5 Things Students Say to Teachers

It doesn’t matter where you teach, there are some phrases and questions every student has uttered to their teacher and we’ve all heard them. Here’s a selection of some of the ‘best’.

“Do I have to write in full sentences?”

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I’ve started strong on this one because this one (especially as an English teacher) always eluded me. Unless the student has become an expert in legal shorthand overnight, I begin to wonder what else they’d opt to write in. I’m not entirely sure why students ask this one, because invariably, the answer is always a ‘of course you do’.

“Can we listen to music? (Insert Cool Hip Teacher) lets us listen to music!”


Similarly, the answer to this one is almost always going to be a no but this one makes the list for the fact that it plays one teacher off against another as if we never speak to each other. Despite what students may believe, there is not an invisible forcefield at my classroom door and I can independently confirm that no, Mr Crossland does not let you listen to music. Especially when you decide to tell him that I let you listen to music in my class.

“You said the homework was due tomorrow, not today!”


This one crops up from a couple of the usual suspects in the class while the other 28 hand their homework in on time. They conspire against you to make you question your own judgement and memory.

*checks calendar* No, I definitely said today.
*checks planner* I definitely, definitely said today.
*opens lesson PowerPoint* The PowerPoint also corroborates this.

Nice try!

“Did you mark __________ yet?”

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This usually happens the day after homework or an exam paper is handed in, usually by those that handed it in a day or two late. Without a hint of irony, the students will accost you during break and lunch to find out if their work has been marked. On the best of days, I’d be lucky to have a toilet break and a cup of tea. So, invariably, the answer is usually no.

“What are we doing again?”

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The champion of champions – the one phrase every single teacher has heard and feels utter despair as a result when they do.  “What are we doing again?” Well, I’ll tell you what I am doing again: first, crying inside. Second, explaining everything I just explained.

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