Your child’s education rests on the shoulder of the people who teach them. But sometimes, this isn’t exactly a good thing. These people share a time when their teacher was blatantly wrong and still tried to pass it off as fact.
1. Had a teacher in community college tell us there are 60 billion smokers in the US. My buddy and I were only ones in the class that began to laugh. I raised my hand and said “there are 6 billion people on earth, are you sure you don’t mean million?”
She assured us again “no, 60 billion, with a B.”
2. I was 16 and told by my substitute science teacher that It is impossible for fraternal twins to be boy/girl. I am a fraternal twin girl with a twin brother. The teacher was not convinced and I was sent out of class for causing a disruption.
3. “The tiger is a female lion.”
I don’t even.
4. That Germany was part of the Allies in WWII.
5. That the Iliad and the Odyssey were based on the Bible… when I asked how that could possibly be accurate, she just smiled and told me that the New Testament was written in Greek, as if that proved her point.
6. Not me, my brother. When we lived in Virginia his teacher tried to tell him that bison were extinct. He objected and told her that not only are they still around, he’s seen them. There’s a farmer about 20 miles from our hometown that raises them, plus there’s tons out in South Dakota.
His teacher got mad and told him he was wrong and for telling “lies” in class he got 2 days detention.
7. After a lesson on how water is an insulator, I asked how people are electrocuted in tubs/pools. His answer was that the electricity traveled along the surface of the water. For a while there, I honestly believed staying under the water would save you. The correct answer of course is that while pure water is a horrible conductor, most water isn’t pure.
And, also, even if you start with pure water, it’s such a good solvent that it’ll pick up ions and become conductive very quickly.
8. That a harvestmen (or daddy long legs) was a spider. I said it wasn’t, and she insisted it was. She said, “It is a spider, count the legs.” I said, “An octopus has 8 legs but that doesn’t make it a spider-fish.”
I got detention. Worth it.
9. When I had just started the 7th grade my science teacher tried to teach us that dolphins didn’t have blow holes. We were comparing sharks and dolphins and when I pointed this out as a difference he said I was wrong. The whole class called me stupid for thinking they did.
The next day I brought in a printed sheet with photos of dolphins having/ using their blowholes and he apologized and corrected himself in front of the class.
10. “Your blood is actually blue until it comes in contact with oxygen.” *cringe*
11. In fifth grade, a teacher told the class that Japan was in the Atlantic Ocean. He managed to get the class on his side until I pulled down the giant map and showed him.
Felt so good.
12. Not me, but my sister.
When she was in 5th grade, her teacher taught the class that any number divided by zero was equal to the first number, I.e. 9/0 =9. Which is just blatantly wrong, because that would mean that 0=1 and then our number system would fall apart.
Anyway, my sister called the teacher out on it, but the teacher just told her that “In grade 5, 9/0 is equal to 9.” No matter how it was approached, the answer was always the same. My professor dad heard about this and went to the teacher to ask her why she was teaching this, and guess what she gave for an answer.
“In grade 5, 9 divided by 0 is 9.“
I’m surprised my dad didn’t flip a table, that’s the angriest I’ve seen him in a long time.
13. That there are 52 states in the US including Chicago and New England.
14. That Jupiter was bigger than the sun.
It looked that way on the poster we have of the solar system in our classroom, but that shit is obviously not to scale.
But nope, our 3rd grade teacher insisted that Jupiter was bigger, because “you can see from the poster that it’s true”.
15. That helicopters aren’t supposed to be able to fly. Apparently nobody can explain how they fly and it’s all just a happy accident.
16. That people thought the world was flat until Columbus era.
17. That 90% of the world’s salt comes from New Zealand because of the ratio of coastline to landmass.
18. After a Muslim visits mecca, he changes his name to Mohammad.
This was my fifth grade teacher. She seemed to think that since Mohammad Ali (Cassius Clay) changed his name after visiting Mecca then all Muslims did. Unfortunately, I believed this for far too long.
19. Had a history teacher try to explain that one of the reasons the North won the Civil War as because they had jet fighters.
20. In the 3rd grade, I had a teacher try and tell me that paper is 2D. No, lady. You can touch and pick up paper. It may be thin but it has sides and exists in our world where everything is 3D unless it’s on paper, a computer screen, or is some sort of hologram. Almost got kicked out of class as I was trying to stack paper and make her believe that paper really does indeed, exist on the 3rd plane.
21. That evolution wasn’t real because it is preposterous to think that animals can mate with different species and form an entirely new species. If they did then how come we don’t have horse-rabbits and whale-salmon and kangaroo-dogs. I got kicked out of class for trying to explain that isn’t what evolutionary theory states at all. Although kangaroo dogs would make awesome pets.
22. I was dating my social studies teacher’s son in high school. One day, I was at her house and she asked me if I was ready for the test next week. I said yes. So she gave me a quick, verbal, 3 question quiz. One of the questions was “what is laissez-faire economics?” I said it was free market economics wherein the government does not interfere. She said I was wrong and told me it was the opposite of that. I let it go because she was my teacher and my boyfriend’s mom and I didn’t want to get into it right then. My boyfriend, however, ripped into her and we ultimately got out the textbook and she saw she was wrong and was super angry and embarrassed.
She was not the best teacher.
23. Well, there was one teacher who insisted Belgium (where I live) was spared during both World Wars. She claimed that no fighting had taken place in Belgium. I still am as passionate about history as I was then (that’s why I want to be a history teacher). And unable to make her change my mind I basically wrote a paper about the Battle of Passchendaele and Battle of the Bulge. And FACT’ED the crap out of her.
I like being right.
24. Rivers can only flow north/south.
Also rivers can’t split.
25. That the American flag only has 49 stars (I live in England so it isn’t like we pledge allegiance everyday). I was adamant that there were 50, and she denied it and docked me marks on the quiz.
10 years later a friend of a friend ended up working with her and she remembered the incident. She realized half way through the argument that she was wrong, but felt she couldn’t back down to a 12 year old.
26. ‘Sexism is when people are overly sexual’.
27. We only use 10% of our brain, and if we used 100% we might be able to move objects with our minds.
28. I had a college roommate from Texas who went to a private Christian high school. She says her science teacher told them that there is a hole in the ozone layer over Australia exists because that’s where God stuck his hand in to make the world.
29. In 3rd grade a teacher told me that the word bus has two S’s. I got points taken off my paper because of misspelling the word, and she refused to give them back even when presented with a dictionary.
30. That the human eye can’t see past 20 frames per second. Eyes don’t “see” in frames per second.