Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tales of a Teacher: The Good, the Bad, and the Really Ugly

I'm back? But I haven't really gone anywhere.

I dont know why I've been MIA lately. No particular reason other than the fact that I dont know what to write about...I guess..
There are moments when thoughts creep in my head, and I'm like "Oooooo, post worthy!!" But then I forget, or I think it's not post worthy, or I think it's not post worthy and I force myself to forget about it. I dont like feeling that way, cause then I feel like I'm limiting and restricting myself and my thoughts. Which isn't really cool, nor fair.

Anyways, one of my students stole from me today. It broke my heart. For like a second. Then my broken heart turned into rage. I just dont understand how things like this happen.

I had a oatmeal pie at work today. Took it with me to K's classroom, where the first grade crew likes to hang out and have lunch. I hadn't been feeling so well, so I decided not to consume the oatmeal pie. Instead I brought it back with me to eat later. I set it on my semi circle table and continued reading the next chapter of Charlotte's Web in commemoration of Reading Month. After finishing the most recent chapter, I send a couple of student's to the semi circle table so we can continue our lesson. And I go to reach for my oatmeal pie, and it's not there.

"Where's my oatmeal pie?"
"I dont know"
"I didnt see it."
"What oatmeal pie?"

"I left it right here. It didnt just grow legs and walk away. Did you guys see it?"


Then, I see it. The smirk. The smirk that I know so well. The smirk from M. The one that I've gotten to know oh so well.

"Can you empty your pockets?"
While emptying his pockets and pulling out an oatmeal pie, M says, "My friend, D, gave me this."

Turns out D didn't even come to school today. And he carried on the lie with saying that D gave it to him yesterday. To make a long story short, M was sent to the office with a referral and the possibility of being suspended.

This has nothing to do with him stealing a cookie. Yes, it is just a cookie. Yes, he might have been hungry. Yes, he might be deprived of sweets at home. Yes, he is only seven years old. Yes, he may not really have known what he was doing. Yes, he may really have gotten it from someone else. Yes, he may have been scared and not really have known what to say.

Yes, for a bunch of other things.

But I have never felt so betrayed by one of my students. Things like this dont happen in my classroom. You hear about things like this from your colleagues, and you thank your God that your students know better than that. They know right from wrong. They have good morals.

And no matter what excuse you may give him, it just doesnt justify his stealing and then lying about it.

It makes me feel like I've taught him nothing this whole year.


nelson said...

Gee, I hope the boy isn't suspended. He might even like it not to go to school for a while. :)And he'll miss some lessons in school. He just need some explanation that what he did was wrong and he should not do that again.
And don't blame the attitude to yourself. There are SO MANY factors around.
Stay cool. You're doing a great job.
I love teachers:)

JUST ME said...

Sometimes kids don't even know why they steal. They just do. Just to see what it's like, maybe. Who knows.

Hopefully he figured out he didn't like it.

But, to be fair, Oatmeal pies are AWESOME.

Constructive Attitude said...

He stole AGAIN today :( and got suspended.

Margie said...

Stealing and lying from such a young child ...not good!
I hope the boy will be ok, though!
Maybe he just needs some guidance!


C said...

Asalaamu Alaikum

7 is still small. I know its wrong but you have to teach them at that age. These are the years when morality must be taught. These lessons will stay with them for a lifetime. I suggest you read some moral of the story books to them like Aesop's fables, Henny Penny (the one where she is baking bread) etc. I remember these stories so well from school and of course stories of the prophets if you are at an islamic school.

Sulthana said...

Awww. Don't be so hard on yourself. Kids aren't shaped just by their teachers - they are shaped by their families and others they have contact with.

linlah said...

Sometimes negative attention is the only kind a child knows, seems like the problem is at home.

Artistic Logic said...

i like that you punished him because at least he should know the consequences and never mind the excuses because if they aren't taught right and wrong now, then when?