Twenty-One Ways To Annoy Your Teacher

Inspired by the latest Freshly Pressed post from The Trombonist’s Mouthpiece, I started thinking about things that irritate me within the classroom on a daily basis. I’ve been a qualified music teacher for seven years now and at times I think I’ve seen and heard it all. I work in a fabulous school with amazing staff and supportive management, but there are still a few occasions where I am still caught off-guard. Most of these are from my own personal experiences or things that my teacher friends have told me over the years.

In the Classroom

1. When your teacher asks a general question to the class, raise your hand with such excitement that you give the impression that you’ll simply die if you don’t give the answer. When selected, respond with “Miss, can I go to the toilet?”

2. Inform your teacher that your parents taxes pay their salary and therefore they should do what you say.

3. Comment on how tired and haggard your teacher is looking. “Are you feeling ill Miss? You look really rough!” is the perfect sort of question to ask.

4. Almost die with shock if your teachers give any hint of a social life outside of school.

5. Click your pen repeatedly while your teacher is talking. If your pen doesn’t have a button on the top, tap your pen on the desk. When they ask you to put it down, look them in the face smile, tap it twice more, then put it down. When asked to stand outside, pretend that you are genuinely baffled about what you did wrong.

6. Correct your teacher if they make the slightest mistake.

7. Ask your female teachers if they’re pregnant.

8. Wait until your teacher is speaking and then yell “Miss!” loudly across the classroom. If she fails to respond to you immediately, continue to yell repeatedly, getting louder as you do so. When asked to wait politely, roll your eyes, tut and proclaim that you “aren’t gonna bother then.”

9. Your teacher sets you homework, which is due to be handed in a week later. When you realise that you’ve forgotten to do it in the next lesson, pretend the reason for you missing the deadline was that you didn’t understand what you had to do, despite seeing your teacher on several occasions in between both lessons.

10. Hand in your work the next day. Ask your teacher later in the afternoon if they have had chance to mark it yet.

3554711. Be extremely rude and snappy to your teacher because somebody else has upset you earlier in the day. Twenty minutes later, go back to that same teacher to ask for help with something.

12. Knowing that your report is not going to be a favourable one at parents evening, tell your parents an outright lie about a situation involving your teacher. When your mother shouts at the teacher, sit back and smile in the most smug manner that you can imagine. However, when your teacher explains what really happened and your mother believes her and apologises, deny all knowledge of the incident and call your teacher a liar.

13. Assume that your white, 31 year old teacher isn’t familiar with Caribbean swear words. Use them in her lessons. When she overhears you and tells you off, pretend that you don’t understand what they mean. When she rings your mother, deny that you were using them in the first place, instead blaming your friend.

14. In your music lesson, wait until your teacher uses the word ‘blow’ when discussing woodwind and brass instruments and then laugh hysterically for as long as possible, encouraging your friends to join in.

15. Tell your trainee teacher to “shut up.” When your inexperienced teacher responds with “No, you shut up!” have a hissy-fit because ‘he can’t speak to you like that.’

During Trips

16. At every available opportunity, make your teacher aware of how bored you are. At the sight of the nearest FootLocker, nag your teacher constantly to go inside. When they refuse, sulk for the next three hours.

17. Refuse to eat any of the food in the hotel. Instead, consume your entire bodyweight in snacks and sweets in the evening. Later, vomit in your bed. Wake your teacher up at 3am to clean it up, being rude and snappy as she does so.

18. Waste all your spending money on sweets and keyrings during the first two days of the trip. Spend the rest of the trip complaining that you want an ice-cream and haven’t got any money left.

19. Hide a packet of cigarettes under your tshirt and then deny all knowledge of it’s existence, despite the fact that the outline of the box is poking through. Scream, cry and threaten to call the police when asked to hand it over.

20. Your teacher hasn’t visited a place before. The minute you walk into each building ask them, “where’s the toilet?”

21. Wait for the least convenient moment to attempt to be friendly with your teacher. For example, if she is sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, looking out over the spectacular view and contemplating Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream Speech,’ use this as an opportunity to ask her “Miss, what’s your favourite pizza topping?”

Can anybody add to this?

Image credits: and

30 thoughts on “Twenty-One Ways To Annoy Your Teacher

  1. This about covers it. I used to tell my students that there was no such thing as a dumb question, just an inappropriate one. Then, it happened. A student, after hearing that I was failing two of them, asked me,”Do you know who they are?” I replied, ” No. I just threw some names in a hat and had the principal select two.” Next question?

  2. I think that is a comprehensive list you have compiled and as I am helpful in your endeavour to get out your message, I have taken the liberty of sending this out to all relevant adolescent web sites as I know you would wish me too.

  3. Haha, you’re not pregnant though, right?

    I remember how amazed I was if I ever saw one of my teachers at the grocery store or something when I was a young lad. I guess I thought they were just teachers and never left the school. Maybe if they were better teachers though, I’d not have been so dumb?

    Yay you for teaching though! You’ll always encounter new stories in that profession.

  4. You more than earn your salary. Music teachers indeed have an added challenge… they have to listen to parts not learned and being off key, so if your homework isn’t done, then either sing off key or play off key… I admire music teachers. Thank you.

  5. The clicking/tapping pen a couple more times after being told to stop… my 15 year old son does that sort of thing ALL the time and with a great big grin on his face too! So annoying! You have my admiration, and sympathy! Great post 🙂

  6. I’m a student and I really hate seeing anyone being rude to the teachers during class. I’ve had crap teachers and I’ve done my fair share of bad-mouthing, but saying it out loud in class does nothing but embarrass the teacher and undermine their authority. And the correcting on every little mistake is annoying, too- why some people need to be such smart-asses is beyond me. Hang in there!

  7. Well, it’s late so I won’t get too caught up (because I could!) but here’s three from this week alone:
    Twisting your face in confusion, pretending not to understand, saying “Huh?” every time teacher speaks simply because she has a foreign accent.
    Waving an puce colored acrylic tipped forefinger in teacher’s face and reminding her not to disrespect you as YOU pay her wages.
    Asking permission to leave class early and when teacher doesn’t immediately agree, respond that you will leave the school if that’s how things are going to be.
    (They say it’s not a career, it’s a vocation, don’t they?!)

  8. Number one! And any form of clicking, tapping, drumming, swinging-on-chairs malarky. I once threatened to drop a child’s pen lid out of the window after months of tapping. I can’t reveal in such a public arena whether I actually carried out this threat.

  9. I take my hat off to teachers, they are a tough bunch. Lesser mortals would crumble and beg for mercy if confronting a classroom of angelic faces with evil intent. I like the ‘Are you pregnant’ line.

  10. 15. Tell your trainee teacher to “shut up.” When your inexperienced teacher responds with “No, you shut up!” have a hissy-fit because ‘he can’t speak to you like that.’

    I was told to shut up, by a year 7 and I replied with “You shut up” he replied with “Teachers are not allowed to tell pupils to shut up” I replied with
    “That’s OK but as I am a learning support assistant, I am not a teacher, you have a choice either shut up or make your way down to the heads office and explain to her why I cannot tell you to shut up”

    He immediately apologised and never spoke to me like that again…… 🙂
    I loved the excuses but I was very sharp witted, I loved the banter and if you catch them just right they sit with the blank expression and the lack of the ability to talk…… then they grow into teenagers 🙂

  11. Hey Suzie,
    I don’t know much about being a teacher (I’m not one, but my dad is. He seems to have all of the patience in the world and never complains about the things that irk him, so unfortunately, I have nothing to add), but this list made me laugh.

    Since I did some of those very same things as a kid, particularly in the rolling eyes department, I’m going to have to say sorry on behalf of kids everywhere who think they know everything…at least until they fall on their face a few times. For me, it was after going over the handlebars of a bike. 🙂 There’s nothing like flipping over and then wondering what happened to make you a little more humble.

  12. This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. I was laughing (snorting) outloud through the entirity of this along with The Bloke who admitted to foing at least half of these things as a teenager!

  13. Thank you for this, Suzie. I’ve had a rough week at my school. Kid complained to Mommy that I took away his ball at recess so she brought the little darling to confront me. Mommy was awfully bored while I explained that I did remove said ball because Kid and Friends were playing wildly and the ball nearly landed on the stairs where it would have tripped other people’s Kids. Then I told Kids to have fun but play more safely, and I returned the ball. Seems Kid hadn’t told Mommy the whole story, and she was so bored to learn I wasn’t the meanie she’d heard. Course she really didn’t want to listen to Kid complaining and she thought I was gonna lay down and kiss his feet to make both of them happy. Part of a story, a made up story, what’s the difference? Isn’t it fun to get your teacher in trouble?
    Then I asked another Kid to please remember to pack something nutritious as well as all the sweet garbage she was shoveling in. Next day she told me that it was not my business what she chose to eat at school. I asked if she had spoken with her parents and she nodded. Then I found out that she had traded away the nutritious part of her lunch, even though trading is forbidden at our school (potential allergy problems.) Her parents came to school to talk to my supervising teacher about this incident. Now Kid wonders why I don’t banter with her like I used to. Guess friendship doesn’t hold up when you pull rank.
    It’s a tough profession. We want so much to just teach and open the kids’ minds to all that’s out there. Management is always going to be part of teaching but it does seem that it’s become way too large a part of our teaching day. You lightened my mood and made me laugh. Thank you.

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