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Monday, February 06, 2006

Why I can only teach the 12 and other sect.

Today in one of my classes, a professor made a student cry.  The professor didn't do anything that should have made a 21-year-old college student cry.  I think the student was just having a bad day and a little bit of mild criticism in regards to a homework assignment along with frustration brought her to tears.

Instead of feeling bad for the student, I felt bad for the professor.  If the professor had been mean or cruel in some way, I wouldn't have thought about her feelings at provoking the student to tears.  But from what can tell about her, the professor is one of the kindest people I know and would never want to make a student cry, during class, in front of the other students.  She felt really badly about it and apologized (which is kind of a weird thing to do.  "I'm sorry I made you cry.") 

If a 1st grader starts crying, I'm on top of it.  If a 5th grader starts crying, I can deal with it.  But if a (for all intents and purposes) adult student began crying in the middle of my class, I think that I might freak out a little bit.

And that's one of the many, many reasons I plan to work with elementary-aged students.


Anonymous the reflective teacher said...

Middle Schoool kids cry at the strangest times:

Maybe when we yell at them.
Maybe when we catch them cheating.
Maybe when we call their parents.
Maybe when we ask the kindly to sit outside and forego the reward.
Maybe when we say sometihng in class (offhandedly) which relates to their personal lives.
Maybe when they come to class late.
Maybe when they shut their locker.
Maybe when we say, "Take notes."
Maybe when they fail class.

But these are reasons adults cry, as well. And we never share those reasons.

5:30 PM  
Blogger nick said...


6:06 AM  

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