respect for me. It said; All good things must come to an end.
I cried and made sure they all got candy before I left!
That's awesome. I taught an ESL class one fall after a friend that had taught it for years had a stroke, and it was baffling both how hard and easy it was to teach English to nearly thirty students that spoke ten different languages that I didn't know. It was very fulfilling when it worked and very frustrating when talking about idioms.
Teachers gets taught.
I taught English online to Chinese kids over the summer. The classes were half an hour long and I taught new kids every class, so most of the kids just blurred together after a while, but my favorite was an eight year old kid who called himself Merlin.
The lesson I was scheduled to teach was on astronomy: names of the planets, basic words like "telescope," and famous historical astronomers like Galileo. I noticed right away that Merlin seemed bored with the lesson. He talked nonstop in near fluent English and he clearly knew a lot about astronomy.
I was trying to keep the lesson on track, but Merlin didn't want to be quizzed on simple vocab. He started telling me all about black holes, other galaxies, astrophysics stuff I've never even heard of. He was funny, too, and I ended up dropping the whole "teacher" persona talking to him like an adult.
This whole time I'm just assuming that astronomy is his thing - kids can really focus in on one subject - but then he starts going off on military history, too. I've gotta day one of the most surreal moments of my life was discussing the bombings of hiroshima and nagasaki with an eight year old who knew more about it than I did.
I was low-key devastated when class was over because I was having so much fun, and I think he appreciated having someone listen to him ramble about his weird passions. I feel like Merlin is gonna end up as supreme dictator of the galaxy someday.
Curing stage fright is a feat.
I was doing my teacher training in a performing arts college. Specifically working with the students on their vocal work/stage oresence/confidence. I had one student who was terrified of singing in front of anyone other than me her family and a couple of other people. Performing in front of the hundred + that would show up to their first recitals was simply never going to happen.
I try a few techniques with her. A song she knows without thinking about it. A difficult one she has to concentrate to perform so she's less focused on the room. The breakthrough came with something that happened to me. In college when I had the same thing.
My tutor stood me facing a wall. And had me perform. Over the course of the track he brought in as many of the other students in the college he could find in the vicinity of the room I was in. After I finished she'd he told me to turn round and I was presented with about 70-80 students all stood smiling at me.
I did this with her. Managed to get everyone in that building into the room. Students other tutors cleaners and everything in between.
She finishes and turns round. Sees them all and says sheepishly. How long have they been here. I said some before you started but everyone has heard you now. She sat down on the floor and took a moment to think. Then she stood up told me to put the music in again and did it again. Facing everyone.
When they'd all gone she asked if I had a moment. She said thank you gave me a quick hug and said she's been looking at ways to get over her confidence issues for years. And I'd done it in an afternoon.
Shes doing really well now. She didn't pursue music but she did pursue dance and she's now in a ballet troupe and is doing shows all over the country while they train her to be world class. Everything there's a show in our home city 2 tickets get sent to me. Lovely young lady. Immensely proud of her.
Did it though?
I had one student that looked me in the eyes and with a poker face said: "your class sucks!"
Now that was f*ckin' memorable.
Keep politics out of the classroom? Nope.
In high school, one teacher sort of shut it all down by saying that his (the complaining student's) parents voted in the school board, and if they were unhappy, talk to their parents about who they voted for, maybe he could teach something else then.
No one wanted to talk about politics, because many teens thought it was pretty lame, so no one in my class gave him issues after that.
God what a power move.
Teachers are incredibly undervalued.
I had a 16-year-old boy come to me after class. He was redoing his 4th year, but not a lot of people knew since he had joined only recently. He waited for everybody to leave, so it was obvious he wanted to ask or say something. I was expecting a trivial question about a test or task, but no.
He simply walked up and said "Thank you for being my teacher." I jokingly said: "It's OK, I'm getting paid for that." He smiled and replied: "Not enough. I struggled with these grammar rules for 4 years already and now I get it. You're the first one to manage that. The others always gave up on me." He walked out after and it might be the best compliment I got as a teacher. I think of that boy every time I teach those rules now. He smashed that test and year in general btw. :)
Wholesome my man! He's right you guys really don't get paid enough. Thank you for sharing.
Kid 1: Kid asked to borrow my stapler. I said sure. He proceeded to look me right in the eyes as he stapled his arm from wrist to elbow.
Kid 2: Joked about having a gun in class. Took a gum wrapper and put it into the outlet.
Kid 3: Was drinking alcohol in class.
Kid 4: LOVED sitting in the recycling bin. And was the first kid that called me Mom.
Kid 5: Loves me. And is very open about it. (In a non-creepy way).
Kid 6: This kid struggles. Struggles to focus. Struggles to behave. Him and I are close. He told a fellow colleague I was his favorite teacher because I refused to give up on him.
Not all kids are brats, cheers!
I work at a language school, and I had an awful group. They were mostly spoiled rich teenagers; sometimes I was literally treated as a maid or their nanny. In this group there were two friends (a girl and a boy), and they used to sit next to me to be able to pay attention to the class. When the other students got too loud, I would basically teach these two.
One day, after a particularly exhausting class, these two students come to me and say they're gonna buy me a MAC lipstick (they knew I have a lipstick collection). Here where I live MAC lipsticks can be quite expensive (all of the ones in my collection are much cheaper), so I think they're just joking and ask for a purple one. When the next class comes, they gift me with a purple MAC lipstick.
I know it's something small, but for me it was super thoughtful. They knew their group classes stressed me a lot, and I think they were trying to comfort me. They would always make an effort to pay attention to the class, and sometimes they even looked embarrassed by their classmates' behavior. They were really sweet.
This is so cute.
Have you ever found yourself in an argument so stupid and/or pointless that you were sure you were being punked? Like you keep looking away from the other person to check your surroundings for places Ashton Kutcher and a camera crew could come popping out of?
You're not the only one.
u/Anti-hollowkid asked: What is the dumbest argument you've ever been in?Brace yourselves, folks. Some of these arguments are breathtakingly bonkers. The sheer number of people who are willing to argue with someone over provable facts and what that other person likes or doesn't like is just ... stunning. It's stunning, you guys. Just not in a good way.
I Know What I LikeGiphy
My wife and I once argued over whether or not I liked mustard on my hot dog. I was for me liking mustard, she was against me liking mustard.
The argument lasted way longer that you could ever imagine it would.
A Stair Step
My brother and I argued if our staircase had 13 or 14 steps, based on an argument about if the floor of the second floor counts as a stair-step or not. We still have no solution.
My dad is a stairbuilder and I spent many summers working at his warehouse, so I can clear this up. 14.
My husband and I have this thing where we only say "I love you" on Saturdays. Every other day it's "I love you, but only on Saturdays." I don't know how it started, but it's been going for 11 years now.
We're both shiftworkers, so sometimes we have to stop and think what day it actually is. We had an argument recently over whether it was Saturday or not. I said it was Saturday, he said it was Friday. It was Monday.
I remember when I was about 13 my parents had an hour-long shouting match that ended with them almost getting divorced. The issue? Whether or not the nation of Iraq has a coastline.
My mother arguing that Iraq had a coastline, while my stepdad argued that it did not. This was back in 2004, and they are still quite happily married to this day. That incident is something they look back on and laugh about, and both of them admit it was really a pretty stupid thing to argue over.
With an ex:
"I owe you $80 for the bills of ours that you pay, and you owe me $40 for the bills of ours that I paid. Here's $40 in cash; we're even."
She did not understand this.
I literally had to go get another $40 out of the ATM, and hand the $80 to her. Then I had her hand me the $40 she owed me.
"Now how much do you have in your hand?"
She still didn't understand.
She somehow has a college degree.
When we were kids my brother and I got in a physical fight because he said I like mini wheats and I insisted I didn't. His argument was that I always sang the mini wheats song and I was deeply offended that he wasn't aware that it was just stuck in my head but I hated the cereal. I actually did like the cereal I'm not sure why I was arguing with him about it but I remember how genuinely angry I was.
I'll tell you about the only legal trouble I've ever been in, the fight that got me arrested. It started over whether we should return a box of crayons or not, and to this day I don't have any idea how it escalated to the point of the cops being called, but they were and I was the one taken in.
My boyfriend insisted that when two people are in an argument and one makes a point so reasonable and logical the other one can't disagree with it - it's unfair. I tried, logically and reasonably, to explain several times why that is just winning the argument, proving your point thoroughly and is completely fair.
His answer was that I was being unfair.
How the ch in masochism is pronounced. My friend caught me saying "masoKism" while he would say "masoSYism."
To be fair, he grew up speaking French, in which the ch in masochism is pronounced in "his" way. But he insisted that I was the wrong one here and that was just infuriating.
A woman was adamant that looking at the big solar eclipse on the television was unsafe unless you were wearing glasses. She wouldn't believe us and insisted on emailing NASA to check.
A Non-Standard Ruler?
I worked for a company that made signs. We had a customer ask for signs that were 7mm wide that were to go on a door. Our sign makers figured the order meant inches because 7mm is pretty small, so made them 7 inches. I got a phone call from the customer who went mad at me for making them the wrong size. So I put a reorder through for 7 mm.
Argued with the sign makers over it but they eventually agreed to do it after I shown them the order in writing. I even had the customer put her complaint in writing, reiterating the size they wanted.
7mm signs went out and a day later I get the customer on the phone literally screaming at me.
Cue the dumb argument - we ended up having an argument over how big a millimetre is, and obviously everyone in the office were laughing, but this customer just wouldn't accept it and said we must be using a non-standard ruler to measure.
Ended up being escalating to the sales department manager who refused to issue a refund. We still don't know what they actually meant.
This Unusual Vegan Argument
Was in a pub with a few friends, and some random Dude dropped an ear, and somehow figured I'm vegan. Well, people like him are the reason I usually avoid mentioning it. He came up to me and insisted on starting a discussion about veganism. He claimed that by the end of it, I would be eating meat again.
He listed some stupid arguments, I told him I was not convinced and then tried to keep on drinking beer with my friends. He followed me, and wanted me to "try to convert him to a vegan." I stupidly listed some of my reasons thinking it would make him go away. He told me he still was not convinced, so I was like whatever. Again, I really just wanted to drink beer with my friends.
That dude followed me all night and expected me to try make him vegan. Doesn't matter what I said, and all the reasons that for me are obviously good enough to be vegan. He'd be just like "No, that doesn't convince me, therefore your argument and how you life is stupid."
Didn't matter how often I told him that I honestly don't care; 5 minutes later he would come up to me again "I'm still not vegan, so veganism is stupid, all your arguments were stupid, now give me a good reason to become vegan!" At one point, I was literally yelling at him that I don't give a single flying f about what he eats and why, that it's in no way my responsibility to "turn somebody vegan" and in no way his business what I eat.
Honestly, for that dude, I would have bought a whole ham, just to shove it up his stupid annoying face.
In college my roommate and I argued about a line in Monty Python & the Holy Grail. The scene with the Black Knight where the line "Alright, we'll call it a draw" is uttered. We argued about who said that line, whether it was King Arthur or the Black Knight.
It went on for hours longer than it should have because I was stubborn and refused to admit I was wrong.
Albert or ArnoldGiphy
Whether Albert Einstein or Arnold Schwarzenegger would be more useful to have around during a Zombie apocalypse. How on earth would Albert Einstein come in handy!?
Below Sea Level
I live on an island and when you go upland and you look out the sea looks like it's higher than or on the same level as the land. It's just a weird perspective thing because of the horizon. One day some kid says that it's because the island is under sea level.
I'm like wtf bro all of us would be with the fishes. He argues that no that's not true and if I just go upland I'll see. We then spend a good 5 minutes of my time arguing about it until I decided to leave this kid in his stupidity. He even said we shouldn't believe everything adults tell us and sometimes we need to think for ourselves.
This kid was older than me and was going to a good school. Lost my respect for him ever since then.
Someone tried to fight with me over how to spell my name.
Now, my name is in a lot of languages with slightly different spellings. I would have accepted any of those spellings, but this one was just... Not even close. It didn't make any logical sense.
An analogous example is if my name was Thomas and someone was insisting it was spelled Tomash. And not just the name Thomas in general, but that me specifically, on my birth certificate, was named Tomash. I know how to spell my own name.
I swear to god, it went on for like an hour.
Whales Are Mammals
I was in an online chat room one day, and we were talking about whales. I commented on how whales are mammals and the next thing you know, someone was arguing with me and trying to convince me that a whale was a fish.
Stupid microwaves. Having a man child talk down to me about how microwaves work only for him to google it and prove me right. He slept on the sofa that night.
My friend keeps telling me that the norm is that a person should shower once a week. This has been going on for years. I'm almost convinced he's trolling me.
No Balloons For Grandma
My cousin and I argued over a balloon going to Heaven. We were at his big sisters prom send off and he let a balloon go and it went high into the sky.
He then said this balloon will go up past space and go to Heaven and reach grandma (God rest her soul). And I was like no it's not and it's probably not even gonna reach space. Releasing balloons is terrible for the environment and kills/harms so much wildlife.
He got really mad and defensive and started telling me to google it and do my research and I'm like I don't have to google it you idiot. He was mad at me for a good week.
Spontaneous Dolphin ExistenceGiphy
How dolphins reproduced. It took me a few solid minutes of explaining to her that dolphins have reproductive organs and that they did not just pop into existence. The argument began with her saying she wanted to work with sea creatures.
Personally, I hope she was messing with me cause I lost a little faith in humanity that day.
I repeatedly had the argument with a friend over whether roosters were chickens. She was convinced that only the females were chickens (hens). We were 18 at the time.
Me and my friend were drinking underage, we ended up in an argument of whether lightning McQueen's eyes were blue or green. Somehow throughout the whole thing both of us never thought to straight up google a picture.
But ... Ice Floats
Woman wanted ice on the bottom of her drink.
Now read that sentence again and try to imagine arguing with that particular brand of stupid.
Time Zones Exist
Coworker claimed that it was the same time of day and the same season on the whole globe. Had to get 4 coworkers to confirm to him that time zones do in fact exist.
My brother is colorblind. And he CONSTANTLY tries to correct me on what color things are.
"Hey could you hand me that red _____?"
"no, it's red"
"YOU CANT EVEN KNOW"
It is the base of our most common and heated arguments.
I'm late, but I saw this question and instantly remembered that I was booted from a Facebook group because I called someone out on a lie that was not only bull, but extremely pointless. She was friends with the moderator and they made the case that my argument over such a little lie was more of a problem than the lie itself (though they didn't refer to it as a lie.)
The woman said that she used to babysit for Andre 3000 and that his name was Andre 2000 - but he changed it after the year 2000 had passed. This was so easily disproven it was ridiculous. Their debut album came out in 1994 and he was already going by Andre 3000 at that time.
The argument wasn't a huge long drawn out thing, but the fact that either of us were on Facebook at separate times meant that the responses were over a long period of time so this argument lasted a few days.
It was stupid.
Stars Like Our Sun
I was arguing with my grandpa about stars he didn't believe that there are other stars like our sun. Basically he thought there is only the sun, the moon and the earth.
I have a degree in history. I mostly focused on nationalism. Wrote a 50 page paper on it and Richard Nixon with around 50 100 sources. Looked at micro film for hours on end. Part of the paper focused on how Nixon being chair of the house committee of Unamerican Activities was used as a powerful weapon to use against political enemies. It also inspired Joe McCarthy. Have had people tell me I was wrong and Nixon was never elected to a position besides the president and Joe McCarthy came before Nixon. I stopped trying to talk history to people.
I also know quite a bit about the history of the Balkans its amazing how many Serbs refuse to believe Tito did anything wrong.
Wrote 100 page paper on nationalism in Israel. Its frustrating to talk about because for some reason a lot of people think Palestinian firing rockets randomly into Israel is ok but if Israel retaliates the people get up in arms over a targeted air strike that kills 3 people.
Balloon to Heaven
My cousin and I argued over a balloon going to Heaven. We were at his big sisters prom send off and he let a balloon go and it went high into the sky. He then said this balloon will go up past space and go to Heaven and reach grandma (God rest her soul). And I was like no it's not and it's probably not even gonna reach space.
And he got really mad and defensive and started telling me to google it and do my research and I'm like I don't have to google it you idiot. He was mad at me for a good week.
I got into an argument with a co-worker over how we were attaching two pages of a letter together: small binder clips or paper clips.
He felt that paper clips would leave a "dent" in the paper when removed, but binder clips won't. He refused to staple them together. I felt that binder clips would also leave a "dent", so we might as well just use the paper clips.
It ended with him saying: "Do what you want [me], I don't care!" and storming off.
Once got accused of faking being Jewish. Why? I have no clue. We argued over the course of a month, any time I'd bring it up and she heard about it, she'd begin going after me for "faking it".
My mother's side is ethnically Jewish. Grandparents were practicing.
3 friends and I once got into an argument about how to pronounce Nutella. It lasted for about 3-4 months. It was hilarious how serious we took it, it'd get heated but never for real serious.
I think someone even called the company that made it to check, or that may have been for the Cheetos company. We were really bored in high school.
Late to the party, but there it is.
I'm a manager at a small store. We're only 4 working there, so my team and I grew very close and we joke around a lot. Once during a slow shift, my employee and I had an argument because we were looking at the lingerie boxes, and I thought that two specific boxes had the same woman on it, but she was 100% positive they weren't the same person.
Looking back, I don't know why it was such a big deal to us at the time, but we even called another employee who lives across the street to come and tell us what the heck was up with that. Turns out I was right, and she was pretty salty about it. It was a great night.
Wicked Witch of the West
I almost got into an argument with an old girlfriend over Glinda the good witch from Oz. She insisted that Glinda was manipulating Dorothy to assassinate the Wicked Witch of the West and convince the Wizard to leave to create a political void she could fill.
I conceded the issue when I heard the whole premise because I thought it was too damn stupid to get worked up over.
Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Just the other day I legit got in an argument with my co-workers on why I don't like my butt being grabbed by anyone (I'm a guy). Seriously.
They went on about "I don't mind it. Mike and I do it all the time and we don't care." Yeah, that's nice dude, but I'm not you, and there's something called "Keep your hands to yourself" (which was taught to a good portion of us growing up). Just like how Karen wouldn't like it if I touched her boobs or her grabbing your crotch or frankly ANY area you wouldn't like being grabbed, keep away. In general, you should not be touching me in any areas after I've told you not to several times before.
So unless you're sleeping me or dating me, keep your damn hands off my toosh.
My best friend and I argued over whether or not telekinesis was possible. Her argument was that humans don't yet know what the human brain at 100% usage was capable of, and that telekinesis was inside the possibilities.
I said the brain does use 100%, just at different times.
We didn't speak to each other for four days.
How dolphins reproduced and whether or not ghost existed (back to back with the same person). It took me a few solid minutes of explaining to her that dolphins have reproductive organs and that they did not just pop into existence (the argument began with her saying she wanted to work with sea creatures).
How it shifted to the existence of ghosts is a solid and reasonable question to ask (I don't remember why). I had to then proceed to tell her that ghost hunting TV shows do not constitute as undeniable evidence.
Personally, I hope she was messing with me cause I lost a little faith in humanity that day. This was in high school SO... hopefully she was kidding.
Dogs and ChocolateGiphy
I told this stupid woman that chocolate is toxic to dogs. She went on to tell me how a little bit will just make them hyper and then they will calm down. I told her to google it. Her and her bf shut right up. Now they have a kid. Good luck, Jeremy and Andrea. morons.
I should also add that this argument started because Jeremy was giving his tiny dog chocolate and I told him it was toxic.
Is water wet?
My roommate and I have a recurring argument over whether or not water is wet l, and whether or not a person is considered wet underwater.
For the record, it is no to both questions.
A kid a church telling me about the mission trip I went on. Not only was I not on that trip, but I had never been on any mission trip. We were good friends, so it's not like he would've mistaken someone else for me.
He insisted I was there as if an entire week long trip would just fall out of my memory. He even had stories of things we'd done together. I'm not sure if he thought I was lying, joking, stupid, or crazy, but I was pretty sure he was some combination thereof.
One time I got into a shouting match with my mom and little brother in the car. The issue? The names of the two-headed dragon from the PBS kids afternoon show Dragon Tales. I swore it was Zack and Macie.
It was actually Zak and Wheezie. I don't even remember why we were yelling about it.
Green Or Yellow?
When I was about 15 or so my mother and I spent about 20-30 minutes arguing about the color of a shirt. We agreed it was blue/green, but to me it was just a shade more blue, while to her it was just a bit more green.
Turns out, your eyeballs yellow as you age and hers were 24 years yellower than mine, so I think that skewed her color vision.
Stars In Their MultitudeGiphy
I once got in an argument over whether or not a line from the song "Stars" in Les Mis says "...but mine is the way of the lord" or "mine is the way of the law".
I didn't even really care what he thought but he was so adamant and cocky that it got me heated. By the end of it we were shouting at each other and I had to apologize, which I think is what he wanted the whole time.
My brother is colorblind. And he CONSTANTLY tries to correct me on what color things are.
"Hey could you hand me that red _____?" "that's orange" "no, it's red" "orange" "YOU CANT EVEN KNOW".
It is the base of our most common and heated arguments.
About five years ago, my girlfriend (now wife) once had a very intense argument about whether or not hot water cleaned things better than cold water.
She genuinely believed that water temperature didn't matter. This is someone who has not one, but two masters degrees.
We argued for something like 2 hours, and we seriously almost broke up over the whole thing.
I had an argument with a girl IN THE MIDDLE OF A BIOLOGY CLASS in high school about how humans are not mammals. She thought a human was a human and we are not mammals because "mammals are animals and humans are not animals"
I tried explaining to her the difference between reptiles and mammals and how humans fall under the mammal category to try and educate her... but she just wouldn't listen.
I still have no idea why the BIOLOGY teacher did not get involved...
Solid Or Liquid?
Some classmates and I got into a heated debate as to whether or not the human body could count as a soup, salad, or sandwich. The teacher got mad at us, but hey! All we were doing was watching a movie.
For the record, my logic lays with soup- Liquid contained within a solid, at a hot temperature.