teacher jokes

Cover of "The Wednesday Wars"

Cover of The Wednesday Wars

Yesterday morning I picked up Gary Schmidt’s The Wednesday Wars to reread on my way to work, as my Kindle was charging so the PG Wodehouse I was in the middle of (Damsel in Distress) was temporarily unavailable. On page 80, seventh-grade teacher Mrs. Baker makes a joke and the protagonist, Holling Hoodhood, says,

That was a teacher joke. No one laughed, though we were all supposed to. No one ever laughs at teacher jokes.

So true, even when it comes to university-level teaching. My students will perhaps weakly smile at one of my jokes, but if I even attempt to use sarcasm or irony or anything like that on them, they just look at me. And although I don’t exactly feel like an awesome teacher when I make a point and they look at me all confused, it’s vastly preferable to those blank, slightly pitying looks.

At that point, I tend to go write something on the blackboard and tell myself it’s not me, it’s them and their underdeveloped sense of humor. Please don’t tell me otherwise.

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2 thoughts on “teacher jokes

  1. David N. Jansen says:

    There is an added difficulty when you make jokes in a foreign country: there are differences in humour between countries, even if they speak the same language. I remember that a Swiss writer explained that he had experienced that Germans listening to his talks would not laugh at his jokes, so he decided in the end that he had to give a serious presentation. – I also sometimes find that Dutch do not understand some of the jokes I try to make.

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