Seriously: are we just babysitters now? THREE of the children (I will not call them adults because they are not behaving as such) out of 18 in my class, started to cry today because they had (a) forgotten to do the assignment; (b) did not understand the assignment, so hadn't done it; and (c) had done the assignment, but weren't sure if they'd done it correctly.
Yes: THREE people boo-hoo-ing in my 11 o'clock class when I announced that the assignment was due. Crying. Out loud. In front of everyone. And before we assume they were all girls, one little boy was up at the front, too, sobbing into his elbow while I tried to figure out what-the-tea-party he was doing with his face hidden in the crook of his elbow. I honestly couldn't hear what he was saying because he was so completely distraught and close to hyperventilating that I had my cell phone out and ready to call the Counseling Center to come get him.
Was this a major assignment worth 85% of their grade, you might ask? Perhaps a test that would indicate whether they could move up to the next level? Had I yelled at them? Surely, it was something that warranted three sobbing children.
I strolled into the classroom, and said, "Please turn in your outlines so I can give you feedback on them while you work on today's in-class assignment. Then I'll give them back to you so you can start planning your presentations today instead of waiting until Wednesday to get these back when we meet again" (or something like that). There was no yelling, no chastisement, no announcement of death or doom on my part. I didn't even raise my voice. So what was with the tears? The assignment, my dear Miserians, was an outline of their first presentation (which they will give in two weeks; the outline was worth 10 points and was your standard "Main Point I; Main Point II; Main Point III, etc.). Was it the Roman numerals that scared them?
For crying out loud (pun fully intended), I don't understand why weeping is now acceptable in an academic setting. Perhaps I am an insensitive cow for not understanding (sorry, to my bovine friends) how missing or not understanding how to do an outline that will likely be worth 0.002% of their overall grade warranted such drama.
It's enough to make me cry!