There are things we memorize on purpose—grammar rules, birthdays of loved ones, important dates, and deadlines. But there are things that get stuck with us even though we never really put any effort into remembering them. Words have far greater power than we may realize, especially when said at the right place and the right time.

Speaking of the right words, one Reddit user invited others on the social media platform to share things that their school teachers said that stuck with them. Some wise words turned out to be powerful teaching moments for students, whereas some get replayed in one's mind because they hit some kind of nerve. All in all, the thread blew up, with thousands of replies to the discussion and almost 50k likes. Scroll down to find the best answers that Bored Panda picked for you and vote for the ones you liked the most. In addition to this, in the comment section, share if you ever heard something from a teacher that stuck with you for life!

More info: Reddit

#1

I was several weeks into a course in high school I still hadn't bought the textbook. When the teacher found out I didn't have the book, she took me aside and asked why. Being a dumb teenager, without thinking I gave her some lame excuse about the book being "too expensive." My family was solidly middle class, and, although not rich, my parents definitely would have bought the book for me. The real reason was just that I was lazy.

But my teacher looked sincerely concerned and quietly handed me a $20 bill. I was caught off-guard and mortified. Of course, I did buy the book right away after that. And then later that year returned a $20 to the teacher.

I always struck by the generosity of a teacher who would do that for her students, but I felt awful about how what I thought was an innocent lie turned out. Definitely a valuable lesson in honesty, lol.

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semelina pitrone
Community Member
1 month ago

this should be higher up.

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#2

I once asked my teacher something about the subject. And she said, "I don't know, but I'll do some research and get back to you tomorrow."

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
1 month ago

That's the best answer she could give. Teachers do not know everything and she didn't try to make something up. Also later in life you often have to research questions in your own field of expertise.

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#3

“Killing yourself is a selfish act. There are people you haven’t met yet who need you.”

She was my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Stone, and I swear to god she saved my life without knowing it.

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semelina pitrone
Community Member
1 month ago

One of the main things keeping me from suicide is that people DO care about me, and the fact that if i end myself they will suffer because they have lost something that they care about. I know this because my grandma was mentally unstable and when I was about... 9 or 10 she attempted suicide, changed her mind part way through, and ended up in the hospital for a month or two before my mother decided to pull the plug because the machines were the only things keeping her heart pumping. It hurt. I wasn't allowed to come visit her, and there was no funeral, so the last time that I talked to her is my last memory of her. I saw my grandma in the hospital with my Aunt Carolyn after my aunt's checkup. We had been forbidden to see my grandma because my mother didn't know if she had been taking all the medicine that kept her (mostly) sane. I hadn't known how serious her condition was until that night. Everything she told me that day was a lie.

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#4

First day off science class: “Many of the topics I will be teaching you this year will likely be proven false throughout your life”

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Johnny
Community Member
1 month ago

I wish my high school history teacher said the same thing as he taught me "facts" that he must have known were either completely untrue, or so whitewashed so as to be unrecognizable from what really happened. For example, Columbus did not "discover" America (indeed, he never set foot in North America), he didn't set out to prove that the earth was round (which was already well known and widely accepted at the time), and his ships were almost certainly not named the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. And we laud him as a hero when in truth he was a brutal governor of the Caribbean island where he *did* land. Why do we make up and hide the real history and make kids learn it only to have to unlearn it in college?

Yaiza Gandoy
Community Member
1 month ago

I think you did not understand that when people talk about the discovery of America they refer to the continent of America encompassing North, Central and South America. Even though, people from the US refer to themselvea as Americans, America is not a country, your country is still USA. Therefore, Columbus discover America the continent just by arriving to the Caribbean

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Bacony Cakes
Community Member
1 month ago

Plants breathing being a big one.

Evil Little Thing
Community Member
1 month ago

Plants do gas exchange, commonly called breathing.

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M O'Connell
Community Member
1 month ago

The theory of plate tectonics underwent a re-boot while I was learning about it in school (5th grade) I distinctly remember getting an F on a test because of it, corrected only when my father presented scholarly articles which resoundingly proved the textbook to be false.

bv7hearts
Community Member
1 month ago

That's the beauty of science. Our understanding evolves over time.

I Liquored On
Community Member
1 month ago

Tell me about it. Pluto was still a planet when I learned about the solar system.

lara
Community Member
1 month ago

In my "introduction to astrophysics" class the professor scoffed at the idea of "gravity waves." That was 1974. In my "historical geology" class the instructor pointed out that, "yes, Africa and South America seem to "fit together" but that was just a "coincidence" because land masses do not move." That was 1964.

Naima Kenyatta
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow! I never would teach Columbius discovered America because I know he didn't.

Stu Goddard
Community Member
1 month ago

What a terrible teacher and worse it stuck with you. Boyle’s law will not be disproved in your life time. Chemistry is not going to be suddenly wrong. Geology isn’t going anywhere. The fact a person points to a lack of knowledge on history as comparable to science is even worse. Are magnets going to suddenly have a new explanation of how they work along with electricity. I doubt there is any science that would be taught in the first year that will change unless creationism is being taught which isn’t science.

Johnny
Community Member
1 month ago

I spent a lot of time drawing electron orbits in high school chemistry even though it was already well known that electrons don't orbit the nucleus in planet style orbits.

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Emma Pham
Community Member
1 month ago

Human knowledge will always expand and improve and this teacher knows

Up All Night
Community Member
1 month ago

What science class means? I had separate classes like biology, physics, chemistry, geology, etc., so what "science" means in the USA? Do they cram all of these in one class under one teacher?

lara
Community Member
1 month ago

There are separate classes in all those subjects in high school and jr. high. But there are also "science" classes that are, basically, an intro to all science subjects.

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M Mills
Community Member
1 month ago

True.

Amy Pattie
Community Member
1 month ago

I would have appreciated this - so many of the stuff I learnt at school was untrue, and I remembered them strongly thinking, “no, there’s no way this can be right” and later find out that their current conclusion at the time was wrong. It gave me trust issues about science for a long time.

Elle Wetherbee
Community Member
1 month ago

This is fact and actually good science backs it up.

Goth Nurse
Community Member
1 month ago

of*

COcO BAMa
Community Member
1 month ago

at least he dont lie

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#5

"You have an accent, your skin is brown, your whole life will be filled with people who will assume this means you are not as smart or as good as they are at literally anything. That's why I push you. That's why I demand more from you. You have to work harder now so you can prove them all wrong for the rest of your life."

Ms. Johnson 9th grade English teacher

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TabledTurnsxddd
Community Member
1 month ago

#determination

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#6

“Have I been respectful to you?”

Me: “well, yeah”

“Are you being respectful to me?”

Simple words. They have guided me so much.

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Marcia Cash
Community Member
1 month ago

Respect is the ONLY law. ~ Nature's Classroom

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#7

I'm FB friends with several of my old teachers. I once wrote about how I had the recurring nightmare of being in my chemistry teacher's class and having to take an exam but not having studied for it.

He replied saying that his recurring nightmare is my being in his class.

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¯_(ツ)_/¯
Community Member
1 month ago

Thats sad, yet hilarious. 😂😭

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#8

“Once you’re an adult, you choose your own fate. Your mom won’t control you anymore.”

this came from a 9th grade Algebra 1 teacher who took the time to tutor me. My mom was/is a antivaxxing, cult following nut bag who didn’t think school was important because Armageddon is coming. I was terrible at math until I met him.

It’s been 25 years and I think of this teacher still, I am grateful. Don’t talk to mom anymore, she got tired of me asking where Armageddon was...

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HarperTheCentaur (they/them)
Community Member
1 month ago

Try not to downvote Daniel more than he already is. Don't upvote him, but don't downvote him either. I think he meant it as a joke. It's in poor taste, but everyone makes bad choices. Just ignore it.

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#9

I had a maths teacher who was an older woman, really strict and nobody particularly liked her. We mocked her way of speaking and were generally mean teenage assholes.

Once, when I was around 15, I hadn't finished my homework so I dropped my book in a puddle and showed it to her in class to say I'd lost the homework so couldn't hand it in. She questioned me a bit on how it had happened, then asked me to stay after class. The whole lesson I was [crapping] myself, expecting to be absolutely bollocked once everyone else had gone, so when the bell rang I sheepishly went up and sat at her desk after everyone had left.

To my surprise, she didn't shout at me but gently asked if I was being bullied and somebody had taken my workbook and ruined it on purpose. I was a little skinny kid with glasses and braces, so I can see why she would have thought that, but in that moment I suddenly saw her as a human being with feelings and empathy and not just a teacher. I felt like [crap] for the way I had treated her, and for lying about what had happened. I never admitted it to her - just reassured her that I was fine - but it did stick with me and I was much less of an [asshole] to teachers after that.

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El muerto
Community Member
1 month ago

she knew how it is to be bullied

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#10

In my Senior year we had a dinner at school. There was a very long queue for the desserts, so I went and asked a history teacher where it started, because I couldn't find it (it was pretty chaotic)
The teacher proceeded to put an arm around me, walk me to the desserts table, and say "Ray my boy, [damn] the queue"

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🌺🍍🌼🌻🌼🍍🌺
Community Member
1 month ago

I love this man.

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#11

I took Latin all four years of high school. I quickly realized I despised the language, but I stuck with it for the teacher himself. He alone was worth it.

Our Latin class was right above the hallway with classrooms for special needs kids. One day, after it was apparent nobody did their homework, my teacher stopped class and said, “you’re all taking what you have for granted, and it’s inexcusable. There are several dozen kids in the hallway below you who wish they had the mental faculties to do homework.”

I did my Latin homework regularly after he said that.

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Hailey Hall
Community Member
1 month ago

agreed i have a special needs brother and he can't even do regular school

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#12

After being caught smoking pot in high school (1986). My Science teacher (Hi Mr. Fischbein) said to me: "there is a time and place for everything, this is not the time, nor the place". He did not report me to administration. He was a great teacher.

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Marcellus the Third
Community Member
1 month ago

Normally the line is "there's a time and a place for everything, and it's called college" I think.

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#13

This came from a teacher who hated my guts (and I his). We never got along - I disliked what he taught and how he taught it. He thought I was pompous and bragged about my grades (maybe pompous, but never bragged about my grades).

Anyway, we had turned in our Ethics final paper, and mine was 20 pages long or so. Sometime later, he asked me to come by his room to pick up my paper. Despite how much he disliked me, he told me, "Sam, I've been teaching this class for over 10 years - this is the best paper I have ever read. Can I use this as an example for future classes?"

I gained a ton of respect for him that day because I knew how hard it had to be for him to admit that.

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Ria C.
Community Member
1 month ago

Sam is not a stud and still appears to be as pompous as ever.

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#14

"You should just join the army because you'll never make it into university and get a good job."

15 years later, I'm a teacher. I'm not going to say that kind of trash to students.

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F. H.
Community Member
1 month ago

Favourite phrase of my sociology teacher: "Try harder, not everyone can become a police officer."

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#15

My geometry teacher was super chill. He taught us to play poker and blackjack. On the last day of school he said, “Remember: if you ever need anything or have any questions while you’re at this school, there are about 50 other teachers you should go to before you come to me”.

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Marcia Cash
Community Member
1 month ago

Catholic school science class, priest teaching says "Physics can teach you what, where, when, and how. For why you need metaphysics, go ask Father Shannahan."

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#16

My art teacher told me I couldn't draw. Fast forward 15 years and I've graduated university with a fine art degree and have my own small illustration business as a side gig. It's not a huge thing, but I've had over 150 sales now and have like, actual fans! So, screw you Miss H!

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Marcia Cash
Community Member
1 month ago

My art teacher couldn't draw, or paint, or sculpt, so we spent the whole year doing cutesy kid crafts until I went absolutely mad. I built a big junk sculpture in the hallway for everyone to write graffiti on, and got the art scholarship award that year. And I can really draw!

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#17

(Biology teacher, pointing at student)

"Ugly bag of protein, full of water!"

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Emilingo
Community Member
1 month ago

That's biology for you.

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#18

"Teachers like marking your homework as much as you like doing homework"

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Johnny
Community Member
1 month ago

That's not universally true, I dated an AP English teacher, who *loved* reading and grading writing assignments. But I think having motivated students doing their best work is a big part of that.

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#19

"You can be the smartest person who ever lived and still be wrong."

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Marcia Cash
Community Member
1 month ago

"You can do everything right and still fail" ~ Captain Picard

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#20

I had a 9th grade Earth Science teacher who actually had a PhD in biology. He told us that he had made his was through school by writing things he had to learn on 3x5 note cards, and would pull them out of his pocket when he had a few minutes to learn/memorize the material he had written on them. I used that technique from then on - all the way through my own PhD - when I had something important to understand or commit to memory.

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WhatEvenIsLife
Community Member
1 month ago

If anyone's interested in a similar and very effective technique, I used to write stuff I needed to memorize on post-it notes and stick them to my bathroom mirror. That way, I'd scan them every single morning while I brushed my teeth, without even wanting to. Best technique I've ever used.

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#21

There's no benefit to being right if you can't make people listen to the answer.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 month ago

Making people listen to the answer doesn't mean the answer is right.

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#22

Had a history teacher who told me that “everything is relative.” You can only be poor if someone next to you is rich. You’re only stupid if someone next to you is smart. It helps to put things into perspective and realize how superficial a lot of things are in life. That being said, he also randomly told me that “wolves are badass dogs that don’t give a [damn]” when we were not talking about wolves or dogs in class so who knows what was really going on in his head.

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semelina pitrone
Community Member
1 month ago

I want to have a conversation with this man!

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See Also on Bored Panda
#23

My anatomy teacher was a cool dude. He'd give us little tidbits of advice before each test, ranging from "always put your shopping cart away" to "you don't have to be 100% okay 100% of the time, and that's 100% okay, 100% of the time."

He's definitely one of the best teachers I've had.

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F. H.
Community Member
1 month ago

My human anatomy teacher was a nearly 80 years old veterenerian, had round gold-rimmed spectacles and always lost his gloves somewhere in a body. He was great.

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#24

"I finished school with the lowest grades possible. If THIS idiot could do it, all YOU idiots can do it too" the whole class cheered.

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Marcia Cash
Community Member
1 month ago

sigh...in Texas, all you need is a C- average in any subject to get a teaching degree. It sure shows in the quality of our education.

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#25

"I know what it is to be young but you don't know what it is to be old"

I don't know why and how it came up, but our English teacher asked me if I understand that. It was the first year and I was 10, and I definitely did not understand. But it somehow stuck in my mind as the sound of the sentence, until I could decipher the memory in retrospect.

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Caitlin Davenport
Community Member
1 month ago

This is so true, kids often don't realize that we do understand how they feel

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#26

"What do they call someone who graduated vet school with a 2.0 GPA? Doctor." My first-term anatomy professor (IN vet school) telling us to stop fretting so much about the grades and worry about the knowledge.

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Curry on...
Community Member
1 month ago

50% of the doctors graduated at the bottom of their class.

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#27

“You’re a spoon in a knife block” when asked why most of my friends were high achievers and I was only average.

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Timmy
Community Member
1 month ago

Spoons hold things. Knives cut through them. What is better for retaining knowledge?

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#28

One time one of my elective classes was just kind of chilling out the day before winter break and the teacher decided to arrange all our desks in a circle. He had everyone anonymously write something that was troubling them at the moment and he would go through and give some advice.

I wrote about my parents constant fighting and how I feared their inevitable divorce and the possibility of moving across country with my mother. I wish I could remember what he said but I vividly remember almost crying because what he said hit so hard but I kept it together. Less than a month later, both things happened lmao

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Ani Archeron
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow. I really wish there were more people like this.

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#29

Ended every class with "You're good people".

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Steve
Community Member
1 month ago

Except Terry, he's an a**hole

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#30

He said with rage, "YOU USE TO BE ONE OF THE GOOD ONES!"

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That Hockey kid
Community Member
1 month ago

Context?

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