Embarrassing Moments: Teacher Edition

Sarina Caltagirone, Managing Editor

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For some unfortunate teachers, some more than others, embarrassing moments happen all too often. And while it is often the highlight of a student’s week, for teachers it is the most unpredictable nightmare that leaves a greater impression on their students than the lesson taught itself.

Though teachers may perceive them as downright humiliating, they remind us students, that teachers are human and make mistakes too. And during a dreaded three-day 2:40 week, these moments mean more to us than you know. So from all Presentation students, thank you teachers. You teach us every day. In more ways than you’ve probably intended.


Eric Buell

7th grade day. Last year. It is always hectic because you have 15 minutes, and I didn’t know what to do but teach a mini lesson. So I end up turning my energy up to 15 out of 10 and ask them their favorite Disney movie to break the ice. Most of them said The Little Mermaid. So in my infinite wisdom, I thought I’d reenact the scene where she jumps up on the rock at the end of the song. I used the podium as the rock and was planning to grab it and move up. So I got some momentum and as I forgot my podium was on wheels, I full force go toward the podium and fall over. And keep in mind this is all within the first 60 seconds of the lesson. They stared at me horrified, so I quickly recovered for their sake. Then at the end of the class, I asked them if they had any questions, and one 7th grader, with a look of concern on her face, said, “Is every teacher like you, here?” And I said, “No. God Bless. Bye!”


Sean Donoho

Story 1: When I was teaching at San Jose State University, I was very nervous on the first day. There were whiteboards all over the classroom and one Smartboard in the front of the room. I took out a Sharpie and, being nervous and distracted, I began writing on the Smartboard! I realized only when a student asked me why I was writing on it. I panicked and used my hand to try and wipe it away. Alas, I only managed to smudge it and get Sharpie all over my hand. I taught the rest of class with a dirty hand and my name written in smudged letters on the Smartboard.

Story 2: In my American Lit class, I put my glass mug on my podium when I was talking. I forgot it was there and tried to move the podium, but my glass mug fell off, hit the floor, shattered and spilled my tea everywhere. I had to then pick up pieces of glass while my students worked in groups.


Señora Iorgulescu

I have been told (twice) that my fly is open, once in class and once during finals.


Nicole Ralston

Story 1: When I was pregnant, but the students didn’t know, there was a week where I was literally going to cry if I didn’t get the food I wanted IMMEDIATELY. I would have TA’s grab me burritos from the food service, and then I would eat them while lecturing. I’m pretty sure my students thought I was disgusting.

Story 2: My first year here, I had extra time during the last period before Thanksgiving break, so I let the students pick a movie to watch. They picked White Chicks, which I had never seen, but they assured me that another teacher let them watch it before. For 15 minutes, I sat cringing in the back corner. And then there was a scene that was so inappropriate I freaked out and turned off the projector. Now I pick the movie if we get a chance to have downtime.


Sherrie Raposa

For the first time in nearly 20 years of coaching and teaching swimming lessons, I fell in the pool.  Fully clothed.  With sneakers and socks.  And it wouldn’t have been that bad (it was excruciatingly sunny and hot so I dried quickly), except for the fact that I yelled, “Oh F—!” as I did a slow fall into the water.


Sharon Goldau

Last year, I had to sub for yoga class and was running late. I had a box full of papers to grade, opened the door to the dance studio and full on hit the edge of the ramp! My glasses, keys, and papers were scattered out everywhere on the dance floor! Luckily, I had some of my math students in the yoga class and they immediately picked me up and gathered my things. But to the other students I did not know, I was for the rest of the year “the teacher that fell.” Ouch.


Andrea Duwel

My first year teaching at Pres I taught US History B. The curriculum called for showing the class the documentary White Light Black Rain, about the aftermath of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. I didn’t have time to watch it, but I knew it had been shown by teachers before and was appropriate. However, when I played it, it was in Japanese without any subtitles. I was confused, but the students were into watching it, so I just went with it. Turns out there were subtitles but they didn’t show due to the type of DVD  player I was using.