Stealing in My Class

I had two students steal from me in the last 36 hours.  I hate that.  It really makes me feel betrayed!  I hate when I can’t trust my students.

The first case was as we were leaving yesterday.  I was dismissing the tables to put their chairs on their desks, come up and get a sticker or a candy if they had good behavior, and then line up.  We do it every day.  As I called one of the tables up, I noticed one of the boys, Eddy (not his real name) casually reached onto my desk and took some behavior reward slips – we call them Wildcats.  Wildcats go into classroom raffles and school-wide raffles.  Eddy had taken about 15 of them off my desk.

I was so mad.  I made him empty his backpack so I could check it for other things he might have stolen.  Then I wrote him up a discipline note for his parents to sign.

The second case happened this morning.

I have a group of 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students in my class at the beginning of the school day.  We do oral language/ESL stuff together.  After a half hour, I let them come up and get a Skittle from my Skittle tray, and then they head off to their regular classroom.  They know to take one, and I try to thank them often for being good, and I remind them to only take one.

This morning as they were going, I heard a loud rattle from the Skittle tray.  A few seconds later a girl told me that Karen (not her real name) took more than one.  As she was walking out the door I asked her if she had more than one.  She opened her hand and told me she took 5.  I was very sad.  I felt I got along well with Karen, and I thought she had more respect for me than to do that.  I guess I was wrong, and I think that’s what hurt my feelings.

I told her my feelings were hurt, and that I was disappointed.  Then I told her to throw them away, and I turned to do other things.  A student a few seconds later told me she didn’t even throw them away.  A check in the trash can confirmed that (she was standing next to it when I caught her).  I am so disappointed.

I feel like I just can’t trust any of my students now.

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Filed under behavior, classroom, Students, teacher

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