As a teacher, what is the saddest thing a student has said or done in class?
Well, I was a Student Teacher of sorts, let me explain. In my senior year of high school, I was taking a fourth year of Spanish. Our teacher informed us we could either pair up to teach Spanish to an elementary school class every Friday or take a final exam each semester. It just so happened, my best friend was in the same class. I spun around as he was turning towards me and we volunteered immediately!
That was awesomely fun for a lot of reasons, but on with my answer. We were literally put in charge of this 2nd grade class during our 45 minute lesson every week. It was very interesting how quickly you could see which kids were smart, which were shy, and so on and so on. The kids seemed to have fun with the lessons and exercises we had put together. One day as we were leaving, this little boy walks up and puts a small piece of paper in my hand. We were busy saying bye to the class and were then talking about it as we headed out of the school, so I didn't look at the paper until we got out to the car.
As I unfolded the small piece of paper, it read "You are my best friend, ok?" How sweet is that!! I had no idea the impact we were having on those kids and I must have given him some special attention of which I was totally unaware. That also showed me the powerful impact teachers can have on young people. I just figured I would have a chat with this young man during the next week's lesson and tell him that I would be honored to be his best friend!
However, as we entered the classroom the following week, I noticed he was not in class. I inquired with the teacher to see if she knew why he wasn't in class that day. She informed me that the past Friday was his last day, as his had family moved away. I felt soooo sad over the fact I didn't read the note in class and didn't have an opportunity to acknowledge him. Pretty amazing that a 2nd grader had that much impact on me!! Especially since I was a carefree teenager like most others my age. So that is the limit of my classroom teaching, but it was quite an experience teaching Spanish to these kids.
I arrived at 6:00 am, as did the principal, awaiting us was a 9 yo who wanted to help with the chalkboards and daily plans. For him the school was his "friendly place". His mother had disappeared again, and he was locked out. The neighbor refused to take him in this time, so he had been placed in a temporary home. There were times when I was a kid that I felt "unloved", but this was a whole different ballpark. The kid wasn't in my class, but I did what I could to engage him in conversation, share a little breakfast, put him on task to get his mind back to school, shook his hand at a job well done, and made sure to get in a hug before he moved to his own classroom. Some people should not be allowed to be parents.