Teaching English – (Hopefully) Hilarious Tales from the Classroom

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As I’ve mentioned before, one thing I do is teach English online to students in other countries.

You start getting funny stories pretty quickly. Some are a result of a mental translation gone wrong. Some are a result of a student not having the vocabulary they need and having to get creative. Some are a result of different cultural perspectives.

In any event, here are a handful of hopefully entertaining tales to bring a smile to your day.

On Pirates:

Me: What is a Pirate?
Student: A pirate is someone whose only job is to go out and get goodies and then stick them in land somewhere.

On Technology:

We read a story about two friends who are pen pals and who write letters to each other every week. After we finished reading, I asked…

Me: Can you think of any questions you would like to ask the characters?
Student: Yes, I would ask why are you so stupid and writing letters?! You have the Internet!!


I will often ask children to draw pictures of vocabulary words and phrases to check their comprehension – and also to give them a little break in the lesson.

Here are two of my favorites:

1. I asked a boy to draw a windy day.
He drew a tornado, and even included a flying person and a flying house that was in two pieces.

2. I asked a girl to draw what people drink.
She drew a Long Island iced tea.

Creative Language: Insect Edition

Me: What insect would you like to know more about?
Student: Bees. I want to know why when bees are on your hand they… (pokes her hand a couple times while trying to think of the word “sting”)…make your hand not very good feel [sic].

Creative Language: Starbucks Edition

Me: What is coffee?
Student: It’s a drink. It’s hot. It can… how do you say… it can make people exciting.

The “Oh, I Get What You Mean! Phew…” Moment

Me: What are some of your favorite things?
Student: I like gropes.
Me: ….excuse me?
Student: One is never enough. I need many.
Me: … uhhh, what?
Student: I like the purple ones the best.

He meant grapes.

He Has a Point…

Me: What is your favorite planet?
Student: Don’t have one.
Me: What about Earth?
Student: No.  Too much homework here.

And My Favorite – Blowing Their Minds

We were discussing the passive voice with the sentence, “The video game was played by the teacher and the students.”

Student:  That sentence is wrong.
Me: Why is it wrong?
Student: Because teachers don’t play video games.
Me:  I do.
Student:  …what?
Me:  I was playing one before class.
Student:  WHAT?!?!

I still don’t think she believes me.

Any other fellow teachers out there, either online or brick and mortar? Have any funny stories you’d like to share? Please let us here them in the comments below :-).

1 thought on “Teaching English – (Hopefully) Hilarious Tales from the Classroom”

  1. My student saw my birthmark and got excited and said ‘you got a tattoo!!!’ I suddenly became very cool in his eyes! 😂( He was in preschool and only 3)

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