Elementary School Teachers Explain Which Former Students Surprised Them The Most As Adults
Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

Teachers are superheroes. Especially teachers of the youth. Those are the years children (students) can be particularly brutal.

So a big thank you to them. I have always wondered about the truths of a teacher, haven't y'all? Like, what do they really think about the school? Their colleagues? Their students?

Teachers must have an inside track or instinct when it comes to how a pupil will turn out. Or are they more surprised about the finished product later?

Redditor u/hogw33d was hoping teachers out there would have a chat with us by asking them to share:

Long-time elementary school teachers, which of your former students surprised you the most by their adult life outcomes or personality?

I know I've looked at a bunch of my friend's kids and thought... "You're raising a psycho!" "You're raising an idiot!" Sometimes it's just obvious. And then sometimes you're thrown a curveball. I wonder what teachers catch more of...

The Genius?

School Teacher GIF by Sesame Street Giphy

"The student whose social skills were non-existent and whose academics were equally as troubling is in college taking nuclear physics. I swear he was easily like 3 grades behind when I knew him in primary/junior grades (Canada)."

- Stevieeeer


"I had a student that used to get into fights and was extremely aggressive and violent towards others, on the last day of fifth grade his last words to me and his class were "F you!" -- many years later he came back to the school I'd been teaching at and looked for me so he could give me a big hug and apologize. In his words, "I was garbage when I was here, thank you for putting up with me and I'm sorry."

"I cried like a baby - I was so proud of him."

"E: You know, teaching can sometimes be a thankless job and a lot of the things I'm really proud about are usually only shared between me and my students (they don't give out a lot of medals to teachers ya know). Anyway, thanks for your time and attention. Overwhelmed by how many people got to share one of the best moments of my career with me in this friggin' post!"

- Ripleyof9

The Inspiration

"I had a severe speech impediment in elementary school to the point where teachers would foist me off in the reading room (for kids with learning impairments and difficulty reading to get extra assistance) during class despite the fact that I was writing and reading at a very high level."

"The only person who vouched for me was my speech teacher. I met with her 3x a week during elementary school, she allowed me to stay in her classroom during lunch when they forced us to go to the playground and it was 5 degrees out, she gave me work to do over the summer so I could get to a point where I could actually say my name properly which had been my only goal."

"She encouraged me to tell my fifth grade teacher that I was reading at a higher level than he suspected, and, buoyed by her confidence in me, I did it and was moved to the highest reading group. I just told my parents this story earlier this year and they were so angry I had been ashamed to share, but grateful I had an adult vouching for me."

"I ended up 'graduating' speech in fifth grade after years of working with her and she was so proud. She had changed my life and given me the gift of speech. She believed in me when other teaching professionals simply heard me talk and assumed that it was easiest to assume I was a slow learner."

"I am now the communications director for a government official in my country. I messaged her on Facebook when I first got my job to tell her that I wouldn't be where I am without her. She remembered me (of course, she said - I wouldn't let her forget me😅) and she couldn't be more proud. She is one of my biggest online cheerleaders and I couldn't be more grateful for her work... I quite literally would not be where I am without her."

- thiscitychick

Best Excuses For Late Assignments That Were Actually True | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

Still true Today

"I'm not one of these great success stories but I'm back home visiting and actually ran into my 3rd grade teacher at Starbucks. I was working on my laptop (WFH but my parents WiFi is crap so I work at Starbucks when I visit). I saw her sit down and it just kept bugging me why she looked so familiar because I swear when I was in 3rd grade I thought she was at least in her 50s so she would have to be like, in her late 70s now or something like that (chalk it up to a child's memory)."

"Anyway when I noticed she was getting ready to leave I asked if she was Ms. 3rd grade and she said yes with a kind of confused tone and I explained who I was and that she had been my teacher. She was SO EXCITED to see a former student and kept thanking me for taking a chance and saying hi to her and that she wished more students would do that because she loves getting to hear about her former students lives."

"So I guess if you are on the other side of this question and you see a former teacher, don't be afraid to reach out and just say hi, explain who you are and just thank them for their role in your education. She remembered me as the little girl obsessed with acting and reading. Still true today."

- The_Woman_S

The Quiet

angry millie bobby brown GIF by Converse Giphy

"Not me, but know a guy, lovely quiet chap who lived to draw. Teacher said his work was no good. Went on to be a senior effects artist and later works for a major computer games company and can of course, draw."

- smudgepost

See... I told you. Psycho or Idiot. Easy to pick out. Although, some of these stories turned out a genuine surprise. And thankfully they seem to be good surprises.

breaking bad

Oh My God Omg GIF by Teachers on TV Land Giphy

"Was connected on social media with a former grade school teacher who shared a news article about a former student who got arrested for selling meth with an estimated worth of half a million dollars."

"P.s. The teacher is now a High school teacher."

- blueberryconscience

"Smart Kids"

"I guess my mom might count since she's worked at the elementary school I attended since 1993, but she recently told me about one of my elementary school classmates. I was actually pretty good friends with him, but I thought he was a bit slow? And apparently, he had been evaluated for learning disorders several times in early grade school."

"He apparently just started a surgery fellowship at a prestigious hospital in Philadelphia. He definitely worked very hard in grade school and middle school, and now that I look back, he definitely sought out the "smart kids" in class and tried to befriend them and see how they thought."

- TumblrTheFish

He Made It!

"My brother was tutored by an elementary school teacher and he was a complete mess of a student as a kid. She was helping him transition from a top prep school to public school because the preP school didn't feel he would ever amount to much in their care. She tried several methods to keep him organized and help his reading skills to no avail. She continuously checked in with his teacher (worked at the same school) to see his progress and constantly had to talk to him on behalf of the teacher. Everyone loved him, he was just an utter mess."

"We ran into her a year ago and got to tell her that he got a full ride to law school at an Ivy League school. Blew her mind, but proof that some kids thrive in different learning environment. Terrible through traditional school but when he got to college, he thrived because of breaks between classes, time to study, picked his classes which were focused then trying to cover a thousand topics in a year, and got to know his teachers. Thank goodness for my parents holding out hope all those years ha ha."

- Real_Space_Captain

No Reasoning!

"Not me, but a kid who used to be my friend..."

"He was studios. He got good grades. Teachers loved him. He was well behaved. He wasn't bullied. He didn't bully other kids. He had a lot of friends. He wasn't popular, but he wasn't unpopular. He was definitely more popular than me though. No one had a problem with him. Since he got good grades his parents let him do whatever he wanted. They bought him whatever he wanted."

"He had the latest video games and consoles as they came out. We loved sleeping over his house because we could stay up all night, jump on the trampoline at 2 in the morning, and we didn't even have to sneak out for mischief. We could just walk out the door. Anyways, he moved in 8th grade. I was sad. A couple years back someone sends me a facebook message of a local article. This guy stabbed someone 23 times and is awaiting a murder trial. I have no clue where his life took a hard left turn, but it did clearly."

- MedicalWelder

The New Guard


"I've been on our PTA for a long time, does that count? There was a very skinny quiet kid who was super smart."

"The other kids picked on him quite a lot but he never stood up for himself. I always thought he would work for NASA or something as he was so smart. I saw his Linkedin a few months ago and he is now a prison officer at a maximum security prison."

- CircusSeal

Again, thank you teachers. Also, the life saying that seems to constantly resurface, probably because its the truest, fits here best. Never judge a book by its cover. No matter how weathered.

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