Sent the wrong student to the office on purpose....

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by Pi-R-Squared, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    OK, there are two students who are notorious for making noises and whistling. So on Friday, someone was being obnoxious and disrupting my lesson so I wrote someone up and sent him to the office. I knew I was writing up the wrong person BUT I was waiting for the guilty person to fess up. Everyone in the class knew who the real culprit was but he refused to admit guilt. It got to the point where other students were admitting that they were whistling just to keep me from sending an innocent student down. I told the innocent student to take the referral down. Later, the P walks back with the innocent student and talks to me in the hall saying the student didn't do anything. This was true and I told him I was about to e-mail him the real culprit and that he did not immediately admit guilt. Then I told the P the guilty person and the P told me to get him. Once outside, he hemmed and hawwed but finally said he was the one bothering students......

    Now, I tried to talk to the P after school and he said, "Go enjoy your weekend. We'll discuss this on Monday." So I ask quickly, "Is everything good?" and he said, "We'll talk about it on Monday."

    Looking back at the situation, I guess I shouldn't have sent the wrong person down to the office BUT I was waiting and waiting for the real guilty person to fess up... I figure that wasn't the correct way to handle that situation.

    I hope the P doesn't come down too hard on me for this! :(
     
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  3. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    What did you say to the innocent student?
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think it was a really bad move to knowingly write up a student who didn't do anything wrong. I don't understand the logic behind that at all. I don't think you'll be fired or anything, but you should expect that your principal won't be happy on Monday. Your best bet is to be apologetic and promise to do better next time.
     
  5. RadiantBerg

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    Yeah, it doesn't make sense for you to do that. I may have pretended like I was going to write the other person up, but I wouldn't have followed through if the other kid didn't fess up.

    You will probably lose some credibility with the other students too. Now the kid you sent will probably act out to show you he can earn the punishment you gave him.
     
  6. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I definitely wouldn't have done that. If you knew who it was, why didn't you just write them up? You wasted the P's time, potentially embarrassed a student, and made yourself look bad in front of your students. My students would lose respect for a teacher who did that.

    Hopefully you can use it as a learning experience.
     
  7. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    I agree with the above posters. but, don't be too hard on yourself because it seems like you were genuinely trying to do the right thing, just went about it in the wrong way.

    i've never heard of a teacher using this "strategy", but I know of quite a few parents who have done this before.... e.g if no one confesses to breaking the vase, all four children will be punished. i've never particularly agreed with that either, because it seems like an innocent child will almost always "confess" before the culprit does.
     
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I wouldn't have done that. Maybe go as far as pretending to write up the other student, and then stop and tell them what you're doing, but even that, I wouldn't do. Why pick on an innocent student who did nothing wrong??
     
  9. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Just to clarify, the innocent student that I sent was one of the two students who do tend to make noises to disrupt class. So when the whistling kept up, I said that I had already told the class to stop and since that didn't happen, someone was going to be sent. There were only two students that I would have sent. My dilemma was that as I was writing up student #2 instead of student #1, I gave the guilty one a chance to confess. I guess I assumed that a student wouldn't allow someone else to get sent to the office for his own actions... Boy was I wrong.... I guess honesty and integrity doesn't happen with some 8th grade boys...

    I honestly believed it would have made me look bad if I didn't send anyone after saying that I would be sending someone. I had hoped that the guilty one would confess but when he didn't, the referral was written up and I had to send him. Even as he was walking out the door, I hoped that he would just say, "I did it... it was me...." I guess I can chalk this up to making a dumb choice on my part. :(
     
  10. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I've done this at home with my kids, i.e., I knew one child did it but didn't confess... Since both of them wouldn't fess up, I was about to punish my other kid when ALL OF A SUDDEN the guilty one said she did it....
     
  11. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    yes, as soon as I read your post I had a feeling that you must have done it at home with your children and it worked (or seen another parent do it with success, etc.).

    like I said before, it is clear that you had good intentions, but unfortunately the plan didn't go as planned. i would use this as a learning experience and just be very apologetic with your principal on monday when you explain. when it comes down to it, your students are not your children and i would never recommend knowingly blaming an innocent student :)
     
  12. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I started to do something similar years ago with the same intentions on a smaller scale (meaning the office wasn't involved and the innocent student was in the loop). But I learned the guilty party isn't likely to fess up under those circumstances. When I realized the strategy was failing that's when I pulled my teacher card and just said I knew who was guilty. Period. This was early in my career when I felt like students needed to confess or agree to things. Nope. I am the adult and professional. If I know a student broke a rule, I don't ask if they did...I speak in certain terms ("You threw a pencil across the room and that means you must fill in the blank.")

    I do think you made a bad decision. But if it's the worst decision you make as a teacher, you're okay... We make soooo many decisions a day without much time to process them. I've made around three as a teacher that still just almost make my stomach ache. Stupid, stupid. But you live and learn.

    Note: I know the innocent one you sent sometimes causes trouble so he may not have been affected much by the trip to the office, but that could DEVASTATE many students.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Where was the honesty and integrity in sending someone you knew didn't do it? You looked bad anyway.
     
  14. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I figure I looked bad once I had threatened with an office referral. I'm trying to figure out where it went to crap and what I should have done. Should I have not threatened the referral? I guess getting the office involved was incorrect. Man!! I wished I had thought about it. I thought the whistler would have confessed. I should have sent the guilty one originally and this whole mess would have been avoided?
     
  15. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Also, I worry what consequences I am to face from the P. Monday's not gonna fun.
     
  16. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    You are right, those consequences aren't going to be fun.

    As czacza said, where was the honesty and integrity? My question is, where was the honesty and integrity when you knowingly blamed the wrong person? Forget the threat for the referral, just purposely blaming the wrong kid.

    You think the big worry is with the principal though? Nah, you just lost respect of your entire class by blaming the wrong kid. Now they all know that it doesn't matter who does something, you don't care enough about any one them to not just pick someone to punish. You don't care about the emotional distress you put on them.
     
  17. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Did you apologize to the child you sent to the office?
     
  18. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I told him as he was walking out to tell the P that it wasn't him that was the one who did it.

    When the P came back to my room and told me that the student told him that he wasn't the one, I told him exactly what went on and then the guilty one got hauled off.
     
  19. AlexaD

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    I think you realize the mistake. 8th grade boys aren't necessarily going to 'fess up, even when one of their friends is going to get in trouble for something. They usually don't have the maturity. It seems like you knew who was the troublemaker all along, so he should have been sent, and then the issue would have been dealt with and over. My fear for you is how the class is going to react to you going forward. Kids hate injustices and they may view this one as a biggie. No one wants to get blamed and in trouble for something they didn't do.

    That said, we all make mistakes, especially when we make a million little decisions a day. No one is perfect, especially teachers. I would apologize to the principal and move forward.
     
  20. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    What I can say about this is that as I was writing up the innocent, I overheard a student next to him say, "he's really gonna write you up." He replies back with, "I don't care..."

    So sadly, I think that also influenced what I did.
     
  21. AlexaD

    AlexaD Companion

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    This is where the principal likely wants clarification from you on your reasoning. It most likely wasted his time to talk to student #1, only to have to come back to your room with student #1 to talk to you and get student #2.

    I would apologize to student #1. It sounds like he knows you knew all along it wasn't him, but he may be wondering what is up with the whole thing. Just pull him aside and say you could have went about it differently. He'll hopefully respect you for it.

    JMO.
     
  22. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Live and learn. Next time you threaten an office referral, write up the guilty student.
     
  23. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    I'm not sure what you want me to take from this information. Please explain more explicitly to me. I don't want to infer the reason this makes anything better or worse.
     
  24. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    This one who said, "I don't care" also has been causing disruptions by making donkey noises (just look up donkey noises and you can tell how annoying that is). He wasn't the one whistling but it came from the back, the place where all the nonsense takes place. I probably wouldn't have written him up but he gave off a "I don't give a ****" attitude.

    Going forward, I'm going to buy a document camera and move my desk to the front. That way, I can write notes on the board without turning my back to them. This HAS to be done.
     
  25. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Sounds like you made a mistake. It happens. I made one last week and it happened to be on a day I had the P do a walkthrough. I thought it was creative ,but my P told me it was a waste of resources . I disagreed but I simply said, I can see you don't care for the method so I won't use it again. Lesson learned. And that was that. No hard feelings.
     
  26. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Your story has holes. You are contradicting yourself. If you go into the principal's office with these mixed message stories, and tell him contradictory information as you did here, expect things to be even worse.

    You decided before the attitude that this student was getting a referral even though you knew he didn't do it. It wasn't his attitude that made you give him the referral because you also said you had to write it because you threatened it. You said you were already writing it when the attitude came. So, it wasn't the attitude that made you write it according to your posts.

    Please, for your sake, get your story straight for when you talk to your P.
     
  27. RadiantBerg

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    If the P has a good sense of humor, he'll write you up for hitting a student.
     
  28. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Let me back track. I would have written up that student regardless of the attitude. I think the ball was rolling so far downhill it just went totally opposite of the effect I had intended.
     
  29. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    It if was a group in the back causing the disruptions, why didn't you break up the group first? That way the noisemakers would have been isolated and more easy to identify. Knowing this, they probably would have stopped on their own.

    Good luck with that. You still have to look down at the paper in order to write. Also, be prepared to see a piece of paper with "Mr. Pi is a poopyhead" slipped under the camera when you aren't looking.
     
  30. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Also, being a former 8th grade donkey noise maker myself, I can tell you that on Friday, your class was probably an absolute hoot in their minds.

    Now, they have had all weekend to devise even more fun ways to make your life miserable. I will bet that there has been considerable text message traffic between them, brainstorming ideas on what to do.

    Worse, in their pretty little heads they probably think that the principal no longer believes a word you say. This could result in the old "Whose turn is it today to shut down the class by getting sent to the office in a blaze of glory" trick.

    I could be a bit pessimistic here, I think you might have screwed yourself.
     
  31. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    What is still going for me is, I hope, that the class continues to be the best behaved one. Ironically enough, it is. This was the first office referral for anyone all year in the class. It's normally a quiet and well-behaved classroom.
     
  32. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Honestly, I don't think it's likely the OP is screwed in terms of classroom relationships. Most students are good and they understood the teacher's frustration and the situation even if they did get a giggle out of it. I highly doubt they have spent their weekend plotting a way to further complicate the teacher's life.
     
  33. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    If this is your best behaved class, and you have this type of nonsense happening regularly in that class...
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Separate those kids immediately. Move them out of the back. Put them where you can keep your eyes on them, in the front and along the edges (depending on your setup).

    Seating changes are like the first line of defense when this sort of ridiculousness starts to happen. Why didn't you switch their seats already?
     
  35. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Ok, of the 6 classes I teach, 2 are advanced classes so there are no discipline problems (no calls, no office visits). From other places I've posted, 5th period is the worst! One student continually goes to ISS (not me sending her). 4th period had issues but they've been handled so far. 2nd period is worse than 4th in that there are those who do not bother to do any work. I can goad, complain... Doesn't help.... One recently qualified for special ed services so now he's doing even less! Head down, no note taking, etc.... In 2nd period, there are probably 6 students of 23 who do nothing. And finally there is 7th period. The class where I sent the wrong student... Very few issues with behavior except to tell them to knock it off.
     
  36. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    They are already separated. They sit well away from each other. Thus, their antics are really independent events.
     
  37. mathteachertobe

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    Did you know the entire time who the noise maker was? It sounds as if you knew who it was and wanted him to admit it. I don't really understand your motivation there. You gave him control of the situation.
     
  38. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    So you couldn't hear the direction that the sounds were coming from?

    Are they still in the back? Move them to the front. Seriously.
     
  39. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I disagree. I don't think kids will be thinking about it much over the weekend at all. I would advise the OP to apologize to the student who was sent to the office and move on. I've definitely made bad decisions as a teacher, but I've always been able to maintain classroom management and a positive learning environment.

    I think the document camera is a great idea. It definitely cuts down on classroom management problems for me. :)
     
  40. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Yes, that was it in a nutshell. What I wanted accomplished vs. what really happened were two totally different things. I thought I'd get a student to admit to something done. I'm not doing that again!
     
  41. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    UPDATE: I walked into the P's office this morning and we had a closed-door sit-down discussion.

    The key points he made were as follows:

    1.) Don't ask around the school to find out how to discipline. I must find a way that works for me. I can't be Mr. so-and-so or Mrs. so-and-so. He can't teach me how to discipline.

    2.) I worry too much. My job is to teach and teach and teach. I lost my chance at establishing discipline when I wasn't tough enough during the first 2 weeks of school. Now, I have to bear with it until the end of the year.

    3.) If parents call the P to complain about me, I will never know about it.

    4.) He sees me as a hard worker and can teach but I have to work on discipline.

    ***************************************************

    He didn't mention much about the situation on Friday. He just told me to figure out how to discipline and manage my classroom.
     

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