Teachers are the unsung heroes
Teachers have the hardest and most important job in society, yet they remain vastly undervalued. Not only are teachers tasked with the obvious (teaching), they work to shape the minds and attitudes of the next generation. Teaching math or science is a small part of the job, but more importantly they teach our kids how to function outside of their homes.
Often, they also keep their students safe—and sometimes they make decisions with the safety of the rest of us in mind. The teachers of Reddit are sharing the most memorable behavioral “red flags” they’ve encountered in the classroom and how they dealt with it.
I was a TA in an after school tutoring program at a public school back in the late 90s. I noticed one girl (“Stacy”) right away (7 yo) who was only allowed to use the restroom with supervision, and the restroom had to be empty of all other kids. On my first day I was helping her and she was scooting around in her seat a lot, and she said “my c*nt itches.” I thought it was very odd so I asked about her, and holy crap I will never forget it. Stacy was born to a 13 year old girl who was raped by her father, and the dad/grandfather molested her as a baby as well. When she was young her mom started bringing men home for prostitution purposes. The mom would service men with her daughter laying in bed next to her, and it was pretty much a given that Stacy was molested by those men as well. Her mom also smoked heroin with her daughter next to her. She was taken by CPS and was in foster care when I taught her. This poor kid would attempt to molest other little girls in the bathroom and scream sexually explicit phrases at any given times. She would masturbate and pee everywhere in the bathroom if not supervised. This poor girl was kicked out of every foster home for acting out sexually. Finally they found a lady who was a social worker who dealt with juvenile gang members- she was tough as nails. Nothing scared her. She agreed to take Stacy in.
Slowly we began to see the sexual agression stopping, she stopped wetting her pants, and the yelling obscenities stopped. She still had to be supervised around other girls and in the bathroom but she began playing appropriately. 6 months after Stacy got her new foster mom, she was reading and writing and acting almost like a kid her age. Speaking to her foster mom one day she said that she has begun the process to adopt Stacy, and if she could get through the school year without another behavioral issue, she would be adopted. I had to leave to go to college so I wasn’t there to see it, but my old boss emailed me and said that the adoption had been finalized, and they moved to another state so Stacy wouldn’t keep getting flash backs from the old places. I desperately wish I knew how she’d turned out.
I’m a technology teacher (design and make). I had an 11 year old student who was terrible at using scissors and couldn’t thread a needle. She had very high grades academically but something didn’t seem quite right.
I recommended she receive special assistance and a referral, and it turns out after testing that she had very little spatial awareness and almost no hand-eye coordination. After calling the parents in we found that her mother was paralyzed and in a wheelchair (only dad had come to parent interviews etc), and dad was very busy working to support them both, so no one had ever played any physical games or activities with her. She hadn’t developed in this area, and was intelligent enough to hide these short comings in previous school activities.
Not a difficult fix (lots of time doing crafts, throwing and catching balls, that kind of thing needed), but something that could have really held her back in the future.