When it's good to cry in front of pupils

Most teachers want to keep emotion in check in the classroom. But a new Twitter thread shows that timetabled tears can be healthy for teacher and pupils

Adi Bloom

man, crying

It can be an awkward moment: when, unexpectedly, personal emotion overtakes a teacher in the classroom.

But, for one 6ft 6in English teacher, shedding a tear in the classroom offered an opportunity to teach pupils a valuable lesson.

David Alderson, a Nottinghamshire head of English, tweeted the following:


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Mr Alderson went on to say that he is a bald, bearded strongman who pulls trucks in his spare time (his Twitter profile shows him doing exactly that). He therefore believes that showing emotion in the classroom provides a valuable lesson to pupils.

Several other teachers expressed approval at the idea of chalkface emoting. One newly qualified teacher said how important it was that boys saw men talking about their feelings in the classroom.

Others, meanwhile, offered their own experiences of timetabled tears. It was English teachers, in particular, who found that classroom declamation could bring a catch to the throat and a tear to the eye. Between them, they offered a reading list of surefire tear-jerkers.

But it is not only English teachers who found that a well-planned weep could prove more effective than any number of revision sessions.

And Mr Alderson’s pupils seemed comfortable with the idea that their strongman teacher could have an occasional weep. Asked how they responded, he said:

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Adi Bloom

Adi Bloom is Tes comment editor

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