Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Teenagers Are Horrible People!

I am a teacher as you all know. Everyday I go to work and educate children. In my school there are a lot of kids. People have told me “I could never do what you do.” “I was a teenager once, teenagers are horrible people.” “You couldn’t pay me enough to be a teacher.”

Believe me there are trying days, just like any profession, funny thing about teaching is that in the 10 years I have taught, no two days are ever the same.

But teenagers are horrible people.

Let me tell you about one of these “horrible” people.

My 1 year old daughter has been not well lately. My wife, son and I need to take her to Edmonton tomorrow for a pediatrician appointment. Now, this is not my way of saying pity me, pity us, it is simply to illustrate how horrible teenagers can be. There is a new student in our school, her name is “Susan”. She came to us this year and is in my grade 7 class. I told the students what was going on in so far as to say “I need to take my daughter to Edmonton to see a doctor, please be good for the sub.” “Susan” could obviously see I was a little nervous about what I was taking Quinlan to the doctor about. So, this morning she runs up to me and gives me some presents. “My mom wanted me to give this to you for your daughter and son.” I thought wow a Christmas gift for my kids, cool.

I opened the card and here is the message inside:

Dear Mister Bailey,

I got your daughter this stuff because when my sister was in the hospital it helped her to not be scared and made her feel safe. I hope these things make it a little easier. –“Susan”

PS. I remember what it was like being the sibling of a sick baby so there is something special for Aidan too.

When I read this card aloud in the staff room, I began to tear up, my assistant began to tear up. The history of this story is that Susan’s little sister passed away.

This teenage girl showed compassion and caring the likes of which most people never see. This was her first year in our school, her first year with me and she had the maturity to understand from her own experiences what my 6 year old and 1 year old could be going through.

It is all too easy to label every teenager as bad or horrible. What we as adults need to do once in a while is step back and see that though kids will make mistakes, they are deep down inside, caring and compassionate people. They do understand right from wrong. They can sense nervousness, hurt and pain. They can make you feel really great.

“Susan” made my day and when my son comes home to his RC car and my daughter gets to snuggle her huge stuffed lion, her cuddly pink blanky and other stuff Susan and her family took time to buy for them, I will hug them extra tightly, tell them “Susan”s name, and we will write her and her family a thank you.

Teenagers are wonderful people.

PS – it was hard not to tear up typing this.

Thank you Susan for being a wonderful you.

Mr. Bailey


  1. I saw this young girl hauling those items into the school this morning and I thought, "Wow, someone is getting a special gift today". She is a special young lady to not only understand your situation but also by extending her heart out to you and the kids. If there is anything we can do to help, please let us already know our kid will babysit for free. Thank you for sharing this story, I love the message that not all teenagers are bad...I love that you squashed that stereotype, even for just a little while and I love that those gifts were for you and your family. Please let us know if we can help and know that we are thinking of you guys and Baby Q and Aiden. Travel safe.

  2. Beautifully written, what a special girl As a mom of a teen, it's really hard sometimes to remember the days when she makes a candle lit dinner for my hubby and I. She IS a good girl.... Thank you for the reminder. :-D God bless you and your family Ryan. Prayers going up for you all. And one of Gratitude for sweet "Susan".

  3. Im so glad I read this tonight. Almost given up on teenagers and the human race in general..There is hope. Thank you Susan, and for Mr.Bailey to take the time during his own hardship to write this.

  4. You're naive. This story is meaningless.

  5. Sorry I missed this 2 years ago. Reading this story again today I am even more thankful for Susan. I'm not sure what is meaningless or what I am naive about. Feel free to return ad enlighten me. Ryan