There are things they don't teach you in teacher school (like how to deal with drug-sniffing dogs).
Dealing with crying kids in the throes of emotional meltdowns is one of them.
Since I'm trying to make myself useful while Mrs. Jayhawker is tending to my classes, I seem to have become a tear magnet.
On Friday, Miss Reading asked me to help with a crying student of ours, Cheer Girl, who was bawling in the corner and wanted to go home. Fine. I can deal with this. I already had Pinball Boy weep all over me earlier in the week, so this should be a piece of cake.
I pulled Cheer Girl into the waiting area of Mr. Enforcer's office, about the only quiet place we could talk, and listened while Cheer Girl sobbed out a story that went king of along the lines of "well Amanda and Stacey and this other girl, I don't remember her name - sob - and we're all friends - sob - and then there's these other girls in gym - sob - and they don't like Stacey - sob - but I don't know them - and they like Tristan and Derek and Stacey used to date Matt - sob - and they were giving us looks - sob - and then they started telling everyone - sob - that Tristan liked me, but I think he's a jerk - sob - and I'm not sure what their names are - sob - but they were telling people - sob - that I'm a slut - sob - and I don't want anyone to thing that of me - sob - and it's not true - sob - and I wanna go home!!!!"
After about fifteen minutes of tears, I finally got her calmed down, did a little self-esteem talk, and convinced her that running and going home wasn't an option. She pulled herself together and managed to make it through the day.
And that was just the beginning.
Monday I managed to get tears out of another one of my kids when I read him the riot act about bullying and picking on another kid (who's mildly autistic). Honestly, the kid I was getting after isn't a bad kid, just a goober most of the time, but he needed to be reminded that picking on others was not going to tolerated.
Today I had to work a referral for a sixth grader who lost his mind in the lunchroom and stomped on a full container of orange juice. This isn't a really big deal, just ten points and an after school detention, but apparently my little juice stomper (who fully admitted to losing his mind and stomping on the juice container) had just come off being grounded at home and was afraid he'd go right back to being grounded. The tears flowed and flowed and flowed. Oh good gracious. I put a note on the back of the referral for mom and dad to call me with any questions, thinking that I could tell them that at least he owned up to his mistake and they might go a bit easy on him.
I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. Regardless, I'm bringing along a big box of tissues.