Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tear Jerker

It was an 11th grade special ed English class. They were reading Of Mice and Men. Or, actually, their teacher was reading it aloud to them.

The lesson plan called for the instructional aide to read the last chapter. When she stumbled over a couple words, telling the class she wasn't used to reading aloud, I got the hint that the teacher usually did the reading. So, I asked if she would prefer it if I read the last chapter to them.

I don't know if I've ever actually read that chapter before. I've been in classes that were studying it, so I knew what was coming.

I read. They sort of followed along. And most of them knew what was coming as well.

Perhaps it was the anticipation. Perhaps I was just overly tired. But I felt myself tearing up. And I tried to hold it in.

I did an admirable job... for a while. And then I lost it.

The instructional aide had to jump in and finish the chapter for them while I went in search of a tissue. And hoped my makeup wasn't running.

How embarrassing.

I don't cry in front of classes. They can do their worst to me. I hold on to it until I'm alone in the room or at home by myself. But this time I just couldn't hold it together.

Ah well...

16 comments:

  1. I think I probably would have teared up too reading the final chapter. I don't know, maybe for these particular kids maybe it was good to see a "soft" side to a teacher and that teachers have feelings too. Now in a regular class, I might think different......but I do think it is good for kids to see adults cry (for appropriate things, grief, sadness in a movie, book, etc.)

    betty

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  2. That would be really tough. But I think perhaps it's a good thing. The kids see what an impact a book can have on a person emotionally.

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    1. Yeah, I hope it was a good thing for them. I rather think I'll be hearing about it later, though.

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  3. It seems a great thing...kids need to make friends with books.

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  4. It is an emotional scene. It just means Steinbeck did is job right.

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  5. That is totally understandable. That book is amazingly powerful. I don't think I could've avoided it either, to be honest.

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    1. I probably should have let the instructional aide read it.

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  6. Awww Liz! I cry all the time when I'm reading books aimed at little kids. I can not read The Giving Tree without crying for a start.

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    1. That one does it to me, too. Just so long as it's not in front of other people.

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  7. I need a reading list of all the books I should have read. Of Mice and Men was on the curriculum list when I was at school but my class were assigned To Kill A Mockingbird so I never had the push to read it. Given English Literature in schools in England is now focussing on British literature and pushing aside all the American literature that has been on the curriculum for donkey's years, I really should read them!

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    1. I never got a chance to read either in school. To Kill a Mockingbird I read later. And I don't think I've ever really read Of Mice and Men, but I've seen it in enough classes to feel like I've read it.

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  8. I have not read that particular book. But now I am intrigued. I wonder what the reaction of the students would have been if you had acknowledged the emotion the passage evoked in you. It would be interesting to know if they understood and perhaps were feeling the same.

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  9. I was a student once-I know! I was!:) Anyway I had a teacher that teared up reading from "To Kill a Mockingbird". I know it was about Boo when he was found to have saved the kids. It made me appreciate the teacher more and made me reread the book. So one sees most of the kids who might snicker at a teacher being moved by a great book but what you may not know is the one or 2 students you have deeply moved

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  10. I love it. The power of the written word, eh? It's a rare day a book makes me cry, but when it does the author either deserves a medal, or a smack. I made my editor cry with my sequel. Oops. I wonder if I should be smacked or awarded?

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  11. I am certain there are students who will snicker about it, but I am also sure there are far more students who will be inspired to study the book so they understand. That will go back and reread the parts they zoned out for. That might let themselves get caught up in a book and develop a love of stories and characters and escape. Poor you - I would hate that as well, I cry at everything, but not in front of people... but all things for a reason, right?

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    1. I don't know if it would make a difference to these students, but thanks for the sentiments.

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