One benefit of substitute teaching is I can follow students throughout their academic careers. I saw a young lady with anger-management issues successfully complete high school. Students I first met as fifth graders are now finishing eighth grade. It’s a very rewarding feeling. On the other hand…
I especially remember one young man I worked with in middle school. He did okay, but was kind of accident prone and he didn’t always think through his actions. Sometime later, I saw him again as a freshman in high school. That day I was an intervention specialist helping out in English. The lunch period was almost over and he was in the classroom a bit early. Just before class started, a classmate walked in with an extra cup of ice cream from the cafeteria and offered it to him. He didn’t really want it, but took it anyway, and for reasons known only to him, decided to throw it away. From across the room. He gave it a mighty heave toward the trash can and unfortunately missed. Badly.
The problem was the trash can was a small office type nestled next to the teacher’s desk, so his miss landed the cup in the middle of the desk. And it split open on impact. Ten seconds later, the teacher walked in. He gave her a “how could this have happened?” look, but there was no way out. I don’t remember exactly what she did, but it wasn’t good.
By the way, he’s a senior this year. I wish him well.