Teachers Share The Moment They Questioned Their Students' Intelligence

Teaching is a VERY stressful career to pick. It's not just about needing to know material and confidently deliver it to a classroom of students, but it also accounts for a little bit of making sure they don't do anything stupid during the school day. And the students in this Reddit post, well, let's just say they aren't exactly teacher's pet.

Reddit user 12345burrito asked:

Teachers of Reddit, what was your "how are my students this dumb?" moment?

Definitely not a fruit.

Me: I'm thinking of a fruit that is yellow and very sour!

Student: Chickenpox!- SnapesDrapes


"One of my 16 year old students asked, while starting a multiple choice test, if it mattered what letter he chose."

"I just stared at him."

"Sometimes there are no words."- Happy_Birthday_2_Me


50% is generous.

"Not a teacher, but was helping my friend who's a TA go over some first year essays."

"It was an essay about video games, and aside from the format being nonexistent, one of the first sentences was something along the lines of 'there are many examples of video games, such as the Wii and PS4 and Zelda'."

"Unfortunately, she wasn't allowed to grade any papers below 50%."

"He got a 50%."- icntread

Not a good example of a student.

"I asked my students to write a sentence and give an example."

"One of the students (age 12/13) asked 'what's an example?'"

" Actually really hard to explain."- askerman2000

Ah yes, the mythological dinosaur.

"'Are mermaids real?'" followed shortly by "'I don't believe in dinosaurs'."

"She was 16."- Mooshan



"Don't know if this counts, but I was a TA for a semester in grad school (never again)."

"One student submitted this paper I will never forget."

"Basically, the author was wrong because the student found the argument 'boring'."

"In explaining the author's argument, he got most points wrong and then proceeded to say he had a better argument."

"His argument WAS the author's argument."- ontologyisrad

No. No they did not.

"I have a poster on my wall that says something about not believing everything you read on the internet, and it attributes the quote to Abraham Lincoln."

"Student said, 'Wait, did they have internet back then?'"- whateverreddit88

That was just a bad decision.

"I teach swimming lessons and lifeguarding courses."

"During one, I was trying to teach them CPR and instead of showing them first, I told them to show me what they already knew about it."

"I then proceeded to observe 15 16-20 year olds do the weirdest stuff to those poor training dolls."

"My favorite though was the kid who did a two foot jump onto the chest of the dummy."

"The dummy slid out from under his feet like a cartoon banana and he landed on his rear end on the pool deck."

"Good times."- masterroadtripper


Process of elimination.

"A classmate of mine in elementary school had this exchange with our teacher:"

"What's the answer to this [multiple choice question with 3 choices]?"





"I don't know."- gunnyfreak

Sounds like they were trying to get out of writing a paper.

"Three weeks into writing a research paper."

"'Okay today we'll continue writing the body paragraphs of the essay'."

"Student: 'What essay?'"- TheRedMaiden

An accident waiting to happen.

"In the same class hour, the same student not only tore apart a pen and covered himself with ink, he pulled the spring apart and clamped it down on his tongue."

"It cut him so deep, he couldn't get it off."

"He them somehow managed to dig a pencil into his hand and then the lead broke off inside him."

"It was like every moment I looked over, he had hurt himself in another way."- Azthioth



"I wasn't a teacher, but when I was a senior in high school, a junior in my newspaper class thoughts that women produced breast milk for their boyfriends/husbands to drink while having sex."- omglookawhale


"Taught really, really, really, remedial math in NYC High School."

"Always looked for reason for students incorrect answers to help them understand."

"One student gave the answer '2' to a question that in no way could come to that result."


"Going through few more papers, same question, same answer appears."

"Hmm, cheating?"

"While handing out papers next day, I casually asked one student how he arrived at the answer '2?'"

"Response: My teacher, that phrase always meant they were referring to their Middle School teacher, always said to guess if I didn't know the answer, but don't guess the first answer because that's probably not right."

"Is it apparent to you they are talking about taking a multiple choice test here?"

"Well, boy genius has 'translated' this bit of educational nonsense into guessing '2' for anything he didn't know."

"Never bothered to ask the second kid!"

"BTW, I had finally decided to give only True/False exams, and partial credit."

"Still couldn't get passing marks for most kids."- saguaro_48

Wall phones? Really?

"Watching a video about dinosaurs."

"A 13 yo asks 'how did they get video of real dinosaurs if they are all dead?'"

"Same girl also wanted to know how Mayans communicated with each other if they had no cell phones or 'wall phones' as she called them."


"And my evaluation and raises depend on these kids."- BikerJedi


Yes. Yes it did.

"Not a teacher, but a witness to the face mine made which was definitely, 'how are my students this dumb?'"

"It was 7th grade Lit and we were reading through The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank."

"We had discussions throughout and the teacher would have us write a summary of what we had just read before class ended."

"When we were done with the book she did a slide show of pictures showing the attic they were in and the secret entrance."

"About halfway through these pictures we hear a boy in the back go, 'wait a minute. WHOA! This really happened?'"

"She stared at him for a very long time."- kyle-and-karens-kid

I should have kept my mouth shut.

"Not a teacher but once I asked what a keyboard was, in a computer class."- GMAI72

Work Typing GIF by MOODMANGiphy

Double Trouble

"I'm not a teacher, but I've got a couple of good ones."

"8th grade: We were having student-teacher debates in a mock-up of labor unions."

"Half the class were teachers, the other half were students."

"In this particular incident, we were arguing about whether students should receive harsher punishments for swearing in the halls."

"The debate was going along pretty well, until one of my friends, who was leading the opposing side, and I'll never forget this, said, 'Well, you hear people dropping [N-words] in the halls all the time-'"

"She quickly realized her mistake, but everyone else, including myself, just kind of pointed and said ;OHHH!!!'"

"The debates were brought to a quick end after that, but I must have been in hysterics for the rest of the period."

"10th grade: We were in biology having a discussion about animals and the reproductive cycle."

"Another one of my friends literally didn't know chickens mate."

"She even tried to say that she just thought that chickens laid eggs randomly."

"I was probably in hysterics for a good while afterwards."- Illustrious_Spirit91.

Someone who clearly shouldn't be teaching

"I’m not a teacher by I was in his class."

"One time a guy in class didn’t know the answer to the equation, so the teacher gave him hints, after so many hints he still couldn’t come up with an answer, to this day I still remember his reaction, the teacher got so angry he literally called the poor kid an [R-word]."- TheSxberDude

It's what we used to write with, way back when

"On a regular basis, my freshmen students cannot work a pencil sharpener."

"It all started with a regular, old school sharpener screwed onto a counter."

"But, within days they broke it."

"So, I bought an electric powered sharpener."

"I always get a 'Mr., the sharpener isn't working'."

"Me: "what's the problem?'"

"Usually a) lead stuck inside b)its clogged up from all of the pencil waste."

"In either case they always ask 'what should I do?'"

"My response is the same every time, 'I don't know. Figure it out.'"

"They never do and put the sharpener back down."

"Usually, resulting in them borrowing a pen from a classmate."

"It's both ridiculously hilarious and pathetic."- ElZarigueya

pencil crank GIF by shawy animationGiphy

Our future...

"Not a teacher, but a student."

"I probably spent more time laughing in my high school American History and Macroeconomics classes than I have in the rest of my classes combined."

"My classmates would often spit out the stupidest questions or remarks."

"Here are some ones that stand out in my mind."

"In my American History Class, the teacher asked if we knew why the Phoney War happened."

"A student raised his hand and said "Because Hitler wanted to take his men trick-o-treating.”.

"The teacher passed it off as an obvious joke and moved on, but something tells me he may have been serious'."

"I forget the exact context behind this one, but a student once asked 'Are you talking about the Pacific Ocean or Pacific Continent?'.

"I have no words for this one.

"A student once asked 'Who wrote the Truman Doctrine?' as a question."

"Ignoring the obvious stupidity of that question, the teacher literally just said the answer ten seconds prior."

"We were talking about Obama's presidency up to that point a couple months later, and the same person asked 'who wrote Obamacare?' as if he wasn't in double digit age when it was recent news.

"The teacher was introducing our Vietnam War unit."

"He said that to understand the Vietnam war in full, we would have to have a brief conversation about geography."

"To that statement, a student interrupted his train of thought with 'Aw, I hate math', as what seemed like a genuine complaint."

"In my Macroeconomics Class, the teacher was talking about the first writing assignment we would have to do."

"He said we shouldn't write in contractions on his papers."

"It's a grammatical thing."

"A student responded with 'like when having a baby?' when the teacher said that."

"Like what the f*ck was he thinking."

'Which line is the demand curve?'."

"This would probably be an okay question if we were just learning about supply and demand, if the graph wasn't labeled, or if the graph was mislabeled, but it was April, and the graph was fully and properly labeled."

"Mr. Pongress and Dr. Costello weren’t particularly outstanding teachers for any reason, good or bad, but years after I had them, the amount of stupid questions and remarks they received from our classes alone made me feel a little sorry for the things they had to put up with sometimes."

"Even though I was usually in a laughing fit after the remarks were said."- TheTrueBrawler2001

Thievery at it's sloppiest

"When marking assignment and i noticed a student has copied from another, word for word without making the slightest effort to paraphrase."- writing-tips.

"My students tried turning in plagiarized papers."

"Unfortunately they're so dumb that they neither bothered changing the file name or paraphrasing the content."

"I think almost 50% of the kids in class sent me the same paper over and over again."

"Spelling mistakes and all."- Slaisa

Did you really think I wouldn't notice

"I’m a university student interning in a 6th grade classroom."

"Caught a kid cheating on his test who had THE TEXTBOOK WIDE OPEN in the glossary, while his test paper was on his desk."

"There was another kid the same day who didn’t do his homework so he began copying answers from a friend while the teacher went to the restroom."

"I ratted on him as soon as the teacher came back."

"What’s hilarious about both of these is that somehow the kids thought I wouldn’t notice and/or care if I saw them."

"Like y’all, I’m in school to be a teacher."

"I need to get on Ms. H’s good side in order for that to happen."

"That means ratting on your cheating a**es."

"But I’ll gladly continue to let the kids believe that I won’t notice - sometimes it’ll pay for them to think you’re dumb."- H8rsH8

Frustrated Ryan Gosling GIFGiphy

You can likely pass by just showing up... or not.

"Not a teacher but for sure one of those stories."

"So our math teacher at the end of the school year gave us an exam with everything we had during the year."

"Everyone failed except for two students."- ItsMeLyz.

I can't with this one.

"I'm not a teacher but when I was 13, someone in my class asked the teacher how to spell DNA."- greywolf_18

I think we all can agree that teachers deserve way higher pay.

Do you have similar stories? Share them in the comment section below!

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