It's no secret hardworking teachers often go underpaid and underappreciated for their efforts.
But every once in a while, a teacher will realize how loved they are by the people they wish to serve the most: their students.
A teacher posted on the "No Stupid Questions" subReddit as Redditor PuzzledBrain20, asking:
"Why do my students call me a goat?"
The teacher shared:
"I am a math teacher for 8th graders at the school I teach at."
"Throughout this whole past school year, there was this running joke where the students would call me 'the goat'."
"And I would respond back each time that they are the goats, and they would all laugh."
"It was pretty funny, to be honest, and I never gave it much thought. But I realized that I have been partaking in a joke that I never actually got."
"I had a good connection with them, and they are all really good kids, so I don't really think that they were making fun of me."
"Can someone (maybe an 8th grader) explain this joke to me?"
"And how would you respond if someone calls you a goat?"
A few kind Redditors explained what the students meant by "goat."
"It (Goat) means 'Greatest Of All Time.'" - ethan21162
"Yeah, it means they like you a whole, whole lot." - phuketawl
"GOAT stands for Greatest Of All Time."
"It’s a compliment. Sounds like you’re a great teacher and they enjoy your classes. Which is saying something since math is most people’s least favorite subject." - Balrog229
"Jerry Rice was the first person I ever heard called GOAT. You are up there with Jerry Rice. You are a GOD AMONGST your students." - gerd50501
"So apparently for the movie 'Don’t Look Up,' the cast kept calling Meryl Streep 'the goat,' and she just laughed it off, as well."
"Kept going on, and she just put up with it. One day, Jonah Hill said, 'Oh no no, The Goat goes over there.'"
"And she responded, 'Right right, The Old Goat over here, okay okay.'"
"And they went silent and had to tell her that it actually means 'Greatest of All Time,' and she was stunned silent, as well."
"Welcome to being the Meryl Streep of math teachers." - theothercword
After seeing the comments, the teacher was heartwarmingly overwhelmed at the revelation.
"OMG (Oh my god), I am IN TEARS!!! I can't believe they were complimenting me this whole time!!!! Thank you all for answering this question!!!!"
The conversation was later shared on Twitter, where people celebrated the teacher's happiness.
\u201cEverything\u2019s terrible except for this teacher going on Reddit and learning how much her students love her\u201d— Robert Maguire (@Robert Maguire) 1656385466
Twitter was overwhelmed with happiness on this teacher's behalf.
\u201c@RobertMaguire_ Imagine telling your math teacher she\u2019s the GOAT and have her be like\u201d— Robert Maguire (@Robert Maguire) 1656385466
\u201c@RobertMaguire_ I also love that she's been accidentally responding appropriately\u201d— Robert Maguire (@Robert Maguire) 1656385466
\u201c@RobertMaguire_ @Malcontent79 Bonus heartwarming: the kids were telling her that she was the best, and she kept turning it around and told her students that they were the best. And she only just realized what she was saying to them.\u201d— Robert Maguire (@Robert Maguire) 1656385466
They also shared some of the GOAT moments from their own lives.
\u201c@RobertMaguire_ A student from my astronomy class came to the university's observatory just to tell me that he'd heard an astronomy trivia show on NPR, and that he could answer most of the questions "and what I couldn't answer I knew how to look up." One of the all time best moments in teaching.\u201d— Robert Maguire (@Robert Maguire) 1656385466
\u201c@RobertMaguire_ Lame by comparison, but when I TA'd organic chemistry in 2008, the students learned that I didn't know what a Rickroll was, so they Rickrolled me in course correspondence. Then I cleverly Rickrolled them the night before the final. They were chuffed.\u201d— Robert Maguire (@Robert Maguire) 1656385466
\u201c@RobertMaguire_ @corbettcollins I accidentally started a crab rave meme in one of my classes at uni last year and confused the hell out of my lecturer. I then felt bad and explained it to her, which led to her actually using the meme in PPTs for the rest of our sessions that term \ud83e\udd79\u2764\ufe0f\u201d— Robert Maguire (@Robert Maguire) 1656385466
The internet was clearly grinning over getting to break the good news to this much-deserving math teacher.
But the fact that the teacher was accidentally complimenting their students in return, on a daily basis, was icing on the greatest of all time metaphorical cake.