When you share a room with other people for nine months out of a year, you’re bound to embarrass yourself.
When the other people are children, you’re bound to never live the moments down.
Whether you’ve been teaching for a semester or half a century, every teacher has moments that live on in their head rent-free. Check out what our WeAreTeachers community revealed about their most embarrassing teacher stories (names turned to initials to protect the mortified).
Truly Unfortunate Slips of the Tongue
“When I told my 16-year-old class that the pilot in Lord of the Flies ejaculated out of the plane (instead of ejected). I still can’t use either word without suffering from PTSD.”
“I tried to say ‘fuss’ and ‘ruckus’ but it came out FUC*US.”
“The first year I taught first grade (1986) and asked, “Does anyone know any F words?” when we were learning about beginning sounds. …”
“Teaching choir, I was ready to work with the sopranos on a particularly high part of the song.
Before I even realized what I was saying, I said, ‘OK sopranos, are you ready to get high?’ I … was … mortified. My 7th and 8th graders thought it was hilarious!!!!”
“I had a lottery where some kids were chosen as VIP (very important person/pupil).
One day a kid was questioning whether a child was a VIP and I said, ‘Don’t question his VIP-ness.’ (Now, say that out loud.)”
“When I was subbing for an interventionist and I read the word organism except that’s not what came out of my mouth.
My friend’s daughter was one of the sixth graders I was working with and she goes, ‘You’re turning so red!!!’”
“During COVID online learning I was making a video for my class to watch for an asynchronous lesson.
I made a mistake and started swearing because it had taken me many tries to make the video right and I was frustrated with the technology. I edited out the string of expletives and proceeded to accidentally put the wrong link to the video in my lesson, the unedited link with the swearing. I also shared the link with my teaching partner. His students watched it first and he called me when he heard about it from his students … the principal and vice principal saw it too … so embarrassing.”
“We had a class guinea pig named Nibbles. I was talking to my principal in the doorway when a student came up and said, ‘When can we pet NIPPLES again?’
You should have seen the surprised (and concerned) look on my principal’s face!”
“Said ‘sextual evidence’ instead of textual evidence. I taught 8th grade, so it was a done deal for that period. Sat down, told them to get started. No one got anything done.”
“That time, early in my career, I had no sick days left and I tried to just get through the day. Just before kids arrived I had to find someone to sub, though, as I passed what wasn’t just a little gas.”
“The time I let one rip, and I mean really let it blow wild and free like a force 10 in Scotland, only to see in the reflection of my computer a student sitting behind me! I thought they had all left for break!”
“I threw up right outside the school conference room before I interviewed for a job. Of course it was the conference room with everyone in it that interviewed me that day.”
“I had my mic around my neck and forgot to mute it when I went into the restroom. When I came out, my first graders were laughing and said, ‘We heard you!’”
“The sudden unwrapping of my wraparound skirt!”
“That time I brought in freshly washed blankets from my house because my classroom was cold, and one of my high school students opened a blanket and wrapped himself in it.
There, on his back, was a pair of my underwear static-clinging to the blanket. I hurdled over a desk in Olympic record time to grab it and stuff it in my pocket before anyone but the girl behind him could see. Her eyes were HUGE and just stared straight ahead for a minute or two. We never spoke of it … ever.”
“When a very nice student (in my FOURTH hour) informed me I had a HUGE rip in my pants and they could see my purple granny panties.”
“I was walking down the hall of my high school (thousands of students all around) feeling cute.
A cohort motioned for me and came quickly toward me. My skirt was tucked into my underwear. Who knows how long I had been oblivious to the fact I was mooning everyone.”
“I flew a drone into my own hair while demonstrating how to use it.”
“It was raining buckets outside and my car was in an area where it was almost being driven away by flood water.
I put on my raincoat and ran down a hill directly in front of my building. I ended up slipping and sliding all the way down the hill, on my behind, with my polka-dotted raincoat hood on my head—while students were watching me. They laughed so hard; I laughed so hard! My jeans were completely wet in the back for the rest of the day. It was the fastest I have ever made it down a hill, that is for sure.”
“Five months postpartum with my second child and I was introducing myself to parents at back-to-school night.
I mentioned having a three-year-old and a five month-old, and a student’s mom blurted out ‘And you’re expecting again!’ Nope. No I wasn’t.”
“I got gum coughed into my hair by a kinder. I had to have the principal try to get it out, but we only made it worse. I had to cut my hair.”
“During a D.A.R.E. lesson, a second grade girl innocently blurted out, ‘My mom has handcuffs like yours but hers have pink fur.’ When the D.A.R.E. officer and I made eye contact, we had a hard time not bursting out laughing.”
And as this teacher put it when asked for embarrassing teacher stories—I think they speak for all of us who’ve put in the years:
Where do I begin???
What are your most embarrassing teacher stories? Please, please, please tell us in the comments or share on our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE Facebook group!
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