“What Was the Great Depression Like?” Teachers Share Some Embarassing Moments From the Classroom

Heba Asfari, Staff writer

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All of us come into contact with embarrassing moments in our lives- moments that cause us to blush, recoil, and even laugh. In fact, some of us experience this more than others.

In the moment, it might be stressful; but when we look back at it, we can laugh it off. High school is a great place to come into contact with embarrassing moments. It is the place that teaches us the most, yet it is full of stories about “that one time when I…”

Students, for the most part, interpret teachers as serious beings who do nothing more than grade our papers and add to our knowledge. While this might seem to be the case, it is actually not. Teachers, too, know what embarrassing moments are like – both in their student years and while they have been in charge in the classroom. These embarrassing classroom moments are ones that teachers – often after the fact – can laugh at the most.

Ms. Gibboney, who teaches AP Literature and Composition as well as Honors English 12 at PB, recalled one of her most embarrassing moments, which took place in the very beginning of her career. She recalls:
“Back when I first started teaching, I had an ESOL class – a class that teaches foreigners the English language. Most of my students were from a Spanish speaking countries, and I am so proud of the Spanish that I speak. So, I told the class to introduce themselves to the class with a partner to make them feel welcomed. But there was this girl that was shy, and I could tell that she didn’t want to talk, so I said, ‘No necesidad embarasado.’ I kept on repeating it thinking that I was saying ‘no need to be embarrassed, no need to be embarrassed,’ and the girl bursted into tears. I didn’t know what’s wrong. Apparently, what I said was “You don’t need to be pregnant.” The mother came to me yelling. It took a bit to sort out, but what I didn’t know was that her daughter was pregnant. For a while I was called the witch teacher, because they thought that I read minds or knew what was going on with someone without saying it.”

Mr. Miller, who teaches AP and Honors National State and Local Government (NSL) recalled a time where a student made a mistake related to his age. He recalls:
“Students tease me about being old all the time. One day a student of mine came to me at lunch, and I was sitting with Ms. Lueck. This student had already taken my class, and at the time was taking AP World. In AP World, the final project is that you have to interview someone about an event that they have lived through. So, the student came to me and said, ‘May I interview you?”

I said, ‘Yes, of course.’

I thought that she was going to ask me about an event that I lived through such as the Vietnam War, 9/11, the moon landing (I was in sixth grade). I thought she’s going to have something along those lines. Then she asked me, ‘Mr. Miller, what was it like during the Great Depression?’ Then Ms. Lueck looked at her and said, ‘How old do you think he is?’”

“So, students, contrary to what you might think, I was not born in the 1930’s. I was born in the 1950’s. The Great Depression had been over for twenty years when I was born!”

“So, students, contrary to what you might think, I was not born in the 1930’s. I was born in the 1950’s. The Great Depression had been over for twenty years when I was born!””

— Mr. Miller

Ms. Stridiron, who teachers Honors English 11 and AP Language and Composition, recalls a time when her eyes played a trick on her. She recalls:

“I was teaching English 9. I had a student in my class who was absent, and during one of my planning periods I walked by Mrs. Powell’s room, and I looked in the window, and I saw the student in there. So I was wondering did he cut my class and go to Mrs. Powell’s class?
So the next day the student was in my class, and so I pulled him aside and asked, ‘Why were you cutting my class and sitting in Mrs. Powell’s class?’

He said, ‘No I wasn’t.’

I replied, ‘Yes you were. I saw you in Mrs. Powell’s class. You were sitting in her class and didn’t come to my class.’

He looked at me and said, ‘No that’s my brother. I have a twin.’

We laughed about it, but it was embarrassing and funny at the same time, and I was able to get to know that he had an identical twin brother.”

Mr. Massey, who teaches Intro to Engineering also recalls a challenging and embarrassing moment that identical twins created for him in the classroom.

“I had twins in my class; one was well-behaved and one was not well-behaved. I couldn’t tell them apart, and one day the poorly behaved twin did something really awful, and I was furious. I don’t know what happened, but the good twin ended up coming in that particular morning, and I thought it was the twin who did the awful act. I ended up bombing him out to the point that he almost cried. He didn’t tell me that the person who did the really bad thing was his twin. In the meantime, the one that I should’ve been talking to came in, but I thought he was the good one. It took me three days until I found out about the mistake I had made, so I had to go back and apologize, but I had to get them together, because I couldn’t tell them apart since they were identical twins!”

So, the next time you find yourself in an embarrassing situation, remember what some of your teachers have been through and enjoy a good laugh at their expense – maybe it will lessen your own humiliation.

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“What Was the Great Depression Like?” Teachers Share Some Embarassing Moments From the Classroom