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Teacher Going off Topic

Have your teacher ever teaching something then suddenly go off topic?

My chemistry teacher always do that. He will teach about how atoms react with each other, and then make an example of human relationship, Then he wander off to his life with his wife, how they interact with each other and how he got her to like him in high school... <= which is a waste of time in my opinion., teaching us how to get a girl friend in chemistry class? and he tell us to take note on that too, lol.

Then there is my geometry teacher who go off topic in a good way. He is teaching 3D graphing... then suddenly jump into this conversation of what the universe really is and how that is 20D... and odd theory about black holes, and how gravity is really not real, just some theory made up for people to understand because the person who invent that theory don't even really understand. Then he went to modern day theory about how the mass of an object actually bend space, that's why planets revolve around the sun.... then he compare to how Newton probably don't even understand why that happen so he made up this thing call gravity... Then he tell us about the big bang theory, which the universe start with a point with all the mass contain inside it. By definition a point have no volume, cause it is 0D. So the forumla for density, D= M/V, when apply to that, is (All the Mass in the Universe) / 0, which is infinity. So The universe start with a dot that have infinity density....anyway, interesting stuffs that don't bored me and we learn from it.

Do you teachers go off topic in a good way, or a bad way?
The point is that school is more than just accumulating knowledge. Actually most students would not be so interested in the stuff your geometry teacher talks about; they'd care more for the stories of your chemistry teacher about his private life, relationships etc. School isn't just the sum of the subjects you get, it's also the people that you interact with and learning to deal with social environments.

As for your question, most of my teachers stay on-topic but we have one maths teacher who is in her twenties, and she is kind of strict and wants to get the max out of every lesson, but sometimes she just gets into a chat and then the whole hour flies by. When the bell rings she sighs, another hour slipped away. Mr. Green
lol, the funny thing is that most people in my geometry class is in my chemistry class. And none of them say anyway good about the chemistry teacher going off topic, by all of them said that the geometry teacher is awesome.
raine dragon
I have had both types of professors. Honestly, I say listen to your geometry teacher because you have a well spring of knoledge there. It may not be 100% on topic, but it will expand you understanding of the topics, because with a teacher like that there generally is some relation.

As for the teacher who talks about his life all the time, I'm sorry. Does your school have a way for you to evaluate your teachers? If so, give him a lower score for things like staying on topic. It might help him to understand how his class feels about these tangents, and he may cut down on them in the future.
Yeah, I hate it when teachers go off topic. I also hate it when people posting in forums go off topic. I try not to do so usually. There are people who do it anyway though. The same kind of people are usually the ones spamming, but I've figured out a way to stop spamming on my forums. In order to do that ...
[/spoof off topic post]
Oh my god, my science teacher doesn't even talk about science half the time. He's usually talking about his life, or chatting with girls in the class... he's creepy.

My Global Studies teacher is that way. He is always going off topic. Its kinda funny at times. We can go from talking about china to talking about what band is better. I love teachers that go off topic though. That means in class we have less to do. Very Happy
Thank you for that reply. I was already starting to fear that there are only perfect, knowledge-soaking students on Frihost.
Agent ME
My spanish teacher goes off topic a lot about random things about life and money - I and my class seem to like it, but most seem to only care because it delays actual schoolwork.
I had a few days ago a substitute in my English class who was a minister or something (I head there was a huge substitute shortage so I guess they're getting anyone they can get), and in one of our assignments comparing life in England in Shakespeare's time to our time today, especially about how there were the castes and how power was said to have been given to the King from God and down to the people, vs. today in US about how government comes up from the people to the higher parts (democracy), how our system wasn't automatically better, as the other system had people taught a lot of responsibility and honor, and today's system is built around the individual and to do what's best for yourself. Seemed like a real philosopher-type person - even remarked about how in Spiderman 3 the movie introduced a lot of ideas and challenges, like about revenge, and actually went through and came to a conclusion about it, rather than just throwing ideas in the air like a lot of other movies do and then just end without tying up the ideas.
I had a Philosophy Professor in college who used to ramble on about just about anything....granted he gave anyone who would show up and listen to him a passing grade...but most of us walked out of the classroom scratching our heads wondering WTF he was trying to say in the first place.
Vrythramax wrote:
I had a Philosophy Professor in college who used to ramble on about just about anything....granted he gave anyone who would show up and listen to him a passing grade...but most of us walked out of the classroom scratching our heads wondering WTF he was trying to say in the first place.

since you don't understand him, isn't that kind of a waste of your money?

I guess teacher going off topic is ok for high school, but not college, since you need to pay for it, Laughing
The teacher I have for Political and Legal studies is well known for going completely off the topic. However, he does at least usually stay on the topic of politics and law, and I probably get a better understand of the current standings and how things actually work more than when we're doing textbook learning, so it's all good. Of course most of the teachers I have go off topic sometimes, but not often enough to make any real difference to learning.
For me, the teacher going off topic in ANY way was a good way, lol, cause then we didn't have to take notes and we didn't have to listen to whatever boring topic our teacher was discussing and usually our homework for the day then ended up getting pushed off for another day, lol. Which was always good if it was thursday because then we had all weekend to do the assignment, lol. I'm a procrastinator.
Billwaa wrote:
since you don't understand him, isn't that kind of a waste of your money?

I guess teacher going off topic is ok for high school, but not college, since you need to pay for it, Laughing

I always thought it was a waste of my money, but the course was a requirement so I had no choice. I just stayed awake and did my other class assignments while he marveled at the sound of his own voice. Smile
Sometimes, off-topic is good, sometimes it is bad. From my experience, it is usually a good thing. Often, my professors will deviate from the topic to discuss another aspect of technology or some theory that we normally wouldn't encounter. It makes for great conversation later, and I often find the information useful later. I don't think its good when teachers go off topic on completely irrelevant tangents though... I have been lucky and have had very few teachers that ramble like that.
yeah a lot of teachers do that. Especially if they see kids are starting to drift off. It helps to make things more exciting. It also is a good way to get kids to remember information. We're studying something simliar in my psychology class. If they try to associate what their learning to something fun or something you normally don't talk about, your more likely to remember. Obviously this seems to be true b/c you remember what the teachers were teaching when they went off topic.

I think after so many years of hearing the same thing and being taught the same way you get bored easily and don't pay attention so teachers try to change things up a bit and keep your attention.
Well I saw many teachers in my life who would go off-topic at one instance or another. And I used to like that because it gave us some time to relax.
But there was one teacher I remember,my geography teacher, who would almost never be on-topic & always off-topic.
And not some specific off-topic but any topic which is not geography. Razz

That's why, we used to call her "Around the world in 30minutes" Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
(Inspired from Jules Verne novel:- "Around the world in 80days")
I have 4 teachers. 3 of my teachers don't and stick to the topic at hand. One of my teachers, my Social Studies/History teacher, does. While that may look like she's inexperienced and bad at teaching if looking at this post from your point of hand, I think that that should be a good thing in the certain class. Social Studies is for people to study about what's happening around them; Seeing things in a social sort of way.

Because of that, my teacher for that subject teaches the subject at hand pretty well, and teaches what is going on in the current news so that I don't get a big bore out of that class.
Back in the day it would be a daily routine in my science class after lunch to get my teacher off subject. We'd usually always ask questions regarding food, and before you know it::: You would know the entire process of making hot dogs!

I have nothing against getting teachers off subject; because is you really think about it, you are actually learning quite a it from listening to them ramble on and on.
At least your chemistry teacher wasn't a paedophile.

Once a bunch of 13/14 year old girls were walking past my chemistry class and he just stood at the window watching them.

The whole class gave him a look of disgust and he said something like "It's okay to look, boys." Not if you're 60, it isn't!
As a sub, I always went off topic with the students after we pushed through the requirements completely. They always knew I would, so they paid attention to subject matter. I always received positive feedback from teachers, some even requested that I fill in for them.
it often happen, acturally we like it because he probably go off to some more intesting topic
When I was in middle school, our discussions went into so many different tangents that it seemed strange how we got from talking about one subject to a radically different one. But then when you look at how it transitioned, it's actually pretty reasonable.

I think it offers a nice detraction into some of the more interesting things, even if they are barely related to what is being discussed at the moment.
I agree that going opff-topic can have it's benefits to be sure, but not if it goes so far off-topic that it obscures the original lesson. It's hard enough to get any group of people to pay attention....even more so if you gain a reputation as someone that clouds the issues.
Heh. This one day, a girl in my English class decided to ask the teacher a question which managed to get her off-topic for 23 (!!!) minutes.

That was a short and easy period!!
It really depends on the class you're on and how your teacher goes off-topic. I used to have this psychology teacher that went off-topic all the time, like she'd try to find a real-life example for one of her explanations and from then on went rambling and telling stuff about her personal life and her friends. Which wasn't all that bad, as deep inside she was trying to make us understand what she meant. Her classes actually showed good results when the exams came along.
Well, our school teachers did went out of the topic in my high school times.

The funniest example would be our History teacher during the topic on European civilizations. He went off for the Golden Trading Era and mentioned how the Silk Route connects from China to the Roman empire. Then, the funny thing he demonstrated how the Romans and the Chinese treated the chinese tea during that time. He told us that the chinese tea was so precious in the west while it is dirt cheap in the east (he even put his feet on the table showing how the poor/rough Chinese drank chinese tea.

There's one more about the Greek. He went off to the Troy and started talking about the Troy's movie. Then he moved to those war-related movies like the Black Hawk Down and the old Rambo movies. That's darn hilarious when he imitated the soldier with bullet sounds from the movie!
Of course teacher will go off topic. If not, I bet they are just some lousy teacher that only reads from the textbook, do not care about the student and only his/her share of salary every month. =p

But most likely for me is that my teachers will start to chat with us about recent activities that we are having etc, and it is always us who "request" her to start teaching because we actually find it a bit naggy.
Very Happy
I laughed when I read your post!
I'm a teacher, and I tend to do that sometimes!
My mind tends to be like an internet spider, going along any path that it can find and exploring it, even if it's totally different from the original site.
Am I doing it again?

My usually stop actual teaching when another student starts to talk about some random thing and the teacher starts a conversation with the student. Half of the time in class is hearing a conversation about whatever some student just randomly starts talking about.
lukejones wrote:
Very Happy
I laughed when I read your post!
I'm a teacher, and I tend to do that sometimes!
My mind tends to be like an internet spider, going along any path that it can find and exploring it, even if it's totally different from the original site.
Am I doing it again?

English language forum

It's all good. Some people say that "variety is the spice of life", when in fact most of us actually practice a slightly differant philosophy...."digression makes the world go round". Laughing
I love it when a teacher does that, it wastes time, gives me a chance to put the pen down and just relax. Last year I had a teacher that would stop anytime someone, say, turned around to say something, even JUST A SMALL STATEMENT, to someone else, eg. "Can I borrow a pen?". He would stop and give a,like, 45 minute lecture on wasting time in class. Not even kidding. well, maybe 30 minuites, w/e...
I actually really do love it (usually, at least...) when teachers do that. Often times the subject material isn't all that interesting to begin with, and it's always refreshing to be reminded that teachers are people too, with their own personal beliefs, attitudes, and experiences. Often times a good story lightens up the mood and makes things more fun, or can spur on a greater, more involved discussion (always a good thing in school, I think) that may not necessarily be related to the current subject matter but is still great for developing other aspects inherent with education. A breath of fresh air (to be cliche!) if you would. Surprised
my history teacher would go "on tangents" frequently (usually goaded by the students...)

But the funniest off-topic time was when the social studies teacher from next door just came in randomly and started talking about how his son studies for college...
It would be creepy if every teacher would just strictly stay on topic all the time. Often there is a lot of interesting stuff connected to what you are learning, and it might even catch the attention of a couple of student if the teacher talks about them. Wink
I had a music teacher who would hold a kind of psychology class almost every day. The music notes were only a small part of his class and most of the time he would talk to us about relationships or spirits that are everywhere around us. Some students were not happy about it - I thought it was funny, and many others enjoyed the easy class.
I like to learn. Not a problem. However, I do enjoy going off topic every now and then. I find that it lightens things up- I'll venture so far as to say that it wakes you up a bit. In moderation, therefore, tangents are great, because you need to have some enjoyment, too.
all this does remind me on a teacher i had in high school. she teached us french in the first year and history in the second.
her classes were what you could call rather interesting. she started every lesson with bout a new subject about french but she never finished it.
my best friends dad, who also was a teacher there (latin teacher), always compaired her with a lady who was cleaning a house.
she would start with dusting the living room but stop there and the next day just clean the bath in the bathroom.
she never ended any subject she started.
every day a new thing and us student wondering if what we saw the day before, was really done or was there more we had to know.
but she was a bad teacher, even if her half completed lessons didn't bug you.
when she corrected a test (with also the things you should have seen if she had completely explained bout one subject), she didn't stop at 0/20. she went on. no idea how many students actually had like -5/20 and she actually wanted the director would write in down in their report but he never did that.
we all got such low numbers cause she simply took one point for every minor mistake so lots of minor things did end in a really bad result.
and on one day she was sitting infront of the class at her desk and started to studie the soles of her feet, picking off the dead skin.
talking bout her being interesting in whatever she was teaching herself. she ended that class with after the inspection of her feet with walking around barefooted in class.
but she was a bit better in the second year but please pay attention to the BIT in the sentence.
she did ended any subject she started there but then she went off-topic alot. but luckely for us those off-topic things were sometimes interesting.
wel, at least her classes weren't boring that way.
way better then another teach i had when i was following some course.
she would take her syllabus and just read it outloud with us sitting there, listening and following in our own papers she have us. the interesting parts was when she didn't get what she had typed herself cause she mistyped now and then. and each lesson lasted for 8 hours with a break for dinner in the middle.
i tell ya, i'm pretty certain some of the students learned how to sleep with their eyes open. and one stared at the clock for 4 hours.
gotta love teachers
they sure do their best so we will always remember them
Some in a good way, some in a bad. Most of my favorite teachers though, usually go off topic in a good way and I learn so much more than I thought I would learn when I signed up for the class. I hate when they go off topic in a bad way, though. I usually just start writing or reading.
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