25 Common Things About School You Didn’t Know

Posted by , Updated on February 14, 2024

Fortunate students spend about a quarter of their lives in school, studying hard, hoping for a better future. Spending so much time in school, students learn plenty about math and science but not about the school itself. Well, prepare yourself, grasshopper, for a few lessons on school. Here are the 25 Common Things About School You Didn’t Know.



A single pencil can draw a really long line.

pencilSource: http://discovermagazine.com/2007/may/20-things-you-didnt-know-about-pencils

In school, pencils are everywhere and used every day by students all over the world. Little do they know that there’s enough graphite in one pencil to draw a single line for 35 miles. Good luck to the student who actually tests that out.


In the United States, teachers are resigning at increasing rates.

Pam_Robertson,_Grade_12A_Teacher_at_Sinenjongo_High_School,_Joe_Slovo_Park,_Cape_Town,_South_Africa-3320Source: http://www.nea.org/home/12630.htm

Even if kids might love the idea, it’s hard to have a school without teachers. Unfortunately for the United States, statistics show that 14% of teachers resign in their first year, 33% in three years, and a whopping 46% after only five years.


Yellow school buses pull their weight.

school busSource: https://www.ddouglas.k12.or.us/departments/transportation-information/interesting-school-bus-facts/

With all the schools around the United States, it makes sense there would be plenty of them driving around each day. Well, roughly 480,000 of them carry 25 million kids every day. And the nationwide safety records show kids are much safer in school buses rather than teenagers driving on their own or riding a bicycle.


Public school enrollment continues to rise.

ascending-graph-1173935_640Source: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cga.asp

Despite alternative school options like homeschool and private schools, public school enrollment continues to rise. In 2014, 50 million students were enrolled. That’s actually projected to increase by 3% in 2025.


United States schools dip in math rankings.

Pure-mathematics-formulæ-blackboardSource: http://www.businessinsider.com/pisa-worldwide-ranking-of-math-science-reading-skills-2016-12

While the United States might spend a decent amount of money on education, it’s not necessarily showing results, especially in math. In 2015, the US dropped by 15 points against other nations, falling from 28th to 35th.


The world's largest school is in India.

Academic_blockSource: http://www.cmseducation.org/guinness/

With over 40,000 students, 2,500 teachers, 3,000 computers, and 1,000 classrooms, City Montessori School in India received the Guinness World Record for largest school in the world.


Reading proficiency predicts drop out rates in school.

boy-286240_640Source: http://www.begintoread.com/research/literacystatistics.html

It’s important now more than ever to encourage young children to read. Studies show that children with low reading ability by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school, end up in jail, or go on welfare.


In most countries, public school isn't free.

money-515058_640Source: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/issues/issues33/

While the United States and most of the western world provides a free public school education for their citizens, many developing countries do not. Children are either not educated in these countries or it falls on their parents’ shoulders, paying the teacher’s salary and purchasing the books and supplies.


The unique crayon smell comes from beef fat.

crayons-879974_640Source: http://mentalfloss.com/article/65779/13-colorful-facts-about-crayola

Who doesn’t love opening up a new box of crayons and taking in that new crayon smell? Well, as it turns out, that unique aroma comes from beef fat to help keep the wax consistent.


School year schedules are different all over the world.

World_flag_map_Version_2.2Source: https://www.infoplease.com/world/world-statistics/school-years-around-world

In the United States, a school year usually runs from September to the end of May with summer vacation in June through August. However, schools all over the world go by wildly different schedules. Australia’s school year is 200 days, running from the end of January to December. France, on the other hand, has the shortest school year but the longest school day.


Schools holding children back is ineffective and expensive.

baby-469280_640Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2014/09/07/does-holding-kids-back-a-year-help-them-academically-no-but-schools-still-do-it/?utm_term=.0875f699cba3

According to several studies, schools holding kids back are doing more harm than good, creating higher costs for the school and making it more difficult for the child to succeed academically.


If you’re enjoying this list, be sure to check out 25 Useful Things That Schools Should Teach But Don’t.


Staying in school produces big rewards.

GraduatesSource: https://census.gov/content/dam/Census/newsroom/facts-for-features/2014/cb14ff-20_backtoschool.pdf

According to the United States census, in 2012, high school graduates that work full time year-round receive, on average, earnings of $41,000 a year. Average earnings only go up the longer a student stays in school.


Why students gave teachers apples

apple-256262_640Source: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/07/teachers-associated-traditionally-given-apples/

Today, it might seem odd to give a teacher an apple, but in the 19th century, it was common practice. Traditional thinking connected “The Tree of Knowledge” from the Bible as being an apple tree. Since teachers are to be knowledgeable on many subjects, students would give them apples. Students’ families also would give their teachers food as a way to support them as schools back then weren’t funded by the government.


The Great Depression helped boost high schools.

1464px-Unemployed_men_queued_outside_a_depression_soup_kitchen_opened_in_Chicago_by_Al_Capone,_02-1931_-_NARA_-_541927Source: http://theyouthinthe1930s.weebly.com/youth-work-1930s.html

When the Great Depression hit, families had to do everything to get by, pushing more teenagers out of school and into the workforce; however, it only made the job pool more crowded. In an attempt to give more jobs back to adults and keep kids in school, President Roosevelt started a program to get teens back in school by paying them for doing work around campus. In effect, it helped create demand for high schools and gave teens a paycheck and an education that they wouldn’t have otherwise had.


Total money spent on back-to-school shopping

back-to-school-999248_640Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahweinswig/2016/08/08/2016-back-to-school-spending-expected-to-reach-75-8-billion/#45bceddce053

Every August, back-to-school shopping hits parents’ wallets like a hammer. In 2015, parents spent a total of $68 billion dollars on school supplies. And costs and spending don’t show any signs of slowing down. In 2016, total spending on supplies hit $75 billion.


Students rely on school for internet access.

child-1073638_640Source: http://www.nyatodayco.com/education

The internet has become the must-have source for research and information today. Yet, many low-income students don’t have access to the internet at home. Studies show 97% of low-income students rely on their school to provide them with internet access. Unfortunately, 40 million students still don’t have internet access at school.


Not all schools are created equal.

Japanese_students_share_technology_with_Misawa_students_DVIDS150624Source: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ781668.pdf

Schools around the world have different standards for their students. Japanese high schools have higher standards and requirements than American. For instance, a graduating Japanese high school senior has the equivalent education as an American second-year student in college.


The fear of school

woman-933488_640Source: http://www.fearof.net/fear-of-school-phobia-didaskaleinophobia/

There’s a phobia for everything! That includes students having a legitimate fear of school. It’s called Didaskaleinophobia and can affect kids of all ages. Reasons vary by age and situation, but some include separation anxiety, peer pressure, and struggling with subjects in school.


Poor school attendance

Empty-classroomSource: http://www.attendanceworks.org/facts-stats-school-attendance/

Whether they’re faking an illness or on vacation, most kids love to get out of attending school. However, poor attendance can predict future academic performance. Roughly 7.5 million students in the U.S. miss almost a month of school each year. Consistent poor attendance by sixth grade can lead to a student dropping out of school entirely.


Kids change schools often.

Eckstein_Middle_School_hallway_02ASource: https://www.surfnetkids.com/backtoschool/224/fun-facts-about-school/

Kids frequently change schools in America. Studies show 26% of elementary age kids change schools at least once, and 42% of kids ages 12 and older do as well. However, many studies have also shown that children frequently changing schools can be detrimental to their mental health and academics.


The blue part of an eraser

eraser-795768_640Source: https://www.scoopwhoop.com/blue-part-of-the-eraser/

Most people scratch their heads on what the blue end of an eraser is meant to do, and no, it’s not to erase pen marks. The blue end of an eraser is meant for pencil marks on coarse or rough paper. Mystery solved!


Most teachers buy school supplies for their students.

ATC_students_at_orientation_session_with_Prof._John_NicholsSource: https://www.factretriever.com/teacher-facts

Even with low pay, teachers can be pretty generous to their students. It’s estimated that 92% of school teachers spend their own money on school supplies for their students.


In California, almost half of students speak a language other than English.

multilingual-456774_640Source: https://www.surfnetkids.com/backtoschool/224/fun-facts-about-school/

Learning becomes more difficult when schools don’t speak a student’s native language. In California, 45% of students speak a language other than English at home.


Chinese schools love homework.

Chinese_Teacher_and_Students_2007-11-8Source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2015-11/26/content_22520832.htm

Kids in the United States might complain about how much homework they get, but it’s nothing compared to Chinese students. Studies show Chinese students spend three hours a day on homework.


Chinese schools have tobacco sponsors.

tobacco-1792070_1920Source: https://beijingtoday.com.cn/2009/12/rural-kids-can-succeed-big-tobacco-school-sponsor-says/

While the United States has spent a considerable amount of effort to get kids off drugs with programs like D.A.R.E., schools in China get major funding from tobacco companies and even encourage kids to smoke, saying it’ll help their academic performance.


It’s no surprise to many of us that smoking is not allowed in US schools, but THESE things banned from schools might just surprise you.

Photos: Feature Image: shutterstock (text added), 25. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 24.Vgrigas, Pam Robertson, Grade 12A Teacher at Sinenjongo High School, Joe Slovo Park, Cape Town, South Africa-3320, CC BY-SA 3.0, 23. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 22. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 21. https://commons.wikimedia.org (Public domain), 20. https://commons.wikimedia.org (Public Domain), 19. pixabay.com (Public Domain), 18. pixabay.com (Public Domain), 17. pixabay.com (Public domain), 16.Mason Vank’s Maps, World flag map Version 2.2, CC BY-SA 4.0, 15. pixabay.com (public domain), 14.Shenandoah University Office of Marketing and Communications, Graduates, CC BY-SA 3.0, 13. pixabay.com (public domain), 12. Wikipedia commons (public domain), 11. pixabay.com (public domain), 10. pixabay.com (public domain), 9. wikipedia commons (public domain), 8. pixabay.com (public domain), 7. Imager23, Empty-classroom, CC BY-SA 4.0, 6. Joe Mabel, Eckstein Middle School hallway 02A, CC BY-SA 3.0, 5. pixabay.com (public domain), 4. Arthur Grigoryan, ATC students at orientation session with Prof. John Nichols, CC BY-SA 3.0, 3. pixabay.com (public domain), 2. Flickr user enixii., Chinese Teacher and Students 2007-11-8, CC BY 2.0, 1. pixabay.com (public domain)