Now I have a student teacher and right away, she asked me about the handful of kids who are covered in bites. She wanted to know if they should go to the nurse, or if they had a contagious disease or an allergy. She was like me 3 years ago: totally concerned about it. After 3 years of this, I have learned a few things about bedbugs.
1. The nurse won't do anything if you send a kid down.
2. Families adamantly deny bedbug infestations and even bring doctor's notes saying that the children have allergies or spider bites when we all know what the real problem is.
3. I have never (knock on wood) actually seen one in my classroom or brought one home with me.
4. When I asked an exterminator if it was possible to bring them home with me he said "technically, yes, but you probably won't." I don't want to gross anyone out, but you have a similar probability of picking them up from someone on the subway as you do in a classroom.
It's kind of a shame, but their existence is normal to me and I'm not that concerned about it anymore. I feel bad for the children because it is really uncomfortable, but ultimately I really can't do anything about it. I do, however, shake my pant legs and brush myself off after leaving the building. Ah, the wonders of teaching in New York!