Friday, November 5, 2010

like old china

I have a motley collection of students in my class this semester: lovebirds, Pig-Pen, and now a brand new group--the fragile ones. These students have tender hearts and end up with hurt feelings easily and often. They take constructive criticism and questions about their research project personally and they act as though my feedback will either make or break them. With every other student or team, my constructive criticism goes in one ear and out the other. To have students not only listen to but care about what I have to say astounds me. 

I tiptoe around these students, who are like old china--ready to shatter at the slightest pressure. I'm often at a loss for how to deal with them. I want to give honest feedback, but I have to carefully consider my words and delivery. I give them the grades they earn, but when I write that "B" or "C" on top of the assignment, I grimace a little, knowing that hurt feelings will ensue.

After class one Thursday, I complained to Brad about having to coddle these sweet, but breakable students. He looked up from the TV and said, "You, of all people, are complaining about others being too sensitive? Are you kidding me?"

My husband, he nurtures me, but he also calls it like he sees it.

So, I tiptoe, and cheer lead, and try to deliver bad news (and bad grades) to these precious, fragile ones with care. Life will toughen them up soon enough. I don't need to be the one to do it. I want to prolong their sweetness as long as possible.

No comments: