Every new year of teaching brings an entirely new set of challenges. New administrative orders, new parents to calmly deal with, and a brand new class of students to educate for a better future. With any luck, they'll be well-behaved angels and your whole year will be a quiet, peaceful journey of learning...Or they'll most likely behave like real kids.
Reddit user, u/rulingshadows, put out a call to all teachers and asked:
Teachers of Reddit, who are some students that you will never forget?
Former substitute teacher here,
My favourite school to work at was a middle school for art kids. They were all well behaved and super weird. I specifically remember a girl showing me her book with hundreds of drawings she made and almost all of them were of goats. After the class ended I told her that I would remember her. She just stared ahead for a second and said, "I like goats."
Greg, The Man Who Cared
So a year or so back I was an adjunct at a law school - I taught basics in Estate Planning.
Most folks were younger, just taking the course to keep their numbers up, and because it was historically (and really was) a bit of a cakewalk.
So I would go in and do my thing, and really just keep an informal classroom where I could just answer questions, etc.
AND THEN THERE WAS GREG.
Greg was probably in his late sixties - having decided to go back to school after retiring form a union job that had an incentive from the employer to pay for grad school.
Greg gave a sh-t about every topic, read every assignment, asked for pointers constantly.
Greg was the best. I miss him.
At Least There's A Happy Ending
I had a student, maybe 16 years old, who was the son of a multi-millionaire. For some reason the dad thought it was a good idea to give his son access to his credit card. The kid didn't want to go to school and would be a prick just to annoy everyone around him.
One day he was listening to music in the study hall with his expensive headphones, so loud that the whole room could hear. I confiscated them. Then he did the same thing but with his Macbook. I confiscated that too. I told him he wouldn't get any of his stuff back until he learned some respect and I spoke with his mother to confirm that it was okay.
He went on a school computer and bought a new Macbook. Then he told me I could keep taking them from him, he'd just keep buying new ones.
His parents sent him to military school.
Rock "The Dwayne"
My sister-in-law is an art teacher at an elementary school. She instructed her kids to bring in a picture of a rock they liked and then practice drawing/coloring in the different shades, etc.
Lots of kids brought in tigers eye or a rock they got on a family vacation/caves whatever.
Then there was a kid who brought a photo of The Rock. As in Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson... he technically wasn't wrong?
A Mystery Unsolved
Had a student (15M) last year who was, for lack of a better word, a real pain in the a--.
Couldn't be still for more than a minute, talked all the time, could make weird nonsensical noises randomly, had no sense of personal space... Once we found him on the roof of the gymnasium, another time he "borrowed" people's bikes and forgot where he put them... the list goes on...!
Well, long story short, he is diagnosed with several npfs, including ADHD (well, no surprise there, honestly), just before summer break. Come August he is nowhere to be found; his dad gives a cryptic story of him visiting family abroad, and not being able to afford a return ticket. Social services are involved, to no avail. His classmates are sent snaps from time to time, though; different countries all the time.
I haven't seen my student since June now.
Kids Just Wanna Test Their Boundaries
While Substitute Teaching I had a Kid set himself on Fire.
He got a bunch of hand Sanitizer, rubbed it on his hands, and brought out a Lighter. I didn't see the first part and was slowly walking over to confiscate it when He lit his f-cking hand on fire.
Fortunately he wasn't burned too badly and he wasn't my problem after that. To be honest I'm not sure if this counts because I don't even remember his name, just his stupidity.
Darn It, Beth, This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things....
Teaching external fertilisation. Eggs and sperm in the sea etc...
Beth (pupil) asks "is that why the sea is salty?"
Yes Beth, yes it is.
A Child Who Gives A Well Deserved Smackdown?
Behavioral Specialist here:
I get a call in my office one day. "Mr L you are needed in the gymnasium, there has been a report of physical aggression."
So I go down and investigate, it happens like this:
Kids are playing basketball.
Small kid falls down and tries to get up.
Larger boy on team pushes him back to the ground.
Small kid tries to get up three times and the large boy wont let him get up.
Random boy comes out of no where and lands a left hook across the large boys face dropping him to the ground.
Random boy proceeds to mount the large boy and slap his face back and forth four times.
He gets up from the large bloody boy with a smile on his face. He walks over and sits on the bench
I walk up and ask him what the story was.
He says "What I did was wrong and the consequences for it are probably pretty bad, but you know what it was worth it."
Love that kid to death.
A Gift To Never Forget
I teach college. My first semester teaching I was barely 24, fresh out of my Master's program, never taught a class in my life.
Much of what I teach about involved history of American wars, and I always want to avoid either being the "war is so awesome!" guy or the "war is the most terrible awful thing and we should be ashamed we ever fight anything" guy. I want to strike a balance to let students feel what things are like in warfare as much as they can without glorifying it.
One guy in my class was a multiple Iraq toured Army vet with a TBI. Great student, very knowledgeable and vocal in class. At the end of the semester, he walked up after the final and gave me one of his berets with his unit insignia on it. I loved teaching already, but that definitely cemented that I was in the right profession.
A Child Willing To Go Beyond
About 10 years ago, I traveled to northern Russia with a church group to have a summer camp for kids where we would be teaching music. One of the instruments I taught was recorder. We bought about 20 cheap plastic ones that would be easy to transport and we were planning to just give them to the kids (sorry to the parents!)
One girl, Sveta, who was probably 11 or 12 years old at the time, was so happy that she would get to keep her recorder that she cried. She told us that she always wanted one, but her parents couldn't afford it. I was moved by her story and I gave her mine, which was a slightly less cheap plastic one, but it had a hard case and came with a fingering chart.
A few days after the camp, several of the kids came to the church that was hosting us to see us again. Sveta found me and wanted to show me what she had been up to. She had made her own manuscript paper, copied one of the songs that the violinists had learned at the camp, used the fingering chart that came with her recorder to learn the notes she didn't yet know how to play, and taught herself to play the whole song on recorder. I couldn't believe it- this song was a lot harder than anything I had taught because we only had about 10 days at camp (and the kids that brought their own violins to camp were way more advanced than the kids who were given a free recorder at camp).
When we were leaving, the kids came to the airport to see us off. Sveta handed me a card, and inside she had written a note in English thanking me for the recorder and saying that I was the best music teacher she ever had.
I will never forget Sveta.
Are you a teacher? Did you have a student you'll never forget? Let us know!