I made my first student cry

Discussion in 'General Education' started by BioAngel, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Oct 13, 2008

    Another "milestone" as a new teacher...
    One of my homeroom girls, whom I adore and she usually likes to hang around me, started crying today after I talked to her about why she was in for recess detention. She's been late to class a few times and is known for her chattiness though she is working on it.

    Well she started crying--- I didn't mean to make her cry and I quickly put on nice teacher because I really do think she's working harder on stopping the chatter and the lateness.

    She's doing better now, could not stop chatting with me during lunch when I saw her again and was excited to have science after lunch so I know it's nothing personal. But I felt rather crappy for doing it.

    Any other horror stories of making a kid cry? Any nuggets of wisdom to get them to stop crying or prevent crying?

    So much for being the stern lecturer :p;)
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 13, 2008

    Fifth graders are pretty much walking time bombs. Trust me, I live with one.

    If she's basically a good kid, she was probably feeling guilty for letting you (or her parents, or herself) down.

    She'll be OK. She probably recovered a lot faster than you :)
     
  4. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Oct 13, 2008

    I work with kids in Grade 6-8. I've made plenty of kids cry. I've already had one in tears two or three times this year. Its hormones, it happens, and you can't let it get to you.
     
  5. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I have some cry for anything and some wouldnt cry if they
    were dying. Craziest thing I ever saw was an entire kindergarten
    class crying. I came in their room and all were boohooing. I asked them why and they said "Mr Watson says we cannot go home cause we have been bad" He actually had them believing it. Most of his K classes learned early on he was more bluff than
    bad but this one was convinced that day.
     
  6. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Once again, I totally agree with Alice. Don't be so hard on yourself. Kids will be kids.
     
  7. Luv2Learn

    Luv2Learn Companion

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    Oct 13, 2008

    Sometimes all it takes is a kind-hearted person asking what is wrong? You didn't make her cry, her situation did.
     
  8. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    I have seen many cry. I do not feel a bit sorry if the reason they are crying is because they are upset about getting in trouble. I have seen many K and 1st graders cry over the fact that they got in trouble. I always give 2-3 warnings(I can be a softy at times) before I do anything like pull a stick,clip,card or conduct note. I also try everything I can as not to send them to the P's office. It does hurt me to see them cry though.
     
  9. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    I agree with Alice, she probably got over it faster than you did. I do work with kindergarteners and I expect crying at the beginning of the year, but at this point it drives me crazy more than anything (of course if it is for a silly reason)...That being said, all kids have their "days", just like we all do....I don't think you made her cry; it was just the situation. Don't let it get to you! :)
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 13, 2008

    In my teaching career I've had several students cry over things. Mostly they cry when they know they're "had" for something.

    Know my most "cry-prone" group? 12 year old boys
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Hey, I cried on the phone with my principal over the summer. For me it's a way to relieve stress.

    Some people drink, some hit walls, I cry.
     
  12. Luv2Learn

    Luv2Learn Companion

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    Wow, Alice, me too. Sometimes the worse thing is when someone asks if you are okay...it's like a dam bursts...Of course, certain times are worse than others.

    OP, I don't say to ignore the one who is crying, but sometimes give them some time just to get over the tears and then maybe they will more be able to verbalize their feelings.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I went into work the day of New Teacher Orientation to help out.

    I was nervous that people would ask how I was doing (2 weeks before my mastectomy) and I backed out of the driveway into a parked car.

    When I got to school, one of the 20something year old brothers asked how I was doing, and I lost it. I became a sobbing quivering mess. I felt so bad for him.

    He got me a soda, we sat and talked, and I got past it.

    Hey, it happens.
     
  14. old-new teacher

    old-new teacher Comrade

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    Oct 13, 2008

    I'm a cryer by nature (dubbed the "staff cryer"), so I always sympathize with the students I bring to tears! LOL! It sounds like she recovered quickly, but you can be assured that the message of what you were trying to teach her got across! My favorite student crying story is this one:

    We had our first spelling test of the year last year, and I made the unfortunate mistake of grading the papers while the kids were in the room. Suddenly, there were 3 girls around my desk crying because they had seen me mark their grades (the worst was only a C!). So, the 4 of us had a good cry together, then went out to recess. LOL! That first spelling test of the year in 2nd grade can be SO traumatic! Lesson learned...always grade spelling tests during planning periods! ;)
     
  15. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    If you want to help them stop crying, tell them to look up and count ceiling tiles. You can't cry while looking up.
     
  16. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    I've made several students cry, but I didn't feel bad because the crying jags came on when they found out that after I take up a cell phone, I'm required to turn it over to the Assistant Principals who charge 15 dollars to get it back. They start crying and telling me their life stories in a bid to help me understood why I should make just this one exception for them...*rolls eyes*
     
  17. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    There's a professor at my college job that's got a bad rap for making students cry. The ironic part, is he's probably the one prof on campus that cares the MOST about his students.
     
  18. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Oct 13, 2008

    I made a student cry the Friday of my second week teaching (August 2004). I made a student who was as tall as me bawl his eyes out... he was the oldest in the class (he is 15... whoa... now), and he had brought a bullet to school.

    (Gets my laughter out at this memory) I was furious... scared... trembling like a leaf. I stood stiffly and blurted out on the playground, "AND WHAT DID YOU THINK YOU WERE GOING TO DO WITH THE BULLET?" I turned to the other boy and continued, "AND HOW DARE YOU EVEN THINK OF BECOMING INVOLVED WITH THIS SITUATION?"

    Thinking back, this is semi-hilarious. I think I drained the color straight out of their faces.
     
  19. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Man, the staff crier. I've actually let it out at school before. I remember the worst time... it was last year. Two students had it for one another, and we were going through the kindergarten hallway. As soon as they laid their hands on one another and went at it, I burst into one of the kindergarten classrooms like the SWAT team. I nearly knocked myself over coming through the door, and I was bawling my eyes out.

    Then of course, I've cried sentimental tears. I've cried at every end-of-the-year awards ceremony, but mostly my first year. There was also a time when a boy was talking to me about his grandmother having Parkinson's and a girl came in from cleaning computers with this quote on a piece of paper- "Love is in your heart, wasn't put there to stay, love isn't love, until you give it away." She made the boy cry. I especially shed some tears at that moment. That was the most pure, sentimental moment of my entire career, and that was my first year.

    I also cried from laughing so hard last week. A boy was out sick. He had to go to the doctor a few times. Well, fourth graders like to come to deductions and tend to make skewed inferences. You know when kids whip their wrists and make sounds with their wrists? I shared a photo a few weeks before of what can happen to your hands/wrists if you whack them out of joint too much- arthritis. They were FREAKED OUT. They were literally screaming from the horror.

    Then... the day before this boy returns, one of my boys gasped loudly while waiting for the bus. I could actually see the lightbulb go off. LOL. He goes, "Oh my goodness, does __________ have arthritis?!?" :dizzy:

    I had never laughed so hard in the presence of my students. I had never cried so hard, either... it was quite hilarious.
     
  20. strepsils

    strepsils Companion

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    Oct 14, 2008

    I had one girl be quite nasty to another member in the classroom.

    I asked her why she was acting in that particular manner and she stared at me. I asked again (in a nice tone), and she remained that way. Explained that unless I hear her story, I cannot act fairly and must react to what I've heard. She continued to look at me, and I expressed my disappointment and that she has no reason to act that way - ever. She cried for 10 minutes with her book up in her face. I walked over, placed it on the desk, and told her to continue with her work.

    The next day she brought in a drawing for me.
     
  21. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Oh I had one the other day. I asked "do I need to sign your (behavior) folder?" He stopped dead in his tracks, arms straight down at his sides, like a little soldier, and looked right at me. Then the waterworks. "No Miss Lemonhead, No. Please Miss Lemonhead, please." Those actions were so out of character it took everything in me not laugh. All the other kids just sort of looked like "what in the world is up with him"
     
  22. Lives4Math

    Lives4Math Comrade

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    I've made more than a few cry since I started teaching (this is my 4th year). Believe it or not...I have made more cry THIS year teaching 6th than I did last year teaching Kindergarten LOL
     
  23. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I can believe that. I think my biggest bunch of cryers is the 6th grade boys.
     
  24. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Oct 14, 2008

    Forget About It,the child already has.Many children ae used to crying if something goes wrong,others do it to try and get your sympathy. I have seen children cry because they get in trouble for something they did. I tell them it's too late to cry.Think about he consequences before you act.
     
  25. ELA 11 12

    ELA 11 12 Companion

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  26. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I've made a kid cry and I'm just a sub! A 5th grader's behavior had gone all the way down to "letter home". When I changed his behavior card to blue, he started to cry. I just let him cry it out at his desk. I told the kids next to him to just to let him be and continue with their own work. Then I basically ignored him to give him some space. Once he had composed himself and started to work (which he hadn't done all day). I quietly offered him a way to work his behavior back up so he wouldn't have to take a letter to his parents. He was incredibly cooperative the rest of the day. I think it's good for a kid - especially a boy - to be able to let out their tears without it becoming a big deal.
     
  27. Beatifulchaos

    Beatifulchaos Rookie

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    The only time I feel bad is if they tear up over something that embarrasses them. I embarrassed a little boy last year by accident. I was joking with him, and told him to "show us what he had" in regards to cursive writing. Well he hadn't been paying attention, and he teared up. That does make me feel bad.

    Otherwise, if they did something that they weren't supposed to, I tell them to dry it up. Sometimes, I feel slightly victorious (is that awful?) if I make one of my hard ones "crack". They usually are a lot sweeter the rest of the year anyway.
     
  28. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    My kids cry all the time. I would say at least three kids cry a day. I just let them get it out, and we move on. Sometimes I'll talk to them, sometimes I'll just walk over, rub their back while they cry and walk on. I have a highly emotional group, I guess. It's made me very jaded to the tears, though, I have to tell you.
     
  29. Beatifulchaos

    Beatifulchaos Rookie

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    I hear ya on that. They don't much phase me anymore. I especially love the ones who get the "ugly crying" face, but don't shed tears that one is fun. Or the I am going to have a tantrum in the 3rd grade while I cry.

    I only have the tantrum once. They all have to test the waters especially if they have been tantrum throwers in previous years, but after one, they quickly learn that they will not be throwing them in my presence. :)

    In fact, I tell them that can try anything once, but I wouldn't suggest it. I had a boy once tell me he wished he could go back to first grade so he could throw chairs because he threw them at his first grade teacher. I said, "well you most certainly can, I am not in control of your am, but it will be the LAST time you ever throw anything in my room." He said, "I know that's why I won't do it with you." I said, "That is a smart choice." ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
     
  30. missalli

    missalli Companion

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    I made a second-grader cry after I called her out for her disruptive behavior. I think my first year of teaching I would have felt really bad, but this is year #3 and I'm over that now ;) She got over it quickly enough and afterwards was a lot better behaved, sooo... can't say I lost any sleep over it ;)
     
  31. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    I had one crying today- she was being bratty on the playground (disrespectful to the teacher and not sharing), so the teacher that was outside with the kids told me that she needed a "sad face" on our behavior chart and she sniveled all afternoon "...but my mom is going to be soooo mad".... I told her to stop crying and think about what she should have done so she didn't get in trouble...at least the sad face affects her, some kids have one every day and it doesn't phase them at all!
     
  32. sarypotter

    sarypotter Comrade

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    I had one cry for 45 minutes today because I couldn't make it snow. :dizzy:
     
  33. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    You CAN'T??? But I thought you could do anything!!! :lol:
     
  34. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Back in pre-k I cried for at least 30 minutes once. It was the day we were learning how to draw a triangle--- we usually used these plastic stencils to do them, but I especially loved drawing 3 big dots to make my own. I know that's what I did instead of using the stencil and when my teacher asked me about it (I don't even remember what she said) I started BAWLING my eyes out. She sent me to the bathroom, but I still wouldn't stop.

    That's one of the very few memories that I have of being 5 :)
     
  35. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    When I was in 2nd grade we were learning cursive handwriting. I cryed and cryed because I could not get the m and n right. My teacher was ver nice and worked with me till I got it. I have both in my name so you can amagine.
     
  36. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Oct 16, 2008

    Just an update...
    The girl I made cry presented me with two amazing things:

    First a picture wishing me a "Happy Boss Day" (apparently it's national boss day) and she sees me as her boss LOL

    Then we have something special at my school to help recognize our students and faculty. She made her very own version of it on a card and presented it to me at homeroom. It said that "Ms. * is the best teacher ever"

    One is hanging up on the wall behind my desk and the other is hanging on our homeroom bulletin board. God I just love this job sometimes!!! :D
     
  37. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    That is the funniest thing I've heard in ages. Then I saw that you teach high school and cried laughing :)
     
  38. xmasqueen

    xmasqueen Rookie

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    I'm so glad to know other teachers also have melt downs at school. There are at least 3 to 4 times a year that I start bawling for some reason or other....sometimes it's just out of sheer frustration because some parent has gone to the Principal about some small incident that got blown out of proportion. God forbid there precious little darling get in trouble and the big bad teacher fuss at them. (rolleyes) Other than that I think that making children cry is just part of the nature of working with children. In your situation it sounds like she was upset because she had disappointed you.
     
  39. sarypotter

    sarypotter Comrade

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    Apparently, so did she. And the fact that I didn't make it snow? To her, that didn't mean that I couldn't make it snow. It just meant that I didn't want to because I'm a mean teacher.

    The good news is that she's helping me keep Advil companies in business. :huh:
     
  40. Beatifulchaos

    Beatifulchaos Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2008

    I think all the kids in America are helping to keep Advil, Adderral, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Prozac ,Valum, etc. In business. :)

    I know mine are. :)

    Hey, I look at this way...........................it is not going to scar them to shed a few tears.

    Aren't all teachers mean? ha ha ha ha ha ha
    God forbid that you should correct a student for (gasp) something that they did wrong. Kids don't do wrong anymore. It's not that they are "disobeying", they are choosing a different consequence. ha ha ha ha ahha ha ha haha ha (please get me a bucket because I might throw up).
     

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