A to Z Teacher Stuff ~ Teacher Resources, Lesson Plans, Themes, Tips, Printables, and more
Go Back   A to Z Teacher Stuff Forums > TeacherChat Forums > General Education

Thread Tools
Old 01-05-2013, 10:48 AM
Pisces_Fish's Avatar
Pisces_Fish Pisces_Fish is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,891
North Carolina
2nd grade teacher
How do you address theft (from you) in your classroom?

Odds are most of us have experienced it before, and this is not the first time it's happened to me. It's the first time for this particular class, however.

Someone has taken 2 self-inking stamps (they say 'good job', 'thumbs up,' etc.) It's really bugging me because they were a bit sentimental to me. My old team gifted them to me when I changed districts.

I really want to address this particular theft in a big way. I want to address it Monday morning at my morning meeting. Is that wrong? Should I not make a big deal out of it? I mean, I'm hurt and I want them returned, but I don't want to say the wrong thing or whatnot.

I'm curious how others have handled a similar situation.
Reply With Quote

Old 01-05-2013, 10:56 AM
JustMe JustMe is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 8,133
You teach second now? I think you should address it by telling your students the stamps are special to you because they were a gift and that they can be returned to your desk. Tell them everyone makes mistakes, but it's important to take the chance if given the chance to fix it.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2013, 11:38 AM
teacherintexas's Avatar
teacherintexas teacherintexas is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,576
Third Grade Teacher
With second grade, I'd just mention it like JustMe suggested.

When I taught fourth grade in a very, very rough neighborhood with a class that had a reputation of thefts and assault on teachers and other adults, I told the class if things were stolen or if I was hurt, I would not be calling parents first. They were stunned for a moment until I told them I would call the police first. Other teachers in my grade level had money and phones stolen and one was hit in the face. They were incredulous for a bit but I told them I have a right to report crimes as a citizen of the community, and that I cared enough for them that I wanted them to grow up right. I didn't have any problems with theft or assault, even though teachers on my wing did. I preached staying on the right side of the law as much as I did finishing school at that school. There were only two or three kids in each class who did not have at least one parent incarcerated and every single one of them knew someone in prison.

They told the gang violence/drug resistance officer that I said that and he stopped class, walked over to me, shook my hand, and thanked me in front of the children.

I hav never even mentioned theft or assaults where I am now since it is a different school culture.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2013, 12:09 PM
MsG's Avatar
MsG MsG is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 169
4th Grade Teacher
I'd address them in the same ways mentioned before...that they were a gift and that you are upset that they are missing. We always talk about how it makes them feel when something that is important to them goes missing. I usually (if it's a first offense of the year) talk about that sometimes we borrow things and forget to return them and that if someone did that, to please just return it. More times than not, that fixes it.

But then there's years where five finger discount is present every day. That's when the motion detector in the room becomes a video camera and I pretend to pull video. This year I've gone through backpacks. It's ridiculous.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2013, 12:09 PM
mkbren88's Avatar
mkbren88 mkbren88 is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 457
Kindergarten Teacher
I've only had one student steal from me, but I actually caught her rifling through my desk so it was easy to deal with. Since you don't know the culprit, I'd mention it like justme suggested. It's a good morning meeting topic since it deals with character traits and how to be a good citizen.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2013, 12:27 PM
MissScrimmage's Avatar
MissScrimmage MissScrimmage is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,424
Literacy Coach
I have 2 kletos this year! I have usually been able to catch them in the act or with the stolen item. However, my timer did go missing and it was ditched outside. A few of my students said they knew who had taken it, but nobody confessed. I simply said to the class that I bought the timer with my own money (a big deal in grade 1!) and that I was really sad it went missing. I told them I really wanted the timer back and would be really happy if someone found it and that I didn't even need to know who took it. They could simply put the timer back where it belonged.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2013, 02:31 AM
Blue's Avatar
Blue Blue is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,683
I had a student kick in my door and steal my computer. My resources told me who did it, and I called the parents. The parents would not do anything. The school did buy me a new computer.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2013, 07:37 AM
Curiouscat Curiouscat is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 466
I agree with all of the above. I usually have a search party after stating something like, "I bet I put it down somewhere, and it got stuck in someone's book. Who can help me search?" Then the thief has a way of returning it .

Mentioning it at the morning meeting also gives others a chance to mention if they are having a similar problem. Sometimes kids are afraid to turn in a thief because the person might be a bit of a bully, but when they hear you stand up for yourself they might speak up also.

There have been a few times times I have sent home a note to parents regarding the missing items. Parents would say, "I wondered why my child had 70 pencils I didn't buy." Or, my favorite, "My child said you gave them these 8 hardback, brand new books even though your name was on the inside." Really?
Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2013, 07:56 AM
czacza's Avatar
czacza czacza is offline
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 21,960
New Jersey
Grade 3
Originally Posted by Curiouscat View Post
I agree with all of the above. I usually have a search party after stating something like, "I bet I put it down somewhere, and it got stuck in someone's book. Who can help me search?" Then the thief has a way of returning it .
this is what I do as well. Sometimes I even offer a 'reward'
Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2013, 10:49 AM
Linguist92021's Avatar
Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 3,516
Central Valley of California
High School English (Alt. Ed.)
Usually the biggest chance to get it back is to let them know how you are affected by the theft (often they only see the object they take, and not the person that owns it) and by giving them the chance to give it back without a consequence.

I would not give a reward to get it back, because then in the future kids can band together, one takes something, then the other offers it for a reward and the 2 split the reward. This would probably be an issue in higher grades, not in elementary.
Reply With Quote

address, classroom, theft

Thread Tools

Forum Jump

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Mr. Rebates

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:11 PM.

Copyright © 1997-2010 A to Z Teacher Stuff, L.L.C.  All Rights Reserved.
Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.
Questions, comments, and suggestions: Contact Us
Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.