Teachers Rule—Top Ten Pranks to Pull on Students
Schools around the nation are gearing up for the new year. Students are purchasing new backpacks and clothes, parents are getting tingly all over in anticipation of quiet houses, old people are giddy over the prospect of empty libraries and parks, and teacher are preparing diligently for eager students willing to learn. (Sounds of fingernails being dragged across the chalkboard)! Nope! Teachers are steeling themselves against the onslaught of immature young people and nothing prepares them more than the thought of a good prank. Here are the top ten pranks to play on students!
10. Dude, What Was That Answer?
For an entire period, give out wrong answers. When I taught geography, I said, "The capital of Texas is Austin," but on the board I wrote, "Texas=Laredo." Then I would go around looking at notebooks, wondering who wrote it down incorrectly. Sometimes you can just say the wrong thing as well, just to confuse students. In German, the language is quite phonetic, and there are few exceptions to pronunciation. When my students see English words in German, which are normally pronounced exactly as they are in English, they just read them as they normally would. However, every once in a while, I’ll give them the wrong pronunciation. For example, if they read a German sentence with the word "Mountain bike" in it (in German it is Mountainbike, pronounced exactly like in English), I interrupt them and tell them it is pronounced, M a h n t a e e n a h b e a k e. They then reread the sentence, correcting themselves, whereby I tell them I was just kidding. For some reason, this is pretty funny to everyone involved!
9. Where Are the Answers?
Make up a very large word search, with about twenty vocabulary words. However, don’t actually include any of the vocabulary words. That should keep them busy for a little while. Of course, almost any type of school work would be fitting for this prank; a quiz with no correct answers, a crossword where the obvious answers don’t fit the amount of squares, etc. If you've graded a class set of papers by the time one of your smart students figures it out, that's a successful prank!
8. The Fake Test
Direct your student to take a pop quiz. After all the grumbling and the annoyingly whiny "Really?" complaints, tell them "April Fools!" or some other excuse why you were just joking around. Then make them take the quiz anyway! Don't forget the golden rule of teaching: If they're upset about having to do work, you're doing something right!
7. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!
When you have about ten minutes left, tell them you have a surprise guest coming. Have them close their eyes and wait for the surprise. Go out the door and relax for a few minutes before your students realize you left them. Make it a competition and see if you can finish your entire cup of coffee before anyone notices. If your blood pressure lowers five points or more, consider the prank a success.
6. Who's Your Favorite Student?
Robert comes into the classroom and as he reaches the door, I joyfully ask, "How’s my favorite student doing today?" "Just fine," he cheerfully responds. "Really...?" I ask surprisingly, then in a serious tone I say, "...because Susie seems to be a little down lately." Surprisingly, this works on students for weeks!
5. You Have a Life?
Teachers Prank Students
This prank can take a year or so to finish, so be patient. Use a video camera and interview single senior students out in the hall, using a made up controversial topic that students wish to weigh in on. "So, Robert, what do think about prom being moved from the Hilton Suites to the local agricultural barn?" As the students are making their arguments against the local barn, have teachers move in behind them and dance, make faces, or have posters with positive or funny statements written on them. Simple, ten to twenty second spots with the entire faculty and plenty of student interviews. Then show the completed ten minute video at prom, which takes place at the Hilton and was never really going to be moved anyway!
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4. Extended Time
Two weeks before school gets out for summer vacation, tell the students that the school board has extended class for three more weeks to make up for America’s weak showing on the International Standards Test. (Just make something up, they won’t know the difference. Tell them the results are in and the Japanese "handed it" to them again). Then hand out a very difficult project that coincidently takes three weeks to complete. Remember, the louder the groans and complaints, the better you should be feeling.
3. What Assignment?
Start class with a sad expression and tell your class, "I am very disappointed that only a few of you handed in last week’s essay. (A few good students can add to the enjoyment by letting them in on the joke). "Hey Robert, I really appreciate how hard you worked on that essay, good job!" Throw a couple of students some candy and congratulate them on getting an "A" on their tests. Watching the look on their faces is priceless, and helps remind you that money isn’t everything... power is!
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2. Arrested Development
We have plenty of students who go on to study criminal justice and work in law enforcement. Having graduated school and now working as a police officer, John came back to school to talk to some old teachers, as he had business in the area. (It’s a public school, after all). John came to see one of his favorite teachers, who had no previous knowledge that he was coming. However, being quick-witted as this teacher was, the practical joke played itself out. John walked into the classroom in full uniform and asked, "Are you Mr. Teer?" "Yes, yes I am," responded Mr. Teer timidly and hesitantly. "You need to come with me," the officer stated with an authoritative voice. As he grabbed Mr. Teer and moved him against the wall, John searched him and then handcuffed him. Led out of the classroom, Mr. Teer lowered his head in shame. The students looked around in disbelief, totally quiet. Three minutes later, the last bell of the day rang, dismissing the students. It wasn’t until the next morning when Mr. Teer walked back into the school that everyone figured out it was just a joke. In this small town, I’m sure the principal and the superintendent received more than a few telephone calls that night!
1. Make Time Move
There was a student who had a bad habit of sleeping in class. I don’t know if he was just lazy or if he had a night job. Regardless, this student slept often, and deep. His class was the last period of the day, and one day, just to break up the routine, I set the clock ahead about thirty minutes and took the whole class right outside the room, around the hallway. I then went back it, waited a good minute or two and walked up to the student. I shook his shoulder and quietly said, "Jaron, the bell rang some time ago, it’s time to leave." He looked around pretty confused and suddenly blurted out, "F&@$, I was supposed to ride the bus!"
There you have it, the top ten pranks to pull on students. But always remember, if students play a prank on a teacher, that’s NEVER funny.
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