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Sixth Form Life

What Your Teachers Say Vs. What They Actually Mean

41 phrases you may have heard your teachers saying at some point (and what they really meant when they said them)...

Sam Haysom
by Sam Haysom
Last Updated:
29 Oct 2019

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1. Can I have a volunteer? Don’t even think about putting your hand up again, Jenny. The class is just as sick of you as I am.

2. You have so much potential. – You’re lazy, you need to try harder and you’re completely failing everything.

3. You need to aim higher. – Than the career at McDonald’s you’re headed for at the moment.

4. You really need to get your act together. – I’d be willing to bet a year’s wages you’ll be in prison before you hit 20.

5. This MAY be on the test. – I’m doing you a massive favour by telling you this IS on the test because you’re all idiots.

Bad Teacher Cameron Diaz Image via

6. That joke is inappropriate for the classroom. – Hahahaha, nice one.

7. That’s not funny. – I’m doing everything in my power to stop myself from laughing right now.

8. See me after class. – I’m so angry with you right now I can’t even begin to express it.

9. See me after class. – I’m going to verbally destroy you after class.

10. See me after class. – God, how I wish I was teaching 100 years ago and the cane was still a viable option.

11. Settle down, class. – Shut up.

12. Can we have some quiet, please? – Why won’t you just shut up?

13. Right, everyone be quiet! – I am just seconds away from a horrendous mental breakdown that will involve chairs being thrown across the room if you don’t SHUT UP RIGHT NOW.

14. You’re ruining it for everyone. – You’re ruining it for me.

15. You’ve let me down, and you’ve let yourself down. – But mainly you’ve let me down, and it’s going to reflect badly on my teaching ability. I don’t really care about you.

16. Tim, you shouldn’t have hit Jack. It’s never okay to hit people. – Tim, well done for hitting Jack. The only thing I’m disappointed about is that you didn’t do it sooner. Or harder.

17. We’re going to have a bit of fun today, class. – We’re going to spend 5 minutes doing an experiment and then 55 minutes doing exercises from the text book today, class.

18. We’re going to do something a bit different today, class. – Today I’m too hungover to teach, so I’ll be putting on a video for the full hour.

19. Seeing as it’s the end of term, I thought we’d do something special. – Seeing as it’s the end of term, I’m going to stick on Shrek or something.

Bad Teacher Hungover Image via

20. Why are you late? – Why did you even bother turning up?

21. Can you explain why you keep arriving late to my class late? – Please just stop coming altogether. That would be best for both of us.

22. Why were you off sick yesterday? – Why did you get better?

23. I was impressed with the progress you demonstrated in your last assignment. – Your standard of work is normally awful, and your last assignment was a tiny bit less awful.

24. It’s your own time you’re wasting. – But it’s also my precious cigarette and coffee time, and if I don’t get that this afternoon is going to be hell for all of us.

25. I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed. – I’m not angry. Or disappointed. Years of teaching have left me dead inside.

26. When I was your age... – I was probably just as bad as you, but I’m going to choose to ignore that.

27. You’ll thank me one day. – There’s a 99% chance you’ll forget my name and face forever within months of leaving the school.

28. Why? Because I said so. – I have no idea what the point of this assignment is. It certainly won’t help you at all in real life.

29. How many times do I have to tell you? – You really are a bit simple, aren’t you?

30. If it’s that funny, you can get up and tell the whole class! – I really hope you don’t get up and tell the whole class.

31. That better not be gum you’re chewing. – Why do we have that rule about gum again?

32. This isn’t official uniform, is it? – Why do we have all these rules about uniform again?

33. Where’s your homework? – I really hope you’ve forgotten it so I have less marking to do.

34. I’ve already said ‘no’. – Don’t test me.

35. What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand? – Are you really as stupid as your test scores suggest?

36. It’s a ‘no’, and that’s final. – Step away from me right now or something bad is going to happen.

37. I think we’re going to have a good day today, class. – I can literally feel my soul being crushed, one day at a time.

Bad Teacher Fed Up Image via

38. Go and see the headmaster. – So you can be someone else’s problem.

39. I’m going to call your parents. – You’re going to be in LOADS of trouble when you get home, haha.

40. Don’t let me catch anyone looking at anyone else’s answers. – And by anyone I mean you, Tom.

41. You’re only cheating yourself. – God I hate you.



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