Friday, October 19, 2012

These Aren't Yearbook Photos...

I've been teaching at The School for ten (10!  Can you freaking believe it!?) years now, so it's safe to say that some of the kids I had during my first few years are now adults.  I do run into them quite a bit when I'm out and about, to the point that my father teases me when we don't run into a former student.

For the record, the girls are easier to recognize - their facial features don't change as much.  Boys, however, are a different story.  They get way taller, talk differently and their facial features change dramatically.  Believe me, there is a big difference from a 4'6" twelve year old and a twenty-two year old who's 6'2" and has a beard.   I get a kick out of talking with them and finding out what they're doing.  Fortunately, the ones I tend to run into are working and usually going to college.  (They must be employed at every restaurant in town.)

Lately, however, I've been spotting quite a few of my former students on-line courtesy of the local law enforcement's collection of mug shots.  The Guidance Goddess used to check the bookings log to see if any of our parents or caregivers had been arrested - obviously something like that affects are kids and, in fact, causes many of them to want to visit the guidance department in the first place.  Believe me, when a kid is worried or embarrassed about the fact that dad got picked up for drunk driving and is sitting in jail, doing science homework is not a priority.

In any case, these booking photos got so much traffic that they are now featured on not one, but two, on line newspaper websites.   And, not surprisingly, they are even more popular.  We're just a bunch of nosy folks at heart.

Sad to say, however, that the past week I have seen not one, not two, but three former students picked up and arrested.  One, in fact, made the local news (which is where I saw it first) and I about fell out of my chair when his name and face splashed across the screen.  Then Mr. Social Studies (who taught on my team for a few years before he got moved to Mrs. Eagle's team) ran into me and mentioned two other students of ours that had shown up on the website.

Sad.  Of the three, two of them didn't surprise me.  They didn't make good choices in seventh grade and they obviously aren't making good choices now.  (Running over a police officer is not a good thing.)  The other one...well, he was a bit scatter-brained, but smart, and had potential.  However, it looks like he took a wrong turn somewhere.

So sad.

Update:  As luck would have it, another one showed up this weekend as an accessory to murder.  Can't say I'm even remotely surprised.


Miss Angel said...

ow... I often wonder how some of the kids I've worked with turned out. Many of them would be teenagers or older by now. I often thin of when I worked at a preschool run by a foster care facility, and all the little 4-year-olds that had already been through so much and had so much anger. And of two particular boys I knew when I worked at a special ed school... they were about 10 and 9 years old, and their biggest dream was to become gang members. They'd be about 17 and 18 now... definitely old enough to have "accomplished" their dream!

latraveler said...

I do the same thing and many of mine show up on the news in the evening or newspaper the next morning before I head to school. I have been teaching more than 25 years and not always in the best schools.