The student who is rebellious, distant, not engaged… The student who fools around, doesn’t care, distracts others… The student who’s always on his phone and never brings a pen and paper… That student has a back story of pain.
Now we can justify ourselves for cracking down on him, bemoaning him, wishing he weren’t there because he ruins the rest.
Or we can try to find out the background. Did his parents just divorce? Was he bullied last year? Did he get beaten up?
If you can help kids quantify and deal with pain, you can give them tools to succeed in life. Teachers are more than relaters of information or preparers for standardized tests. Teachers are helpers of humans.
Never underestimate the value of your work. Your troubled kids may not score highest on the standardized test. But if you help them to not be a drug addict, you have not failed the system. You are a success and should feel proud of yourself.
His behavior comes from his hurt, not any malice towards you.