Teachers Share Their "This Student Is So Smart It's Scary" Stories

Kids are smart. Some of them are scary smart - like kindergarteners who can do times tables, or elementary school students who can do long division in their heads. Let's hope these people end up running the world someday.

eaquino03 asked teachers of Reddit: What is your "this student is so smart it's scary" story?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

15. I could do this, but with identifying cars.

One of my kindergarteners just "knows" multiplication, and not just the basic 5s or 10s. In the beginning when his parents told me I played along with 2x2 or 10x10 but you can tell him 17x14 and he knows it instantly. So cool to watch.


My daughter was like that at 3. My sister is a kindergarten teacher and she just loves telling people she taught my daughter multiplication as a toddler. Really, she was distracting her in a store, and my daughter was counting by 2's. My sister said "can you do that with 3's?"

My daughter thought about it and then just did it. They went through this all the way to the 7's in ten minutes. My sis told her it was called multiplication and to this day takes credit for it.

My daughter is currently in 6th grade, taking both Algebra 1 and Geometry. She isn't a genius or prodigy- she isn't doing so well in history. Probably because, for example, instead of taking notes on the Haitian Revolution yesterday, she started writing all the exponents for 3. She was proud to show me she got all the way to 3 to the 50th... some people just "feel" numbers and enjoy them more than other things.


14. Not bad, not bad at all.

I had a student ask for an extension on their paper because they were representing our nation in the world science festival...

They came in 3rd, and the paper was an A+.


13. The magnitude of this...

Had a first grader figure out exponents on his own.

Edit: also to note, the kid knew numbers but we had to read the directions to him because he couldn't read well enough yet.


That's just the way he was raised.


More power to him!


He holds most of the power in that family.


12. He will never lose his keys.

I was doing a 500 piece puzzle with some kids (I was a preschool teacher). We finished the puzzle, except for one piece, which was nowhere to be found.

Kid comes in takes one look at the puzzle on the table, says, "oh, are you missing that? I know where it is." Reaches into another completely different 500 piece puzzle, rummages for like 10 seconds, pulls the piece out, fits it in.

I ask him how he knew it was there. He said he had done the other puzzle for a bit and noticed it. I asked him how long ago. Christmas, he says? It was February at the time. Kid was maybe 5 at the time.

Might be more memory than intelligence, but that was crazy to see. Such a great kid, in somewhat dire circumstance. I hope he's gotten all the opportunities he deserved.


5-year-old memory is the best memory. I'm at the point where if I forget something in class (where I put my keys, what page we were on yesterday, what color James colored his duck) I just ask them. They always know.


11. Mood when I'm on Twitter.

I once had a pre-kindergartener who could read, and cried because he was so upset with how dumb the rest of the kids were.


My mom would write little notes for preschool me and stick them in my lunch box. My teacher noticed I could read them and would have me read them to the class everyday after that. I cried, but from embarrassment lol


Sad thing is that feeling will haunt him his whole life.


10. Maybe there's hope for us.

We had a four-year-old in preschool. He was sitting under the table writing down numbers for a long time. He had no time to talk to us. When he came out and we looked at what he had been doing, he said he wrote down all the multiplications. It turns out hes brother in 5 grade was learning the multiplication table, and this little brother really wanted to do the same, but did not have a multiplication table. He counted on his fingers to add each column, and got the table right. A few days later he knew multiplication.

He would also comment on dates. If someone told they had their birthday on june 12, he would say "that is in 184 days" almost immediately. On an excursion we passed some statues with birth and death dates, and he would casually sum up: He was 78 years and 110 days old, She was born 33 years and 120 days before him etc.

I think he was maybe more focussed and willing to understand, than necessarily so smart.

Edit: Since got some traction. This kid is really the whole package. He is enthusiastic about everything. Gymnastics, science, art, math. Not at all to compete, just because it is what he likes. Other kids just follow him, and he is the often the center, and he is kind and nice. Never seen him push, hassle or brag. Just enjoys taking in all facets of life. I just wanted to show him I could see who he was. I treated him as an adult in conversations and feedback. He was of course childish in many ways, but behind the noise of childishness was a wise soul I wanted to know and encourage.


9. Checks out.

I taught high school math. One of my freshman students divided 1134 by 63 in his head in less than a second. I let him finish the problem, and then after he arrived at his answer, I asked him "How did you do that?" He looked at me with this blank stare as if he was thinking 'You can't do that?'

He proceeded to say "Well I doubled 63 and then multiplied that by 10, and then I saw that 1134 was just the difference of those two numbers, so 18." Looked at me like it was nothing. I told him good work and moved on.

I'm only above average at a few things, but one of them is mental math. When I saw that this kid could do this calculation that I couldn't, I was so happy. It was one of my happiest moments as a teacher. I didn't help him in that moment, but to know I played a small part in his math education felt so good.

Edit: Okay, I get it--you're all geniuses. I wish I had you all in my math class :)



Do an easy math to get as close as possible. 63 x 2 x 10. 1260.

Wrong answer, though. Too high. Subtract 1134 from 1260. 126. hmm.

He ALREADY did part of the math in his head with the 63 x 2. 63 x 2 = 126.

So two of those twenty 63's were making it wrong, so instead of 20 it's 18.


Something weird I just noticed:

1134/63 is 18

1+1+3+4+6+3 is also 18.


Multiples of nine have this property.


8. I was an early talker too. I ran out of things to say.

I work with 18-24 month olds and we have an 18 month old who can have literal conversations. Perfect sentence structures, perfect verb conjugation, perfect pronunciation (even L and R!) Knows all the alphabets, numbers, colors, shapes, by sight.

Some of the others know some of those things but I've never seen a baby this advanced. I sometimes forget she's only one year old because she seems more like 3.5. Just tiny like a one year old.

Her dad brought her back from a well baby checkup telling us that the doctor asked "does she say any words yet?" and we all lol'd cause she has full conversations!


My son spoke in full sentences by 18 months, reading by 2.5, could add, subtract and multiply etc before preschool. He's now 21, unemployed and spends all day playing games online 🤷🏻♀️ Still smart as though. Just lazy 🙄


He might feel like he can't live up to the pressure - like everyone thinks he is reallly clever but he doesn't feel it and doesn't want people to notice. If he doesn't try he remains clever but just lazy, if he tries and fails he's no longer clever. I was definitely like this because I hit a lot of milestones early. Just something to bear in mind. Maybe try and build his confidence again. Good luck though - I'm sure it can be super difficult and frustrating for you.


7. And now she smashes protons together.

Not a teacher but a proud big brother. My baby sister was 5 when I came home from college for the summer after actually figuring out calculus. And I explained it to her.

And she wrote it down in her journal. Yes, she kept one from the time she was about 4.

Fast forward after she skipped a few grades in elementary school and she was taking calculus in high school. And could not understand why it was so easy. And reread her journal, figured it out , and called me, laughing.

She has a PhD in high energy physics and does research at CERN. Yeah, that stuff. Desperately proud of her.


6. A good teacher knows their limits.

I'm a piano teacher on the side. Teaching a four year old how to read sheet music before she can read books. I ask her to find the Cs and she will point then out on the page ect. She can also do math really well and understands the concept of multiplication. Also another student that just started and plays by ear and composes her own pieces at 8. She also speaks 5 languages which I didn't find out until I told her I was learning German. After teaching her for 3 months she's already to the point where I had to send her to a better teacher.


What are the 8 year old's parents like? What do they do for a living?


Her parents are immigrants so it explains the numerous languages. The mom had just gotten a job as a bus driver and I never met the dad so I'm not sure what he does. I think it's more to do with the girls bright mind and instead curiosity. She was always excited to learn and would ask questions.


5. He should work in banking.

I have a 5 year old this year who has stolen my wallet more times than I'd like to admit. From my pocket. Without me knowing. I now wear a wallet chain like I don't remember what decade it is. He still tries but he hasn't figured out a work around. Yet.


Nah man, he's even smarter then that. Now that he's trained you to be obsessed with the wallet, and you think that's all he cares about too, he's in the clear to start stealing other things. Check your desk.


Oh he steals everything but my wallet is definitely the one that blows my mind. I how no idea how he did it so many times.


4. But her grades.

Obligatory "Not a teacher" comment.

There was once a kid in the grade above me in middle school that hacked the school database and deleted everyone's grades. He was expelled.

EDIT: This was about 6 years ago. And it wasn't just as easy as using a teacher's username and password, as teachers only had access to change grades in their own classes. He was caught because he bragged about it. He was just one of those kinds of kids.


When I was in 6th grade a kid took down the school internet using a school administered laptop.


3. Genius.

Kid took the fat highlighters, cut them open and removed the insides and replaced it with weed. Sold them at school. He was caught, but only because a kid snitched after they were caught getting high. Absolutely brilliant.


High - lighters

It's right there in the name.


2. There's no harm in being informed.

My mom was a student teacher in the early 1970s. She recounts the story of a gifted first grader that nobody really knew how to handle. Every day her mentor would give the child a copy of the New York Times and let him read during her class.

Much later my mom was working as a speech therapist and had a severely autistic child that would come in daily. After their lessons he would spend his free time drawing elaborate (and accurate) city maps on the whiteboard. It was fascinating!


1. Astronomy is joy and joy is universal.

Worked at a special purpose preschool designed for kids on the autism spectrum. Did an intake day with a kiddo (4 y/o) where i was just trying to have fun and see what kind of things he liked. Did some time on the computer where we surfed around YouTube a bit. He searched up a video about our solar system, and began to explain to me the difference between the inner solar system and the outer solar system (what they're made of, sizes, electromagnetic fields to compensate for distance from the sun, etc). I had to Google everything he ws saying, because I had no idea if it was true.

Spoiler alert. It was.


Laws should always protect the people, ALL the people!

Laws are amiable. We know this. They often change with the times, with enough revolution that is. Laws are there to protect and serve, however they can be too complex and just downright odd and often absurd.

Redditor u/AshSpergers wanted to discuss the rules from around the world that may not make the most sense by wondering.... What's a stupid law where you live?

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