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Tuesday, April 10, 2007



Whenever tears occur, I always offer a tissue. It's the great equalizer (plus it gives the student something else to focus upon for a few moments as they hopefully regain their composure).

Emma Jane

(A different question: do male faculty even keep tissues in their offices?)

can't think of a cutesy non-identifying name

When a student (or anyone sitting across the desk from me) cries, I do what I learned while working at a florist back in my undergrad days - just quietly move the box of tissues from the shelf on my side of the desk, to somewhere near them. They can take one or not, no pressure, and communication can keep flowing without drawing undue attention to the fact that they're crying.


I was crying in my undergrad advisor's office one day, and when I asked for a tissue he said "I don't keep tissues in my office. I find it encourages students." He did point out that the bathroom was across the hall.


My students are younger than yours (middle school) and while I don't offer tissues, I do offer the opportunity to take a minute to "collect" themselves.

A male teacher assures me that if a male middle schooler is seen crying by other middle schoolers, his life is over.


I would have done what "Can't Think of...' said. Incidently, I am all too familiar with the "academically-focused rage and shame". Ah, the good old days.


male student. full on crying. not in office. no tissues. ack.


I was once told by a faculty member at another university that he offers male students Snickers bars when they start to tear up since it allows them to collect themselves and "no one cries when they eat a snickers." I haven't tried this approach myself but I do keep tissues on hand at all times---just in case.


I'm not an academic but I was a law enforcement administrator. I agree with the approach of "Can't think of a clever name." Make the tissues available, make no comment then or afterwards to that person or anyone else.

Emma Jane

You know, I used to have a box of tissues in an appropriate location -- within reach of the student, but not obtrusively so -- on my desk. Before the building got renovated and all the furniture was rearranged.

I still think that even taking out the box without comment would have made things even worse for this particular student, but I may be getting a second box of tissues -- in the current setup, anything they could reach easily would be too far away for me to use.

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