Thursday, April 16, 2009

It is wrong to steal, right?

Earlier this week, a teacher came to me concerned about some of her classroom decorations that had gone missing. She wanted me to interrogate the class until someone broke down and confessed and began to beg to be taken out back and have their hands cut off because how could anyone steal when we all know it is so wrong to find the culprit. While I don't mind being the bad guy, I do think it is important for teachers to handle to more minor aspects of classroom discipline or otherwise I'd only be dealing with discipline issues and what fun is that?. Besides, as much as I've wanted a Matlock moment where the guilty party suddenly begins spewing truths, it has yet to happen.

The teacher went back to the classroom and talked with the students. Soon a name emerged. She called the student's mother and confirmed the child indeed had stolen a ridiculous coconut pirate head from her. This satisfied the teacher because justice had been served but apparently we all need to pause for a moment of silence for the temporary loss of this student's basic freedoms.

A day passes and all is well. That is, until a teacher came to tell on this teacher. I remember being surprised that middle school students still tattled but they don't hold a candle to the tattling that the adults can do. Apparently, this teacher (who really is a good teacher) had made a bunch of posters on the poster maker for her church which totally made me feel liking running through the halls screaming because I've been reminding them all year to only make posters for educational purposes because the damn paper and ink cost a freakin fortune.

Again, I went to counsel talk with the teacher. And yes, she had made some posters. According to her, "Maybe seven. No, make that about ten," posters. In full color. With a background and all. In fact, she had to change out the ink cartridge and reprint a poster when the ink ran out midway.

When I reminded her of what should have been freaking obvious stealing was wrong, she cocked her head in that confused puppy dog look and said, "But it was free."

After my head exploded, I calmly smiled while biting my tongue to the bleeding stage and reminded her that the poster paper and ink were NOT free since the poster maker fairy no longer brought presents especially now that the economy was in the toilet.

And I'm sure her student had the same idea. It was free.

In her defense, she is now on poster maker restriction going to pay a set amount to make this situation right. Lesson learned. Even if I didn't know there was a lesson to be taught there.

On a different note, one of my teachers begged me to follow her home because a bird had built a nest in the wreath on her front door. There were baby birds inside the tiny wreath. Yes! Spring is here!

36 comments:

Deb said...

at least she didn't laminate the posters!

i want to say oooh, how cute are those little baby birds, but they look a little creepy. but sweet. but they're still birds. little, dinosaur looking birds.

yay spring!

Hit 40 said...

I have expensive calculators stolen -TI graphing $120 a pop and sometimes the special overhead $225. I have almost always got them back. I have a good repoire with the kiddos. I just ask the next day in my classes if someone accidentally walked off with the calculator that I understood. We are all so busy at the end of class. You might have put it in your bookbag. I really need it back it is a special $225 calculator. They always pop it up!! And, I thank them.

Good for you confronting that teacher for using the poster maker. Others may be laughing at what looks like pettiness. But, money is tight for us!

dizzblnd said...

I love the way you use the strike through! It is so damn hilarious the real thoughts that run through your brain that you struggle so hard to keep to yourself

Mrs. K said...

never mind teaching - she should be in politics....right?

Gaston Studio said...

Mrs. K is right, you missed your calling for you clearly have great diplomacy skills!

So the teachers tattle on each other? Dare I ask if they're primarily females (who are generally quicker to point a finger!)? Isn't it unbelieveable how so many people think stuff they take (remove?) from an office is free?! Who do they think pays for this stuff in the first place? Oh, I forgot, it was the poster maker fairy! THAT's who you should have taken out back and had her hands chopped off!

Love the pic of the baby birds in the wreath. My neighbor ALWAYS has a bird nest right in the middle of her hanging ferns on the front porch. I think it's adorable, she thinks it's a pain in the ass.

Great post, as usual!
Jane

Jan said...

You know, I've never thought of an elementary school as hotbed of white collar crime.

Shows what I know.

"But it was free..." *rolls eyes*

darsden said...

I love the way you write and then correct it with your strike over. Love it. So, you have your hands full with those lil teachers don't you. LOL

Dee-Zigns Handcrafted Jewelry said...

Its like workers who "take home" pens and sticky notes from work and don't think they're stealing. Beth, you're so good about keeping your cool, I would have exploded on that teacher when she acted innocent. Grow up, damn it!

On another note, we had a bird building a nest in the wreath on my front door and didn't realize it until we opened the door to let friends leave and the crazy bird flew in our house! what a nightmare that was!

Anonymous said...

Teachers don't tattle on others in school. Their adults,their setting the example.They wouldn't go behind others backs and tell the principal someone else is not making their children mind then turn around and let theirs hang from the lights.They wouldn't walk by a classroom and get onto a child that has their head down, while the teacher is in the room. And there could have been a reason the child had their head down.But they wouldn't do that because they have control of their room and never write anyone up(60) times in a year(because their wimps and can't control their own classroom and have to go get the principal to do it).
You really wouldn't believe that would happen would you? Teachers are there to help to teach not get anyone in trouble.They don't have time for that.

Jan said...

Anonymous, Beth is a school principal. I'm sure she knows what is going on in her own school.

And while we're on the subject, let me just say that I hope you are not a teacher. If you are, I hope you are not teaching MY children. At least until you learn the difference between "they're" and "their".

only a movie said...

OOhhh, Beth, some anonymous drama for you.

I've said it before - even with the most challenging students in this fair city/state, sometimes the adults are far far more challenging.

Beth, I hope you're earning your peanuts, because you obviously have tons of patience.

followthatdog said...

I am constantly surprised at how entitled some people feel. It is even more frustrating when she felt that she was just in putting the poor student through the ringer. You are a saint, I'd be tempted to slap her silly.

Jason said...

The teacher was doing it for Jesus. (I had to make that joke).

Give her a detention!

Annonymous needs to go back to English class.

Kristina P. said...

Wow, teachers can be entitled too! Who knew? :P

Gaston Studio said...

LOVE Jan's and Jason's response to annonymous!!
Where do these people come from anyway?

Michel said...

Dooh! How humiliating is it to stand up for all teachers and then forget the difference between their, they're and there.

I blame the public school system.

PS So let me get this staight?? Stealing is WRONG?!? Damnitt! I'll be right back. I have to go..ummm....return something I borrowed.

Michel said...

There should have been a sign

Michel said...

PPS. Why are all the birds in your state SCARY!?

Midwest Mommy said...

I was a first grade teacher before staying home I love, love, love hearing school stories from your point of view!

Beth said...

When I wrote this post this morning, I knew I was opening myself up to some hate mail because of being irritated with a teacher (funny thing is I can be irritated with my kids and/or husband and I don't worry about hate mail). I didn't realize so many of you guys would stand up to an anonymous negative poster. Thanks! You just made my day (night)!

Anonymous is entitled to his/her opinion. While I can be annoyed with the actions of a teacher, it doesn't mean I think all teachers are making the same decisions that caused the aggravation in the first place. We are all human and we all make mistakes (even teachers AND adminstrators {{GASP}}).

The teacher involved is a great teacher who made a bad decision. She took action to correct her mistake. And I am hoping she learned a lesson. No reason to dwell there. Tomorrow is another day.

HeatherPride said...

That teacher obviously never had a teacher tell her that when you point your finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you! Or something like that.

Uh, cute bird?

HeatherPride said...

Oooo, Beth, a troll!! How exciting! That's when you know you've made it in the blog world. I'm putting you on my blog roll so I can say I knew you back when...

Anonymous said...

I am sorry you all thought I was talking about your school. I wasn't. I wasn't putting out a negative post. I was being sarcastic and agreeing with you. I wasn't against you. I was just using an example I know of where a teacher was doing the same thing to someone I know and comparing it to what you were saying. I was trying to use sarcastic humor and evidently failed miserably. I guess I have a sick sense of humor. But I was not posting a bad review I love your blog because I get it. I was trying to use the sarcastic humor you use and again as I said I failed miserably.I am sorry if I offended anyone.
When you talked about how tattle tales teachers are I was agreeing with you and using it in a sarcastic tone. Oh no teachers would not do that.I won't post any more sorry, but I was agreeing with you. And no I am not a teacher thank God , I could not handle the teachers or the kids.

Anonymous said...

also I don't live in, is it Georgia? I live another state completely. I just happened up on your blog one day and loved it, I even have it on my Google page. Again I am sorry I offended anyone this was not hate mail at all if you would read the post again(minus the mistakes) you would see I was talking about something completely different. Just comparing the fact that teachers will tell on someone else and be doing the same thing behind their own door. Please do not be mad and keep up your blog I love it.

Beth said...

Anonymous - I promise, even if you didn't agree with me, I wasn't upset. It is okay for people to have different opinions and views. Sometimes I have the same problem with how my humor comes across. I mean one thing and it comes across in a different manner. Now I totally get what you were meaning. Much like the teacher getting upset with a child for stealing when she was doing the same thing.

Please feel free to comment again. Even if you don't agree. I'm flattered that you took the time to comment and then to clarify.

Anonymous said...

That is why I enjoy your blog so much, the things you really think are marked out. Most of the time they are what I would have said to, but you can say it in a much better way than I can. I feel we have the same outlook about people sometimes you just come across in a much better way than I can. I evidently come across mean rather than funny sarcastic.My friends get me, but I should have clarified for people who didn't know me or get me. thanks but I will be quiet from now on and just enjoy the post.

Mrs. K said...

Beth- why would anyone make a necklace out of teeth unless they are shark teeth of course ;)- really who does that?

that shit is freaky

Beth said...

Mrs. K - I promise you, there are some weird people out there. I'm relieved you aren't one of them.

bernthis said...

it reminds me of people who get off on ripping off big companies. They act as if no one gets hurt when in the end we all do by paying higher prices.

Vodka Mom said...

I was going to say that nobody likes a tattle tale, but........

David said...

Your style of writing with the strike through is very effective and helps get your point across in such a humorous manner. I am a fan!

Bee and Rose said...

Ok...Not only am I loving this post, but the comments are great too!

Back in the day when I taught in public school, I used to get a giggle whenever I would hear a teacher head off to tattle...it does happen! I have also witnessed teachers stealing paper clips, rubber bands, etc.! Theft and tattling ran rampant in that school! lol!

♥ Braja said...

Stealing is wrong?

Bugger...

Candice said...

I would have totally stolen the coconut pirate head.

ARGH!

Queen Of Relationships said...

So, are you meaning to tell me that the teacher made a HUGE deal out of the pirate head and then she turned around and made posters for her church? Wow. Did you call her parents? I think the she needs to be grounded.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

It never ceases to amaze me when people can clearly spot wrong-doing in someone else but not in themselves. God, I hope I'm not one of them.