In honor of school starting this month in many places, I'm including some real, unadulterated gaffes by teachers I have known. Certainly, none of them would have been made by me...ahem...well, I'm not telling. You'll just have to make a guess as to which one is mine and mine alone.
1. A high school senior English teacher had only a few minutes to run to the restroom between classes. She hurled herself into the bathroom and got the job done speedily. She congratulated herself that she took pantyhose to be a literal meaning and didn't have panties to pull up, thus saving even more time. She hustled down the hall and was relieved to see she made it back on schedule. She flew into her lesson with gusto and noticed the students seemed to more animated than usual. She took it to mean she was truly inspiring them, and that fed her Shakespearean fervor.
She soon noticed that every time she turned her back to the class to write on the board students in the front began gasping and turning red, while others covered their mouths with eyes stretched wide. At that point, another teacher came in to deliver a paper. The second teacher quickly grabbed her arm and jerked her outside into the hall. The English teacher said, "What's going on?" The second teacher disappeared behind her and strongly tugged at the English teacher's skirt. It was only then she realized the entire back of her skirt was tucked into her pantyhose, giving her seniors a whole new meaning to backstory.
2. Another teacher went along as a sponsor on a field trip which took students and teacher for a lunch break at a pizza establishment. It was resplendent with the latest loud video games and arcades as well as giant slices of pizza. It was so noisy that when it came time to depart the teacher had to get behind each student at the games and almost yell into their ears that it was time to go. Finally, one student remained, a fellow with some emotional problems. He required much coaxing and responded well to gentle, sweet talk. This teacher always peppered her speech with Honey, Darlin', and Sweetheart when she spoke with him to keep him calm and compliant.
She got up close to his ear and said, "Come on, darlin', it's time to get on the bus with me. I've got some really fun things planned for us, sweetheart. You are going to be so excited to see what comes next! Hurry, honey, don't make me wait!" He turned around with a huge grin on his face and it was then the teacher realized this was not her student but a small man who had been playing the video games. He continued to follow the teacher and seek out the good time he had been promised for as long as the teacher remained in the pizza place.
3. Slam Books are an ugly harbinger of adolescence. In these homemade books, someone will write the name of a different student at the top of each page and other students will then write a comment about the student underneath, sometimes nice, but most of the time not.
A teacher confiscated one of these and read through it after class. She noticed many cruel comments and was aghast. It made her feel better, though, when she came to one page for a student named Danny. It warmed her heart to see that so many comments were about his pet.
"Danny plays with his weasel all the time," and "He's obsessed with his weasel," and "Danny's always got his hand around his weasel." She had never known a student to have a pet weasel and was intrigued.
The next day when Danny came to class, the teacher told him she'd heard he had a pet weasel. "Danny, I've never known anyone with a pet weasel and I hear you take such good care of yours. Could you bring it to class one day to show everyone? It must be pretty tame because you handle it so much. I'd really like to see it." Danny's horrified expression and the outburst of raucous laughter from the class made her realize she'd stumbled onto a new euphemism.
And now for the final story, dear readers.
4. A social studies teacher spiffed herself up for picture day, wearing a lovely white blouse that she felt accentuated her curvy figure. She took care not to spill anything on or stain the blouse all day, even avoiding mishap with the spaghetti the cafeteria served at lunch. She came out of lunch pristine. The picture time for her class was soon coming up. She had just enough time to pick up the posters they'd been working on. She went to each desk and carefully held the posters so as not to bend them. They were artfully decorated maps, emblazoned with color.
She was pleasantly surprised when one student, who normally did not have his work ready, handed it to her with a smile. He must have finished this at lunch, she knowingly thought as she held his purple creation. At least it's finished, though! A student moved to get past her in the aisle and she backed away and pulled the posters close to her so they wouldn't get bent.
She set them on her desk and lined her students up to head for the picture taking session. She led her class to the photographer, who motioned for her to come first for her picture. She positioned herself beside the large crayon prop and looked at the photographer for further direction. His eyes were round and his mouth was slightly open as he stared at her.
She thought perhaps her pose was perfect and waited for him to snap the picture. He continued to stare until finally she asked, "Is something wrong?" He could only bring himself to vaguely motion at the front of her blouse.
She looked down and saw on her crisp white blouse two large nipples of purple color anatomically placed on her chest, and underneath her left breast, the backwards, black words New Zealand.
There you have it, my friends. These are some of the untold, hidden stories of teaching. Do you remember anything amusing involving a teacher from your school days? We're a tough lot; we can take it, so share away!