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10 things school teachers said that have stuck with people throughout their life

Teachers say a lot of things to us when we are in school and most of the time we forget them, but a few words stick with us forever.

10 things school teachers said that have stuck with people throughout their life
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Tima Miroshnichenko

Unforgettable words

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Max Fischer
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Max Fischer

Some words stay with us forever and some are powerful enough to change the trajectory of our lives. Things that our seniors, guardian figures, parents and teachers tell us in our childhood often leave a lasting impression on our lives. Whether it is a few words of encouragement or discouragement, things that are told to us in our schools by our teachers etch themselves in our memories forever. A post on Reddit popped the question to the community, asking netizens to share something that their school teacher might have told them early on and they haven't been able to forget it. Users came up with several personal stories consisting of some fond and bitter memories that they haven't been able to erase from their memories to date.

1. Telling students to smile

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

"It's OK, you can smile." This was the first thing our middle school music teacher, whom we all loved, said on his first day back after his wife, an art teacher many of us had in elementary, was killed in a car accident. He made music class a lot of fun and we'd missed him in the week he took off after his wife's death. He was used to coming into a room full of smiling faces, ready for another fun hour of class. We were all sitting utterly silent, fixed on him with what I'm sure were the most somber little faces he'd ever seen. He smiled at us after he said it, and we all smiled back, and he thanked us for it. u/Euchre

2. Teaching how to be respectful

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Ketut Subiyanto
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Ketut Subiyanto

“Have I been respectful to you?” Me: “Well, yeah.” “Are you being respectful to me?” Simple words. They have guided me so much. u/JustGreenGuy7. I had a teacher say the same thing to me. Now I Ref college and high school basketball and use this line whenever coaches start cursing me out on the sidelines. Does a good job of reminding them that kids are playing. u/TyRyansaurus-Rex

3. Reminding kids that they are good

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Artem Podrez
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Artem Podrez

Ended every class with "You're good people." u/Atevs. My AP English History teacher always told us before the beginning of every test, including the AP Exam, "You are the future of America. Today is your chance to prove that you're capable of it." He worked us harder than any other teacher in the school, day in and day out. Not a single student in his class failed the AP exam the year I had him. Absolute legend. u/brand_name_products

4. Creative insults

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Katerina Holmes
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Katerina Holmes

Mine told me since brains are fat we are all fat heads. When going over photosynthesis, he said we were Phart breathers because O2 is just a waste gas from plants like farts are waste gas to humans, hence the PH(arts). u/EthanJayco. I teach science and it's the best job ever! Today, for instance, my neighbor teacher (who teaches A&P) had students do projects on endocrine glands last week and put them up on the wall for display in the hall. One student's project fell off the wall (this particular project was on tests) and she exclaimed, "Oh no! My balls dropped!" u/jrodbennett910

5. Destroying a student's worth

Representative Image Source: Pexels | RDNE Stock project
Representative Image Source: Pexels | RDNE Stock project

One day in 7th grade our principal came into the homeroom class and wrote on the board "$19.32" in big numbers. He got our attention and announced to the class, "This (pointing at the number) is what you are worth. Every day you come to class, the school gets $19.32 from the state for each of you. So if you are sick, you should still come to class, go to the nurse and get sent home. That way the school will still get its $19.32." That was the day I stopped caring about school. I'm pretty sure he was trying to increase attendance and believed what he said was positive. But when a person you're supposed to respect tells you you're worth less than a 20-dollar bill. u/Starlight_OW

6. Asking if kids know what it feels to be old

Image Source: Photo by cottonbro studio/Pexels
Representative Image Source: Pexels | cottonbro studios

"I know what it is to be young but you don't know what it is to be old." I don't know why and how it came up, but our English teacher asked me if I understood that. It was the first year and I was 10 and I definitely did not understand. But it somehow stuck in my mind as the sound of the sentence, until I could decipher the memory in retrospect. u/sinabey. A parental variation that I've said to my kids, "When I seem confused, distracted, frustrated, or on edge, remember that I, as a parent, have to keep track of several people simultaneously and provide for them and I have to do that while anticipating the future and dealing with the consequences of the past. You, as a kid, are only responsible for yourself, for the most part." u/0ttr

7. Adults don't control you forever

Representational Image Source: Pexels
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Karolina Grabowska

“Once you’re an adult, you choose your own fate. Your mom won’t control you anymore.” This came from a 9th-grade Algebra 1 teacher who took the time to tutor me. My mom was an antivaxxing, cult-following, insane person who didn’t think school was important because Armageddon was coming. I was terrible at math until I met him. It’s been 25 years and I think of this teacher still and I am grateful. Don’t talk to Mom anymore, she got tired of me asking where Armageddon was. u/bluegoddess13

8. Teachers showing empathy

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Alexander Grey
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Alexander Grey

I had a maths teacher who was an older woman, really strict and nobody particularly liked her. We mocked her way of speaking and were generally mean teenagers. Once, when I was around 15, I hadn't finished my homework so I dropped my book in a puddle and showed it to her in class to say I'd lost the homework so couldn't hand it in. To my surprise, she didn't shout at me but gently asked if I was being bullied and if somebody had taken my workbook and ruined it on purpose. I was a little skinny kid with glasses and braces, so I can see why she would have thought that, but in that moment I suddenly saw her as a human being with feelings and empathy and not just a teacher. I felt like s**t for the way I had treated her, and for lying about what had happened. I never admitted it to her - just reassured her that I was fine—but it did stick with me and I was much less of a meanie to teachers after that. u/SilentSamamander

9. Teaching lessons over giving punishments

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kindel Media
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kindel Media

After being caught smoking pot in high school (1986), my science teacher (Mr. Fischbein) said to me, "There is a time and place for everything, this is not the time, nor the place". He did not report me to the administration. He was a great teacher. u/pmperry68. That was one of my mom's favorite sayings as I was growing up. Every time I got in trouble for doing something stupid, I would hear that saying. Also, anytime I argued about having to do something, I would be told, "You don't have to like it, but you sure as hell have to get it done." That and, "It's my way or the highway." u/deleted

10. Hating the subject but loving the teacher

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Max Fischer
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Max Fischer

I took Latin all four years of high school. I quickly realized I despised the language, but I stuck with it for the teacher himself. He alone was worth it. Our Latin class was right above the hallway with classrooms for special needs kids. One day, after it was apparent nobody did their homework, my teacher stopped the class and said, “You’re all taking what you have for granted and it’s inexcusable. There are several dozen kids in the hallway below you who wish they had the mental faculties to do homework.” I did my Latin homework regularly after he said that. u/deleted

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