We wrapped our Quarter Trios yesterday and the final competition was based on trivia questions – some were curriculum-based, some were facts about our school, and a few were about me from stories I’ve told in class. One of the last questions was purely for my amusement: “What’s the phrase you’ve heard me say most often this year?”

Students’ answers were high-larious and, in a few cases, surprising. In one class, for example, multiple teams said that I often told our most inquisitive student to put his hand down. You know this kid – let’s call him “Bob.” He’s the one who raises his hand before I’m even halfway through finishing directions. In the fall, Bob wanted to know if he should use dark blue or black ink on essays. And he almost always begins his question with, “I actually have two questions.” Three of 12 Trio teams in that hour said my most common phrase was to tell “Bob” to put his hand down. Here’s the glitch, though – I never uttered those words and always answered every s-i-n-g-l-e one of his questions. I protested, “You guys, I never once told Bob to put his hand down.” “Well, that’s not what you said,” one of my kids replied, “but it’s definitely what we heard.” Ouch. Looks like I’ve effectively taught inference skills.

Now, in no particular order, here are the top 10 phrases I said over and over again this year, according to my students:

After I’ve given several options on how to complete an assignment:
Okay, now it’s choose your own adventure time.

Before I hand out a test:
Remember, fast does not equal smart.

As I’m starting class each day:
Well, hey, hey, hey, it’s second period. (Curiously, I say this only to second period. Not sure why.)

When something dramatic happens in a story we’re reading aloud:
Oh, hell no!

Whenever they’re given a creative assignment or a speech:
I expect to be dazzled. No, Randazzled.

The class period after they’ve been given a chapter or scene to read on their own:
It’s one-question quizzer time!

When it’s rainy, cloudy, or cold on a Friday:
This is perfect S.S.R. weather.

When kids are arriving to class and one boasts to me that he did his homework/reading assignment:
Congratulations on meeting my minimum expectation. (said drily)

Every day as I walk toward the thermostat:
Is it hot in here to you guys?

When a kid asks how many points something is worth:
Points don’t matter.
or
You’re missing the point.

As teachers, we constantly repeat ourselves. We tell the same jokes hour after hour, repeat directions for daydreamy teens, and often teach the same lessons year after year; it makes sense that we start to develop some catch phrases, too. I’ve shared 10 of mine. Now give me one/some of yours in the comments section below. And I expect to be dazzled. No, Randazzled.

Teach on, everyone!

Join the conversation! 27 Comments

  1. Apparently, my newly graduated 8th graders claim I say, “all that Jazz,” a lot haha.

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  2. Love it, Meg! Who’s next?

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  3. Hilarious! I wish I’d done this with mine!

    On Fridays at the end of class: “Have a good weekend and MAKE GOOD CHOICES!!” 😂😂

    “You’re cold? Hmmm…if your uniform skirt was longer maybe you wouldn’t be.” (Only to those kids who I know can take the sarcasm and always with a smile and a joking tone.)

    “What do I always say about Sophomore year?”
    Their response: “This is the year that we start to figure out who we are and what we’ll stand for.”

    Before test days: “Of course it’s all short answer–I’m trying to give you points here, guys.”

    But most of all and most often, “I love you, too.”
    😊❤️

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  4. Ah…this warms my heart, Mrs. Turner. Today was the first day of our final exams schedule and the last meeting of my 1st and 2nd period classes. I told them I love them, too. 🙂

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  5. “Okay, FLY little birds!”

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  6. When my kids are dilly-dallying with collecting their things and the next class is ready to come in: I love you get out of here.

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  7. MIne’s easy. Monday – Thursday, I dismiss my classes by saying,”Have a great weekend!” (on Fridays, it’s something like “See ya later!” When kids try to correct me, I say, “I know it’s not Friday, but I want you to have a good weekend!” I don’t know why I do this every day, except it’s extremely funny around mid-January when kids try to correct me saying it’s not Friday.

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  8. Kay: Yes! But I call mine “chickadees.”

    Allison: I say this, too! It’s all one in one breath. “I love you get out.” Also, for those awkward kids who linger awkwardly, making everything awkward as my next class arrives, I like to say, “Okay, now, off you go.”

    Christopher: This reminds me of a former principal of mine who always said “Good morning,” no matter what time of day it was. For the evening graduation ceremony, he began his remarks with “Good morning” and the senior class went wild with cheers. I have no idea why it worked so well. 🙂

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  9. “Okay, now, off you go” I’m going to use that. Also, for the kid who always has his hand up and then goes on for 20 minutes, I say, “Short and sweet!” before they start.

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  10. Yes, Chris! And I sometimes cut off the rambler, telling him that we’ll come back to him later in the hour if we have time for him to finish his story. We never do.

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  11. “Remember: There are no right or wrong answers, but there are better and worse answers.”

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  12. And well-defended answers, MsHrm!

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  13. Ooo I remembered I say, “If you fight me, you’ll lose. If you listen, you’ll be fine.” And when kids walk into chairs and desks, because naturally 7th graders can’t control their bodies, I always say, “Watch out for that desk, they move you know.”

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  14. “Don’t be stuck on the escalator! I know you can solve your problem of not having a pencil!” (I show the short video at the beginning of every year.)

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  15. Oh my goodness, Meg, I STILL walk into desks and doors. I think they DO move. 🙂

    And, Ivy, I think I’ve been missing out. What’s the video? Link, PLEASE!

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  16. Stuck on an escalator video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrSUe_m19FY

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  17. That’s SO my freshmen, Sharon. Just get off the escalator, people!

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  18. When my students are trying to figure out exactly what I want so they can give it to me, I say, “The world is wide, my friends!” They know that if the rubric does not prohibit it and it still meets the expectations of the assignment (and they are good citizens), they are free to do it.

    I wish I taught in the room next to you. I love your ideas and your honesty!

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  19. I like this a lot, arletawiebe. I remember one of my school of educ. professors told us to say “yes” 10x more often than we said “no” to students. A great philosophy, I think. 🙂

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  20. “You can always do more, never do less.” In response to, can I write more…what if it’s more than a page…on and on. I have yet to have a student turn in ten pages, but I can feel it coming.

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  21. Kids who want to write more? That sounds like a good problem to have, KSum. 🙂

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  22. My kids always joke about my “Ruff-isms.” By the end the year ALL know:
    – “It would BEHOOVE you to…”
    – Friday’s farewell of, “Have a good weekend! Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!”
    – Terms of irritated endearment like, “Dude.” or “Honey Chicken.” or “Sista.”
    – “You know I love you with every beat of my heart.”
    – When asked how long a writing has to be: “As long as it NEEDS to be.”

    They also become painfully aware of the fact that I speak in movie quotes or music lyrics. Unfortunately, the younger they get, the less they know the references and the more likely they are to roll their eyes and ask, “is that from a movie?”

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  23. Honey Chicken? Oh, I’m stealing that one, Mrs. Ruff. And, yes, I also have my own variant of the writing answer: “As long as it needs to be to get the job done.” 🙂

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  24. I always finish a discussion by saying, “thoughts, questions, comments, or concerns?” And then giving a minute or two for those to be brought up. By the end of the first quarter, students know the order and tone I always say it in. If I don’t say it, inevitably a student will chime in, in their best impression.

    I also respond to “I have a question” with “I have an answer” followed by a random statement. Today one student learned, “I have an answer! 99 Red Luft Balloons!” After awhile they ask more appropriately, but there is always the one kid who tries to see what my answer of the day will be.

    And kids always tell me that my favorite word is “reciprocate.” Ha!

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  25. We’re two of a kind, Heather. After a lecture, I’ll end with, “Questions, concerns, declarations of independence?” No one’s started a mutiny yet. 🙂 As for 99 Luft Balloons, I’ll toss back a question: What’s the name of an infectious 80’s pop song? (Thanks for the throwback!)

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  26. When the kids ask me something about a team I don’t coach or a trip I am not organizing:
    “You’re asking the wrong Ag Teacher!”
    When my high schoolers are minding each other’s business:
    “Stay in your lane!”

    I have a pretty sarcastic, dry sense of humor but it has helped me keep my sanity all grades high school teacher!

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  27. Awesome, Megan! I like that “stay in your lane” saying, though usually I use it to remind myself to get back on track. Good stuff! 🙂

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