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.