Click for classroom resourcesTeaching strategies and informationSearch and reference optionsAll about TeachersFirst





A Funny Thing Happened…

Try our reading lists.

Add Your Favorite – To contribute your own bit of classroom humor, send an e-mail to We’d love to hear from you.


Had Enough? – If you’d rather live like a kid again, take a look at our tongue-in-cheek resignation.

Things I’ve learned from Children – A mother’s list… can you add a few???

Which Way Home?

Several years ago while teaching a challenging underachiever class in geography, I became very exasperated trying to get the students to develop some awareness of their immediate environment. I purposed that each student write a sketch of their school and then draw a map of their county. After drawing the map, they were to write a short paragraph giving directions from the school to their home. One student failed repeatedly, even after my many interventions, to figure out how to write the directions to his house. I finally asked the student, with a bit of disbelief, "How do you get home after school?" The student looked at me with the straightest of faces and with a slight twinkle in his eye, the result of finally knowing the proper answer, and said, "I ride a bus!" Enough said! Where was I to go from there?

Nice Pants

My school uses a character program called Great Expectations. One of my responsiblities was to greet each of my fourth grade students at the door each morning. Last fall, as I was getting ready for work I selected a pantsuit that had a "jungle" type print on the pants. As I greeted my class that morning, Chris greeted me with a big smile and said, "NICE pants Ms.Plum!" His tone was one of friendly sarcasism. When we got into the class I wanted to use this as a great example of sarcasm, so I asked Chris to repeat to the class exactly what he said and be sure to use the same tone of voice. He willingly complied. Of course, the class couldn’t believe he had told me that! One of the girls was frantically waving her hand and saying, "Ms. Plum! Ms.Plum!" I called on her and she anxiously reassured me that, "Ms. Plum, I like your pajamas!" Her well-meant "compliment" caused me a moment of uncontrollable laughter as well as the rest of the class. After composing myself and the class, I told the class, "That’s it! We are NOT going on the safari now! We will have to stay at school at work!" (Of course, as fourth graders, they said later, "Ms. Plum, were we really going on a safari today??"

I switched to 6th grade midway through the year and when we had the word compliment as the word of the week, I used this story to illustrate the difference between sarcasm and genuine compliments. They laughed at the
story and understood the intent!
Bristow, OK

The Rest of the Story

During my first of teaching Hutterite children in souther Manitoba, Canada, I discussed the marriageSamuel de Champlain. Now, it is important to know that Hutterites are a religious group who do not believe in radio or television. I expained that when Champlain was in 42 (I believe that was the age) he married his bride. Ten years later, when she was 22, she came to live in Canada for a while. When I asked the students studying this topic how old she was when they got married, one of the students said that the answer was 22. I asked this 12 year old girl to look closely at the wording of her notes. She went absolutely white when she realize that a 42 year old man married a 12 year old girl. The only other student taking this class was a 13 year old boy who promptly said in his best Paul Harvey voice “….and now you know……. the rest of the story”

Open Wide…

On the morning announcements, a first grader announced, "Please get ready for a moment of silence and medication."

You Found it Where?

I teach 8th grade U.S. history. I constantly remind my students that accurate spelling is very important in social studies. Despite this, during our unit on colonization I cannot describe how many settlers were seeking religious freedom in William Penn’s colon!!!

Job Opportunity

I was teaching a 2nd grade class in career education and had the students drawing pictures of themselves as adults. I put "When I grow up, I want to be…" on the board and asked the students to come to me for any other spelling they needed as they completed their pictures. Caitlin came up to me and asked how to spell " princess." After a number of other students asked for help, Caitlin was back for "whales." Since I had told the students they could draw any number of future jobs, I suspected nothing. That is, until Caitlin appeared with her elaborate drawing of a young lady in long gown and crown on a bluff by the ocean directing whales to do her bidding. You guessed it–it was labeled–When I grow up, I want to be "The Princess of Whales."

Barb Baeckert, elementary counselor

What Color?

I am a preschool teacher of 3 to 5 year old children. I was doing a science experiment with worms to start a worm farm in our class. As I was putting on rubber gloves( Like doctors and dentists wear) I asked the children in the circle "Who wears rubber gloves?" expecting the answer "doctors." One child raised his hand and said "My Mom does when she changes her hair color."


I am a Home Economics Teacher. We were having a class discussion on reasons why people become overweight. One reason I told them about was an underactive thyroid. A very serious young lady raised her hand and wanted to know if having an underactive thyroid was the cause of her large …thighs. Need I say more.

Cops & Robbers

Little Johnny’s kindergarten class was on a field trip to their local police station where they saw pictures, tacked to a bulletin board, of the 10 most wanted criminals. One of the youngsters pointed to a picture and asked if it really was the photo of a wanted person. “Yes,” said the policeman. “The detectives want very badly to capture him.” Little Johnny asked, “Why didn’t you keep him when you took his picture!”

Blind Custodian

Our district recently hired a female custodian for our elementary school. The day before she started work in our building, she had accidentally broken her glasses and had to wear her perscription sunglasses to work. As the day began, she was involved in some repair work in the boys restroom just as the bell rang to let the children into the building. She thought she would have time to complete her work before the little boys needed to use the restroom. Much to her surprise, the little boys entered the restroom and began using the facilities as though she was not even there. One little boy finally noticed her and exclaimed," Hey, there’s a lady in here!" The little boy standing next to her calmly replied," It’s ok, she’s blind."

Second Grade Biology

As a second grade teacher in Sunnyvale, California, I am fortunate to have lovely weather and to have my school near the monarch butterfly migrating path. We have a garden of milkweed to attract these lovely butterflies. This year we were able to actually see a butterfly lay eggs on a leaf and brought it into the classroom to watch the entire cycle of metamorphosis take place. One of my second language students was very excited to tell our new fourth grade male teacher that this teacher could come to our classroom and watch the butterflies go through menopause.
– Terry Yordan, Sunnyvale, California

Would you Believe…?

It was my first year of teaching, and I was blessed to teach 8th grade Language Arts. They had to do an autobiography of themselves. One male student did not turn his in till almost two weeks later. This is what he wrote: The biggest moment of my life was when I got my period for the very first time.

Maybe next time this gentleman will read the report before "borrowing" it for a grade.

World History

The History Of The World According To Actual Grade School Student Exam Papers:

1. Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they all wrote in Hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

2. Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red sea, where they made unleavened bread which is bread made without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached

3. Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.

4. The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks also had Myths. A Myth is a female moth.

5. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.

6. Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death his career suffered a dramatic decline.

7. Eventually the Romans conquered the Greeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for long.

8. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made King. Dying he gasped out: ‘Tee hee, Brutus’

9. Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was canonized by Bernard Shaw. Finally Magna Carta provided that no man should be hanged twice for the same offense.

10. Another story was William Tell who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his sons head.

11. Queen Elizabeth was the ‘Virgin Queen’ As a Queen she was a great success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted, "hurrah,"

12. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of the blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking. And Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper.

13. The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and
hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet. Romeo’s last wish was to be laid by Juliet.

14. Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.

15. One of the causes of the revolutionary war was the English put tacks in their tea. Also the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. Finally the colonists won the war and no longer had to pay for taxis. Delegates from the original 13 states formed the contented congress. Thomas Jefferson, a virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers
of the declaration of independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backwards and declared, ‘A horse
divided against itself cannot stand’ Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

16. Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practised on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German and half Italian and half English. He was very large.

17. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died from this.

18. The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steam boat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of a hundred men.

19.Louis Paster discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the organ of the species. Madman Curie discovered radio. And Karl Marx became one of the Mark Brothers.

20. The first world war, caused by the assignation of the Arch-Duck by an anahist, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.


What, Again!

Mom had spent weeks getting five-year-old Allison ready for the opening of Kindergarten. Shy and apprehensive, Allison had toured the school with Mom, met the smiling kindergarten teacher, been to the school media center where she "helped" Mom plan for her duties as room mother. At home, Mom and Allison had set out a brand new dress, shoes and socks, name labelled the bookbag, and practiced walking down the driveway to the bus stop. After all this, Allison was still very unsure about leaving home and Mom to get on the bus for school. Bottom lip quivering, she boarded the bus while Mom waved and smiled.

Several hours later, Allison bounded off the bus, leapt into mom’s arms and declared that it had been fun, but she was really glad to be home again. Smiling, Mom said, "Every day will be a little easier, you will see. Tomorrow will be even more fun than today." Allison’s face sobered, "You mean I have to go AGAIN tomorrow?"

– Submitted by Carolyn Schmitt
Allison’s mom and teacher of English

First Grade Perspective

First graders were given the beginning of these cliches, and asked to provide their own endings. The results are often better than the original! Take a look…

1. If at first you don’t succeed…..go play.
2. Eat, drink, and…..go to the bathroom.
3. All’s fair in……hockey.
4. He who laughs last……didn’t understand the joke.
5. People in glass houses……better not take off their clothes
6. All work and no play…….is disgusting.
7. Don’t put all your eggs……in the microwave.
8. Better to be safe than………………punch a 5th grader.
9. Strike while the ………………………..bug is close.
10. It’s always darkest before………..Daylight Savings Time.
11. Never underestimate the power of………………termites.
12. You can lead a horse to water but…………………how?
13. Don’t bite the hand that………………….looks dirty.
14. No news is………………………………..impossible.
15. A miss is as good as a………………………….. Mr.
16. You can’t teach an old dog new……………………math.
17. If you lie down with dogs, you’ll…..stink in the morning.
18. Love all, trust…………………………………
19. The pen is mightier than the……………………..pigs.
20. An idle mind is………………….The best way to relax.
21. Where there’s smoke there’s………………….pollution.
22. Happy the bride who………………gets all the presents.
23. A penny saved is……………………………not much.
24. Two’s company, three’s………………….the Musketeers.
25. Don’t put off till tomorrow what…you put on to go to bed.
26. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and… have to
blow your nose.
27. None are so blind as……………………..Helen Keller.
28. Children should be seen and not……..spanked or grounded.
29. When the blind leadeth the blind……..get out of the way.

Wise Advice From Kids

Here’s another connection of wisdom from the young ones.

1. Never trust a dog to watch your food. – Patrick, age 10
2. When your dad is mad and asks you, "Do I look stupid?" don’t answer him. – Michael, 14
3. Never tell your mom her diet’s not working. – Michael, 14
4. Stay away from prunes. – Randy, 9
5. Never pee on an electric fence. – Robert, 13
6. Don’t squat with your spurs on. – Noronha, 13
7. Don’t pull dad’s finger when he tells you to. – Emily, 10
8. When your mom is mad at your dad, don’t let her brush your hair. – Taylia, 11
9. Never allow your three-year old brother in the same room as your school assignment. – Traci, 14
10. Don’t sneeze in front of mom when you’re eating crackers. – Mitchell, 12
11. Puppies still have bad breath even after eating a tic tac.- Andrew, 9
12. Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time. – Kyoyo, 9
13. You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.- Armir, 9
14. Don’t wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts. – Kellie, 11
15. If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse. – Naomi, 15
16. Felt markers are not good to use as lipstick. – Lauren, 9
17. Don’t pick on your sister when she’s holding a baseball bat. – Joel, 10
18. When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she’s on the phone. – Alyesha, 13

The Thunderstorm

When a mother saw a thunderstorm forming in mid-afternoon, she worried about her seven-year-old daughter who would be walking the three blocks from school to home, so she went out to meet her. The lightning was flashing frequently. It wasn’t long before the mother saw her little daughter ahead, and she observed that the child was walking nonchalantly along, but whenever lightning flashed, her little girl would stop to smile broadly. Finally, the little girl saw her mother ahead, and the child ran to meet her. "Mother, Mother", she said enthusiastically, "All the way home, God’s been taking my picture!"

Ad Libs

A father read his two young sons fairy tales at night. Having a deep-rooted sense of humor, he often ad-libbed parts of the stories for fun.

One day his youngest son was sitting in his first grade class as the teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs. She came to the part of the story where the first pig was trying to acquire building materials for his home. She said "…And so the pig went up to the man with a wheelbarrow full of straw and said "Pardon me sir, but might I have some of that straw to build my house with?" Then the teacher asked the class "And what do you think that man said?" and my friend’s son raised his hand and said "I know! I know! He said "Oh No!! A talking pig!’"


Little Johnny was in Sunday School one day when the teacher asked the class a question: Who wants to go to heaven?  All of the students raised their hand except for Johnny.  Thinking that he had not heard her, the teacher asked Johnny why he not want to go to heaven.

Johnny replied, "I can’t, because Mom said that after church we are going straight to Grandma’s."

White Hair

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink.  She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head.

She looked at her mother and asked inquisitively, "Why are some of your hairs white, mom?"

Her mother replied, "Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white."

The little girl thought about this revelation for a while, and then she said pensively, "Momma, then how come all of grandma’s hairs are white?"


Lone Stars

The name Sam Houston came up during a social studies lesson with my second graders.� Not sure how geographically aware they would be of the city of Houston, I asked if the name sounded familiar.� One little girl responded quickly, “Yes!� Houston we have a problem.”



I was teaching 3rd grade science to a group of students who seemed to hang on my every word about the newest subject organisms. The entire class was fascinated!

One of my brightest little girls left my class and went to her language class where she was to write a creative story about what she had learned in science. It wasn’t long before the language teacher knocked on my door. She was so tickled that it was quite difficult to keep from laughing at her expression. She said, "You really need to teach the students how to spell the vocabulary associated with their science lessons." As I stood looking at her, she held up a very neatly written short story entitled, "The Screaming Orgasm." Needless to say, we both laughed hysterically!

Lights Are On

One of my students was particularly slow that day.  I told him, "your lights are on, but nobody is home."  His response; "I know, my mother works."


Mother Daughter

I teach in a very small school where my mother is also a teacher.  My mother also meets with a group of mothers monthly to play Bunko (a dice game). In April, a mother of one of my students had her turn at hosting the Bunko group.  During the gathering a project of my student’s met its demise at the teeth of her puppy.  I pretended not to know for a couple of days, finally in class one day I asked her, "Is there anything you would like to tell me?"  She answered, "Your mom was there I was sure she would tell you."  Before she was done speaking one of my boys yelled, "There was a TEACHER IN YOUR HOUSE?!? Oh, no!"



At the ages of 4 & 5, two little girls were learning some of the major cities of their home state.  I asked them, "Name the capital of Pennsylvania"  The youngest little girl burst out with bright eyes and a big smile that she knew the answer!  She said, "The capital is ‘P’!"  She had me on that one!  Kids are such a joy! 

New Shoes

When I was student teaching in the second grade, a young boy in the class got a new pair of sneakers and was showing them to the class. He instructed me not to try them on, because he did not want to risk getting "athletic feet."

Red tape

Checking over the enrollment cards at the beginning of a new school year we found a parent of a little kindergarten student had marked for "sex" "not yet."



I was teaching a unit on multiple intelligence and the brain.  I mentioned that some believe there is a correlation between the number of wrinkles and grooves in one’s brain and one’s intelligence.  One of my high school students blurts out, "Mrs. Bradley, my brain must have been ironed smooth!"


Screen Saver

I teach in a computer lab.  One day this past year I had a group of Kindergarten children in the lab.  As I worked with one student I heard another call out " Hey!  There’s something wrong with my computer!"  I looked up to see the screen saver had activated on a youngster’s computer across the room.  Thinking he could handle the situation I smiled and told him "That’s okay, Sweetheart, just wiggle your mouse."  I looked up a couple of seconds later to check on the young man and noted that he was staring intently at the screen and the screen saver was still on.  "Logan", I said. "I told you to wiggle your mouse".  The youngster turned and look at me, his jaw moving frantically.  " I’m trying!" he insisted, "but it isn’t working!" Now I am careful to enunciate clearly when instructing students to wiggle their MOUSE!



I teach second grade on Long Island.  The social studies curriculum includes teaching about taxes and how they are used to help our community.  It was time for the students to tell me what they understood about this chapter in the form of a test. One of the questions on the test was What are taxes? One student simply answered: Something you never pay on time.

Health Lesson

I was teaching a health class in first aid… and gave a test.� The question was “What is it called when you help someone who is choking?”. Imagine my surprise when I looked at one of the papers and it read “It is called the Hymen Remover!!!”� Our faculty room rolled! Oh yes, I forgot to say that the actual answer to the test was “Heimlich Maneuver”


The Frog in the Bank

A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller.  He can see from the teller’s nameplate that her name is "Patricia Whack." So he says:  "Ms. Whack, I’d like to get a loan to buy a boat and go on a long vacation."

Patti looks at the frog in disbelief and asks how much he wants to borrow. The frog says $30,000.  The teller asks his name and the frog  says that his name is Kermit Jagger and that it’s OK, he knows the bank  manager.

Patti explains that $30,000 is a substantial amount of money and that he will need to secure some collateral against the loan.

She asks if he has anything he can use as collateral. The frog says, "Sure.  I have this," and produces a tiny pink porcelain elephant, about half an inch tall. Bright pink and perfectly formed.

Very confused, Patti explains that she’ll have to consult with the manager and disappears into a back office.  She finds the manager and says: "There’s a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000. And he wants to use this as collateral." She holds up the tiny pink elephant saying. "I mean, what the heck is this?"

(Are you ready . . .)

(Hang on to something . . .)

So the bank manager looks back at her and says:  "It’s a knick knack, Patti Whack.  Give the frog a loan.  His old man’s a Rolling Stone."


Math Class

My daughter was listening to her teacher explain the days math lesson to a classmate again, but the little girl just wasn’t getting it.� My daughter apparently couldn’t stand it anymore, “Don’t worry about it Katie, someday you’ll get a teacher who will know how to teach you.” Her teacher told me she was glad it was so funny or she’d have to be deeply offended.


Stuck Student

Last year was my daughter’s first year of teaching.� She was one of the “emergency” hires and really in the dark about her new undertaking.� She often tells me about her students and I feel I know them through her stories. She’s teaching 4th grade.

One little girl has a very difficult time sitting still and tips her chair back.� I’ll call her “Sue."� Sue had fallen backwards a number of times and gotten up, positioned her chair, and was properly admonished by the teacher, (my daughter).� Finally she had tipped herself backwards one more time, my daughter went to her, told her to get up and once more requested that she sit still.� Sue, still in a sitting position but lying on her back looked up at my daughter and said, ” I think I’ll just stay down here.”� My daughter had a very hard time keeping from laughing, but one more time admonishing Sue and Sue getting back up, she had not placed herself up close to her desk.� My daughter requested that she scoot up to the desk, to which Sue replied, “I can’t.”� At being asked why not, she replied, ” My feet are stuck.”� She had twisted her feet around the legs of the chair and couldn’t get them out.

The Joy of Teaching

This one has been circulating for years. If anyone can give us the original source, we’d be glad to acknowledge it.

Then Jesus took his disciples up to the mountain; and gathering them around him, he taught them, saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek.
Blessed are they that mourn.
Blessed are you when persecuted.
Blessed are you when you suffer.
Be glad and rejoice, for great is your reward in heaven."
Then Simon Peter said, "Are we supposed to know this?"
And Andrew said, "Do we have to write this down?"
And James said, "Will we have a test on this?"
And Philip said, "I don’t have any paper!"
And Bartholomew said, "Do we have to turn this in?"
And John said, "The other disciples didn’t have to learn this!"
And Matthew said, "May I go to the bathroom?"
Then one of the Pharisees who was present asked to see Jesus’ lesson plan and inquired of Jesus,
"Where are your anticipatory set and your objectives in the cognitive domain?"
And Jesus wept.

New Excuses: These are actual excuse notes from parents (including original spelling) collected by Nisheeth Parekh, University Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

My son is under a doctor’s care and should not take P.E. today. Please execute him.

Please excuse Lisa for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot.

Dear School: Please ekscuse John being absent on Jan. 29, 29, 30, and also 33.

Please excuse Gloria from Jim today. She is administrating.

Please excuse Roland from P.E. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.

John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.

Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.

Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.

Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side.

Please excuse Ray Friday from school. He has very loose vowels.

Please excuse Tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea and his boots leak.

Irving was absent yesterday because he missed his bust.

Please excuse Jimmy for being. It was his father’s fault.

I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because I don’t know what size she wear.

Please excuse Jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday.

Sally won’t be in school a week from Friday. We have to attend her funeral.

My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the Marines.

Please excuse Jason for being absent yesterday. He had a cold and could not breed well.

Please excuse Mary for being absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.

Gloria was absent yesterday as she was having a gangover.

Please excuse Burma, she was sick and under the doctor.

Maryann was absent December 11-16, because she had a fever, sore throat, headache and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever and sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and ached all over. I wasn’t the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be something going around, her father even got hot last night.

Try our reading lists.

Teachers’ Lounge