Students and staff share embarrassing moments


It is 3 a.m. You have school in the morning. You are in a cold sweat, tossing in your sheets, and want nothing more than to just be able to fall asleep. But you cannot. Because that one embarrassing thing you said on your first day of third grade is keeping you up. 

Embarrassing moments happen all the time. Whether it is falling, slipping up on your word or forgetting someone’s name, we all have those times. And that does not exclude some of the teachers of this very high school. 

One of physics teacher Annie Zaremba’s most embarrassing moments occurred this year, when she was duped into thinking one of her students was a whole year younger than they really are. 

Senior AP student Matthew Garfinkle and his classmates devised a story about how the reason he was taking AP as a junior had to do with a schedule change, which is not too far from the truth. 

“Everyone was telling me he was a junior, and I realized I must’ve just messed up,” Zaremba said. “I started telling my other classes, too, that I thought he was a senior, and nobody corrected me.”

She eventually discovered that he was actually in his last year of school when she went to finalize grades, and that everyone had tricked her for months. 

“It kind of backfired on him,” said Zaremba. “I didn’t vote him for Outstanding Senior because I thought he was on the list by mistake.” 

Government teacher Matthew Cribbs had a classic embarrassing moment one year after a planning period.

“One year I had my planning period during 2nd period, and I would go to the bathroom before needing to be back in class to begin my 3rd period class,” Cribbs said. “Unbeknownst to me, I had forgotten to zip my pants when I was done.”

Cribbs said that no one said anything for three whole periods about his mishap, and he taught for the entirety of periods 3/4 and 5 before a student hesitantly brought it up to him. 

“I know that this happens to everyone, but I was amazed that my zipper was down for almost three hours before anyone told me,” Cribbs said. “I know it is not a unique story, but embarrassing nonetheless.”

Spanish teacher Silvia Molina had an awkward moment when she came to the United States. 

“I started teaching here at GlenOak, but I had been living in Argentina for 17 years and picked up some gestures that are not used in English/American culture,” Molina said. 

One of the gestures she had picked up in her time in Argentina was used to express “I don’t know”. It was a simple motion in which one brushes their fingertip upward along their neck. 

“Well, in American culture,  this is an offensive gesture. I was unaware of it, or I had forgotten,” Molina said. 

One day a student asked her why she had been making that gesture so much, which she thought was a weird question. The student asked her if she knew what it meant. When she found out, she was extremely embarrassed and felt bad for doing it so often.

Being one of the younger teachers at the school, Zaremba often gets lost among the sea of kids. But in her first year teaching, an adult actually did not believe that she was a teacher.

“I had won a door decorating contest, so a lunch lady was coming down to give me my prize,” Zaremba said. 

The cafeteria worker came down and asked Zaremba where the teacher was, to which she laughed at. 

“I soon realized it wasn’t a joke,” Zaremba said. “She made me show her my badge and everything. She didn’t really apologize or anything either.”

One of the big parts of being a teacher is giving assessments to your students. So imagine English teacher Angela Beshore’s humiliation when she messed up on her first one.

“My first year as a teacher the high school was on 44th Street where Glenwood is now,” Beshore said. “I had just finished teaching my first unit of British Literature. I was quite proud of myself.”

She wanted to make sure her very first test was perfect, so she spent hours pining over each question and toiling over the answer choices and writing responses. 

“This test was absolutely perfect,” Beshore said. “I took so long to make it, however, that I found myself behind on copies. I managed to get to school early on test day so that I could copy my masterpiece, but the only copier I knew about in the building was broken.”

Beshore found out that the repair guy was coming eventually, but it would not be in time for her test, and she has to cancel her first test in her teaching career. 

“The kids were thrilled, but I was so embarrassed,” Beshore said.