Remembering our teachers' goofups!

This should be a good topic. Surely everyone remembers a teacher who did something so silly, outrageous, childish, or grossly inapproriate that it would stick in our minds for all time!
In 1984, I had a professor in English at El Camino College, Torrance, CA, who started to talk about student unrest during the Vietnam era. He said, “In 1968, at Berkeley [U. of Cal.], at the time of the herpes revo-… er, hippie revolution…” The class broke up laughing.

“If you drive an automobile, please drive carefully–because I walk in my sleep.”–Victor Borge

My statistics teacher knew a lot about the subject matter, but his main problem was stuttering. While he was talking, he would forget what he was saying and began to stare blankly at the class while he searched for the right word to finish his sentence. It would usually take a minute or two of staring for him to come up with the word. “And that is how we use the (blank stare for a minute) chi square table.”

My physics teacher through a chalk board eraser at me.

we had a coach who said “Britian used to have a supreme naval.”

he also pronounced socrates and hippocrates as ‘so-crates’ and ‘hippo-crates’

We’re all here, because we’re not all there!

I still remember the conductor of my Beginning Band class in sixth grade. A saxophone player was having trouble finding the right note, and the dialogue went as follows:

“All right, it’s an E flat, then a B, and then a C, and you let the C trail off. Let me hear you play that.”


“No, E flat. Try it again.”


“No, that isn’t it. It’s E flat!”


“No, try it again. E flat!”



He retired at the end of the year.

Modest? You bet I’m modest! I am the queen of modesty!

I had an English teacher who was a total jerk. One time he was trying to get a VCR to run and refused to let anyone from the class help him. He finally sent someone down to the AV department to get the AV guy. He stares at the VCR, looks at the teacher as if to say “You jackass!” and reaches down and PLUGS IN THE VCR!!! He made it even more hilarious by trying to play it down instead of just taking his lumps like a normal human being. You or I would probably say something like “Duh! I’m an idiot!” But he starts sputtering stuff like “hey, quit laughing! That’s a common mistake that could happen to anyone!” Oh, man. He was really a piece of work, all right.

My mother (who teaches 12th grade English) is one of the rarer kinds of teachers: not only does she admit to her mistakes, she can laugh at them.

My fav: Huck Finn is a standard part of the curriculum she teaches. Last year, the inevitable initial consonant swap happened: “Okay, everyone, in the 3rd chapter of Fuck Him…” The startled class chuckled under breath, Mom said, “Okay, okay, go ahead and laugh,” and the class completely lost it.

I’m relatively new to teaching and haven’t said anything too goofy yet. But, I did have one of my third graders a few years back lead the flag salute by saying–accidentally–“Put your right hand over your fart.” The class laughed its way through the Pledge–and I had to chuckle, too. She was really embarrassed, but started giggling eventually. She was a great kid. (Well, probably still is!)

I used to think the world was against me. Now I know better. Some of the smaller countries are neutral.

Laura’s Stuff and Things

I had a high school Driver’s Ed teacher (he was also a P.E. teacher, surprise, surprise) who insisted that a car’s battery stores electricity, like a big capacitor, I guess. I tried to tell him it stores chemicals that generate electricity, but he wasn’t buying it. Okay, I tried. No big deal. But then he proceeds to browbeat the whole class until they all agree with him, at least outwardly. (We’re a team here, men! And we know someone who’s not a team player!)


BTW, he later gave me an F, not for Driver’s Ed, but for P.E. It’s a long story and I don’t think it stemmed from the car battery incident. He was just a jerk twice. So I had to take P.E. when I was a senior in order to graduate.

If man was meant to fly faster than the speed of sound
he would have been born with 50,000 pounds of thrust.

neurotrsh, that’s hilarious! Okay, probably wasn’t at the time…But it is! My b/f is in his first year teaching 5 music classes (inc. beginning band) at a middle school, and well, let’s just say he sympathizes with the frustration. Not that he’d act on it!

It wasn’t really a goof, but one day in Psych class, our teacher, who was really weird, but really cool, wrote the word SEX on the chalkbaord, BIG. Like two-foot letters. That wasn’t so bad; the bad part was that no one erased it for TWO WEEKS.
It was funny as hell after the first whole day, and after just letting it sit up there, it became Pysch class’ inside joke 'cause no one else knew why it was up there.

White Wolf

“Death is the only inescapable, unavoidable, sure thing. We are sentenced to die the day we’re born.” -Gary Mark Gilmore

I had a very eccentric bio teacher when I was a college freshman. She told of how, when the human fetus was at a certain stage of development, its skull had not yet fully closed, but membranes covered its mouth and excretory openings. “Kind of funny, huh? When you’re in the womb, your head is open, but you’re also like this,” she said, putting her hand over her mouth and grabbing her crotch.

She held that pose for what seemed like an hour or so, but was probably about two seconds. I think the whole class gasped quietly.

Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.

  • Boris Badenov

One of my English teacers high school was discussing the book Animal Farm. He said, “Thou shalt not sleep on a bed with sheep.” The correct word was sheets. The class broke up with laughter, and muffled giggling was heard during the test the next week.
A biology instructor once said, “Orgasm” instead of organism(Fruedian slip?)

Arbor plena allouattarum

I will remember to proofread.

My physics teacher in HS was the stereotypical absent-minded professor. One day we’re all sitting there in the lecture room waiting for him to show up. It wasn’t uncommon for him to be 10 or 15 minutes late, but when it got to be a half hour, we decided to go looking for him (yes, I was a nerd). We went to the office to have him paged and the secretary told us that he was in the vice principals office. So, we go over and knock on the door and the physics teacher opens it and he’s got zinc oxide on his nose! We all gather around and stare at the scene in the office. There was about 3 inches of sand on the floor and the vice principal is sitting in the middle of a bunch of teachers in a beach chair. It was his last day and they were having a beach party for him. Our teacher just looks at us and says, “Did I forget to tell you guys it would be a free period today?” After we had wasted it looking for him!

A math teacher:


That got a good laugh. The man had no awareness of his own demeanor. He lived in a different time frame. It was hell to keep up with him.

My ninth-grade English teacher and one of the kids in the class were discussing the difference between a #2 and a #2.5 pencil. Somehow this turned into a heated argument, to which the rest of us weren’t really paying attention – until we heard the teacher shout:


She never lived that one down.