Teachers Share Their 'This Student Is So Dumb It's Scary' Stories


Teachers are here to support all of our students... and trust us when we say that we believe most of them do.

But just wait until they get to the teacher's lounge and all the stories come out.

Not all students are created equal, as we were reminded once Redditor HeyHeyHeywow asked the online community, "Teachers of Reddit, what is your "this student is so dumb its scary" story?"

"Back when I was teaching high school..."


Back when I was teaching high school, I was giving an exam to my first-year students and one of them stole the key.

...to the exam the second-year students were taking.

He was not subtle about it, either. The whole "fake a sneeze, go get tissue, pick up a large piece of paper and think your skinny teenage body can conceal it"-angle. I should have said something, but the fact that I was so fed up with this sorta crap by that point is one of the reasons I quit teaching high school.

Anyway, that's not what made it such a dumb decision. What made it dumb was when he bombed the exam, he tried to claim that I purposefully mis-graded his exam because I hated him, and even got his mother in on it for a parent conference, which means his own mother was front and center for me when I pointed out how his answer form was a perfect match for a test he didn't take.

Mom was not happy with him, to say the least, though for the icing on the cake? She did ask that I let him re-take the real test, and since she honestly seemed to care a lot more than many of the parents I met, and since I did admittedly feel a little guilty for not trying to prevent it in the first place (not that I admitted to that part), as a compromise we let him come after school to re-try at a penalty.

And in the end, he freaking aced the test. He was normally a C-student or so, and if he'd just done that the first time, the weight of the exam probably would've bumped him up low B. Aesop couldn't have turned it into a a better "cheaters never prosper" fable.


"I had to explain to a student..."

I teach 5th grade. I had to explain to a student walking in line. He would never walk in line correctly. Finally after correcting him for the 1000th time, he snapped. "What do you mean? What do you mean get in line? What's the line? Why do teachers always say that?" It never occurred to me he didn't understand after being in school for years. He was the best though. One of my favorites.


"I work in student accommodation..."

I work in student accommodation at a fairly large UK university, and jesus christ the things I've seen. Even if you don't count the things they do while drunk, you still end up being concerned for the future of humanity.

Things I've seen students learn the hard way:

  • Plastic bowls are not an adequate substitute for saucepans, and will melt if you put them on the hob. Likewise, you should take the polystyrene foam out from under your frozen pizza before you put it in the oven.
  • If your packet of sausages says 'to oven cook: 15 - 20 minutes", that does not mean you can put it in the microwave for the same amount of time. You should also not go and have a nap after doing this, or you'll wake up to panicked flatmates and a corridor full of smoke.
  • To boil pasta, water is required. Again, panicked flatmates and corridor full of smoke.
  • Most people know they shouldn't microwave metal. Some people still try to heat unopened cans in one.
  • If you forget your keys, call security. Don't try to climb in through the 10" x 12" bathroom window because you'll get stuck, and we'll need the fire brigade to come and rescue you.
  • Dumping the contents of the kitchen bins over the warden's car is a bad idea at the best of times. It's worse if you are already facing disciplinary action for something else (which was actually quite minor, iirc) and the warden already knows who you are. Doing this in front of a CCTV camera, in full view of a security patroller, while the warden watches you from his balcony, and then trying to blame someone else will not improve things.

I've probably got more, but I'll have to think of some that don't involve alcohol. We'll be here all day if I start typing those up!


"I had a classmate..."

I had a classmate put a thermometer into the middle of a bunsen burner to "see how hot the fire was".

As glass and mercury promptly exploded everywhere, I'm pretty sure I saw the teachers soul leave her body. Never saw her look so horrified or pissed before.


"On a number of occasions..."

On a number of occasions, around five or six, I have had to explain to students that you can still get pregnant even if you don't orgasm. Apparently, it's an old wives tale in a bunch of cultures. And when i corrected them, they fought back.


"So he refused to turn it in..."

When I was student teaching, I had one who was JUST on the verge of passing (thanks to the incredible mercy of the primary teacher). All he needed to do was turn in a worksheet that he finished in class. I know that he finished it because I watched him and helped him do it. All he had to do was give it to the teacher. But, in his mind, that would mean that she had won. So he refused to turn it in. I left the school before the end of the semester, but I would bet money that he failed the class.


"I had a little boy..."

I had a little boy (first grade) who always got 14 as his answer to every problem no matter what. On the second day of school I sat down to do 3+2 with him using counters. We set out a pile of 3 and a pile of 2. I told him to count and watched in horror as he pushed the counters into a line and then counted back and forth and back and forth re-counting them until he got to 14. That was the biggest number he knew, he would have just kept going on.


"One girl gasped..."

Kids asked me, "Are you from Detroit or (some other city I forget)?"

I said "Neither, I moved here from Pennsylvania."

One girl gasped and asked, "Do they have slaves there?"



"One of my 10th graders..."

One of my 10th graders said she saw a crime being committed (bike being stolen in neighbor's yard) and she wanted to call 911 but she didn't know the number.


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