The teacher said they had been teaching for more than 17 years and worked really hard to make math interesting and useful.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 28, 2022. It has since been updated.
An eighth-grade teacher was confused when students called them a goat. The math teacher was well-loved by students and shared the same affection for the students as well, so it seemed weird that the students would call them a goat. The joke ran all year long as it seemed harmless, but they were curious as to what it meant and turned to Reddit to find out. "Why do my students call me a goat?" they simply asked. The replies led to one of the most wholesome reveals one can imagine. "I am a math teacher for 8th graders at the school I teach at. Throughout this whole past school year, there was this running joke where the students would call me the goat," they wrote.
"I would respond back each time that they are the goats and they would all laugh," the teacher wrote. "It was pretty funny to be honest, and I never gave it much thought. But I realized that I have been partaking in a joke that I never actually got. I had a good connection with them, and they are all really good kids, so I don't really think that they were making fun of me," they deduced from their laughter. Can someone (maybe an 8th grader) explain this joke to me? And how would you respond if someone calls you a goat?" they wrote.
"It means Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T)," one Reddit user revealed. "omg I am IN TEARS!!! I can't believe they were complimenting me this whole time!!!!" the teacher responded. "GOAT stands for Greatest Of All Time. It’s a compliment. Sounds like you’re a great teacher and they enjoy your classes. Which is saying something since math is most people’s least favorite subject," wrote another person. The teacher couldn't believe what they were reading and was overjoyed. "Yes, that is the reason I became a math teacher. I always hated math growing up, but then I realized at some point it's just taught terribly. In my classes, for example, there is no such thing as a useless math lesson. I always remind them how useful it is to know this stuff, from anything regarding money to detecting patterns in life, to even have a strong basis for any career they choose," they wrote. "Some of them are looking forward to solving the Millennium Prize Problems, which I really hope with all my heart will happen. I been teaching for 17 years, and they are by far my favorite set of students so far. I put my heart and soul into teaching, this is amazing to hear. Thank you!!!"
Many lauded the teacher for playing along with the joke for a whole year without knowing its meaning. "It's so cute that you didn't realize they were calling you the Greatest of All Time the whole year, and you were calling them the same back. So wholesome," wrote one person and the teacher replied, "I now love my students more than I already loved them, which I didn't think was possible haha." Many suggested the teacher use the "urban dictionary" if they ever had any such doubts in the future. "I didn't even know about the urban dictionary until people mentioned it here. That urban dictionary is a lifesaver," they wrote in response.
In typical teacher style, they asked Reddit users showering the post with awards if they could translate that into money and donate it to the charity "Kids In Need Foundation"