Forum: Ask a Teacher

Help with 3 year old class that just cries and cries!!!!!
By dancedivadance
On Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:52 AM

Hello everyone,
I have been teaching for a very looooong time and have never encountered this problem. My new class of 3 years old just cry and cry. Wait, let me re-phrase that, they just scream BLOODY MURDER at the top of their lungs. The studio director even came in to try and help me calm them down but no such luck. I have 7 girls and 5 of the 7 just cry and cry and scream and scream. None of my old "tricks" or lesson plans work on them. The director said that if by next week, they are still acting the same, she will just tell their parents they are not ready to dance yet. If that is the case, I lose my entire class! I just don't know what else to do. I have tried everything I know to engage them but none of my old ideas/music seem to work with this group! Please help! I feel like a failure and maybe it is time for me to retire!!!!!!!!
thanks!

7 Replies to Help with 3 year old class that just cries and cries!!!!!

re: Help with 3 year old class that just cries and cries!!!!!
By jms9t2
On Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:02 PM
Oh no! This sounds awful for everyone involved. I'm so sorry you're dealing with that because I know that just one crier is tough, let alone four more. I'm sure that it's a chain reaction kind of thing too. Just like when they all have to go to the bathroom. If you've been teaching a long time, I'm sure you're already doing all the usual things, like keeping the goodbye with the parents short. What do the parents have to say about this? Can they offer any suggestions about their specific child? Normally I find class without the parents is best, but I wonder in this case, would it be helpful to have the parents sit in one class, so the kids feel safe and then try no parents the following week? I don't know, trying to think outside the box on this one. I'll keep thinking. It's a shame for the non-criers too who are just there for fun!
re: Help with 3 year old class that just cries and cries!!!!!
By dancedivadance
On Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:48 PM
Hi, thanks for the suggestions and the reply. Last week we did allow the parents to stay in but they all continued to cry. One girl would not even get out of her Dad's arms. The parents that did "sneak" out after being in there a few minutes had to come right back in when they heard them screaming and crying again. Our studio does not have a window so they can not see in or out. Most of the parents said it was separation anxiety and them just being shy. So I am still at a loss. And yes, it is a chain reaction. I had one child walk in and go get her spot and was dancing. When the screaming started it made her scream also. I am dreading tomorrow night.
re: Help with 3 year old class that just cries and cries!!!!!
By jms9t2
On Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:18 AM
Good luck tonight! Keep us posted. I'm interested to know how this works out, because it could happen to any of us! When I have a chronic crier, I usually just keep the class going and eventually they jump in even if it takes weeks. But when the majority of the class is crying, that's really tough.
re: Help with 3 year old class that just cries and cries!!!!!
By nadine4
On Wed Sep 19, 2018 08:42 PM
Wondering how it went tonight...maybe try having them all bring their favorite doll or stuffed animal with them and base the class around "their friends"? Keep us posted!
re: Help with 3 year old class that just cries and cries!!!!!
By dancedivadance
On Mon Sep 24, 2018 06:07 AM
Thanks for the interest. Well one child would not get out of her mother's arms and when she did put her down and stay in the room (along with the child's sister) the child laid on the floor and threw a crying temper tantrum. Literally beating the floor with her fists and screaming at the top of her lungs. So then the next child did the same thing! Again, chain reaction. The director told the temper tantrum child's mother (who started it all) that she was too young so maybe try next year and so she left and quit. The second child's mother ran out of the room and refused to let her child quit. She wants to give it more time. YUK! The third crier stood in the back and cried and eventually stopped but would not participate, she stood in the back the entire time with tears rolling down her face. The fourth crier was ok because I allowed her sister to stay in the class and dance next to her.
re: Help with 3 year old class that just cries and cries!!!!!
By dancedivadance
On Mon Sep 24, 2018 06:14 AM
Sorry ran out of room! So the fourth child did ok but her sister can not stay in the class every week. I think that is a habit I am going to have trouble breaking. Her sister is older (6) and was bored the entire time. So I do not think she will be there this Wednesday. And the fifth child cried and eventually stopped but stood in the corner and sort of at the end of class did her own thing. I tried to engage her and told her to show the class what she was doing and we could all do it. Nope, no luck, She screamed and ran back into the corner. So I just left her alone. My two good ones were distracted and I had to keep telling them not to look at the girls and to keep dancing with me. My young assistant kept taking the criers into the office to look at the fish tank. They would stop crying but would start up again when they came back into the studio. I just wanted to cry myself! I think this Wednesday will decide whether or not I will have a class. It was especially heart breaking when the director told me that the other 3 year old teacher had a perfect class and she even took in more so she now has 9 in her class. And they are all perfect angels! I feel like such a failure!
re: Help with 3 year old class that just cries and cries!!!!!
By dancedivadance
On Mon Sep 24, 2018 06:18 AM
Nadine4 thanks for the suggestion. I may tell the parents this week to let them bring a doll or animal next week (if the class is not cancelled!)

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