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  #1  
Old 01-05-2013, 10:48 AM
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Pisces_Fish Pisces_Fish is offline
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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.
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2013, 10:56 AM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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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.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2013, 11:38 AM
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teacherintexas teacherintexas is offline
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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.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:09 PM
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MsG MsG is offline
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Alabama
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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.
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  #5  
Old 01-05-2013, 12:09 PM
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mkbren88 mkbren88 is offline
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Arizona
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.
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2013, 12:27 PM
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MissScrimmage MissScrimmage is offline
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2nd Grade Teacher
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.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:31 AM
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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.
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2013, 07:37 AM
Curiouscat Curiouscat is offline
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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?
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2013, 07:56 AM
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czacza czacza is offline
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Quote:
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'
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2013, 10:49 AM
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Linguist92021 Linguist92021 is offline
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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.
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