How to Manage Crying in the Classroom


Crying in the classroom can happen with children in a pre-school setting, with adolescents in the upper grades or anywhere in between the two stages. Unhappiness, stress, depression and emotional issues can trigger a crying episode. As a teacher, you owe it to all of your students to provide an environment with minimal distractions, where learning can take place. Yet, you should also make an effort exercise compassion for those students who experience a crying spell.

  • Take a moment to find out why the child is crying, without making it a spectacle for the other students. Go to a secluded area of the room or step outside in the hallway and gently question the child.

  • Give reassurance to the child in relation to whatever is bothering her. Sometimes, having someone to talk to, listen and understand is enough. Send the child to the school counselor if it doesn't seem like she is going to be able to redirect her emotions.

  • Contact the child's parent or guardian as soon as possible to discuss the issue. She may be able to give you some insight into why the child is crying. If you find out that crying is a chronic problem, you can troubleshoot the issue with the parent and devise a plan of action, if needed.

  • Speak with the students in the classroom, in age appropriate terms, about their classmate. If the child has experienced a traumatic event, such as the death of a family member, he may have periodic crying spells. Suggest that the students offer a tissue or a kind word if they witness their classmate crying.

  • Give the student ways to express his sadness such as allowing him to draw a picture or writing a letter. This can help him to deal with his grief more productively.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you work in a pre-school classroom or with other young students, ask for parent volunteers on the first day of school to help soothe those children who are prone to crying due to the stress of a new situation.
  • If a child consistently cries to gain attention or disrupt class, a disciplinary plan of action may be in order to curtail the behavior. Make sure to meet with the parents, the school counselor and administrators before implementing such a plan, so that everyone is on the same page.

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