Teachers are known for imparting invaluable life lessons to students: reading, writing, arithmetic, and even some common sense. Occasionally, however, it is the student that teaches them something new.
Giving Wrong Answers That Were Technically Right
Learn from all these real-life students who have given the wrong answers in class while technically being right.
A class of first-graders was learning the meaning of the word ‘powerful.’
When prompted to give an example of powerful things and people, like lions and superheroes, one little boy raised his hand.
His answer? “Babies are powerful because they can cry and get whatever they want.”
Faced with a thoughtful essay question, one seventh-grade student proved short and simple answers are the most effective.
In response to “Why do some people see some technology as positive, and others see the same technology as a problem?”, this kid wrote: “Because some smart people are Amish.”
Teaching is hard enough, but when there is a language barrier, hilarious mix-ups are almost guaranteed.
While teaching English in Asia, this young white teacher struggled to contain his laughter when his students had to complete the comparison, “The old man’s hair was as white as (blank).”
“One student asked if she could write down my name,” the teacher recalled.
Sometimes, a teacher has to accept there are multiple correct answers to a single question.
One Redditor recalled a fellow classmate who, when asked where John F. Kennedy was shot, confidently replied: “In the head.”
“In the car” was also an acceptable response, as pointed out by other online users.
When their teacher asked for an example of integrity on a test, a student wrote down, “I wash my hands after going to the bathroom, even if no one is in there.”
English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers are well-versed in all the ways foreign students might pick up inappropriate slang.
During a lesson on common phrases to express surprise (like “No way!” or “Are you kidding me?”), one Korean middle-schooler stood up in the back of the classroom and bellowed: “WHAT THE F—-!?”
To a tardy student: “Why are you late?”
The tardy student: “The bell went off before I got here.”
“My sweet little 7-year-olds overheard a fifth-grade boy say, ‘Don’t be f—— stupid’ to his friend,” shared a first-grade teacher. “They look up at me, eyes wide, and say, ‘Ooh, he said stupid!’”
Reading comprehension is a valued but subjective skill, as any literature teacher can corroborate.
After reading the childhood classic Charlotte’s Web, a third-grade class took a quiz that included the prompt: “Give two pieces of evidence that support the statement, ‘Charlotte was a good friend to Wilbur.’”
A very practical child responded: “She comforted him, and she didn’t let him become pork.”
During a lesson on English numbers, this ESL teacher asked their Vietnamese students: “What is the population of Vietnam?”
“One kid quickly surveyed the room and said, ‘More than 15,” the teacher revealed. “That guy is going places.”
Another Redditor who works with kids recalled explaining to a stubborn toddler why she should be kinder to her mother: “You shouldn’t say those mean things to Mommy when she’s sick. Who looks after you when you are sick and makes you feel better?”
The three-year-old replied matter-of-factly, “The doctor.”
“In a class that deals with electricity, I asked the students to name a good conductor,” shared a teacher on Reddit. The most memorable answer? “Leonard Bernstein.”
The simplest explanation is often the most likely one. One ESL student applied this principle during an activity where they had to provide walking directions based on a map.
When tasked with explaining a particularly complicated route, the student offered this sage advice: “Way too difficult; take a cab.”
The biology exam: “Can you name three models of DNA replication?”
The very honest student: “No.”
One elementary school teacher gave their student full points for providing the most bewildering (but correct) answer to the question: “Write the following numbers in all letters…”
The kid’s answers were:
…And so forth.
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This article Teachers Share Funniest Student Answers That Technically Aren’t Wrong was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching. Source.
I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.
I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!
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