Tween Talk with Eugenia Tachie-Menson: Teacher Tales…


We all have stories – good, bad, humorous, just-out-there of our teachers. It’s this love-hate relationship we seem to have with our teachers that leaves me bemused. We couldn’t stand them back when they were in school with the many ‘run-ins’ with them.  And their ‘irritating’ lines;

No playtime for you because you must stay in and finish your homework from yesterday!”

“Who are those talking at the back?”

“Why are you late to my class?”

“Keep quiet; I can’t hear myself think!”

“I want to hear a pin drop”

“Tell your mother I want to see her”

“What terrible handwriting is this?!”

The list is endless, and sitting back today, we find them funny, entertaining even! Where do Teachers find these lines from?! Like really?! Wait, let’s think it through for a moment…moment’s up! Who do Teachers interact with the most? Students. And so, it goes without saying, then, that STUDENTS are the ones who give Teachers fodder for some of the wittiest, out-of-this-world, come-back lines. Teachers and students make the best comedy show when you sit back to think about it.

I have a collection of funny anecdotes of Teacher-student relationships that always has me in stitches:

English Teacher: Why don’t you answer me when I ask a question?

Student: I did, Sir – I shook my head

English Teacher: You don’t expect me to hear it rattle all the way up here, do you?


Teacher: What is the most important fact about nitrates?

Student: They are lower than day rates


Student: Sir, I don’t think I deserve a zero on that examination

Teacher: You don’t, but it’s the lowest mark I could give


The absent-minded biology teacher said to the class: “I have in this package an excellent specimen of frog I dissected”. Upon opening the package, he found it contained a sandwich and a piece of pie.

“Strange,” said the bewildered man, I know I’ve already eaten lunch”.


Teacher: What is the longest word in the English language?

Student: Smiles

Teacher: Why?

Student: because there’s a ‘mile’ between the first and last letter


Teacher: How do you spell crocodile?

Student: K-R-O-K-O-D-A-I-L

Teacher: No, that’s wrong

Student: But you asked how ‘I’ spell it?

Believe me, there are loads of teacher-student jokes out there that can fill books from here to Zanzibar. Teachers do such a great job and most of us may not have made it to where we are today but for the intervention of a teacher. I am not saying all of them are saints; yes, there were those who left us feeling not so great about ourselves, I admit. But the role a teacher plays in a student’s life is a critical one. They play pseudo-parents in some cases and look out for students who need extra support but aren’t getting it from home, for e.g., a teacher must manage their class size ranging anything from 20 -90…yes!!

Your teacher is the one who opens your mind to the world (if you’re willing to keep your mind open). To achieve this, your teachers must prepare useful lessons, mark, and grade your home and class work and ensure your corrections are done, manage the classroom resources, among a myriad of other responsibilities.

And yet, rather unfortunately, teachers are undervalued and not treated right by many of us. In the 2018 Global Teacher Status Index, a worldwide survey of the public and educators in 35 countries on the status of the teaching profession around the world, Ghana was one of the least performing countries where teachers were most valued, with a sorry score of 18.9. Compare that with Malaysia’s 93 mark, and China’s 100mark (the highest possible score). In Taiwan for instance, teachers are placed on the same pedestal as doctors, and rightly so, if you ask me. For it was a teacher that helped make the doctor.

We need to place more value on teachers, as a people, than we are currently doing.  And it starts with you…how, you ask? By showing respect for your teachers in small but meaningful ways including, remaining attentive and participating in class, completing your assignments on time (or have a genuine reason why you couldn’t and then get it done ASAP), following through with instructions and clarifying if there are any doubts. I’m sure you know your teachers best and can find more appropriate ways to show respect and appreciation for them. Next Wednesday, October 5 is World Teachers’ Day – go out of your way to make your teacher feel they’re the most valued person in your life!

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