Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Student Quotes, So Far

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

~Will Durant

Middle school students are in that in between stage – no longer children, but not yet savvy about the world around them. As a result, they wind up making astute observations, yet sometimes they don’t have a clue.


When asked to describe the shape of Australia, one student wrote, "It's shaped like a round rectangle."

Instead of answering an essay question, a student wrote, “Epic Fail” across the space. At least she knew.

On a test, one student explained a positive aspect of becoming a knight: “This is dangerous, but I get the ladies in the end.”

Field Tripping

At Mt. Monadnock , the insides of the toilets in the restrooms are stained yellow, which I’m sure is caused by minerals rather than something more sinister. When entering a stall, a female student screeched, “That’s mad ghetto water.”

On the way down the mountain, several boys were behind me, talking about basketball. Topics like, Shaq joining the Celtics and LeBron on Miami. Miami lost to the Celtics and they were wondering whose fault it was.

“Maybe the coach is terrible,” one student said.

“He’s Filipino,” replied another.

I don’t know if that meant the coach was good or bad or the kid was just changing the subject.

The eighth-graders went to see a play about the Little Rock Nine at the Boston Courthouse. While we waited on line to get inside, a tour guide dressed up as a colonial woman brought her group behind us.

“Is she in the play?” one female student asked me.

“Um, no. She’s dressed a little differently than people did in the 1950s.”

“Oh yeah.”


As I set up the TV and DVD player for a seventh-grade class, one student said the high pitch was annoying him.

I told him, “I can’t hear it. I think you have to be under 30 to hear it.”

Another student exclaimed, “You’re over 30?!”

I didn’t know whether to be elated he was shocked I was over 30 or demoralized because he was horrified that someone could be over 30. It’s not a disease, y’all.


One Friday during snack time, a male student asked a female student for some cereal.

She replied, “Aren’t you rich?”

He looked taken aback. “Not really. Nobody is rich in Cambridge. We have some money.”

“Then why can’t you afford to bring snack to school?”

He didn’t get any cereal.


I decided to show the students a DVD of “The Dark Ages” to supplement the unit. I made a handout so they’d actually pay attention to the DVD. During the film, a student came over to ask, “Who’s Clover?” I looked down and realized that Microsoft Word was kind enough to change Clovis to clover. (Thanks, Microsoft Word.)

Note to self: always edit your work.


  1. the knights always DO get the ladies ... that's gold!!

  2. Wow, some of those were rich!
    But one that really cracked me up was the Clover... I didn't know kids in the USA learned about Merovingian herb-lore. : j

  3. Ha! Those are brilliant. That reminds me of a little story. With very small kids though. I asked a student to come up and write 'sock' on the board (I was teaching English), and the poor sod wrote 'cock'. Of course, I was grinning from ear to ear within :o)

  4. @Jessica: There's good eating on a rooster. ; j

  5. Wow. Well it certainly keeps life interesting when you're hanging around young one's.

    BTW I think I would have been flattered at the thought of a child thinking I was under 30. Must be doing something right, just ignore the horrified expression!


  6. Haha, wowww!! I love the one about being over 30 and how you note it's not a disease hehe. Kids keep things so interesting :)

  7. You gotta love those teenagers! You never know what they will say! This post made me smile!
    Just to let you know, I once again will not be posting for about a month or so, due to another bunion surgery(the other foot.) My surgery is Friday, December 10. I will be posting one more post in a few days.
    So until then, Happy New Year. May this year bring good cheer and good fortune to you.
    Take care.

  8. Ha ha ha! Out of the mouths of (teen) babes! Love these.
    I wish I'd kept a journal while teaching because the kids cracked me up every day. And they are brutally honest. (I used to teach third and fourth grade)

  9. I love these snippets. Thanks. And the Clovis/Clover mix up--yes, we need to edit our own work.

  10. Who is going to clean the coffee up? I just spit a whole mouthful all over the place laughing so hard at, "Mad Ghetto Water."

    These are great! :D
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  11. Oh, these are classic!

    I think you should feel flattered-he probably didn't think you looked it-cause you don't!

    My favorite is the mad ghetto water :D I'm still chuckling about it.

    Thanks for making my day and I hope you're having a great week.

  12. Haha, these totally made me laugh out loud! Such a cute age :)

  13. hi miss theresa! my brothers are always laughing at stuff i say. these were fun to read specially cause those guys are just my age. mg rocks!
    ...hugs from lenny

  14. Kids crack me up. I loved the "Epic Fail" one. haha! Poor kid.

  15. I just love these stories. They really brighten my day. And I'm glad that thirties is not old because I'm in my thirties.


  16. Yay these kids' quotes are great!! Knights do so get the ladies!! LOL!!!

    OH darn Word!! It thinks it knows better!!! :-) Take care

  17. Ha ha ha! I always love collections of the things kids say. Believe it or not, my favorites are the first two. :-)

  18. I love those, Theresa! I had some funny ones when I was teaching English. Of course, typically, I can't think of any right now!

  19. They are great, Theresa!
    I also love the quote at the start of your post, how true!!

  20. Children do say the most funniest things!

  21. I love the "round rectangle!" Shows some imagination :p

    And "epic fail." Can't go wrong with that.

    I remember for an exam in grad school I wrote the slide number, highlighter color, and date of the lecture for the answer...but I couldn't for the life of me remember what was on the actual slide!

    I got a smiley face...with 0 marks :p

  22. some serious mad ghetto water lol this was so funny and endearing. Glad to see a teacher putting a lot into her children's lives

  23. "Clover" That's why I turn auto correct off in Word. I highly recommend this strategy to anyone who can spell (and perhaps a few people who can't--let it put wiggly lines under things it things are misspelled, but don't let it fix things without warning you).

  24. I love these quotes. Maybe you could put a collection of them in a book, like they do for quotes by famous people. It's interesting to listen to kids talk, especially because they don't always hold themselves back from saying what they think like older students do.

  25. @ Clutterbug, I didn't remember the reading saying so, but I imagine the student is right.

    @ Alesa, we''ve been studying the fall of the Roman Empire and Feudalism. Clovis came up.

    @ Jessica, the child was exercising the use of the soft c.

    @ Jen/Jules, there were horrified expressions! But some also think I'm older while others are surprised I have children. I think they just have no clue about age by appearance.

    @ Saumya, kids do keep things interesting. They're cute and drive me nuts simultaneously.

    @ Choices, I'm sorry you have to have surgery again. We'll miss you. Have a happy new year!

    @ Kelly, I wish I'd kept a journal when I taught 5th-grade. I'm keeping track now.

  26. @ Paul, I've been more careful since the Clovis/Clover incident.

    @ Jules, the student said "mad ghetto water" just before we climbed the mountain. I repeated it a bunch of times so I wouldn't forget it.

    Sorry about the coffee.

    @ The Words Crafter, glad you enjoyed the quotes.

    I don't know how much I look young as they have no idea. We're all just adults or really old.

    @ Meredith, it's a cute/goofy age.

    @ Lenny, I'd like to have you in my class.

    @ Mary, epic fail was funny. She's done better since then, so no epic fails.

    @ Clarissa, it's nice not to know being in your 30s isn't considered old. As for my age, no comment!

  27. @ Old Kitty, personally I don't think I would've gone for the knights. All that armor and training probably made them stinky. But I guess everyone smelled then.

    Yeah, wretched Word!

    @ Shannon, I liked them all. A round rectangle is kind of clunky, isn't it?

    @ Talli, that happens to me when I comment too.

    @ Brigid, I liked it too because it fit with the post, but also the more I learn, the less I realize I know.

    @ The Golden Eagle, thanks!

    @ Nas Dean, yes they do!

  28. @ Kathleen, thanks!

    @ Erica, what a funny story. Knowing all that detail but not the slide itself. Glad you got props.

    @ Joanna, that line may be the best description of water, ever. The students make me laugh.

    @ Lsquared, you're right. Word is always capitalizing words I don't want to capitalize when I'm making vocabulary lists. I bet it would stop that too.

    @ Neurotic Workaholic, I'll see if I accumulate enough for a collection.

    I agree, they don't censor themselves like students do when they're older.

  29. Love the round rectangle and the knight comment - awesome!!

  30. I bet that has been entertaining. Thanks for sharing the laughs, and I have the same opinion of knights--strong gal appeal.

  31. I loved this - kids are so funny! And I think I'd be elated if someone were that shocked I was over 30!

  32. Really enjoyed that Theresa. Are you over ?!? Shock! Horror!

  33. "Maybe the coach is terrible,” one student said.

    “He’s Filipino,” replied another.

    This reminds me of something that happened in yoga the other night. I had never taken this particular instructor's class before, so I asked the guy next to me if we needed blankets or straps or anything. He said, "Oh, you've never taken her class before. She's an accountant too."

  34. @ Shannon, glad to give you a laugh.

    @ Jemi, they haven't been as funny lately. Should I tell them I need new material for the next quote post?

    @ Slamdunk, I doubt I would've fallen for a knight, but you and the student are entitled to you ladies theory!

    @ Susan, they might be shocked because they don't understand age the same. We're all old, I think.

    @ Ann, I know! Imagine if I revealed my real age?!

    @ Solvang, I"m glad you liked them.

    @ Missed Periods, an accountant? Just what you needed to know to assess the blanket at yoga situation!

  35. Hi Theresa .. I love that shape of Australia .. brilliant!

    Alesa and her Clover .. and Merovingian herb-lore .. and then Jessica and her sock and bull story of the blackboard .. I'd have been on the floor with hysterics - but the explaining?!

    Great fun .. thanks - Hilary

  36. Ha! You’re over 30?!!!Really enjoyed this post! More please!:)

  37. "Mad ghetto water" is pretty serious teenage lingo. Very funny.

    I always thought people living in Cambridge were either really rich or really poor. At least that's what I saw when I went to school down there. -More of the extremes.

  38. Hahaha I utterly LOVED this!
    Knights rule, they always do. Everyone knows that. Now I`m picturing knights riding expensive cars, entoning raps and wearing heavy gold medallions, with lots of ladies around them...

  39. @ Words A Day, I know, I'm ancient!

    Should I tell the students to keep up with the quotes. Sometimes they're too inappropriate to post.

    @ Aubrie, we're a mix of everyone, but especially rich and poor. My school is 69% free and reduced lunch.

    @ Clara, that's quite a picture of the rappers... I mean, knights!

  40. The stuff they say...

    I've gotten quite a few posts out of the random strange teenage observation. Blog gold, isn't it?

  41. Too cute. When I was that age, I'd say "oh yeah" to everything a grown-up would say too, even when I didn't have a clue. Wait, I still do that...

  42. @ Liz, interacting with students can be blog gold.

    @ Amanda, ha! Maybe we all do it.

  43. Ugh, I could never teach middle school (although the people that do generally love it - thank goodness for them!).

    Fun quotes, though (and I actually have a student this year named Clover)!

  44. Dude, I can't stop laughing over the knight comment. Getting all the ladies is very important at this age! HA!

  45. @ Erica, I've got mixed feelings about teaching middle school. But then again, I never thought I'd handle subbing and I did that for over a year.

    A student named Clover? Wow.

    @ Elana, from what I've seen, the idea of getting the ladies is very important at this age!

  46. So it's true. Kids do say the darndest things!