Most teachers learn bits and pieces about their students' lives throughout the years, but English teachers have a special peek into what's going on with the kids.
Assignments ranging from fun back-to-school essays about summer to heavier papers about personal loss give teachers a firsthand look at what students are dealing with at home, and sometimes there are more strange details than expected
This thread truly has a range from terrifying to amusing.
1. From schnit123:
As the first assignment to a composition class I would have students do a personal essay where they had to discuss something that happened to them earlier in their life and how their perspective on that event has changed over time. It was natural that a lot of students would pick tragic events but usually it was when their grandma died or something like that. They could sometimes be a bit hard to read but were generally not too bad. But then I had a student tell a story about her younger sister getting sucked into the propellers of a speedboat and chopped to pieces. The next semester I cut that assignment from my curriculum and have never used it again.