October 23, 2012

Teaching Integrity

For various medical reasons, I have only been in school for two days in the past week. After a visit with the ENT today that confirmed that I have a severe double ear infection and cannot go back to work this week (because it's kinda hard to teach when I can't really hear... seriously), Joel took me over to my school so I could drop of my medical note to my principal.

While I was there, I decided to run to my classroom to check on the sub notes from the past 3 days. Before I even got there, though, I was stopped by various co-workers and students who informed me that today's sub actually left school in the middle of one of my classes. Yep. They were that bad.

I expected to find frazzled notes from the substitutes telling me what has been happening in my classroom. Instead, I found nothing. Not even a name of who had been with my students. (Perhaps because they were left unsupervised on more than one occasion?)

What I did find, though, is that my classroom was in shambles. My filing cabinet had been ransacked; the giant bags of candy from Sam's Club that I keep there were completely gone. Empty. All that was left was the plastic bag itself.

The plant pot I keep on my bookshelf of pens for student use (which I've had to refill on three different occasions already) was completely empty. I am not exaggerating whn I say there were probably 100+ pens in this thing. We have a good system going. Students take a pen, sign their names on the white board, and erase when they return. Any remaining names at the end of the day lose money from their paychecks (our school-wide PBIS) system for being "unprepared for class." Now? I have no pens to offer. And I'm so disgusted that they would steal them like this from me that I don't want to refill it... AGAIN!

And most disturbing is the fact that students also went through my personal desk. I keep a giant box (once again, from Sam's Club) in my desk of assorted sandwich crackers for the days when I need a snack or forget a lunch. Apparently, my students felt they were entitled to these as well, because more than three-quarters of the box was taken.

I feel violated. Betrayed. By students who have been whining all week about when I'm coming back because "they can't learn" without me.

I think this calls for a good lesson on integrity, because this behavior shows me that my students are clearly lacking in it.

I'm also trying to think of appropriate consequences. I'll never know exactly who was involved, but it had to be a good number of students. Something has to be done, right?

If you have any good suggestions, I'm open to them.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Erin, I'm so sorry that happened! There is nothing worse than knowing a kid has been dishonest or stole from you. It just is a knife to the heart. :(

    Sleep on it before you decide what to do.

    Get well soon.