Students refusing to clean up?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by J. A., Sep 11, 2017.

  1. J. A.

    J. A. Rookie

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    Sep 11, 2017

    I teach 7th and 8th grade, and while I'm no neat freak, it drives me crazy when students leave trash in the room when they leave! Usually, it's crumpled up paper, but sometimes it's candy wrappers or water bottles. I can prevent this in my later classes by issuing a snack ban; however, those classes are pretty good about cleaning up. My first class, though, is getting really bad about it. I have to allow them to eat their "grab and go" breakfast, under the expectation that they quietly dispose of their trash.

    I tried being nice, and upon the first offenses, I would remind them of the procedure. But I've learned that you can only be nice for so long, or they'll start using you as a doormat. I started telling them in the last 1 or 2 minutes of class to check for trash under their desk, and if they leave anything, it's automatic lunch detention. I know exactly where each student sits, because I have their nametags on their desks. The first time I had to assign detention for leaving trash, the student claimed I was being unfair and tried to claim she forgot, despite my saying twice in that class period that students need to clean up.

    I haven't tried rewarding them for cleaning up, because I feel as if at 13-14, they should have enough respect and responsibility to clean up and not expect a prize for it. Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but even at that age, I had enough respect for my teachers to clean up any messes I made.

    This may be just a rant, lol, but does anyone have any suggestions??
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 11, 2017

    No one leaves the room until all the trash is picked up.
     
  4. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Sep 11, 2017

    I would put a time limit on how long they have to eat those breakfasts. They don't need to graze on it all period. Ten minutes max (or whatever you feel is reasonable) to eat, and then NO FOOD OR DRINKS. Clean up immediately and quickly. At the end of class, they don't leave until you dismiss them. Place trash cans on the opposite side of the room from the classroom door so they can't "clean up" and sprint out of the room.
     
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