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The 10 Phrases I Say Most Often

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.
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!

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