High School Teacher Says Students Cry When Asked To Read Out Loud – 'Feeding Into These Moods Is Decreasing Resilience’

Should teachers be providing grace or pushing students to discomfort in the classroom?

High school students reading in the classroom. Skynesher / CanvaPro

A teacher who posted their recent experience on Reddit was unhappy with the emotional responses that her high school students expressed when asked to read out loud in class. 

Seemingly a basic request of teenagers, the teacher was criticized for not being empathetic to the stresses most teenagers face combined with the heightened emotional state of simply being that age.



A teacher judged her student for crying when asked to read out loud in front of her classmates — ‘These kids cry too much.’ 

The teacher wrote, "Asked a [high school student] to read aloud in my World Language class, and she gave me attitude, stormed out crying ... What’s with the crying?"


While many Reddit users criticized the teacher’s lack of empathy, others suggested that it’s not sustainable for her to give “too much grace” in the classroom. 

teen girl reading in class halfpoint / Canva Pro

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Experts suggest that practice and discomfort can be effective in helping students combat their fear of public speaking, a skill that’s essential to navigating adulthood. 

Of course, there are many opinions on the topic of anxiety and fear of speaking in the classroom, and plenty of experts suggest grace and trust are the only ways to ensure healthy communication among students. Writing assignments, smaller groups, and more volunteer-driven opportunities can provide a safer experience for students struggling with anxiety. ​​

She said that her student has started using ‘behavioral communication’ to get out of classroom situations.

However, despite debates from experts about student anxiety in the classroom — whether diagnosed or not — this teacher has their own opinions on dealing with students. “I’m insecure about many things, but compassion and ability to see a situation for what it is aren’t it,” the teacher added. 

“Should you think me ignorant or malicious, please understand that freely expressed teen angst is a product of open lines of communication, not stifled ones.” 


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The student, who she said she has a “great rapport” with, was clearly having a tough day in the classroom. “She was not feeling it at all.” However, instead of giving her space or asking for a private conversation after class, she deliberately called her out to participate in class, which resulted in her crying and running out. 

“I think that feeding into these moods decreases resilience and that behaving at an acceptable baseline regardless of your personal feeling is a reasonable expectation,” she wrote. 

However, it seems she’s setting impossibly high standards for her high-school-aged students. They’re experiencing heightened emotions and dealing with personal struggles that inherently follow them to school. 


two high school classmates reading a book DAPA Images / Canva Pro

Expecting these students to have all the coping mechanisms, de-stressing techniques, and big-picture mindsets to “act as adults” in the classroom seems misguided. They’re afraid of being judged by their classmates and isolated by intellect. They don’t need to be afraid of their teachers, either. 

Commenters debated over the best way to handle anxiety in the classroom.

The teacher noted, “I understand anxiety just like I understand everyday physical 'weakness,' two things that go away with practice. Practice that you’re probably not going to do without a push.”


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The teacher’s statement comparing physical “weakness” to anxiety is misguided, and many parents find it sad that there are teachers who feel this way. 



Many parents whose children have similar classroom experiences argued that “making a child cry is never okay.” 


Forcing children into incredibly uncomfortable situations — to the point of behavioral communication like tears — might indicate that they need extra support. Perhaps they’re dealing with personal struggles outside the classroom or worried about embarrassment or anxiety in front of their peers. 

Ultimately, educators have unique teaching styles, but connection is the root of all good relationships — whether in the classroom or not. 

Give children the same respect you expect from them, whether that means having a private conversation about growth or giving them grace with classroom participation. 


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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.