30 Times Teachers Couldn’t Believe How Students Took Stupidity To A Whole New Level
Margareth SPublished on
Eccentrics exist, but those are not the kind of people we’re referring to here. Sure it sounds like there are some here that are experiencing learning difficulties. But one can’t be that lacking in common sense and knowledge at the age where they can work part-time, right?
What are you going to do if you still don’t even know what is a millimeter?
Get ready for some shocking stories that really tell you how important staying in school is. Home education is also important because you can’t have your Chinese kid walking around town asking people what a Chinese is. Seriously, what happened to these kids?
“I’m late and not a professor, but I share this one any chance I get. 10th grade, I had a girl in my class ask the teacher how long it would take for a submarine to travel from Florida to California… going underneath the country.” – CableTrash
“I once gave a university student a C on a philosophy paper. She looked at me and said, ‘Do you know who my father is?’
To this day, I don’t know who he was, but her grade did not change.” – HanlonRazor
“Not a professor, but I was helping out a younger friend’s classmate revise for his O-level (15 to 16-year-olds) maths exam.
He had some past papers with him, so I looked through them and got him started with a simple problem to try and gauge how much he knew. The question provided some measurements in millimeters, asked you to do some basic number crunching, and finally provide the answer in meters.
He attempted it for a few minutes but didn’t cover any ground, so he asked for help. I then went through the number crunching with him step by step and prompted him to do the final conversion to meters thinking it would be trivial. He stared at me blankly.
Me: How many millimeters are there in a meter?
Student: I don’t know.
Me: What does ‘milli’ mean?
I take out his foot ruler and place it in front of him.
Me: Show me a millimeter on this ruler.
Me: What do the lines represent?
He gives me some bullsh** answer that makes no sense.
Me: Have you never used a ruler before!?
I then proceed to explain to him what the millimeter and centimeter marks on the ruler are. I also explain to him that they are 1/1000 and 1/100 of a meter respectively and that the words “milli” and “centi” imply as much.
Me: Okay, now that you know what these are and what proportion of a meter they are, can you show me how large a meter is approximately?
I expected him to stretch his arms out and just say “about this much”.
Student: Umm… from here to [nearby shopping mall]?
I just stared at him in disbelief. I was honestly shocked. The shopping mall he referred to was at least 1-2 kilometers away. His exam was in 3 days. How did he even make it this far in school?” – Hawkie74
“High School Teacher. Many years ago, I was showing my students clips from Romeo and Juliet. Student stared at the screen in total bewilderment for a few minutes. Then she said, serious as a cancer diagnosis, ‘How can he be in this movie? He died in Titanic.'” – BlakeMP
“I had a student plagiarize on the final exam. It was a take home, essay/short answer exam. They knew to cite any sources, and to put it in their own words. The kicker? This particularly bright bulb plagiarized me. The professor. She tried to pass off MY WORDS as her own.
Oi.” – RavlinBay
“Not a professor but back when I was in highschool; I was a library aide and I was walking into classrooms distributing some books and I walked into a class with the professor in the middle of an angry lecture on plagiarism because one of the students turned in an essay that started with “In my 25+ years of experience in this field.” – AOLaliel
“May or may not be dumb, but my friend and I went to her uncle’s house which had this piece of paper framed and put on the wall. It was a 0/20 on a true or false quiz. Her uncle was a professor and was just too impressed by such an achievement that he had to put it in his home.” – SubMGK
“One of my students told me he was going to be 21 when he graduated high school. I asked him why. He explained that he ages TWO YEARS every year. He is 15 turning 16 so that is 2 years. He is probably right that he will not graduate HS til age 21, but not for the reason he mentioned lol.” – soulsista12
“I had a student who wrote an art history paper about Leonard Davin Chi. Didn’t even run that sucker through spellcheck or anything. Referred to him as that throughout the entire paper.” – glimmerfox
“Happened in the first week of a college anthropology course:
Prof: Let’s list a few basic differences between modern humans and animals.
Student: We have a heartbeat.” – PubScrubRedemption
“One of my husband’s colleagues said a kid came up to him after an exam and said, ‘I didn’t know the answers to the questions you asked on the test, so I made up my own questions and answered them.’ The professor said, ‘That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, and when I go to lunch, I’m going to tell all my friends.'” – BSB8728
“I had a student this year who plagiarised in an assignment ABOUT plagiarism… This included copy-pasting the definition of plagiarism from Wikipedia.” – MelissaLeeee
“One student asking the difference between psychopath and psychologist, in criminology class.” – newyorkminute88
“My sister is a French Teacher, not a professor, so I’m not sure if this counts but here goes: everyone in the class had a fairly lengthy piece of French homework, and one student put the entire thing in Google translate but translated it to Spanish.” – GreatJobTeam
“I am not a professor, but I watched one facepalm after my classmate said this: Ugh! I don’t even know what a verb IS!
This was in an advanced linguistics course for would-be English teachers.” – HawaiianShirtsOR
“Not a professor, but someone in my class asked, ‘After a C-section, do they put the baby back in?'” – _Spray_Paint_
“Not a professor, but I worked at my university’s tutoring center while in college. Had one student who was a sports science major and would come in for tutoring for every single class. He had to do this because he was barely literate, as in reading MAYBE on a first-grade level. One of his assignments was to write about an important African-American figure. He asked me what African-American meant. The student was African-American.
For the record, I don’t blame him for being dumb. I blame every single teacher he ever had whose responsibility it was to ensure that he was learning, and instead just passed him on so he would be someone else’s problem.” – minorfall23
“History. Prof. is talking about some expedition or something and mentions Antarctica, is standing in front of a world map. Girl raises her hand, asks, ‘Excuse me, but where IS Antarctica?‘
Prof. stands there unable to answer for a few seconds, then raises his arm to the map and goes, “right heeeeeereeeeeeee!” While running his hand under Antarctica and making exaggerated Vanna White motions. Girl goes, “Oh, ok!”
I was a little scared. More for the professor. He had that, “I am severely underpaid” expression.” – caliundrgrd
“I didn’t believe any student was dumb – he/she may only have needed the right motivation. Until I met RJ. RJ was dumb. RJ didn’t realize that the chicken we eat was the same as the animal. RJ was 21 at the time.” – tapehead4
“Had a kid skip my class every day. I had a working discussion section one day every other week where the students would work on one of the homework assignments together in groups — the kid would show up during the last 10 minutes of class to join a group and put his name on an assignment. Only time I ever saw him.
So I gave him a 0 for all group work and a 0 for participation (basically just some free points because I’d randomly call on people to talk about the readings).
After he gets his grade, he wants to argue about the fact that I punished him even though I said I wasn’t going to take attendance. No, motherf***er — I’m punishing you because you didn’t do sh**, and you tried to scam off of other kids that did.” – Alrik
“I teach a class on the history of Psychology. When covering the chapter on behaviorism, and discussing the ideas of its founder, John Watson, who was a determinist (did not believe in free will) – a student asked me in the middle of class that if he was a determinist, why did he advocate free will in the Sherlock Holmes book? I was really taken aback by that one.” – perceptionactionprof
“I wouldn’t say dumb, but definitely baffling and annoying. She had somehow gotten all the way to college still believing that weirdly and creepily exaggerated coy-little-girl flirting would get her what she wanted, including with female faculty. It was cringey to see in action – literally tilting her head to the side, playing with her hair, pivoting her leg back and forth mannerisms, combined with semi-childish speech patterns while glancing up through her eyelashes. Definitely “I’m only talking to this one in front of witnesses” territory.
She told me that she was reading and studying every night and still not making progress on tests and needed help. I explained how to make written study materials to help her absorb information better. She said she’d done that and reviewed the materials regularly, but still wasn’t seeing results. Genuinely concerned and puzzled, I asked her to bring me her materials next class period and we’d go over them to make sure they were accurate and useful. She agreed.
Next class period rolls around. She announces, with even more exaggerated mannerisms, that wouldn’t you know it – she was so frustrated with her score on her last test (returned before our earlier conversation) that she’d thrown her study materials into the trash in a fit of anger and they were all gone. Almost as if they had never existed.
I looked her in the eye and said, “I think you should consider, then, that self-discipline may be playing a role in your grades in my class.” She huffed and pouted in outrage, and I never saw her again.
What makes me sad is that clearly someone, almost certainly her family, had taught her that these behaviors worked. No one sticks to a behavior that strongly unless she has had success with it.” – IThinkThingsThrough
“Not a prof but we had a creative writing assignment where we were given a piece of paper with a list of 5 unusual words to use in a poem. I read my poem, which used all the words, and a girl went on an angry rant over the fact that I had used a bunch of obscure words that she didn’t understand.” – matermachina
“A student in my economics class started his final essay with this:
“We are all familiar with the country, Africa. Yet at the same time, we know little about them. All we know is that it is hot there, African Americans live there and they are really poor. This begs the question, why is Africa that poor?”
It was just so jam-packed with stupid I had to stop grading for 24 hours.
Edit: For the record, this was indeed a college student.” – bgoegan
“This happened in high school. Senior year.
Our teacher was talking about the phases of the moon and this girl raised her hand and ask if other countries have moons too. She thought the moon was only for the US.” – yohan_teh
“A friend was substitute teaching a high school math class and was to proctor a test for the students. At one point during the test a student got up to ask if he knew what 8 x 7 was, but before he could respond another student said, “Sit down… he doesn’t know the answer to that… he’s a substitute teacher not a math teacher.'” – SeaofSounds
“My mom isn’t a professor, but she sometimes supervises college students who study under her in a practicum setting. She was on a home visit with a student once (she’s a social worker), and the family was showing my mom and the student around their farm. The matriarch of the family was gathering chicken eggs and commented on how small some of them were. The student suggested placing them back in the hen’s nest so that they would have more time to grow. This senior in college thought that eggs grow bigger the longer they can remain in the nest, like vegetables or something. This is also in a very rural place where probably half the population has some kind of farm or livestock.” – divingproblems
“When my mom was a history teacher at a local high school, they went on a trip to Spain.
One girl, let’s call her Megan, was not quite a clever student. They went to a restaurant to eat and Megan was looking at the menu. She was frowning the whole time and made some “hmm, hmm” noises and looked like she was struggling with the language. My mom told her there was an English menu on the other page because she didn’t understand Spanish.
3 minutes later she still looked confused. My mom asked her what was wrong. Megan then asks my mom why the English language was so different than they learned at school. Megan didn’t understand a word. My mom looked at her menu, went quiet for a second and told megan she was reading the German menu.” – Easteregg123
“Actually one of the smarter kids in my class. Ethics, awareness of social norms… not so much. He sent me an email after the semester ended, asking if I’d mind telling my next semester class that his digital textbook was available for sale. Oh, and that it’s a PDF so if multiple people want it, he can sell them all copies. I responded that I admire his entrepreneurial spirit, but it probably wasn’t a good idea to solicit his professor’s help in starting a piracy-based book selling business.” – Tabarnouche
“As a GA teaching freshman English, I had a couple of instances of cheating that left me speechless. First, my university uses an online plagiarism checker and the students know this. With one student, over half of his essay was copied from a website. He looked genuinely shocked when I called him out on it, and then told me that his mother wrote the paper for him. I explained that his mother writing his paper was also cheating. Then he asked if he could get credit for the half that wasn’t from a website.
Another time, the students had to analyze a movie showing how it used the Hero’s Journey as a plot structure. This was an easy assignment seeing as how nearly every modern movie uses this structure. The student copied the Wikipedia summary of ‘Aladdin’ word for word, and he denied doing it. He argued it was a coincidence that his entire essay was the exact same as Wikipedia’s.” – Coloradical27