Spotted: teachers in an unnatural habitat

Has this ever happened to you? Then read on, and uncover the mystery . . .


NPHS seniors Emily Liu and Samuel Lee were awarded the National Merit $2500 Scholarship in March. The two will continue their education at the University of Pennsylvania this fall.

TOWAMENCIN – It was a dark and dingy mall. The polished floors reeked with suspicion; the walls with a morbid presentiment. Suddenly, a shadowy figure materialized – a friend? An enemy? Nope. It’s your teacher.

We’ve all been there, and presumably, we’ve all experienced the loss of composure that comes with an inopportune teacher sighting. But panic no more! Below are five excellent options for dealing with the inevitable: meeting one of your teachers outside of school.

1. Impersonate another classmate

Ever wonder why your teacher seems to despise you? Great – this is the perfect opportunity to find out! First, immediately switch clothes with the nearest mannequin. Don’t hesitate; just trust me. Next, do your best to assume the personality of your teacher’s most beloved student (read: not you.) Approach your teacher, doing your best to stay in character. Finally, engage your teacher in a friendly conversation littered with prying questions about yourself.

2. The FBI option

FBI agents are tough, tenacious, and tricky. They’re also masters of interrogation. Saunter up to your teacher and immediately begin asking questions. Inquire about their motives, their plans, and last Friday’s impossibly difficult test. Eventually, they’ll grow confused and hastily exit the conversation. Congratulations, Special Agent! Mission accomplished.

3. Just run screaming

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Heed my advice and get out of there (preferably while making as much noise as possible). I’m not quite sure what this would achieve. . . aside from a very interesting conversation in class the next day.

4. Stop, drop, and study

What’s the best way to show a teacher how serious you are about their class? By studying! A lot. Everywhere. And very publicly. The mall isn’t the best academic environment, but in the interest of a sterling reputation, grab a textbook and begin. Read random vocabulary words off the page; yell out numbers if you must. The important thing is conveying that you are a serious student who cares about your studies. (If I were you, I wouldn’t buy those jeans – they don’t really go with precalculus.)

5. Actually talk to them

Let me make one thing clear: this option is ONLY to be used as a last resort. If there is absolutely no other choice, you may have to. . . well. . . um. . . talk to your teacher. Traffic, weather, whatever. Just a pleasant conversation. Talking face-to-face is still a thing, right? (Cue the scary music!) But trust me, you will survive. You might even discover that teachers, like us, are normal people who enjoy normal things, like the occasional trip to the mall. One final thought: if you find yourself floundering, don’t hesitate to try number two – the exceptionally valuable FBI option.