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Schools across the South are back in session for the 2015-16 year. To honor our educators, we’re printing a small collection of student/teacher interactions, brought to us from regular contributor Mollie Smith Waters. We’d love to hear from other teachers with student misquotes of your own!

Things My Students Say

From Mollie Smith Waters

During my sixteen years of teaching, I’ve heard students say some funny, sad, and crazy things. I’m not alone, though. Many of my friends are teachers, too, and I recently asked several of them to share with me a funny tale from their experiences as educators. What I got in response simply cannot be kept to myself, so Porch Scene readers, I hope you enjoy this installment of “Things My Students Say….”


From Mr. E., college professor:

I once had a student who was incredibly bright (as his papers consistently revealed), but he never spoke a word. Toward the end of the term, when we were discussing the first book of Milton’s Paradise Lost, I decided to try to provoke him into finally saying something. I pointed at him, and asked, “What would YOU do if YOU were in hell??!!” Without a pause he replied,

“Stop, drop, and roll!”


 From Ms. D., elementary school teacher:

My first year teaching, I had a very timid student in my class. She hardly ever said a word and always kept to herself. As the year progressed, I tried everything I had to get her to open up and enjoy her time in my class. As the seasons changed, and the weather became warmer, my wish for her came true. On a warm spring day, I wore a pair of pink sandals with a bow on top of them. As she walked into the classroom, she noticed my shoes. With utter excitement, she squealed,

“Ooooohhhh, Ms. D.!!!! I lOVE those shoes, girl!!!”


From Ms. W., middle school teacher:

I once had a student ask me if the name of the fish was

“semen” or  “salmon?”


From Mr. K., middle school teacher:

In response to his question: “What will you be when you grow up?” Response: “Old, bald, and overweight. Kind of like you, Mr. K.”



From Ms. B., kindergarten teacher:

On the first day of school when the students were being picked up, we had them sitting outside where the parents would pull up to show the child’s assigned pick-up number, then we’d call the child from the group. I repeatedly called for a child named James, but I got no response. After several calls without an answer, one little boy got up and said, “My name’s not James, but will I do?” Turned out, he was the right child, but his parents had only ever called him by his nickname —



From Ms. J., college professor:

This is a quote from an email I received:

“Another question, is there any way you do torture or know anyone who does? I’m just not doing good with the whole teaching online thing.”

(To torture or to tutor? That is the question!)


My personal story:

I teach public speaking, and during one student’s informative speech about motorcycle safety, she talked about how the leading cause of motorcycle fatalities is drivers not seeing the cyclists because of blind spots. When she got to that point in her speech, she drew attention to her PowerPoint and said,

“I had a picture of a blind spot, but you couldn’t really see it.”


From Ms. P., high school teacher: An email from a student read:

“I have saved my paper to my dick. Is it okay if I turn it in tomorrow?”

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Good luck this year, educators!

 Share your own student quotes in the Comments section below!


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3 thoughts on “Things My Students Say…. From Mollie Smith Waters

  1. Mollie Waters

    Thank you! I’m sure every teacher you know has at least one story like these!

  2. Maggie Watkins

    These are hysterical! I’m sharing with my teacher friends. Many are retired like myself! God bless all of you!

  3. Yancey Tallent

    This is the way to start off any day! I am laughing out loud, and still in bed. What a great start.,
    Yancey Tallent

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