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14 Songs That You Didn't Know Were Actually About Teaching

Some overt, some a little bit more obscure--all of these songs are actually about teaching!

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1. Blank Space by Taylor Swift

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Though this pop hit from American country-pop crossover artist Taylor Swift may seem to be about heartbreak and finding that special someone, it's actually about students who turn in sheets of paper without their names on top:

Got a long list of ex-[students]

They'll tell you I'm insane

But I've got a blank space baby

And I'll write your name

And take five points off your final grade.

2. What Do You Mean? by Justin Bieber

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This pop single by Canadian singer Justin Bieber at first glance appears to be about the struggle of receiving mixed signals from BAE, but in reality, it's the mournful song of confused students to a teacher who kind of muffed the directions and is now taking that frustration out on said students:

You're so indecisive of what [we're] saying

Trying to catch the beat make up your heart

Don't know if you're happy or complaining

Don't want for us to end

Where do [we] start?

Yeah... to be completely honest ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

3. Baby Love by The Supremes

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The third song on the hit Where Did Our Love Go album by the Motown group The Supremes is about a young love cut short by a passing period:

Baby love, my baby love

Why must we seperate, my love

All of my whole life through

I never loved no one but you [and Juan, and Carlos, and Sarah]

Why you do me like you do?

Chin up, champ. You'll get 'em next period.

4. Every Breath You Take by The Police

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A song by English rock band The Police on the band's 1983 album Synchronicity, Every Breath You Take climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 8 weeks straight. Though many have speculated the song is about a stalker, it's actually about that kid:

Every breath you take

Every move you make

Every bond you break

Every step you take

I'll be watching you

I know you were the one who stole my scented marker. I KNOW IT.

5. Say Something by A Great Big World ft. Christina Aguilera

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This power ballad between American indie pop duo Ian Axel and Chad King and American singer/song writer Christina Aguilera comes off as a song from one lover to another, but its actually about trying to talk to a student who has officially checked out of the conversation:

Say something, I'm giving up on you

I'll be the one if you want me to

Anywhere I would've followed you

Say something, I'm giving up on you

So, we're still not talking? Okay then :(

6. Stressed Out by twenty one pilots

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The song Stressed Out by alternative hip-hop band twenty one pilots is pretty flagrantly about teaching. I mean, come on:

Wish we could turn back time, to the [summer break],

When our [bottle of wine] sang us to sleep but now we're stressed out.

We're stressed out.


7. Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran

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Thinking Out Loud is a song by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran from his second album X. Sure, it sounds like a love song, but it's actually about students who continually talk during a voice level 0 who were just 'thinking out loud,':

And, darling, I will be loving you 'til we're 70

And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23

And I'm thinking 'bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways

Maybe just the touch of a hand...

Okay... it's a love song, but come on--I KNOW YOU'RE JUST TALKING, CARLA.

8. The Sign by Ace of Base

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The Sign by Swedish pop group Ace of Base upon first listen seems to be about a person in an unhealthy relationship putting his or her foot down and saying,"enough is enough, I deserve better [dammit]', but in reality, it's actually about that kid that's always in the hall without a pass:

I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes I saw the sign

No one's gonna drag you up to get into the light where you belong

But where do you belong?

But really, where should you be?

9. Respect by Aretha Franklin

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With quite possibly the most iconic spell-out of all time, Respect by R&B powerhouse Aretha Franklin is considered by many a landmark for the feminist movement. But prior to being the fast-paced soul song that popular culture is familiar with, Respect was a ballad written by Aretha about her experience co-teaching:


Find out what it means to me


Take care ... [you have to listen to me]

Call me the "assistant teacher" one more time, Elisabeth.

10. Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift

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The fifth single off of Taylor Swift's hit album 1989, Wildest Dreams, may sound like the story of star crossed lovers, however, in an interview with Rolling Stones in June of 2015, Swift shared that the song was intended to be about collecting homework:

Say you'll [turn homework in] even if it's just in [my] wildest dreams

In [my] wildest dreams

Even if it's just in [my] wildest dreams

In [our] wildest dreams

I mean, I'd settle for getting one paper back, tbh.

11. Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours by Stevie Wonder

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The soul single by a young Stevie Wonder appears to be about a man humbling himself before his boo-thang, but as a matter of fact it about actually getting a signed letter back that you entrusted a student to deliver to his or her parents:

Oo baby, here I am,

Signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours


12. Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye

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A soul song written for the Motown label, the songs first composition was popularized in 1967 by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. While to many, the song is about two lovers who will not be kept from one another by any means, it's actually about the most bad-ass dean in the history of ever:

If you need me call me no matter where you are,

No matter how far; don't worry baby

Just call my name; I'll be there in a hurry

You don't have to worry,

YAASSSS, come get this student out my class, YAASSSS.

13. Ain't That A Shame by Fats Domino

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A single from the album Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino, Ain't That A Shame gained enough notoriety to find itself included in Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. While it may appear to be about the heartbreak of bring dumped, it's actually about the heartbreak of a student walking out of class:

You made me cry when you said goodbye

Ain't that a shame

My tears fell like rain

Ain't that a shame


14. B**** Better Have My Money by Rihanna

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A song recorded by Barbadian singer Rihanna for her upcoming eighth studio album Anti, the songs explicit nature may distract the listener from realizing that it's actually about collecting money for an in class pizza party:

B**** better have my money!

Pay me what you owe me


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