Crying in Class

Today I cried in class. No, not just cried- somewhere between crying and weeping you would find me. I was joined by many of my students (along with some who pretended they had a sudden onset of “allergies”)…

You see, we finished reading Marley: A Dog Like No Other. I had prepared myself, but I couldn’t control my tears. The worst part was that I had to read it twice, as I have two language arts classes.

It was a wonderful moment, as I sat in the front of the room- voice breaking, tears running down my face, listening to the sniffles growing louder around me. Hopefully, it showed my students that while we all enjoy the books that make us laugh and make us think, we can also enjoy books that make us cry.

After we finished, we spent a few minutes sharing dog stories with each other. Almost everyone had a story to tell and we learned a little more about each other. Books really do build community. :)

Oh, and I have a waiting list for my copy of Where the Red Fern Grows now. :)

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6 Responses

  1. When I read this book to myself I cried so hard, my dog thought there was something seriously wrong with me. So, I knew this wasn’t a book I should read to my class aloud.
    On the other hand, I did read Love That Dog aloud today. Oh yeah, tears did come.

  2. Will you email me privately and LMK what your e-mail address is so I can give it to Ali Edwards?

    Thanks,
    Stacey

  3. Happened to me with Kira-Kira last year. Oh did I bawl my eyes out!!!! And my principal came in too and saw me and four of my 5th graders crying. What a sight! IT’s still being talked about.

    That being said, your reaction to the book will have a lasting impact on your kids. They’ll always remember your deep connection to the text. Plus, they saw that it’s okay to become that deeply invested in a book. I’m sure Mary E. would be proud of you!

  4. “The Cay” is the book that does it for me. Oh, and we just read the second to last chapter in “Charlotte’s Web” and that wasn’t very pretty. We all cried when Sadako died.

  5. Yeah, I did that with “Merle’s Door”, another great doggie book–absolutely bawling, and of course feeling horribly guilty for every second I’m away from my dog, every time I’ve ever scolded her or not indulged her, every piece of bacon I’ve denied her–so I’m sitting on the floor hugging her nearly to death, and she’s going “What? What! Is it my fault? What did I do? You peeps are really weird. Can I have a cookie now? And while you’re down here, could you please scratch my tummy?” And then the library wonders why their book comes back with water stains all over the last 50 pages.

    Why can’t people write about their dogs BEFORE the doggies go to the great beyond, so the story can have a happy ending! Actually, I think these books are really written by dogs who are trying to use the guilt factor to get around all those silly little “don’t chew on the furniture or pee on the rug or eat the Thanksgiving turkey” rules that we humans make. Just when you’re getting ready to scold them, they give you that “Remember Merle/Marley/Old Yeller/insert-literary-dead-dog-here! You’ll be sorry you weren’t nicer to me when I’m gone” look and you’re toast. And doggonit, doesn’t it just work every time!

    Seriously, though, besides the fact that it’s great you’re all reading aloud to your students, I second Stacey–wonderful that you’re sharing this experience with your students–it will make them remember that books are more than just paper and glue and cardboard and ink–they really are alive and affect us profoundly.

    M.P. Barker
    A DIFFICULT BOY (in which no dogs die–I promise!)
    Holiday House
    http://www.mpbarker.net
    http://www.classof2k8.com

  6. The last tear-jerker for me and my students was Fig Pudding by Ralph Fletcher a few years ago. That became a landmark book for that loop. It was the first book I read aloud in 4th grade and they begged (successfully) to have it as their last book of 5th grade. We finished literally moments before the last bell.

    Heaven knows how I made it through Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles. When I read it to myself the first time, tears were streaming down my face for about the second half of the book.

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