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The Top 10 Most Embarrassing Things That Can Happen in a Classroom (To a Teacher)

There’s a lot that can go wrong for a teacher in the classroom, including disruptive students and forgotten papers.

So what are the most embarrassing things that can happen to a teacher in the classroom? What things will turn an educator’s ears red and make them uncomfortable at the least?

1. Unexpected Bodily Functions

It happens to all of us at one point or another, but happening to a teacher, especially in front of younger students, is sure to elicit laughter and a loss of control of the classroom. Belching, passing gas, or any other functions are a quick way for a class to move into chaos.

2. Slip of the Tongue

Not much of a concern to college educators, but to those teaching high school and below, letting slip profanity or the like can often be embarrassing since you’re supposed to be setting an example for your students on how to behave.

3. Falling Down or Tripping

Not only can this be embarrassing but it can be dangerous as classrooms present plenty of places for you to hit your head or hit on your way down that won’t break before you do. It’s one thing to show up to class on crutches, it’s another thing for your students to see the reason you need those crutches.

4. Innuendo

This can be more of a problem with older students, but making a statement with layers of innuendo can be just as bad as cursing or passing gas in the classroom. Diagrams and drawings on the chalkboard that are suggestive can be just as bad.

5. Visible Underwear

More of an issue for female teachers than male, having a bra or panties visible can not only be embarrassing but it can also undermine authority as quickly as anything. Using your mirror of a morning can help avoid this issue.

6. Inaccurate Information

It’s one thing to be off, it’s another thing to be so wrong that your students have to correct you. While some classes leave the answers up to interpretation, many don’t and when you get it wrong even when you have the answers it can be embarrassing.

7. Falling Asleep

Teachers work long hours both in and out of the classroom, dozing off at your while your students do their work is bad, but starting to snore will only make it worse.

8. Food or Liquid on Clothing

Spilling your coffee or getting mustard on your shirt is always embarrassing and no less so when you’re standing in front of a class all day long.

9. Using the Wrong Name

Understandable at the start of the school year, but an issue later in the year and especially when you’re handing out discipline.

10. Clothing Issue

Broken zippers, torn clothing, and surprisingly see-through clothing can all lead to embarrassing moments with your students. Keeping a change of clothes in your desk is a good idea and can help both with damaged clothing or if you spill something on yourself.

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Roberto Sanchez is a staff writer for MastersinEducation.org, where he writes on various education grad topics including online masters in education, jobs & careers.  More recently he highlighted the Best TESOL Programs available for students today. Roberto welcomes all feedback on his articles. 

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