Being a teacher means accepting all kids that cross your doorway. You open yourself up to their problems and their woes, whether it's their fault or not, and do your best to help. Families and previous teachers have impacted them, making them an interesting package of unwanted issues. But you help them, because that's your job, and it's what you'll always do as an educator. Sometimes, though, it's good to vent and say what you really think about "those" kids.
Reddit user, u/usernamedeleted, wanted to know what teachers really felt when they asked:
Teachers of reddit, how did you feel about that one "weird kid"?
How Close Is Too Close?
He was super smart, but had no concept of personal space at all. I was certain that he was on the autism spectrum somewhere, but he had never been diagnosed. He had difficulty making friends, although he never really seemed to notice. One girl willingly sat with him, but she was so sweet and patient with everyone that she could be canonized.
They Never Act How You Think
I don't really feel any different about them. I do like to engage in conversation with them because I want to know their point of view. I've been teaching 26 years so I've had quite a few of them.
A few years ago I had a senior who was severely depressed. He did literally nothing in class except sit in the back, stare at the desk, and gently nod his head like he was listening to music. Myself and a few other teachers recommended that his parents take him to get help because of his obviously depressed behavior, but they refused. Somehow he made 5s on 5 AP exams and he went off to university. He came by my classroom about three years later and had completely recovered, almost like he was a whole new person, which was really nice to see.
Interestingly and sadly, the ones who committed suicide or committed violent crimes were the 'normal' ones.
There's Nothing You Can Do
He was a complete loner because the kids were afraid of him. He killed a bird in elementary school. He would purposely waste/break my classroom supplies. He rarely spoke, don't think I ever saw him smile. He never did any work, EVER. When I would sit next to him and basically force him to work, he would mysteriously "lose it" the next day.
He pretended to be clueless but I could see it in his eyes he wasn't. There was just something wrong with him....pretty sure he's a sociopath. Of course, his parents didn't give a sh-t and there wasn't much the counselor could do.
Actions Will Always Speak Louder
He ate a whole A4 sheet of paper, just like for lunch.
So a little weirded out.
You Try To Make The Parents Get It...
That kid is going to grow up and be a serial killer.
This child was horrible, always biting other kids, hitting, pushing, stealing, you name it.
I could not stand that kid and his parents would say "aww, childs name you don't do that, silly boy!" when i would tell them.
Ask Yourself What's The Purpose Of Their Choices
He was really smart and not afraid of challenging teachers and classmates. I admired his intellectual curiosity but thought that the only reason he clashed with all his other teachers but not with me was because I was not a teacher to mess with. So, I was nicely surprised when a few weeks after he left our school I got a really personal email from him about how much he enjoyed my class and learned a lot from me.
When You Can't Pinpoint Their Personality
Well, he was the sweetest, funniest kid. Loved every teacher and was very nice and polite.
But then he was extremely hyperactive, suffered from ADHD and (I feel so bad) was actually very... Forrest Gumpy, if you know what I mean.
Then he had this really bad side. Extremely racist, misogynistic, homophobic and loved fat shaming people.
I don't even know what more to say
Understand How They Got There
Honestly like another commenter said, often times they're the ones who really just need someone on their side. Oftentimes they're the kindest and least selfish but they just dont know how to express it. In high school I always befriended these people, and now as a current student teacher those kids are the ones coming to me to open up about their lives. Oftentimes, they have shitty home lives as well.
This one high schooler in particular is a senior and he likes to eat lunch in the choir room with me and my mentor teacher. It's his safe space, because although hes very extroverted and not shy, a lot of people (even other teachers that he considers "family") think he's annoying. He is, but you just need to understand that he's really bad with social cues and you can't be afraid to tell him to tone it done. He's also tone deaf when it comes to singing and he knows it, but he works his butt off his choir to do his best to show that he learns the music the best he can. Hes the hardest worker in that choir.
Unfortunately, being a young (21) student teacher who's nice to him I think he's starting to become emotionally attached to me, so I let my host teacher know and we're working together on how I can best interact while keeping some distance (hes been a little touchy and complimentary ecently and we've had to explain to him that it's not appropriate to do that).
Although hes a weird kid, he's got a special place in my heart. Teachers have to be advocates for these kids.herhappylittletrees
Sometimes, You Just Need To Leave Them Alone
Pretty nice kid as long as i didnt ask/expect her to do any work. The different animal tail worn everyday was a little odd though.
Oh. That kid.
Not Every Child Is The Same, And They'll Never Be The Same
It seems to me that most of the time, the "weird kid" is just looking for their place in life. They tend to be looking for belonging, and they will take it whenever they can get it. A few could certainly use intensive therapy, many could use some social skills training, and most just don't fit the mold.
They are the ones closest to my heart. I will do just about anything for them... I might not understand their love of insects, but I will listen and encourage their passion.
That's the job.
If you're a teacher and have a story about "that" kid in your class, tell us all about it!