Teachers Break Down The Moment They Realized A Student Was Truly Gifted
Teachers often have multiple classes and deal with hundreds of students a term. You would think they'd all start to run together at some point, but certain students do stick out.
After Redditor DrPhilsHair asked the online community, "Teachers of Reddit, when did you realize a student was gifted?" teachers, others working in education, and even other students, recalled their most striking students and classmates with smiles on their faces.
"I basically had to do entirely separate lesson plans for this kid..."
We took standardized tests like the second week of school. Hadn't really done much academics yet as it was Elementary school (grade 5) and most of what we'd done was routines and introductions/games.
Kid scored at a 10th grade level in math and 9th grade in reading. Ok. Whatever, impressive but not unheard of. Except this kid was at the WORST school in the state. Literally. Ranked dead last. His whole schooling career. Nobody else in my class scored above a 6th grade level in anything and most were 3/4 grade level.
I basically had to do entirely separate lesson plans for this kid. While the rest of my class did multiplication facts, I had a coding curriculum and was teaching him basic languages. He had his own reading group in addition to the high reading group. It was even more incredible, because he'd always been in trouble and in the principals office the years before. I sent him to ISS once. All year. (Really low for that school, kids on other classes went literally daily, I had a few go once a week).
I begged his mom to switch him out of that school track, said I'd fill out any paperwork, write any letters. It was my only year as a teacher, not sure what happened to him. Mom never contacted me. He finished the year by shattering all of his records on testing exams. Literally the .01% on his tests. He's legitimately one of the smartest kids I'd ever met, from the poorest school with the worst conditions I've ever seen.
"After less than one year..."
After less than one year of music lessons, it was clear the student would likely become a concert pianist when he learned 15 of Bach's Two-Part Inventions from memory - and played them brilliantly!
"This kid was always bright..."
This kid was always bright but never really inspired by much of what he did. Seemed a little lazy but wasn't troublesome he was just kind of a neutral kid in the class. The we did one day of Lewis Structures and he thought it was 'too easy'. Gave him a harder worksheet which he finished in like 3 seconds. So I gave him an organic formula that had 12 different isomers and some resonance structures. He came up with all of them in less than 15 minutes including ones that had to do with how the object would look in 3D even though we never covered it.
Kid is currently working on his PhD at Yale in Organic Chemistry.
"I knew when he surprised me..."
I knew when he surprised me by reassembling an engine out of a car all by himself in a single 90 minute class period. It was right before school let out for Covid. I had to hurry up and get some projects thrown back together quickly since school was closing. He asked to do it so I let him try and went off to do other things. By the end of the class it was completely assembled! Never asked me for help and it was "working" Definitely gifted!
"One day we were having a class discussion..."
Biology teacher here.. had a new student come in at age 15. He didn't talk much but he did all his work as asked and did it well. One day we were having a class discussion about something and he joined in. It ended up being a back and forth between just the two of us and at some point I realised I was discussing pretty high level stuff with a 15 year old. He's a neurosurgeon now.
It started off as a talk about the ethics of human cloning and genetic engineering. We ended up getting into the detail of the mechanics of it. He was asking questions, understanding the answers and immediately seeing the repercussions and elaborating on his opinions. It was a great experience.
"I moved him from regular English..."
Foreign exchange student from China in the 8th grade. His writing abilities far exceeded the majority of even the accelerated class.
I moved him from regular English to accelerated and not only was his writing strong, his insights were so deep and thoughtful. At the end of the year, I learned not only was he a top student in my class, he won student of the year in Spanish as well.
"Next she tried..."
Not a teacher, but a student with a gifted kid in his class. In third grade we had a new student come in who had just moved to the country with his family. Our teacher saw he was smart, she she challenged him with some math we were meant to learn in a couple weeks. He solved the problems no problem.
Next she tried some 4th grade level math, again he solved it with no problems. After that she called in one of the 5th grade teacher and she gave him some problems meant for 5th graders. As expected he solved those without any problems. They kept going until he got a question partially right. I believe but that point they were giving him stuff intended for early/mid-year 6th grade students.
Last I heard this kid got a degree in mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University.
"I was teaching distance..."
I was teaching distance over time graphs. The student stated that if the line just went straight up that it would indicate teleportation because distance has been gained but no time has passed. This was 5th grade science.
"Took a summer job..."
Took a summer job helping at a daycare. One of the toddlers (about 18 months old) was way ahead of the rest. Could talk full sentences, knew his abc's, could count beyond 20. Already had shapes and colors down. I've seen kindergarten aged kids that haven't mastered some of these things.
He's in his early 20s now with a masters in engineering and a six figure salary.
When I was teaching in uni, one of my first year students wrote a paper that was too good to be true. Now, I’d had several plagiarists over the years, so I did my diligence and asked him if he could come to my office hour to discuss his paper. This is a good test, because a plagiarist will not likely be able to actually discuss what they “wrote” in any detail.
Well, this kid proceeded to just blow it out of the f**king water. Not only did he write the paper, but he was also able to describe all of the theory behind it in great detail. Kid got an A+ in the class, needless to say. He could easily have jumped straight into a PhD. Legit superstar.
"You can tell..."
English teacher here... I see it when they write. Classroom dynamics being what they are, not every kid talks much in class. Some prefer to stay back, and some are held back by some of the bigger personalities in class, but when they write... they write directly to me. You can see it in their ideas and the way they express them, whether the spelling is perfect or not. You can tell when a kid is bright and insightful when you're one-on-one.
Future of Gaming
One child - he was more ahead of his peers in every aspect - it seemed like he was babysitting the rest of his classmates. After a week of teaching the class simple coding, he built a fully functional multiplayer game with material he taught himself. This was at age 8.
Another child - consistently produced excellent work, finished early, and could discuss his viewpoints in-depth and actually made me change my viewpoint. He was brilliant in maths - once I was explaining a new concept to the class and worked out one example together. I told them that I would guide them in the second example so that I can help whoever needs and I hear a really genuine and cute "oops ... I just finished them all now".
Ivy League Recruit
I teach foreign language at a university, and one semester I get a notification that there will be a minor (under 18) in the class. I have to take some online test about that, so it’s a bit annoying, but fine.
Anyway, flash forward to a couple weeks into the semester. I’m talking with one of my students during the break. He’s an advanced undergrad in his junior year, taking grad courses in theoretical topology. Thinning hair, glasses. Also very interested in philosophy, which was my major in college, so we got along on that front. I figured he was a little older than everyone else, and had come to college late or something. Then it comes out. He’s 17. He was so brilliant that he gave his high school principle an ultimatum after his first year: either they give him the degree early and he goes straight to college, or he drops out and goes to college anyway. Ivy leagues were already looking to recruit him.
I’d never encountered a genius before that. And he was just this very humble, unassuming guy. Always did his homework and showed up on time.
Aced The Test
Science teacher here,
I had a new student join my environmental science class on the day of a pretty difficult test. I told him that he could try the test and if he scored poorly, then I would simply not count it in his grade. I really just wanted to get a feel for what he learned at his previous school. Well, he finished the test in about 5 minutes. He got a perfect score and provided the best answer to the extra credit question at the end. I walked to the principal's office after the class period and asked for him to be removed from my class and placed in advanced chemistry. I think he ended up with a 97% in the chemistry class by the end of the year.
I teach editing to grad students in creative writing programs, but I once witnessed a kid who was so amazing that I know i was witnessing pure, raw genius at work. Her big sister was in my daughter’s 3rd grade class. A bunch of us mommies were just chatting and laughing with our kids’ teacher, in their classroom, while our kids and their siblings milled around the classroom. Out of the corner of my eye I was noticing one tiny little kid about three years old. She was staring at the alphabet border near the ceiling and asked another kid to tell her how both the “big and little letters say, not their names. I know my ABCs.” I guess she thought upper and lower case might be different. The big kid did, even the complications of “c” and “y.” The toddler looked at the border, saying each of the sounds. She had our attention then.
Then toddled over to a book, “The Celery Stalks at Midnight,” sat on the floor with it and sounded out the words. Slowly, and awkwardly at first, then faster, until they sounded right, maybe not knowing all their definitions, but that didn’t stop her. By then we were all watching— mesmerized. She finished her awkward first pass, then read a few pages out loud to us, prefacing it with, “This is a funny book, Mommy, listen!” She was only three years old— and with minimal help, she had taught herself to read in about 20 minutes. That remains the single most amazing few minutes of my life. I knew I was in the presence of a magnificent human mind and I was deeply moved.
One of my 3rd grade kiddos broke a PS3 controller apart and canabalized the parts to make a handshake zapper device.
Space to Fly
My kid had a fourth grade teacher who let him work at his own pace in math. She managed to acquire books with more advanced material for him. He had taught himself calculus by the end of the school year.
She was such an amazing teacher to give him the space to fly.
These moments must be so rewarding for educators!
Do you have any similar experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Being horny can lead to some questionable decision-making.
Something happens to the brain when blood is flowing to other regions of the body.
They should discuss this in health class.
It's perfectly normal, but we have to learn how to deal.
Redditor Sir_Baconstrips wanted to see who was willing to discuss actions made while randy, so they asked:
"What's the biggest mistake you've made because you were horny?"
I can't tell you mine, because my mom might read this. But Reddit was more than happy to share.
History HelpHide Reaction GIF by florGiphy
"I browsed porn and then I asked my mom how to delete the history."
What was that?
"Probably my most embarrassing moment. Was on my work computer (family business so nothing locked) and it was a super slow day and I was alone. Anyways was doing a classic 3 min facebook check and scrolled down for a second and saw the news post about Adriana Chechik injuring her back in a foam pool. Figured top comments on that would be golden. Read one funny one that said 'her and her scene with [performer I can’t remember] is still goat.'"
"Never heard of said performer so I got curious and google her. Of course photos never do justice, had to see the performance ya know? So I clicked a random video, quick glance and thought 'meh' and was about to close the tab before I noticed my mouse twitch on the screen… What was that? No.. that wasn’t mouse error, that was someone… then within seconds I realized the accountant who taps in remotely to finish work came in at that exact moment that I had a browser open for less than 60 sec."
"The worst wart was I could have sworn I had all those remote services off, but she tried to tap in for over an hour and must of did something to wake splashtop (probably had it on some type of standby mode). She even called earlier but I saw a random number and was speaking with a client and ignored it."
"Anyways, decision time, do I call her and play it off as nothing or apologize? Naturally as a fearful 28 year old I play off as nothing. I call, no answer… then a few minutes later i get the call back and her words after exchanging 'hellos … are you finished with whatever you were doing…' still burns me."
"Let my (ex) boyfriend dry-hump me for an hour on a bench outside after summer school."
"The bad news: this bench behind our school was also beside a swimming pool. Where parents were taking their children for swim lessons. Eventually a staff member came out and yelled at us for being inappropriate."
"I still have shame flashbacks today, over 10 years later."
"I had a one night stand with a guy who was, in retrospect, seriously self-conscious about his penis size and kept going on about how if it was on the small size it was just because he has to have sex with it a few times and it would gradually get bigger until it was it’s 'true' size. I really didn’t care."
"But then to make himself feel better he turned it around and started talking about how big and wide my vagina was but kept reassuring me that it was ok because he liked the challenge. I wish I had snapped my legs shut and given him the boot right then and there."
In San DiegoNo Money Bangladeshi GIF by GifGariGiphy
"Lost my entire tax refund and got my phone stolen at a strip club in San Diego."
Always check your pockets on the way out.
The RewardHappy We Did It GIF by StoryfulGiphy
"Hooked up with a girl at a party. Just kind of bored, drunk, and horny. Having to go to the doctor for a case of pubic lice was my reward for poor self-control."
"I got my first serious gf in high school. She was two grades below me. So when I finished third year and moved 500 km south we was still a couple. I was so in love (and most of all horny) I commuted every. Single. Weekend. And I was poor. So I took the bus to the nearest station after school. Waited for the long distance bus for 4-5 hours."
"Went to a larger city to hitchhike my way there. I was there Friday night or Saturday morning. Locked ourselves in her bedroom and went at it until Sunday morning. I made my way down to school again and went to class straight from the bus Monday morning. This went on for almost a year…"
I'm OutChris Pratt Running GIF by Parks and RecreationGiphy
"Was trying to get with a girl in college. We were texting and I asked her what she was up to, she said she was training for a marathon and going to the gym and asked if I wanted to come."
"I ended up running 9 miles before I tagged out. So now I know how far I'd go to have sex it's up to 9 miles."
Lord the things people will do when slightly turned on.
Why in this day and age are people still taking nudie pics without triple-checking the recipient?
Why take the gamble?
And half of the time we hit send, mistakes get made.
One minute you're feeling sexy, the next minute grandpa is having a stroke.
Redditor Im_A_Freakin_Joke wanted to hear about the times people have sent photos to the family that left everyone SHOOK, so they asked:
"Redditors who accidental sent a family member a nude, what was the aftermath?"
I have done many things, but I never allow a snapshot.
GrossVacuuming Clean Up GIF by MashedGiphy
"'You should clean your room before you take that.'"
"I meant to send it to someone on WhatsApp that I was dating at the time and didn’t realize I accidentally sent it to my brother, their names were next to each other in my chat list and I chose the wrong one. I frantically called my sister in law and told her what happened and begged her to go into his phone and delete the message with the photo."
"This is before WhatsApp added the functionality to delete your own messages. She was so sweet and understanding and deleted the message. I was so embarrassed. To this day she has kept my secret, this happened five years ago."
"For context, my mom had some life-threatening medical issues when I was a kid, so there were a few month+ long periods where we rarely saw her. One night, I got a text from her that says 'send me a pic of u in bed."
"I thought she wanted a picture of me and my dog snuggling, as he slept with me and was the cutest sleeper. I usually sent her one every few days, even when she was home. It also doubled as her way to make sure I was following my bedtime."
"I was taking the picture, and I get a follow-up 'ignore that' text. At the same time, my dad opens my door so hard the hinges break. He says 'you get a text from mama?' I say yeah, and he says, 'it wasn't meant for you.' And leaves. I felt weird about it for days, even though it was years before I figured it out."
Leave it there...
"I happened to live across the street at the time and a dirty message meant for my now wife was sent to my mother! Luckily for me my mom is notorious for ignoring her phone so I sprinted across the street and said 'hey where is your phone' she told me it was on her desk so I calmly walked over unlocked it and deleted the message. In response to the look of confusion I told her 'deleted a message that was meant for now wife...' And left it at that."
AHHHH!!!! NO!Awkward Episode 1 GIF by HeelsGiphy
"One time my dad accidentally texted me 'sex if the Patriots win' and I still don’t believe I have recovered."
Mom and dad have their own lives.
DisconnectGIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"I didn't accidentally send a nude, but my phone did auto upload ALL my pictures when I connected it to my mom's computer. I'm no longer allowed to connect hardware to my mom's computer."
"I gave my sister my old Iphone (I’m 25, she’s 22). She didn’t realize that her photos were uploading to my cloud and when I went to send a photo to a coworker, at work mind you, I see her pasty a**. I immediately text her and was like STOP TAKING PHOTOS. She called me and asked if I was okay and I told her what was happening. She responded with 'My a** look good though,' and I died laughing. Love my sis, but Christ."
"I didn’t sent a nude. I was in the shower, about age 15, and I heard the phone ring. My best friend had a habit of calling while I was showering. So, I bolted out naked as the day I was born to grab the phone before she hung up. I didn’t realize pretty much my entire dad’s side of the family was visiting my terminally ill mother."
"They saw it all. My aunt jokingly said, 'Well, dang, I didn’t know there was gonna be a show.' And someone said, 'we were just joking when we said you’d grow up to be a stripper.' I had to do a walk of shame back to the bathroom as well."
"It was laughed off and it hasn’t been brought up since."
Let me see...
"Sent a pic of my boobs to my mom. Managed to convince her I was trying to take a pic of what I thought was a lump but ended up dropping my phone and sent it while fumbling. Which has happened before. But then she made me show her where I thought the lump was so that was very awkward."
Recover Modedelete black and white GIFGiphy
"I once sent a pic to a GF in college when we were home for break… only I searched her contact by last name and accidentally sent it to her mom!"
"Thankfully it was late and she was able to sneak into her parents’ room and delete it before they saw."
What have we learned?
At the very least, triple-check who you are sending it to one whichever app you use for that sort of thing.
There is so much to learn in the world, it's impossible for one person to know absolutely everything there is to know.
But there are certain things, like common phrases and idioms, that everyone seems to use that might be a little embarrassing to not understand until later in life.
Redditor Curious-2577 asked:
"What's something you learned 'embarrassingly late' in life?"
"My sister was in her fifties when she found out the meaning of, 'You have an addictive personality.'"
"She thought after all these years of therapy that it meant that people were addicted to her personality."
"We laughed hysterically when we talked about this (in a very sad way)."
"I thought that horses had toes until I was 22. I thought the hoof was a 'horseshoe' and the toes were tucked inside."
"How did I learn how wrong I was, you ask?"
"I was walking past a cavalry museum and saw a horse statue and loudly remarked, 'It must hurt so bad when they fold a horse’s toes to put them into the shoe!'"
"Dozens of horse enthusiasts turned and looked at me with wild bewilderment in their eyes."
"The saying is, in fact, 'Nip it in the bud' and not 'Nip it in the butt.'"
"A few months ago, two of my colleagues both handed in their notice at around the same time."
"I kept reading/hearing the sentence, 'They’re both moving on to pastures new’ being thrown about the office in the weeks leading up to them leaving, and I hadn’t heard this phrase before and thought that was the name of the rival company that they were going to, like, 'Pastures New.'"
"I thought it was weird that nobody was talking about how they were both leaving for the same company."
"I was in the car with one of the two people who were leaving and said, 'So where is it that you and X are going to be working? Is it...’"
"And just before I could embarrass myself and say ‘Pastures New,' they interrupted me and said they’re not going to the same place and asked me where I had heard that."
"I think at that moment, I realized I was stupid and didn’t mention it again."
"I think I was in college when I realized that Mario and Luigi are plumbers. I thought they just went and up down these tubes just because that was the theme of the game."
"That Bonsai are not a species of tree, but a way to grow them. Any tree can be a bonsai."
Houston, We Have a Problem
"Houston is not the name of the guy astronauts talk to."
"I learned that pork and beans are not called 'cowboy beans.' I was 18 and asked a grocery store clerk to help me find the 'cowboy beans.'"
"We were looking everywhere and I was getting frustrated because I know that every store carries these beans. After a while, I picked up a pork and beans can with a picture and said, 'See, they look just like this!'"
"He said, 'You mean pork and beans?'"
"Then I realized that my mom called them that so that I would eat them."
"The look of disappointment from that grocery store clerk haunts me to this day."
"Let me tell you about how I thought you were awarded a 'Pullet Surprise.'"
Rum and Coke
"Not too late in life, but I thought my parents were making 'Roman Cokes' until I went to college."
"Which, I think is a much better name for the drink (Rum and Coke) anyway."
Oh No, Not Acoma!
"That a coma was 'A' coma. Until I was probably 19 or so, I thought it was 'acoma.'"
"I thought you fell into acoma."
It Must Have Been a One-Way Trip
"My parents were divorced the whole time and my mom was not, in fact, taking a vacation, lmao (laughing my a** off)."
"I live near the Hospital for Joint Diseases… when I was a kid, I thought was a special hospital for people who had two or more different diseases at the same time."
"Moving cross-country, driving east to west, and crossing from Idaho to Oregon, I noticed huge fields with signs for the Ore-Ida Potato company."
"So I was in my early 20s when I figured out Ore-Ida wasn’t just a brand name but was because their potatoes came from Oregon and Idaho."
"When I was really young, my sister told me she threw her guts up. So I was really afraid of vomiting my entire insides up for years."
Some of these really had us laughing as we realized the revelations some of these Redditors were having.
But when we're really honest with ourselves, we probably didn't figure out some of these until later, too.
While starting a family and having children is a goal that many people have, some do not realize that it's not easy, fun, and loving one-hundred percent of the time. Rather, it's expensive, exhausting, and hard, though it might be worth it in the end.
With this in mind, people shared what they felt were the hardest hurdles of their parenting.
Redditor ApprehensiveShock655 asked:
"What's the worst part of having a child?"
Fear of Not Doing Enough
"The constant anxiety that you’re doing enough to shape them to make good choices, a good life, be a good person and for them to have the life they deserve."
Like the Energizer Bunny
"It's incessant. It never stops. You never get a day off."
"Going from having two days per week to relax and do whatever to literally never having a moment free from responsibility."
No Break In Sight
"I’ve always wanted kids and still do, but this is the only thing that has come close to giving me pause."
"Both my siblings have young kids and I cannot get over how CONSTANT it is."
"From the second the kids wake up to when they finally shut their eyes, it’s non-stop. Then they get maybe an hour or two to themselves, which is mostly spent tidying up, etc., before the nighttime stuff starts with the baby crying, the toddler coming into bed, nightmares, etc."
"It requires years of not getting a full night's rest. You can never just go out whenever you want. No sleeping in, even on weekends because someone has to be up with them at 6 AM."
"Raising human children is an insane task."
Mom's Body After Baby and Dad Bods
"The weight gain is the worst! During the pregnancy, I gained 35 pounds. My belly has stretch marks. My boobs are all saggy."
"And it’s not even fair because my wife only gained like 15."
The Meal Planning
"Coming up with three meals to eat per day EVERY DAY stresses me out so bad."
"This sounds like such a small thing, but it really wears on you over time. You can’t just make something for yourself or something you and your spouse feel like eating: You have to constantly be thinking about if the kid is hungry and what they might be willing to eat."
Keeping Them Safe
"When people ask me this I say, 'do you know those video games where you have to escort a character to a destination without them being attacked?' That's parenting. Those missions are a pain in the a**."
Seriously, Keep Them Safe
"Having to deal with their total lack of self-preservation. They are creative and come up with all kinds of ways to try and kill themselves. Keeping ahead of the game is exhausting."
"They’re just always there. On you, behind you, in front of you, just a little speed bump impeding every task."
Letting Them Live Their Life Their Way
"Having a kid is like having a little piece of your heart running around in the world. When they're sick or get disappointed or just feel sad, it's worse than having it happen to you."
"Yet at the same time, you need to let your kids work through those things to learn to handle them. If you give into the worry and try to shield them from everything, you risk creating harmful co-dependence."
"So it's a constant struggle. But worth it!"
What Is "Sleep" Again?
"I'm only nine years in, but so far, it's been the sleep deprivation. Hands down."
And What Are These "Sick Days" You Speak Of?
"Having to take care of a sick child when you are also sick. For me that has been the most challenging part so far."
Another Full-Time Job
"It's like taking a second job that lasts 18+ years with a 24/7 schedule with no holidays or sick days."
"…And no second paycheck. It's actually like YOU are paying your second salary instead of getting one."
"The loss of freedom. I can't just... go somewhere. Even with older kids, there's so much planning and thinking and getting ready."
"I miss being able to just decide to go somewhere, and go there."
The Time Flies
"The best advice I got was from an ancient hospital security guard in an elevator. 'The days are long, the years are short, cherish them while you can.'"
"The phrase I hate is, 'You don't know it, but one day you pick your kid up for the last time.'"
There are all kinds of troubles that come from being a parent, many of which people don't necessarily think about until they already have a baby in the house.
But reassuringly, many people in the subReddit pointed out that no matter how hard some of these hurdles are to get over, it's still worth it in the end, and it goes by far too fast.