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Making Space for an Emotional Student

What can you do when one of your students gets so angry and frustrated that they begin crying uncontrollably? What if it's just disengagement to the point that the lesson can't continue because you as the teacher cannot move forward until the child's feelings are acknowledged and addressed?

These moments expose our relationship, not just with our students, but with ourselves as educators and humans. We must remain grounded within ourselves, empathizing with our student and remaining kind but curious as to what this moment, that mistake, the stakes, all could mean and how they are contributing to your student's perceptions.

I think helping the student not feel shame for crying, asking them (once they are composed enough) what they are thinking and feeling. There is almost always a lie being told and believed when a child begins crying in a private lesson.

I believe it's our job as educators to gently find and show to the child what the lie is and what is actually true. Redirect....with kindness, curiosity, and presenting the truth.

To leave you with a question...if someone is having an emotional moment, can you ask yourself and them a version of " is this thought/situation/feeling true?"

Book Recommendations:

The Courage to Teach by Parker Palmer-for sensitive educators who realize that they will only be able to meet their students as deeply as they've met themselves.

Let's Talk: Making Effective Feedback Your Superpower by Therese Huston-for the educator/coach /manager looking for concrete ways and scripts to communicate and connect with students and direct reports to create positive change.

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