Top 30 Slang For Teaching – Meaning & Usage

Teaching slang may not be something you hear every day, but the education world has its own language that can be both fun and informative. From “edtech” to “PD,” we’ve got you covered with a list of terms that will have you speaking like a seasoned educator in no time. So, whether you’re a teacher looking to expand your vocabulary or just curious about the lingo, join us as we break down the top slang for teaching that you need to know.

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1. Educate

This word refers to the act of imparting knowledge or skills to someone. It can involve instructing, guiding, and enlightening individuals in various subjects or areas of study.

  • For example, a teacher might say, “My goal is to educate my students and help them reach their full potential.”
  • A parent might tell their child, “It’s important to value education and always strive to educate yourself.”
  • In a discussion about educational reforms, someone might argue, “We need to prioritize funding to ensure all children have access to quality education.”

2. School

This term refers to an institution where students receive formal education and instruction. It can include various levels such as elementary school, high school, or college.

  • For instance, a student might say, “I can’t wait to go back to school and see my friends.”
  • In a conversation about education systems, someone might comment, “Public schools play a crucial role in providing education to all children.”
  • A teacher might discuss their experience by saying, “I’ve been working in the field of education for over 20 years, and I’ve seen many changes in schools.”

3. Brainwash

This slang term refers to the act of manipulating or controlling someone’s thoughts, beliefs, or opinions through intense and repetitive persuasion techniques. It often implies a negative connotation, suggesting the removal of critical thinking or independent judgment.

  • For example, someone might say, “The cult leader used mind control techniques to brainwash his followers.”
  • In a discussion about propaganda, someone might argue, “The government is trying to brainwash the masses through biased media.”
  • A person might warn others by saying, “Be careful of online scams that try to brainwash you into believing false information.”

4. Drill

In the context of teaching, this term refers to a method of repetitive practice or instruction to reinforce learning or develop a specific skill. It often involves repetitive exercises or tasks to build proficiency.

  • For instance, a teacher might say, “We need to drill these multiplication tables until they become second nature.”
  • In a sports training session, a coach might instruct the team, “Let’s drill this play until everyone knows their roles.”
  • A music teacher might say to a student, “Practice this piano piece diligently and drill the difficult sections.”

5. Tutor

This word refers to an individual who provides personalized instruction and guidance to a student. A tutor often offers one-on-one or small group sessions to help students improve their understanding or skills in a specific subject.

  • For example, a student might say, “I hired a math tutor to help me with algebra.”
  • In a discussion about academic support, someone might recommend, “If you’re struggling with a subject, consider seeking a tutor for additional help.”
  • A parent might say, “I’m grateful for the tutor who has been working with my child to improve their reading skills.”

6. Coach

A coach is someone who provides guidance, instruction, and support to help individuals or teams improve their skills or achieve their goals. The term “coach” can be used in various contexts, such as sports, academics, or personal development.

  • For example, a sports coach might say, “Keep practicing and you’ll get better.”
  • In a business setting, a coach might advise, “Focus on your strengths and leverage them to achieve success.”
  • A life coach might ask, “What steps can you take to reach your full potential?”

7. Lecture

To lecture means to give a formal talk or presentation, typically in an educational or informative setting. The term is often associated with a one-sided delivery of information from the lecturer to the audience.

  • For instance, a professor might say, “I will lecture on the history of ancient civilizations.”
  • In a classroom, a student might complain, “I can’t stay awake during long lectures.”
  • A speaker might begin their lecture with, “Today, we will explore the concept of time travel.”

8. Mentor

A mentor is someone who provides guidance, advice, and support to a less experienced individual, often referred to as a mentee. Mentors share their knowledge and expertise to help the mentee develop their skills and navigate their personal or professional journey.

  • For example, a mentor might say, “I’ve been in your shoes before. Let me show you the ropes.”
  • In a career context, a mentee might ask, “Can you be my mentor and help me advance in my field?”
  • A mentor might offer feedback by saying, “You’re doing great, but here’s an area where you can improve.”

9. Instruct

To instruct means to give directions, guidance, or orders on how to do something. It involves providing step-by-step explanations or demonstrations to help someone learn or perform a specific task.

  • For instance, a teacher might say, “I will instruct you on how to solve this math problem.”
  • In a cooking class, the chef might instruct the students, “First, chop the onions and garlic.”
  • A fitness instructor might instruct the class, “Now, do 10 push-ups followed by 10 squats.”

10. Enlighten

To enlighten means to provide knowledge, insight, or understanding to someone. It involves shedding light on a topic or concept, often leading to a greater awareness or realization.

  • For example, a philosopher might say, “I seek to enlighten others about the meaning of life.”
  • In a discussion about social issues, someone might enlighten others by saying, “Did you know that inequality still exists in many parts of the world?”
  • A spiritual teacher might enlighten their students by sharing wisdom and spiritual practices.
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11. Edify

To edify someone means to teach or enlighten them, often in a moral or intellectual sense. It can also refer to the act of providing instruction or guidance to someone.

  • For example, a teacher might say, “My goal is to edify my students and help them develop critical thinking skills.”
  • A parent might tell their child, “Reading books will edify you and expand your knowledge.”
  • In a discussion about personal growth, someone might say, “I find that reading self-help books really edifies me and helps me become a better person.”

12. Schooling

Schooling refers to the process of receiving education or training, typically in a formal setting such as a school or university. It can also refer to the specific methods or practices used in education.

  • For instance, a student might say, “I’m enjoying my schooling and learning new things every day.”
  • A teacher might comment, “Traditional schooling methods are evolving to adapt to the needs of modern students.”
  • In a conversation about the importance of education, someone might argue, “Quality schooling is essential for personal and societal development.”

13. Instill

To instill means to gradually and firmly imbue or impart something, such as knowledge, values, or habits, in someone. It involves gradually introducing and reinforcing certain ideas or qualities.

  • For example, a teacher might say, “I want to instill a love for learning in my students.”
  • A parent might try to instill good manners in their child by consistently reinforcing polite behavior.
  • In a discussion about leadership, someone might suggest, “Leaders should strive to instill confidence and motivation in their team members.”

14. Train

To train someone means to teach or prepare them for a specific task, role, or skill. It involves providing instruction and practice to develop proficiency in a particular area.

  • For instance, a coach might say, “I need to train my team to improve their speed and agility.”
  • A supervisor might comment, “We need to train our employees on the new software system.”
  • In a conversation about personal development, someone might advise, “If you want to improve, find a mentor who can train you in the necessary skills.”

15. Guide

To guide someone means to lead or direct them, often with the intention of helping them navigate a process or achieve a goal. It involves providing advice, support, and instruction.

  • For example, a teacher might say, “My role is to guide my students and help them discover their strengths.”
  • A mentor might guide a mentee through the process of career development.
  • In a discussion about decision-making, someone might suggest, “Let your values guide your choices and actions.”

16. Inform

To inform someone means to provide them with information or knowledge about a particular topic or subject.

  • For example, a teacher might inform their students about a change in the schedule.
  • In a classroom discussion, a student might inform their classmates about a current event.
  • A parent might inform the teacher about their child’s allergies.
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17. Show the ropes

To show someone the ropes means to teach them the basic or essential information or skills needed to perform a task or job.

  • For instance, a mentor might show a new employee the ropes of their job.
  • In a sports team, a veteran player might show the ropes to a rookie.
  • A teacher might show the ropes to a substitute teacher by explaining the class routines and procedures.

18. School of hard knocks

The school of hard knocks refers to a place or situation where one learns through difficult or challenging experiences rather than formal education or training.

  • For example, someone who grew up in a rough neighborhood might say, “I learned everything I know in the school of hard knocks.”
  • A person who has faced many obstacles in their career might say, “I didn’t go to business school, but I attended the school of hard knocks.”
  • In a conversation about life lessons, someone might say, “Sometimes the school of hard knocks teaches you the most valuable lessons.”

19. School of thought

A school of thought refers to a particular way of thinking or a specific belief system that is followed by a group of people.

  • For instance, in philosophy, there are different schools of thought such as existentialism and utilitarianism.
  • In a discussion about psychology, someone might mention the behaviorist school of thought.
  • A teacher might explain to their students the different schools of thought in art history.

20. Pedagogy

Pedagogy refers to the method or practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.

  • For example, a teacher might study different pedagogies to improve their teaching methods.
  • In a professional development workshop, educators might discuss the latest pedagogical approaches.
  • A school administrator might evaluate a teacher’s pedagogy during a classroom observation.

21. Cram

To cram is to study intensively in a short amount of time, often right before an exam or test.

  • For example, a student might say, “I have to cram for my biology final tonight.”
  • Another student might ask, “Are you cramming for the math test tomorrow?”
  • A teacher might advise, “Don’t wait until the last minute to cram. It’s better to study consistently throughout the semester.”

22. Schoolmaster

Schoolmaster is an old-fashioned term for a teacher or instructor, often used in a formal or traditional educational setting.

  • For instance, in a historical novel, a character might refer to their teacher as “schoolmaster.”
  • A person discussing traditional education might say, “In the past, the schoolmaster was the authority figure in the classroom.”
  • Another might comment, “The role of the schoolmaster has evolved over time with changes in educational practices.”

23. Break it down

To break it down means to explain something in detail or step-by-step, particularly when teaching a complex concept or process.

  • For example, a teacher might say, “Let’s break down this math problem to understand each step.”
  • A student might ask, “Can you break it down for me? I’m having trouble understanding.”
  • In a dance class, the instructor might say, “Now let’s break down the choreography and learn it piece by piece.”

24. Clue in

To clue in means to inform or educate someone about a particular topic or situation.

  • For instance, a teacher might say, “Let me clue you in on the upcoming project.”
  • A student might ask a classmate, “Can you clue me in on what happened in yesterday’s lecture?”
  • In a staff meeting, a supervisor might say, “I’m going to clue you in on some important updates regarding the company.”

25. Hip to

To be hip to something means to be knowledgeable or aware of it, often used when teaching someone about a new trend or concept.

  • For example, a teacher might say, “I want to get you hip to the latest technology.”
  • A student might ask, “Can you get me hip to what’s popular in fashion right now?”
  • A colleague might say, “I’ll get you hip to the new software we’re using in the office.”

26. Knowledge transfer

The act of sharing knowledge or information from one person to another. It often involves the transfer of expertise, skills, or understanding.

  • For example, a teacher might say, “Effective knowledge transfer is key to student learning.”
  • In a workplace setting, a manager might discuss the importance of knowledge transfer among team members.
  • A student might ask a peer for knowledge transfer, saying, “Can you help me understand this concept better?”

27. Teaching the ropes

The phrase refers to the act of teaching someone the basics or essentials of a particular task or job. It involves guiding a person through the necessary steps or processes.

  • For instance, a new employee might say, “I need someone to teach me the ropes around here.”
  • In a sports context, a coach might teach the ropes to a new player, explaining the rules and strategies.
  • A student might seek guidance from a teacher, saying, “Can you teach me the ropes of this subject?”

28. Schooling someone

To “school” someone means to educate or teach them, often in a way that emphasizes one’s own knowledge or superiority.

  • For example, a parent might say, “I schooled my child on the importance of saving money.”
  • In a debate or argument, one person might school the other by presenting a strong argument supported by evidence.
  • A teacher might say, “I’m going to school my students on proper grammar and punctuation.”

29. Instilling wisdom

To instill wisdom means to impart valuable knowledge or understanding to someone, often with the intention of guiding or influencing their actions or decisions.

  • For instance, a mentor might say, “I want to instill wisdom in my mentees and help them make informed choices.”
  • In a philosophical discussion, someone might argue, “Parents have a responsibility to instill wisdom in their children.”
  • A teacher might seek to instill wisdom in their students by teaching them life skills and important values.
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30. Enlightening

The term “enlightening” refers to the act of providing knowledge or insight that leads to a greater understanding or awareness.

  • For example, a speaker might say, “The presentation was enlightening and opened my eyes to new ideas.”
  • In a classroom setting, a teacher might aim to make lessons enlightening by incorporating real-world examples and engaging activities.
  • A student might describe a book as enlightening, saying, “Reading this novel was a truly enlightening experience.”