One of my students--truthfully not one of my favorites--received some bad news today. He got a call, asked if he could go to the hall to answer it because his dad was in the hospital, then came in and asked to speak with me in the hall. His aunt was calling to tell him his dad was not going to make it. The boy is probably 6'3", 250 pounds, and started sobbing out in the hall. I did what was instinct--give him a hug and just hold this boy who was twice my size while he cried. Then I walked him down to the office to talk with the guidance counselor, who is much better at that sort of thing.
He has been on my mind all day. I don't know all the details, and I couldn't go into them here even if I did, but he lives with his aunt. Mom and Dad aren't stable parents. He's had a pretty rough life already, and this could be a breaking point for him. Like I said, he's not one of my favorites--he's loud, disruptive, and doesn't do homework. But my heart goes out to him as he deals with these strikes against him.
Then 5th hour, a girl was fighting with her boyfriend and she broke down into tears in class also. Seems trivial compared to the other situation, but I can feel for her-who hasn't been there?
THEN 7th hour, another girl came in. I'm giving a test tomorrow, and she started crying, telling me she was unprepared for the test and was afraid she wouldn't do well. She has a D, and a bad grade could bring her down to an F. I helped her with the study guide, and she worked with another group of good students. I feel for her too--it can be unsettling when you need to do well on a test and you don't feel prepared because of poor choices you've made.
Three sets of tears in one day. It was about all I could handle. If I'd had another crier, I don't know what I would have done.