Children Touching My Belongings

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by cutelilram, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. cutelilram

    cutelilram Rookie

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    Jan 13, 2010

    Ok, today was the last straw. Ever since September my students have been using my pencils, pens, tape, markers, paper, and whatever else one can think of that would belong to a teacher. I walk around the room and see them using my mechanical pencils. I take it away from one and the next period another kid has it. They erase the board without asking and put all of the papers on my desk into random piles to the point where I don't know where anything is.

    Today, as I was getting ready to leave at 3:30 I noticed that my classroom keys were not on my small group table, which is where they had been all day. Now the keys are attached to one of those plastic spiral wrist chains and the kids, mostly the girls, love to play with it. There have been other times when one girl had taken it to lunch and returned it saying that they forgot it was on their wrist. I have spoken to them about not touching my things and yet they continue to do it. Now the keys are missing, I don't know who took them, and I am so **** pissed. I'll be even more pissed if I get written up for losing the keys or made to pay for them to be replaced. I am fuming!!!

    What should I do tomorrow to resolve this because right now I just want to tell them off. What do you do in your classroom to prevent your students from using your items and from touching your papers?
     
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  3. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Jan 13, 2010

    I tell them certain areas are 'Teacher Zones' I know that's "bad" and builds a barrier, but I keep stuff students don't need in 'Teacher Zone' It seems to work. I also usually keep keys on my neck, or in my desk. But I haven't had the problem to the extent you've had. I'm not sure what else to say. The 'Teacher Zone' worked and was a student driven phrase from second and third graders. They only took off my table/desk if I told them they could.
     
  4. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jan 13, 2010

    First, I rarely have 'my' stuff. Basically everything in the classroom is 'our' stuff. And yes, I buy most of it myself. I just like to make as much available to the students as possible, including art supplies, etc.

    Secondly, everything has a labeled box or drawer. The tape has a drawer, the pencils have a cup, the keys have a hook, etc. When I need them, they are there, which is why I don't mind sharing. If they aren't, the classroom STOPS until it is found or put back. It sounds like you didn't realize they were gone until the kids left, but if there is a hook for them, then you can visually check throughout the day to make sure they are on there.

    Thirdly, if you really need certain items to be totally yours, can you color code them? The kids were not allowed to use pen in my room, so all my pens were that light pink (they sponsor breast cancer research). If a kid was holding a pink pen, it was mine-they didn't want to be called out, so they never used them! I also had Spongebob pencils-the kids never brought those in for some reason, so they were obviously mine as well.

    Lastly, the paper issue is a big one. They should not be touching ANYTHING on your desk. Can you move your desk to a corner, and they are not allowed over there unless they are conferencing with you? Or put all papers immediately into a drawer/closet/file folder so they are out of sight?

    How is the general organization of the room? I know in mine, students come in on the first day to everything in a labeled spot. From day one. It's super important to me that everything be in it's spot, and they can clearly see where that spot is, so they work to please me by putting it back! If students are taught to appreciate organization, maybe they will help keep things organized?

    Maybe this will help?
     
  5. ahodge79

    ahodge79 Companion

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    Jan 13, 2010

    Hi There, well I would have my desk off to the corner and maybe have a filing cabinet to put that stuff in so it's out of sight? I would come up with a more secure spot for your keys too. I always kept mine in my purse in the filing cabinet. That was elementary though. If you have to, you could lock the drawers on your desk too. But definately have a conversation with each class about the 'teacher zone'
     
  6. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jan 13, 2010

    Yes, I also have my desk in the corner and I tell them (because my area is such a mess!!) that there is a monster under my desk. They know I am kidding but they get the point. They are NEVER allowed around my desk, and I have never had a student touch my things that were on my desk. If they are lying all over the classroom, they are pretty much up for grabs.

    My desk, my side chair, my whistle and phone - all totally off limits and not touched. Get your stuff into one area, keep your keys on your wrist, and let them know STAY AWAY FROM MY DESK OR ELSE! Then enforce it. I would even go so far as to get a cheap picket fence to designate my area if necessary. I don't think you can expect them not to pick up your stuff if it is all over the place. (I do use bins for reading groups and have"my" stuff in the bins and they do not get into it without asking.)
     
  7. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jan 14, 2010

    Have a place for everything, and teach students where things go! Take a couple of hours and label everything!!! My desk is off limits, and there has not been a single problem. Teach students where you want papers to go. Be consistent! I have a basket for EVERYTHING, and it is always part of my dismissal instructions. "X paper goes in the basket on my desk. X paper goes in the basket on my table..."

    Students love tape, staplers, pens, paper, etc. They SHOULD be using them! So create a student supply area, and let them have free reign of those supplies. I have a little rolling cart, and it has crayons, chalk, pastels, markers, paper, scissors, design scissors, magazines and masking tape on it. Students are free to use any of those supplies. The colouring materials are all lost ones or left over from other years. I have a couple of staplers that came with the room that I think my students are ready to have full access too. They weren't at the beginning of the year!
     

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