Every semester, I have students crying in my office about their grades. I find the whole situation very awkward and I am not sure of the best way of handling it. I have asked older colleagues and they express surprise that students would cry in front of me. Because, after all, students do not cry in front of them.
I am not a particularly easy or harsh grader - my average GPA is in line with most faculty. So then why do students feel compelled to cry and tell me all about their personal situations that led up to their bad grades and how they are going to get kicked out of school? Surely, it isn't my class alone that is going to kick them out. They must have failed several other courses leading up to mine. So how is that I get the tears?
I usually handle this on a case by case basis, trying to find a discreet way to get the student out of my office without a scene. Not once have tears convinced me to change someone's grade. I see so much crying from my own two biological children that I am not very swayed by adult tears over grades.
I am interested in learning how others handle the crying student.