I can't/don't make kids cry?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Em_Catz, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    I know this sounds utterly ridiculous, but when I "jack" a kid up (ie: reprimand them for repeated or serious/severe misbehavior) they never cry. Even when I get angry and thisclose to them. They take me seriously, but I don't think I put the fear of God into them. Like I am scary, but not terrifying, pee your pants.

    However, another teacher on my hallway that teaches first, tells me that she makes at least 2 - 3 kids cry in her class per day.

    So, I thought I would ask you all. How often do you make students cry when you reprimand them (especially at the beginning of the school year).

    If a student does not cry from a reprimand, does that mean they are not taking you as seriously as a student who does indeed cry?

    This other teacher and I often send kids to each other for time outs and whenever my kids return from her class, they are red faced and obviously were crying.

    However when I send students back to her class, they aren't. Even though I jack them up and say things like, "You should not be acting up in your teacher's class! You are a big boy/girl, not a little baby! If you can't get your behavior together you will come back to my room for recess".

    Thoughts?
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Em... you need to ignore some of your coworkers. This is at least the second post from you where stuff they said makes no sense.

    NO you do not need to make your kids cry to be treated with respect.
     
  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Why would you want to make a student cry? This is a serious, honest question. The elementary teachers who made me cry were the ones whom I feared more than respected. The ones who let me know they were disappointed in my actions but still cared for me were the ones for whom I improved.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    A child who cries when reprimanded is frightened, embarrassed and humiliated. I think you should be proud that you are able to talk with your students about their behaviour without resorting to the bullying behaviour that makes children cry. Continue to take the high road; I think that you are doing the right thing.
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    The teacher likely doesn't have may tools in her toolbag for classroom management. She sees that this works and logically concludes that it is what must be done without realizing that a PROFESSIONAL has more tools to work with that are far more effective.
     
  7. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I can be a very firm and wrangled in a class last year that was totally out of control. However the only student I ever had cry was crying because she knew she had made a huge mistake (forged her father's signature) and she knew how angry her father, she wasn't afraid of me or what I was saying, she knew she was in big trouble at home.

    I really don't think it's necessary to make children cry to be a good disciplinarian and if I did make a child cry I'd feel bad about it because that's not what I'm setting out to do, I want them to understand there is a consequence for their actions, that's not how to behave, that's not how to treat people, etc. not to be afraid of me or cry. I can't believe a teacher would worry about their ability to make students cry I have a to-do list a mile long no time to worry about how to make kids break down into tears.
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I don't want the kids to cry, nor do I want them to fear me. I want them to respect me and know that I respect them. I want them to understand why I have rules and the need for rules in school and in life. I want them to understand that I don't want them to hurt each other or keep anyone else from learning, and that I wouldn't let anyone else do those things to them either. I can't think of a single kid that cried in the last 2.5 weeks over being in trouble with me and only a handful of times last year, mostly when I called a parent or wrote a note about their behavior.
     
  9. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Because I was very well behaved in school and generally the teacher didn't have to talk to me too often, I don't have much experience with being "jacked up" (sorry for the slang. It's what people in this area refer to as "talking firmly". Like if I took off two Friday's in a row and had to have a meeting with the Principal, my team would say, "Aw man, Em's being jacked up by Dr. Smith! Bet she'll think twice about taking double three day weekends")

    Anyhow, my own lack of experience being a trouble kid makes it hard for me to relate to that experience. Honestly the worse thing I ever remember doing was sneaking and reading a Babysitter's Club book instead of my reading book during independent work time:rolleyes:


    Okay, that makes me feel better. I thought maybe I am too soft. I know they are "babies" , but first grade as I'm sure you know, can be a battlefield and you have to be tough/firm or the ringleaders will have the majority of the class (which are typically well behaved) turn your classroom into a circus.

    That's very true. Again, because I was such a well behaved child most of the time, on the rare occasion I was reprimanded, I wanted to cry and had to fight the tears. I remember in 2nd grade my name was written on the board and I did burst into tears and put my head on the desk.
    Most kids aren't that sensitive, so I was thinking, "if they are tough enough not to show emotion, do I need to be tougher/meaner as a teacher?"
     
  10. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    How sad that this other teacher thinks that the only way to be effective is to make kids cry. I can guarantee that if my child came home telling stories about crying in class or watching their kids cry every single day, we would be having a serious conversation with the teacher, principal and possibly my lawyer. The behavior on the part of the teacher is abusive and has no place in a classroom.
     
  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Perhaps you're more of a Love & Logic kind of teacher, one who gives consequences for actions but delivers those consequences with empathy. It's how I run my classroom and doesn't make me a pushover of a teacher.
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Here's something else you need to know. What you do for each child should be globally consistent yet specifically individual. One child may need a firmer hand to respond while another child would shutdown. I don't think you need to make any kid cry. There have been a few kids that have and in doing so they definitely needed a softer approach later to recoup and let them know they are equally loved. Often the kids you need to be firmer with are kids you also need to show extra love. They need your support. Firm doesn't equal tearing down.

    Frankly there are so many tools in the toolbag that firm isn't always the best either. Many times positive reinforcement, logical consequences, reinforcing and teaching procedures, etc. all work simply so much better. So instead of thinking about whether or not you are tough enough or not, start looking at why they are doing what they are doing and see if you can't be a bit proactive and think it through. Proactive is 100x better than reactive though sometimes reactive can't be avoided.
     
  13. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    In her defense (since she obviously can't be on here to defend herself), the teacher is not a total tyrant. She speaks kindly to her students and seems to really care about them. It's only the "severe" or "repeat offenders" that she makes cry.

    Like if little Susie who always follows directions is talking, I don't get the sense that the teacher screams at her and tries to make her cry.

    However, if little Mary is always disruptive, doesn't do her work, constantly being put in time out, then the teacher will make her cry.
     
  14. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    It's not always about being "tough enough not to show emotion" though. At least with my students, they don't cry when I reprimand them because they feel safe at school and have learned to trust their teachers. Sure, some kids are more sensitive than others, but it's never my goal to make a child cry. My goal is for the child to understand why the behavior was inappropriate and to trust me enough to know that I'm going to do whatever I have to to help him/her to fix the behavior.
     
  15. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    On that note, I've made inner city gang members bow their heads with shame...and I never even raised my voice (well, twice: once when I was barking out orders while dealing with a medical crisis in my homeroom and the other time when some kids vandalized my mother's car).

    The point being is that making kids cry isn't really very effective if your goal is long term behavior change.
     
  16. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    :yeahthat: In general, I think my behavior management system (being firm, yet fair and trying to focus on the positive as well as redirection) works well. However, when I start to think about one particular child that has a lot of behavior issues in my class and the fact that the other teacher makes him cry and he does his work and gets almost done, whereas I don't make him cry and he barely gets anything done, I do have to wonder if I am not fierce enough.

    But as you said with the proactivity, I am going to try giving the child an hourly incentive chart and see if that can help him work so I don't have to talk firm all day and the other teacher doesn't have to make him cry to get him to work.
     
  17. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Em, I have a TA like that and kids actually DO love her and she has really high expectations. I still have to watch her though because she does go overboard. Though sometimes she is quite effective, most of the time I need her to be proactive rather than reactive.
     
  18. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I honestly find no way to excuse the behavior. I know you're trying to defend your coworker, but the behavior on the part of the teacher is inexcusable. Bragging about such behavior is abhorrent, and frankly, the sign of a bully/abuser. There is nothing positive about making little kids cry. This teacher needs to learn ways of controlling her class without stepping over the line of abuse.
     
  19. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Ooooh, I like that. Proactive is definately a lot less stressful than reactive. That's why I am hoping this hourly incentive chart will work for the child who I have in mind that never cries or shows much emotion when I try to get him to work.

    To be honest, I don't like the way she bullies the kids, but I remind myself that I'm only seeing part of the picture. For all I know, maybe she's been talking nicely to the kid all day and they've plucked her last nerve. However, when I feel myself wanting to EXPLODE at a kid, I remember an incident that happened my 1st year of teaching. Two actually:

    1) My class was going bananas! They were screaming and bouncing and acting nuts while waiting for music. I yelled "YOU ALL ARE ACTING LIKE WILD ANIMALS!!!" and the Principal walked around the corner. She pulled me in her office and agreed -- the kids were acting like wild animals, but I should never ever ever say that because what if a parent had come around the corner?

    2) One of my class ring leaders was going nuts in the hall, again while waiting for music. I pulled him out of the line and said, "<HIS NAME!!> and was about to lay into him, when his mother did come around the corner and said, "What is <his name> doing?!" I was so glad I didn't say anything inappropiate. :cool:


    Edit: I am now at a different school and it seems like all bets are off. A lot of the teachers say that kind of stuff and worse to kids in the hall. I don't, but it seems to be acceptable (at least for now. I'm sure if the P overheard she would be angry)
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    This is kind of a random story....

    Once I made a kid in ANOTHER room cry. Basically you have to know your kids. I never want my kids to cry but sometimes kids do respond to the firmer and even harsher approach if it is VERY sparingly done. The kids in class were not being safe on the playground and were not listening and this had been going on for a bit. I yelled a bit when they lined up though I probably should not have. My kids were fine with this. Another kid was not. I didn't catch that. Later I took my students out to the playground and very firmly showed them every single safe/unsafe thing they were supposed to do. As we went through them, my demeanor softened because I knew I already had their attention and they were actively listening. There was no need to ground in my displeasure. Well what I didn't know was the kid from the other class, who does not know me, saw me through the window and started BAWLING. The teacher had to come up to me. I had someone else cover my class while I went to this child and worked on recovering the trust I apparently had lost with this child. It didn't matter that she wasn't my student. No student should feel that way.
     
  21. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    P.S. Incentive charts don't work for every child. Give it a chance for awhile but be prepared to think of another strategy. It's best to think of WHY the child is behaving that way and see if you can't change things to support the child.

    Edit: My own child who has an ED was on a 15 min chart. The chart is not necessarily as effective as the fact that he gets a 15 minute check in to make sure he is still on track and doing well. This check in is a dialogue that teaches him how to self-monitor. He's done this for two years and has lengthened his time since. This year we may be moving away from it.

    Another incentive system I have used in the past came with teaching. I find that most systems don't work as much as the teaching that goes behind the system. The stickers aren't the magic. The teacher implementing it is.
     
  22. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I don't make kids cry, but they take me seriously. I believe in building a positive classroom climate. When there are problems big enough to warrant a 'serious consequence', the kids usually own up to their misbehavior, face the consequences, and we move on. New clean slate.
     
  23. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    That's a good point. I am not an advocate of medicating kids, but I honestly think this child may benefit from it. He literally has an attention span of like 1 - 2 seconds. Today while using manipulatives to play a math game, he was so busy playing with them and flying them around the room that he could not play the game and I ended up having to take the manipulatives from him after several warnings.

    He had the same issues last year in K. I know this isn't the behavior forum, but I have to mention that this child does NO work in my class. He had almost 20 minutes to write the letters Qq ten times and draw a picture of a Queen to match and the child wrote one Q (that I had to stand over him to force him to write. took about 5 minutes of conversation, threatening, more conversation, walking away, coming back, more convo) then went back to being in his own world. :eek:
     
  24. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Em, concentrate on being the best teacher you can be. Obviously your kids respond to you and behave for you. That's a good thing. Respect and trust is crucial, and it seems as if you have that already.

    I do have to admit to making one child cry. The child in question was a 6'2" 8th grader, well on his way to an NFL career. He'd stolen something small from my desk and I caught him red-handed. I launched into a lecture about how sad and deeply disappointed I was with him. I told him I was sad because I was mourning the loss of trust I had in him and that it grieved me most severely. I never once raised my voice, and to be honest, my tone wasn't even firm. It was very soft. This man-sized child broke down sobbing. As he cried, he told me that no other adult had ever spoken to him, and about him with anything other than anger and hate. Every adult in his life told him he was worthless and would never amount to anything. He cried because he realized he'd hurt me, not because he was afraid of me.

    There are times in life when crying is an acceptable reaction. There are times, like in cut's example when you don't mean for them to happen. We're all human, after all. But, to make it a classroom policy to make kids cry? I guess, once again, I must confess myself deeply saddened.
     
  25. jleardini

    jleardini Rookie

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    Em -
    I personally think that you are a fantastic teacher, because you get it. Your students respect you and it's not necessary to put the fear of God into them and make them cry to get results. I always found that there are only bad things that come out of a student crying. There was always so much damage control to take care of if your student is crying. I always try to make sure that they leave for the day with a positive experience, that way when they see their parents after school, the first thing they think of is how they left the day on a high note. If they cry, then it takes a lot of positives to overcome that. Then the parents are jackin you up with the principal and then you're getting a "see me" note in your mailbox. It's a downward and very vicious cycle.

    Basically, I always felt that no matter the age if you are able to enact discipline and let your student save face, then that's more important than reducing them to tears.

    You're doing the right thing! Good Luck!
     
  26. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I now know which post you are referring to. The fact of the matter is, you aren't going to be able to hold this child to the same standards as other kids. It is going to be a year long teaching thing to get him up to that level. A quote I often like and wish I knew the author: "Aim for progress, not perfection." He will need a number of strategies to help him succeed. A timer would be one such example to try. Keep in mind that when you use a timer, do not put it on the entire assignment. Only give the child a little bit of something to do and build. He may be overwhelmed by the larger task. I have had kids like that in the past. It is doable but not on the same wavelength. It is better to think about how this child is improving in relation to himself. Involve him in the process and start very small. Don't give him an entire worksheet, for example. That's too much. Involve others for evaluation and support. Take data. Don't let the kid personally get to you.
     
  27. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Another thing that just occured to me is that some kids are provoking a strong anger response, because that is all they know or because they just have a personality that likes to push buttons. Playing into that kid and loosing your cool is only going to make things worse.
     
  28. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    This sums up my thoughts on this quite well.
     
  29. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Seriously? I would do anything I could to not have kids cry.

    Kids need to know that their mistakes can be corrected and are not the end of the world. They take the consequences, and then it's a do over. No tears.

    Those other teachers sound sadistic; I would want them nowhere near my kid.
     
  30. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I have made students cry in the classroom at times, but I don't think it was ever intentional. Usually when I come down on them hard, stern, and with a little verbal force, they are more shocked than scared. Those situations have never made a kid cry. The crying only happens when a student is more upset about something and it wasn't necessarily me that caused, more an issue they have.
    I prefer not to have to deal with crying students, but I will admit there have been a few instances where I wished the student had cried when I came down on them and they did not.
     
  31. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I've had a few cry over the years (one in particular cried all the time to get her way- a form of manipulation). I never made them cry. Some cried because they were embarrassed at getting caught, or afraid of what mommy/daddy will do at home.

    One fifth grade student cried when I told him how much I cared for him and how much potential I saw in him, and that he needed to see what I saw in him.

    But, no, I never go out and wish that they cried for me as I lectured them. I've had strong classroom management from the get-go and my focus has always been on the positive and respect and caring.
     
  32. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    What is your goal? I think being strict so you can teach is a good goal, but I don't see any benefit in getting children to cry. Children cry because they are scared or embarrassed for a moment. Two minutes later they could be misbehaving. I see teachers who make children cry and have little control over their classrooms. There are great teachers on this site that will have better ways to bring out your talents than those colleagues of yours who make children cry.
     
  33. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    To clarify: I was talking about deliberately making a kid cry. I know kids will cry for all sorts of reasons, and some are more sensitivecthan others.
     
  34. Toast

    Toast Companion

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    Be different and be the teacher who can discipline without making kids cry. Do this and watch how many parents request you next year.

    The funny thing is, your neighbor teachers who scream and go for tears will be scratching thier heads wondering what you are doing differently.

    Remember, slow, cool, and calm can mean business much more clearly than yelling, berating, and being flat out mean.
     
  35. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I made a student cry today....he was quickly spiralling out of control and I sent him to take a break away from the other students before he caused a big problem. I even explained to him 3 times that he wasn't in trouble and taking a break will help him not be in trouble.
     
  36. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I don't think the goal should be to make them cry. That makes no sense. We need to create positive, nurturing environments for our students. I think the teacher who is proud of making his/her students cry everyday needs to get out of the classroom.
     
  37. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    :thumb:
     
  38. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Oh, goodness! I had three crying today which is surprising because I don't think I have ever had a crier. They were crying because they had consequences for poor behavior. When reality hit and they had to serve the time I think they thought crying would get them out of the consequence.
    Imagine my surprise when a coworker came over and gave me a high five. I thought the high five was because of something that was a positive for her....like a difficult student moved or something. She didn't say anything so I asked her what the high five was for. She said for making kids cry!!!!!!
    I almost fell over because she said it in a loud voice in front of my whole class!! I have never worked with her before, so that was a really disturbing eye opener.
    I shut my door and had a brief talk with my class about the fact that my goal is to help them learn to behave so we can have a calm, peaceful learning environment. My goal is not to make them cry!!!
     
  39. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Good job with that talk, Curiouscat. You had to move quickly to counteract that toxic comment or else they would have thought you agreed with her. What a cruel thing that she said in front of children! No wonder so many students become disenchanted with the learning process.
     
  40. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Wow!
     
  41. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    As a mom, I'm horrified to think that the aim of any teacher is to reduce my child to tears.

    As a teacher, I'm stunned at the lack of professionalism.

    The aim of a reprimand is to correct the behavior of a child. It is NOT to make him or her feel so awful that the child is reduced to tears.

    Some people (like me) cry more easily than others. So I can see how the tears sometimes come. But they should NEVER be the aim of the reprimand. Correcting the behavior should be the aim.
     

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