teaching and crying: the two go hand-in-hand

surprisingly, this is not about me crying over school, but rather the joyous moment when i made a child cry.

by joyous, i mean “i still feel awful about it”

one of the boys in the first grade class i work in, who is typically a sweet, if goofy, boy (and seriously one of my favorite kids) (teachers NEVER have favorites, though), said something not-so-nice about a girl in the class. i overheard (the girl, thank god, did not), and after i finished up what i was working on, went over to his desk and got down at his level and quietly asked him why he had said that. clearly, he had no answer, because i think he was just…in a mood. which happens. but when you’re 6 and 7, it is hard to remember that your words pack a powerful punch. and i wanted to be sure he knew that i had heard, and that while i knew he was a kid who normally never said that, he still couldn’t start saying that kind of mean stuff.

and then his eyes welled up with tears, and i was like OH CRAP. my teaching partner said he cries at the drop of a hat. this is vaguely good to hear. but mostly i felt terrible. experience has taught me that little kids, more often than not, will forgot a wrongdoing (especially a minor one). and i know i did the right thing.

however. when a kid cries as a result of you telling him something? YOU WILL FEEL LIKE THE WORST PERSON ALIVE.

so. i am drinking my coffee and feeling guilty now. and wondering…how else can i address minor bullying moments in the classroom?