In my class I see tears almost every day. Some are genuine, some are fake; some are sincere, and some are dramatic. You might think that I sound a little bit harsh. However, after teacher 1st and 2nd grade for 3 years (in addition to student teacher) I have found that tears come for all sorts of reasons. Of course, I am not a cold shoulder who ignores an upset, sad child. I am most definitely supportive and caring when a child is scared, upset, or sad. I am not however, a sucker. Here are a few reasons I had tears in my classroom this week:

I start passing out our weekly decodeable reader. This is a paperback book that has the week's spelling pattern throughout as well as the week's word wall words. It is on grade level so the majority of my kids can read it. However, I do have some kids that are struggling readers. One of them was very slow to get to the carpet to meet with my and his reading group. I see that he is starting to cry. I ask him what's wrong and tells me that he just can't read. These tears are genuine and sad. I reassure him that he can read and we begin reading. he needs support but he makes it through. The next day when we are reading in small group (this time reading a book at his level) he proclaims that now he can read and he is so excited to show me!

I have a student that is one of my leaders. His behavior is usually great. I can always have him do jobs or errands for me because he is so responsible. All the boys want to be his friend. One even pierced his ear like him. He can however be silly and persuaded by a few goofballs. He got in trouble in another class and had to change his behavior color. When the time came to change the color, he started to cry. He was crying because he knew he would be in trouble at home and he instantly tried to blame his actions on other kids. These tears are sincere but also to earn sympathy. I gave him the responsibility talk and said that tomorrow would be a fresh day.

Almost every day we do a one and a half minute time test with 25 problems. On Fridays we do a time test that is 5 minutes and 100 problems. If they pass the Friday test, they can earn a t-shirt or even a dog tag because they would become a math fact challenge winner! Today, after about 3 minutes, I hear someone talking to themselves and sniffling. I tell him to keep working, he still has plenty of time to get some problems done. After time is called, he just starts crying and having a little mini panic attack. He says this test is too hard and he gets too nervous and his head starts hurting. These tears are real and a quick hug cures all (probably just until next Friday). 

I haven't had dramatic tears in a while because I think they all realize now that I don't let them do it. Usually I get those kinds of tears at the beginning of the year when I have a kid change their color. They know they will be in trouble at home so they start having an all out fit, usually at the end of the day. To cure these tears I change their color a second time which means more trouble at home. usually the warning before the second change works but if it doesn't, the actual color change does. I have even had to change it a third time once or twice. Those kids don't pull those tears anymore usually.

I hate to see my students cry, even if it is silly or fake. They just need to learn skills to get them through the tough times and every set of tears helps me teach them. But all in all, we go through a lot of Kleenex and hugs in a year. Those two things get rid of tears the most.

1 comment:

  1. Awww. Poor kid who couldn't read! That makes me want to cry.

    I don't know how you do it. Tears all the time would make me insane. Real or not I would just be over the tears!