"Teachers of Reddit, what secrets have you found out about your students that they don't know you know?" –– This was today's burning question from Redditor thesilvacamel, who reminded us that our teachers were (and are) far more perceptive than their students might believe.
They're adults, after all. They've seen things, you know?
Teachers weighed in with some of their stories. They're on to you, fellas.
"I had a student a few years back..."Giphy
I had a student a few years back (9th grader) who lived with a classmate for a while. His mom threw him out of the house to live on the street. He didn't know all his teachers came together to get him new clothes, bedding, school supplies, etc when his friend's family took him in. Poor kid was so scared after being on the street that first night that he slept in school because he felt safer. It was so upsetting I cried In target and got him new pjs, slippers, and a fuzzy blanket for his new room, amongst other things, so he could feel cozy and safe.
We sent him on every school trip, funded every dance ticket, got him a present for the holidays and said it was an award for something. He's doing ok now and I think the family that took him in even legally got custody.
We also funded several tickets that kids "won"' to prom for kids who couldn't afford to go. A group text would go out, a whole bunch of people would chip in, and we would get these kids to prom.
My school is full of amazing staff who do this stuff a lot. I have some amazing co-workers and I'm so proud to call them my colleagues.
"I recently found out..."
I recently found out which local dropout can get them shrooms as they planned a party while standing four feet away from me.
"I tutor high school students..."Giphy
I tutor high school students in AP classes and one of my students is definitely pregnant and her mom is completely oblivious. Like her mom dropped her off the other day and knowing I'm in the process of trying to lose a pretty significant amount of weight and it's starting to pay off, asked me to talk to her about cutting down on carbs so she can get rid of her "paunchy belly". First of all, no, that's not even remotely my job as your kid's private tutor and also she's very obviously pregnant and at this point you'd have to be blind not to notice. I mean she's at least 8 months along and isn't doing all that much to hide it.
"I used to be..."
I used to be meaner about my GED students sleeping in class until for some reason one time I just said, "You look tired today." He told me that he had just worked a double shift at his fast food job (Wendy's, I think). It gave me a whole new perspective on the others I saw who were sleepy.
Here's a funny one: My co-teacher was a real gentleman to everyone. When Wanda showed up after being absent for over a week, he said to her, "My, Wanda, you look well rested." I then heard her say to her friend, "How he know I been arrested?"
"I don't know..."
I don't know about "secrets" but I'm pretty sure a lot of students don't realize how much info about them is in our grade book/attendance system. If they've been in the district, I can see all their report cards from kindergarten up and any referrals they've ever gotten. I rarely bother reading them unless I'm curious/concerned about a particular kid, but it's all there.
"We know when..."Giphy
We know when you come to school stoned. We can't always do anything about it, but we can totally tell.
"I used to be a teaching assistant..."
I used to be a teaching assistant in a third grade classroom. One day I was asked to "grade" their poetry assignments (they all got A's) and pull the best ones to be put on display at open house. There was one poem a student had wrote about their dog that had been hit and killed by a car the previous week that left me in tears. The student had been having some problems focusing in class, and the poem explained a lot. I never would have guessed that an 8-year-old was capable of writing such a moving and articulate poem, or that their behavior problems stemmed from something so painful. It made me a lot more patient and understanding when interacting with kids, and the poem has a very special place in my heart.
you did not see the car
dragged your body to the porch
laid down there
waited out there
for us to let you in
we did not hear you
you were quiet
except for the bugs
that called you home.
"I teach professional writing..."
I teach professional writing classes in college and I always give a talk about how important it is to google your name periodically so you know what shows up in your search results and so you can deal with anything that you don't want people seeing because it's common practice for potential employers to google your name. After class one day a girl came up to me and asked if it's really true that employers will google you as part of the job search process. I assured her it was and her eyes went really wide and she said "okay, thank you" and left. So naturally after she left I googled her name and the first thing that came up was her arrest record for trying to break into a warehouse while drunk.
"High school and junior high teacher in a rural town."
High school and junior high teacher in a rural town. About a year-and-a-half ago, a sixth-grade girl stays out of school for a couple days. She shows back up with long sleeves (and what I assume were bandages), and she says she was burned by "liquid fire." The newspaper ran a story the next day that said a man was arrested for throwing acid on his family when he went into a rage at the mom.
Looked up the dad, and sure enough it's this kid's dad. He threw acid he cooked meth with all over his family. Again, this giant bag of smegma threw ACID on his children in a temper tantrum. She didn't know a few teachers connected the dots.
The girl was already a pretty messed up kid. She was a raging lunatic just waiting to explode over anything. She ended up getting expelled for attacking the principal, but honestly all that she had gone through changed my opinion of how bad she could have turned out, considering.
"That the reason..."Giphy
That the reason she stopped showing up to school for weeks was because her mom started using again and she had to take care of her younger siblings.
Poor girl was the absolute best student too. Straight A's great personality, and her mom was just useless. Our administration went to check on her and found out. They brought food, clothes, and did everything else they could for her. She showed up a couple more times but I think she ended up having to do online classes to graduate... I hope she's doing good now.