Teachers of Reddit were asked: "Have you ever accidentally said something to the class that you instantly regretted?" These are some of the best answers.
1/22 I'm teaching summer school in Baltimore city this summer. Two days ago, instead of saying "We'll start with the form of a thesis statement" I said "Let's fart with the storm of a thesis statement."
We did not accomplish as much as I wanted to that day.
2/22 A worked as a teacher at a school for kids with special needs. One day a girl would not stop saying "Money shot, money shot, money shot!" and then chuckling. A few of the boys knew what she was referring to and chuckled as well. I asked her to stop saying money shot. She looked up at me and stopped laughing and in all earnestness asked, "What does money shot mean?" I froze, not knowing what to say. Being a male staff there was no way I could explain the dirty meaning of money shot to 17 year old student with special needs. So I opened my big dumb mouth and just said, "Google it." Within about 3 seconds I realized what I had just said and loudly yelled, "NO, NO DON'T GOOGLE IT!!!"
3/22 When I taught 4th grade, I had a hearing-impaired little boy who wore special hearing aids that picked up my voice from a microphone I wore around my neck while teaching. I was pretty good about turning it off when I was not delivering a lesson, but sometimes I forgot. One day I was so frustrated with my class, and I went into the hallway to cool off. I vented quietly, while banging my head against the wall, "These stupid f*cking kids, I want to knock their stupid f*cking heads together." (Of course I didn't mean it). Took a deep breath and went back in. The little boy was smiling a shit-eating grin and winked at me. He never told anyone. He was so cool.
4/22 I taught a class at a community college a few years back as an adjunct and was talking to the students about my attempts to get tickets to the upcoming Adele show. Dean of the school walks in the door for a surprise review just in time to hear me say "Who do I have to sleep with to get tickets to this show?"
Ended up getting a pretty good review, surprisingly.
5/22 I used to work at a preschool as a toddler teacher. We had these annoying strings hanging from the ceiling with clothespins on them, so that we could clip up artwork or decorations. One of them was right at eye level, and after walking right in to it several times and uttering obscenities under my breath, I decided to take it down. One boy, a very observant little boy as it turns out, asked me, "Where damn-it go?" It took me a week to convince him that clothespins are not called "damnits."
6/22 Teaching a class in a university in China, one of my first few weeks there. I'd been given the talk about how one or two of the students in every class are part of the Communist Party and will sometimes report if they thing the teachers are being subversive. Almost never happens, might have been a rumor. We're talking about American history and one of the kids says it's terrible that our military would shoot students at Kent State because of the Vietnam protests. The next thing that comes out of my mouth is probably one of the dumbest things I could have said.
"Well, all countries have done terrible stuff in their pasts that they regret. Look at how your own country treats Tiananmen." Which resulted in a lot of confused looks. I tried to backtrack and change the subject, but the students were curious. THANKFULLY someone suggested, "There was a lot of propaganda at the time, maybe the videos and pictures on the internet were created in Hollywood." Thank you years of improv classes, because it gave me an easy out. "Whoa... yeah, they could have been. I've never thought of that!"
Luckily, my dumb mouth did not land me in Chinese prison and it turns out the newer generation of students are able to have frank discussions about their past, despite what I was told before going.
7/22 Preface: The word for penis in Japanese is "chinchin."
I was a teacher in Japan at the time, in a 6th grade class. We were playing a game and I was naming different body parts for them to touch (touch your knee! touch your eyebrow! touch your elbow!). I was having trouble thinking of the next part for them to touch, and blurted out "Touch your chin!" without thinking. Cue 20 6th grade boys laughing and grabbing their crotches.
8/22 I work at a juvenile correctional facility as a teacher. One day my students were really grouchy and uncooperative so I got flustered and said "Boy, are you guys crabby today"
Quicker than I could understand what was happening five of the biggest, burly, known gang affiliated youth shot up out of their chairs with literal fire in their eyes and said "WHAT THE F*CK DID YOU JUST SAY" Turns out the Bloods gang members will sometimes call the Crips gang members Crabs to insult them. Thankfully they quickly realized I did not mean it with malice (being a pasty middle aged white guy) and sat down before it got ugly.
9/22 Teaching a class on 3D animation to highschool age kids: "Yeah, the program we're using can be used to make some videogame stuff, too."
Aaaaaand that was that.
10/22 I was teaching English at a kindergarten (hakwon) in South Korea. It was my first teaching gig and I didn't really know what I was doing. The kids were very young and were getting bored with my lesson. They were leaving their chairs and started singing songs, kiddy chaos etc. In a moment of dumb frustration I smacked my forehead and said: "Oh f*ck!" All of the kids heard what I said clearly and at the same time they all dropped what they were doing and mimicked me. Fifteen kids were running around the class and smacking their foreheads while saying "Oh f*ck!" really loudly. They saw that I freaked out a little when I said: "No no no no!" and held my hands out in a pleading manner. So they, in turn, all said "No no no no!" and mimicked me again. At that moment I just laughed at what was happening because they had no idea what they were saying but were having a lot more fun than learning about verbs. It was an experience I'll always remember.
Yeah I sucked at teaching.
11/22 I'm a middle school art teacher. I had my 8th grade students make paper mache initials, decorating them to match their personality. Anyway, we were putting them away when day when one of the kids goes, "Where do you want the "D"?" And I said, "Oh, wherever it will fit."
The class died laughing and it took me about 2 seconds to realize what I'd said. Oops.
12/22 I taught English in a maximum security juvenile detention facility that was made up of primarily inner city kids anywhere from 13-17. Kids were there on any number of charges ranging from repeat drug offenses to weapons charges, rape, and murder.
I was teaching a unit on text connections: text-to-text, text-to-self, text-to-world. I had brought in an article on PTSD in the military because a number of students in my classes/cell-block-groups had mentioned they had family members who were or had been in the service. A buddy of mine was active duty Army and I figured this was something we could make an easy connection with. The lesson went over great in two classes. The last, however, was extremely difficult.
ME: "Does anyone here have a family member or friend who has served in the military?"
ME: "Does anyone have a friend whose family members have been in the military?"
ME: "Does anyone know anybody who may know someone who has been in the military?"
Growing frustrated, and trying to force the kids to make any connection I could come up with, I stupidly blurt out: "Does anyone in the room know anyone who has killed somebody?"
Crickets. Then suddenly: "Nigga, you in a room with about 8 of them." Awkward silence.
13/22 I was a sub teacher when I was 21, for about 2 months, and I couldn't get this program to open. Dead silent in the classroom, "F*ck". I said it so softly that when I realized I had said it, I didn't think anyone heard me. Classroom erupted in laughter.
14/22 During student teaching I split the class up into groups to learn about how different social groups (Women, African-Americans, Native Americans, Mexican-Americans, Farmers, etc.) were impacted by the New Deal. Once they were in their groups I sent them to different areas of the class room to research, when I dropped this line: "Where are my African-Americans at? African-Americans to the BACK of the classroom"
There were two black kids in class...
15/22 I once said, "Are you f*cking kidding me" in earshot of my 6th graders after I watched the class bully go up to bat and strike out. Prior to this I had overheard him telling some other boys, behind the back stop, how much of a pussy they are and to "Watch me knock it out of the park".
Class bully swung like a wimp and the nerdy/non-athletic kids ended up having a field day with him. The students turned and stared at me after I said it...and they asked me "Did I just hear you say f*ck?"
I turned to the students and said "No...but I just heard you say it." We continued on with our game and had a great day.
16/22 I was talking about genres of literature to my 3rd graders and I said something along the lines of, "Fantasy is something made up or that couldn't happen, like Santa Claus." I heard a gasp from a student and another student said, "Nuh, uh!" I was that that guy, the guy who took away the mystery.
17/22 I am a primary teacher in the UK and was teaching P5/6 a few songs on our last day of term. I brought my guitar in to impress the youngsters and started having a jam session in class. It was just after a notorious school shooting (won't mention the name don't want this f*ckers name being publicized in any way) and we spent a good half hour singing "Pumped Up Kicks". The second I realized what the lyrics were actually saying I put the guitar down...and politely asked the kids to stop singing it...and to not mention the song again.
18/22 Back when I used to teach in a high school in New Zealand, this kid from my social studies class goes, "Hey, how old is the queen?" Annoyed that I was disturbed on my thought process and being my first ever time teaching a bunch of kids I accidentally blurted out "I don't give a f*ck," Which caused the entire class to erupt with laughter.
That became the thing they said to me for the next year of my time there.
19/22 I used to teach high school seniors. One of my classes was a group of kids who were generally attentive and well-behaved. But for whatever reason, one day there were two or three kids who just would not pay attention or listen in any way. They were being a little rude and they were distracting the other kids, but they weren't doing anything that warranted a write-up.
In that class, there was a kid--let's call him "Joe"--who made really excellent, accurate paper airplanes. He was not one of the kids who were being distracting, but he was making one of his planes that day. In desperation, I told the distracting kids, "If you don't hush, I'm going to ask Joe to throw paper airplanes at your head!" I knew he would be able to ding them in the back of the head in a way that wouldn't hurt them, but would get their attention.
The whole class just stopped dead and stared at me. I couldn't figure out what their problem was. Then it hit me--Joe, in addition to making really good paper airplanes, was also of Iraqi descent. And this was right around the time that the Bush administration was trying to convince us that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. I wanted to sink into the floor and die. Fortunately, Joe had a really great sense of humor, and he knew that I didn't intend to say something as epically stupid as what I actually said. I apologized, he laughed it off, and I thankfully got to keep my job. I felt really, really bad though.
20/22 About 6 years ago, I am teaching 7th grade writing. I had just gotten a new student who could be best described as strange. My lesson is coming to an end and I am getting ready to give the assignment. The strange new kid raises his hand about the same time as another student. He then begins to whistle at me while raising his hand. I turn to him and explode. I ask, "Do you think I am a f*cking dog?" The class erupts in laughter. I never lived that one down. All the classes heard about it.
21/22 I may have a winner here. I'm a middle school chorus teacher, and I had given my students a song that was challenging for them at the time. A student said "I want to sing easier stuff" . Without thinking or missing a beat, I replied "I wouldn't be teaching you much if it were easy! I like it hard, baby!" There was no intention of soy me entendre at all. Some kids giggled, but thank goodness it was a sixth grade class and most didn't catch it or at least didn't react.
22/22 7th grade, my first year teaching. Kid did not want to read his next line of dialogue in A Christmas Carol. I thought he was just nervous about reading to the class so I say, very reassuringly with a smile, "I know it's hard." And then he said his next line. "Very attached to me was Dick." Whole class busts up laughing.
Whoever put that in the textbook was definitely trolling middle school teachers.