Tales from a Teacher

By Faith Guilford

Most elements of being a teacher one can predict before entering the profession. Lesson planning, marking, reports parents evenings etc. There are however a number of elements of the job that came as a complete surprise. So to all considering training as a teacher, what follows are all genuine classroom interactions, picked up over 9 years teaching in London comprehensives. You have been warned:

The requirement to learn a new language

“Yo roadman, Big Man Ting we’ve got beef. You mirked me off in dat longting whatsapp. Mandem gonna shank you up”

Questions, Questions and more Questions

… Student: “So Miss, when did the world stop being black and white and become colour?”

… After watching an excerpt from Disney’s Robin Hood:

Students: “So Miss, was King John actually a Lion?”

… Student: “Miss, do pigs lay eggs?”

… Student: “Miss, I’ve been looking up stuff for my coursework and I’ve found the English First World War and the American First World War. Which one was it?”

… Student: “Miss, do cows pee out of their udders?”

… Student: “Miss, how did the virgin Mary know she was pregnant?”

Teacher: “Well, her periods would have stopped.”

Student: “Oh, did they have periods in those days?”


  • The astounding cheek of 14 year old boys


… Teacher: “Where is your homework?

Student: “At home.”

Learning support teacher: “What use is it at home? Does Miss live at you home?”

Student: “Not yet!”

… Students: “Miss, how old are you?”

24 year old teacher responds in jest: “56”

Student responds, thinking seriously: “Hmmm. Well I wouldn’t have guessed quite that old, but …yes”

Student, on entering a lesson: “So Miss yeah, wanna go Nando’s wi me?”


And for those interested in teaching History…


  • In response to the question ‘As Hitler’s propaganda chiefs, how would you respond to the Death of president Hindenburg?’
  • Student – “Steal his wife”


  • Student: “Look Miss, I’ve found an actual photograph of Henry VIII”


  • Teacher: “What is a civil war?
  • Student: “Isn’t that when people are all polite?”


  • Teacher: “What methods were used to transport supplies to the troops at the battle of Agincourt?”
  • Student: “Helicopter”

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