One moment in time

Teachers have always supported one another, sharing their funny, moving and inspiring experiences. In the age of social media, this communication has gone global, and TES Connect is aiming to take it one step further with a unique experiment

Tes Editorial

In just a few weeks, TES Connect is to host a global experiment called A Teaching Moment in Time. This unique social media project will involve thousands of teachers around the world telling us exactly what they are doing at 11am on Thursday 12 September. Using this information, we aim to paint an extraordinary picture of the teaching profession across the globe - the surprising differences and the amazing similarities. To get teachers warmed up for this event, we've been asking them to share via Twitter and Facebook their favourite #teachingmoments. Here are some of the best.

Funniest #teachingmoment

Boy: "I'm getting a metre stick."

Me: "But you've already got one."

Boy: "I'm trying to find a longer one."

Shane Michael

Talking to the pupils and telling them they were the future, only to realise that one of them had taped their eyes shut. Well, greatness isn't for everyone.

Ben Williams

Once, while we were playing outside, a gust of wind blew very hard. One of my little boys started twirling around and around, shouting loudly, "It's a tomato, it's a tomato!"

Amanda Handsel Walley

When the firemen came to school to visit my class and give a fire safety talk, one little boy put his hand up and asked, "Are any of you single? Miss quite likes firemen."

Hazel Swain

Having a tough morning and shouting, "Will you please be quiet and shit on the carpet!"

Lucy Hayhurst

After a scientific investigation, a child agreed he had proven an egg was hard-boiled and hit it on his head. He was wrong.

Sara Friend

When I asked my teaching assistant to blow up a sheet on the photocopier, a child said, "But won't that make a loud noise?"

Anisa Petal

Being told on my first day as a newly qualified teacher to stop pushing in the bus queue by a burly geography team leader, who mistook me for a student.

Kirsty Retallick

A male pupil who missed a session because of a spray tan that went wrong.

Gill Hitchin

One student asked me if I had any felt tips. Another student said, "Did you just ask Miss if she's got false tits?"

Mandy Garratt

Most rewarding #teachingmoment

One 11-year-old lad who put his hand up and said, "I want to do what you do when I grow up."

Paul Godding

"I'm not just here for the content any more, Sir. I really value the process of learning" - Year 12 girl (aged 16-17) in my Culture of Learning project.


When a student who speaks English as an additional language and is not that strong at mathematics figured out how to do their 10 times table on their own.


Producing a full-scale production that I had co-written.


Being told by a boy as he was leaving school: "I'll always have a memory of you."

Michaela Bacon

When a pupil who spoke English as an additional language, and had had a negative experience with school in their home country, said, "I'm glad I gave this school a chance because I have you to teach me. You're the best teacher." I cried after they left the room.

Catherine Crowther

Too many to choose just one. Every single day of the past three years has been rewarding in one way or another. I am lucky to be in a great school, with fab colleagues and fab kids (mostly).

Carla Jacobs

When my amazing class found out that they have me again next year - the cheer that came with it.

Sasha Lees

This year I taught a nine-year-old non-reader to read.

Laura Simpson

When a young man made an appointment to see me to tell me he'd been accepted to the University of Cambridge. I had predicted he'd go there when his mum and dad were worrying about his test results when he was 7.

Gail Melodie Russell

Helping a student who, according to "data", was meant to achieve an F in their GCSE exam to gain a C instead. Felt so proud of them.

Kay Ward

A boy who speaks English as an additional language singing his first song. My heart sang, too.

Jo Freeman

Being asked to take part in a "securing outstanding" project during my first year after qualifying.

Clare Tomlinson

My Year 6 boys (aged 10-11), who were told they wouldn't reach level 4, getting there and then thanking me for believing in them.


Cutest #teachingmoment

One of my Reception children (aged 4-5) handed me my end-of-year present, hopping up and down and squealing, "Open it, open it. See what your prize is!" They were a very challenging class, so it did feel like I deserved a prize.

Inya Wallace

When I was teaching in Japan, a student with special educational needs thinking I travelled from the UK every Thursday to teach at his school.

Jacqueline McGinn

A Year 1 child (aged 5-6) whispering in my ear, "Why does the teacher have a big belly?" My response: "Because she's pregnant, there's a baby in there." Pupil: "Did she eat one?"

Heather Shore

It was my birthday and two Year 3 boys (aged 7-8) were discussing my age. "I fink Miss Bray is firty-four," said one. "Nar," responded his friend, "my mum's firty and Miss Bray's much younger than that." Ten house points each.

Jill Bray

When I worked as an arts tutor before qualifying, we were making ceramic giraffes and I asked the group of four- to eight-year-olds why giraffes had long necks. After much tongue sticking out and thinking, one little boy raised his hand and said, "So they can see over the walls in the zoo."

Sarah Louise Atkins

An 11-year-old boy telling me I had big eyelashes and looked like a princess. Made me smile.

Lisa Wilson

When a Year 1 child said his friend who hadn't paid for a trip yet could go in his place because he'd already been to the seaside.

Sandra Robinson

Being told by a four-year-old that I am beautiful and when they grow up they want to be a teacher, because they want to be just like me.

Katie Bennett

The headteacher came in to tell me to ensure that a child with bad catarrh sat near the front of the class as she'd been seen by the doctor and had significant hearing loss. After he left the room, the little girl came up to me and tugged my sleeve. "Miss, Mr A is wrong, you know. I don't learn the guitar."

Alison Tanner

The student who literally stared at another when asked to keep an eye on a younger child.

Aleta Watson

Year 1 children thinking that my husband must be my dad because he was called "Mr" and that my son must have been my brother.

Kaye Joanne Burnett

I was teaching a class of four- and five-year-olds and I could also hear the class next door. The teacher was asking the children to count. They made it all the way to 19 and she asked if anyone knew what came next. One little boy burst out of his seat, proclaiming that he knew the answer, and said with huge confidence, "Twenty-ten!"

Rachel Matthews

We were playing with story cubes and I pointed to a picture of a fountain. A little boy said, "It's a water hill."

Lynda Carter

Being called "Miss Napkin".

Emma Atkin


A Teaching Moment in Time, which will take place on Thursday 12 September, will be one of the world's biggest ever education experiments. With your help, and the use of a variety of social media tools, we hope to capture a snapshot of teaching life around the world at precisely 11am (your time).

We're taking registrations now, so please visit www.tesconnect.comone-moment to pledge your support.

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Tes Editorial

Latest stories

teacher cyber bullying

Are you a bystander to bullying?

Workplace bullying is often not just about those directly involved, but about those who are looking on, too, finds Grainne Hallahan
Grainne Hallahan 22 Sep 2021