In a profession with so few absolutes, I know one thing for certain: Teachers must be able to laugh at themselves. This skill should be a teaching prerequisite, honestly. People who take themselves too seriously will never make it when they:

  • Accidentally project their neck rolls onto the screen from the document camera instead of a worksheet.
  • Trip over technology cords on a daily basis.
  • Accidentally swap a few important letters in the words “slimy rock cod” when reading aloud Amy Tan’s short story “Fish Cheeks” to a class full of seventh graders.

I may or may not know these things from experience.

Besides mistakes, another area of teaching where it helps to wield one’s sense of humor is when students issue apropos advice, commentary, or critiques. User theatredebatecoach92 recently posted the following query on Reddit:

Best "insults" by a student toward you? from Teachers

The question brought in an absolute firestorm of burns from teachers who are experts in laughing at themselves.

Sartorial Critiques

Please elaborate?

Under His eye.

Like a good neighbor.

Oh, boy.

Ah, one of those.

Physical Snubs

Arresting green eyes and highly functional ears?

Are. You. A. Baby.

There are worse characters to resemble, but still.

None of your business, Beckett.

I have questions.


Stealing this.

Miscellaneous Discourtesies

Not sure but I feel like flats and a scarf fit into the ensemble somehow.

Love this observation.

A bold move.

Even more ruthless considering every joke feels like a dud when everyone’s muted.

So tough.

If you need me, I’ll be handing out ice packs the rest of the day.

(Get it? For these burns?)

What’s your favorite insult from a student (intentional or unintentional)? Let us know in the comments!

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Reddit Teachers Are Sharing Their Best "Insults" From Students, and We're Crying