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04/22/2010

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Ah, that sucks. I am sure you would still like to believe that most of them are good kids.

I am curious. Were you ever told what's the best thing to do in this situation? What if it's a student stealing from another student, or a student stealing school property?

Kelvin, there is a process for reporting stolen property, but beyond that, my school has not really addressed the issue - either for students stealing from adults or from each other. It is a tough thing to teach them, especially when we don't know who did it.

Still, I know that most of them are good kids and was impressed by the number of them who seemed genuinely upset that someone had stolen from me. I was definitely hurt, but I am not taking it out on the entire population because I know it was only one or two kids who were involved in the theft.

I'm not condoning the theft, but one thing teaching has taught me is that you can't take personally every error in judgement kids make. They are children, after all, and I hope you'll find, in your career (as I'm finding in mine), that students the redeeming qualities of your students far outweigh their youthful transgressions.

That being said, as a teacher who brings photography into my room daily, I feel terribly for what happened to you. Pursue it, if you feel you can reap justice, but don't forget that you're not only a science teacher. You teach life skills, too.

Mr. Foteah, you bring up some excellent points. Certainly, I am not taking the theft personally. I'm not the only teacher who has had something stolen, nor will I be the last. Today, two kids had their wallets stolen from their gym lockers. Still, I agree that my students redeeming qualities far outweigh their negative ones. I try to stay positive and continue to hold them to high standards of interpersonal relations.

Is there any further news about the camera?

Will either DOE's insurance or your own cover replacement cost?

I think as teachers we are conditioned to just move on and take it all in stride, but to tell you the truth I think that is part of the reason teachers are being treated so poorly in so many classrooms. Student behavior seems to have no consequences and therefore gets worse. You missed an assignment well go ahead and take 3 weeks to make it up that's ok. You stole your teacher's camera or I Pod well I expected better from that person. Where did the respect go, for self, others, authority? They see something they like and take it. Never mind the teacher had to work hard to get the item and probably cannot readily replace it. Someone in your class knows who took the camera. I would make sure you have the class questioned. Make it a lesson in respect and responsibility. The person who did it should have to account for their actions. As teachers we are supposed to create a safe learning environment, but we cannot depend on students to share in this effort. It is time students felt more invested in their classrooms and education. We are supposed to teach, so teach students to be honest and trustworthy and stand up for what is right.

No word yet on the camera, and no, the DOE will not replace lost personal electronics. Alas, I fear my camera is gone forever! I totally agree with "Teacher" that lack of consequences only leads to worse behavior. Because theft is not addressed at my school, it continues to be a problem. I try at all times to serve as a role model for these students, and most of the time they respect me, but it just takes one having a bad day or not focusing on what is important for something like this to happen. Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised that so few things have been swiped thus far. Still, I should be more careful with my stuff so as not to give them the temptation.

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