Being a teacher is a supremely taxing job. You're not only expected to have a mastery of the subject you teach, but you're also expected to have the social finesse and patience to navigate dozens of personalities in your classroom. Anyone who has spent any time teaching is well familiar with how many stories you get from the job, particularly involving students who open up about the good, the bad, the ugly in their personal lives.
In a recent Reddit thread, teachers shared what things they've overheard from students they wish they hadn't, or perhaps more accurately, weren't sure what to do with.
1. mgraunk's student stays out of the basement.
"That he doesn't like it when "mom gives massages in the basement" because he can "hear everything."
2. TiptoeThruTheTurtles intervened in a horrible situation.
"My mom says I'm too stupid to spell."
I was helping one of my first graders catch up on a spelling test. He was one of my "problem kids", but I always spent extra time helping him out because I used to be one, too. On this particular day he was getting really, really worked up. I finally flipped the test over and had the worst conversation."
"Kid: I can't do this. I'm too stupid!
Me: You can too do this, I know you can. Let's spell it out really slowly together.
Kid: No, I can't. I'm an idiot."
"Me: [Name]! Why are you saying that? Who told you that?
Kid: My mom says I'm too stupid to spell.
Me: ...That's not true. We're friends, yeah?
Kid: Best friends."
"Me: Okay, then you know I won't lie to you. You are one of the smartest kids I know. What else does your mom say?
And that's how I found out a seven year old boy was being physically and emotionally abused. I reported it, but left the school before I found out what came of it."
3. levelsevenweenie has students regularly confide in them.
"I guess it isn't that I overheard it. But I really like to keep up with the kids' personal lives. Over the years they grow to trust me and every once in a while, a student drops a huge bomb on me that makes me feel quite helpless for a while. Things like, "My parents are getting divorced this week and neither one wants me." or "My sister got killed trying to stop a fight." or "I hate my friends and I hate myself for liking them. But I don't want to be alone." I do my best for them."
4. NoahCLT is not ready for middle schooler antics.
"I worked with Middle Schoolers for exactly one year. When the 11 year old yelled “EAT THE BOOTY LIKE GROCERIES” When I asked him what his favorite food was, I knew that middle school wasn’t for me."
5. Triangle_Graph heard some scary relationship tactics.
"My friend teaches at a Catholic middle school. He said he once overheard a girl telling her friends she intended to pretend to be pregnant in order to keep her boyfriend from breaking up with her. When he asked her where she got such a manipulative idea, she said, "It worked for my mom!"
6. tallcardsfan learned a lot during biology.
"In high school biology class we received an unexpected closed door lecture after a teacher overheard conversation in the hall. Someone had stolen one of their mom’s birth control pills and thought that would be all she needed to prevent pregnancy. The teacher had been an EMT in a city at some point and I’m sure I sat there wide eyed. She even talked about coat hanger abortions and the possible results. We could ask any questions.
Learned a lot that day!"
7. ReddishWedding2018 learned too much one morning.
"I had a high school senior come to school in the morning straight from the club, still all glitter-covered and in a mostly-unbuttoned button down."
"Except it wasn't totally straight from the club-- he let it slip that he had gone home with a woman in her 40s at five in the morning, and stayed long enough for her to "make her kids and me breakfast."
8. stephc02's students bragged about playing hooky.
"This happened last year in an alternative education class I was supplying in. This was a regular high school that just happened to offer an alternative program to some students. A girl was talking about how much school she skipped last year. The guy she is talking to goes "I missed a lot of days as well but thats because I spent 2 months in a correctional institute."
9. Upnotdown0715 used the wrong words.
"I once used the word "gangbangers" in a class of freshmen boys. I was referring to inner city drug gangs. When almost the entire class started furiously giggling, I immediately regretted my choice of words. I'm not naive...I know most if not all of my students have watched hardcore porn. I just didn't need to be reminded of that fact when I'm trying to talk with them about urban gang crime."
10. McWhiskey heard about the drug connections.
"On my first two week observation internship I was at the back of the class just taking things in. Overheard one student tell another she knew where to get Ketamine."
"I froze and didn’t know what to do. I ended up doing nothing. I was only there to observe and I had literally just started the program. I think I made a mistake."
11. Tbone5711's principal is practically a war veteran.
"Heard this from a Vice Principal about 5 years ago. One time one of the kids told her "I like pussy" and then proceeded to tell her all the things one could put in a pussy. It was an Elementary School..."
12. epicnormalcy's student seems confused about pap smears.
"A junior boy telling his buddies he “gave the old lady a Pap smear the other night”.
13. -sing3r-'s student did NOT have money problems.
"Former college professor here.
“Oh my god! How do you get your parents to pay you 25 thousand dollars a month, mine only pay me 10 thousand!”
14. ToeRagger has classically frustrating students.
"Students whispering to each other about how they have absolutely no idea what i was talking about even though that was my third attempt of trying to explain the same thing to them."
15. MitchMcConnellsShell's student saw too much, too young.
"That one of my 14 year old students attended a visit to her sister's sugar daddy while she got their rent paid."
"Edit: For clarification, the student's sister had a sugar daddy. She went to fuck the guy for rent money and brought my student along."
16. LunaLokiCat's students shared contraceptives.
"My friend was a sub for a few years. In a high school class, he overheard a girl giving another girl ONE of her birth control pills. I wonder if they both got pregnant?"
17. BigDrew923 heard about a tragic crime.
"Not a teacher, but I was setting up to film a video in my high school's media room while two girls talked about how one of them was drug raped at a party on the other side of the room. Their mutual friend saw and allowed it to happened, and laugh when she ask why he didn't help her. I had my headphones on, so maybe they thought I wouldn't hear, plus they didn't know me then."
"However, I was only wearing it so people won't bother me while I was working so no music was playing. It was hard not to notice two girl crying, so I couldn't not listen. Anyway, the victim is now dating one of my friend, and we talked a few times since. Not sure if she forgot I was in the room."
18. CountPeter heard the most terrifying dump of their life.
"The building in the school in which I taught had only one staff toilet, so if it was occupied we had to use the student toilets. In one such instance, I am in my cubicle when a student walks in to the loo room and into another cubicle."
"What I heard next was the most awful sounding dump, but not too out of the ordinary. It's what he said whilst doing it that shook me up. Screaming as if in pain, he shouted things to the effect of "Jesus christ, I deserve this torment. Punish me for my sins, punish me for my salvation! I bare pain in your name!" And other fucked up religious stuff."
"No idea what was going on (it didn't sound like a kink from the tone) but I remember thinking that if we ever had a school shooting, there was no doubt it would be that guy."
19. shooterrrr had a VERY open student.
"One student was extremely talkative and sharing a lot of info that I did not need to know... they asked to go to the bathroom and I was relieved I could stop hearing about their stories... When they returned 35 minutes later, I don't ask what took them so long they just casually state:"
"S: Sorry I took so long sir, I dropped my underwear in the toilet
"S: My mom always told me to be prepared so I had a backup in my locker
S: It was gross having to fish my underwear out of the toilet
Me:........ Okay thanks you, please focus on your work."
"S: I would not want to come back to class with wet underwear.
Other students started chiming in and they talked about it for a while...
Note: I am a supply teacher."
20. lwheeler1 got roasted by their teacher.
"Not a teacher, but in high school was telling a buddy of mine I hate math and that I'm just going to be a porn star. Teacher heard me and she looked over and said "you're going to starve". I replied "I'll have plenty to eat on the job". She laughed but prolly wish she never heard it."