Like Nails on a Chalkboard: The Most Annoying One-Liners You’ll Ever Hear

The most annoying aspects of teaching have nothing to do with teaching. I loathe that I am expected to be a walking Office Depot, Walgreens, and E! Entertainment channel.

“Where’s the tissues?”
“I need a Band-Aid!”
“You don’t have a pencil or paper I can borrow? What kind of teacher are you?”
“Did you bring us food?”
“Teachers should try to make lessons entertaining!”

I know I previously stated that I enjoy my many roles as a teacher, but I meant that figuratively. I hate that I am expected to have tissues, hand sanitizer, bandages, a hole puncher, and Halloween treats available at all times for my students. (Today was ACT testing and my homeroom students were upset I didn’t bring them breakfast. WTF! I didn’t even make my husband breakfast this morning!) Yes, they sincerely expect me to feed them, bandage them, and entertain them daily. Have you not parents or a parole officer to fill that role, child?!  

I started out the school year with 50 pencils. By November, I was left with one. I spend my own money on supplies for my students, not to mention it’s BYOP for teachers—Bring Your Own Paper. Chyeah—that’s right: we have to bring our own copy paper for the printers. It’s every man for himself out there, and trust me—it gets ugly. Sometimes teachers stab each other over scraps of recycled paper (okay, maybe that’s just me)!

I hate that they are the generation that started watching YouTube videos in the womb and only grew opposable thumbs for one reason: texting. I hate that they are astounded to hear that my ancient self has an Instagram and SnapChat (don’t look me up, kids!). I hate that because their eyeballs are used to viewing a jillion images per minute, they expect grammar lessons and identifying figurative language to spin their head around. I hate that when I do try to engage (buzz word!) them, they are too lazy to actually stand up and learn kinesthetically!

Because my role as a teacher requires patience and premeditated comebacks, here are some of the most annoying one-liners I’ve ever heard:

Most Insulting Phrases a Student Can Spew

  • “This is boring!”
  • “I hate reading.”
  • “Did we do anything yesterday?”


Worst. Excuses. Ever.

  • Why aren’t you doing your homework? “I’m just lazy.”
  • Why aren’t you taking notes? “I already took a picture of it.”
  • Why is your phone out? “I’m just checking the time!”
  • Where are your pants?! “Leggings are pants!”


Things That Make My Eye Twitch

  • Not capitalizing “I” when I’ve told you four thousand times
  • When my students interrupt a lecture to say, “I like your outfit.” Thank you, Condescending McGee!
  • Telling me they missed me over the weekend when I know that is utter bull****.


Moments When My Students Freak Me Out

  • When they repeatedly call my name while poking my arm. I tell them, “You’re going to give me cancer!”
  • When the boys encircle me and ask my opinion on their facial hair. There’s no way I can appropriately respond.
  • When they speak to me in another language (like slang. Do YOU know what a "thot" is? Look it up. Urban Dictionary is my best friend.)



My default face.

Not Sure If That's a Compliment or an Insult

  • “You look like a watermelon.”
  • “You look astonishing today!”
  • “Can I take a selfie with you in your cowboy boots?”
  • “You wear 'Toms'?”
  • “You look like a student!”



And then, of course, there are some one-liners from students that really tug at my heartstrings. You know, those students who manage to gnaw a hole in my heart and burrow their way in like a flesh-eating parasite.

One-Liners That Cause My Teacher Highs

  • “You know, I really admire you as a person.”
  • “I really like your teaching style; I’ve learned a lot from you.”
  • “You teach grammar very well.”
  • “You’re my favorite teacher!”
  • “I really feel like I can talk to you!”
  • “You have really inspired me!”
  • “You’re like one of those teachers from the movies that changes her students’ mindset!”
  • “I hope I’m like you when I’m your age.”

Aww, those little rapscallions. Makes me think of one of my favorite one-liners from Billy S. (whose birthday is today): “Poor worm! Thou art infected!” I’ve been bit by the teaching bug, and no matter the irritating, mind-numbing pain, I keep scratching for more.


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