Unprepared kids....

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by carolinafan, May 31, 2016.

  1. carolinafan

    carolinafan Rookie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    33

    May 31, 2016

    This is more of a rant than anything else, but i just can't believe what I've seen over the last two days of finals at my school. The number of kids that just didn't bring a pencil to class is staggering. They KNEW they were coming to school these last three days specifically to take tests, AND they've been in school for 9 months when they've been using pencils all school year. I just can't believe the absolute apathy and, I'm sorry to say this, but stupidity, is mind boggling.
     
  2.  
  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    May 31, 2016

    I am right there with you. What's even more frustrating is that often when you help out these kids by letting them borrow a pencil, they completely abuse your generosity by destroying your pencil or leaving it on the floor. The disrespect and sense of entitlement are completely out of control.
     
  4. carolinafan

    carolinafan Rookie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    33

    May 31, 2016

    Indeed. At this point, I'm not even giving them a pencil. I'm not going to continue to enable their behaviors. I realize that might not sound fair when it's involving a test, but I'm drawing a line(because I have pencils lol).
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,822
    Likes Received:
    1,750

    May 31, 2016

    I hear you.

    Is this really a hill you want to die on this year? I'm sure you will be in much more trouble for not giving them a pencil for their final than it is worth at this point? I'd reexamine what you do for next year in terms of being prepared.
     
  6. carolinafan

    carolinafan Rookie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    33

    May 31, 2016

    I've given them pencils all year long, and they lose them by the next day, or they break them and leave them in pieces on the floor. Either way I don't ever see them again. I've been prepared all year with materials, even some for students to borrow. Eventually I run out of stuff though, especially when I never get the things I give to students back. So my preparedness isn't really an issue. Next year I will have some pencils available for students again just like i did this year, but I'm not going to keep going to buy more pencils constantly throughout the year.

    As far as my students so far, they've all managed to find a pencil and finish their test once they discover I'm not going to give them one, just like they have all year long.
     
    GPC0321 and Caesar753 like this.
  7. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    May 31, 2016

    If you set the expectation that you will have some pencils for them and then stop buying them....they are going to keep losing/mistreating them.

    You are setting the expectation all year that you will have a pencil for them.

    I also need to think about how I handle this in class as well.
     
    Wonderer likes this.
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,895
    Likes Received:
    1,731

    May 31, 2016

    I have 2 who, almost at the end of Grade 7, still seem to struggle to understand that they will need a pencil every day, all day. I have a basket of pencils (usually stubs) that I've picked up from the floor that they can borrow. While pencils isn't a hill I choose to die on, it definitely is frustrating.
     
    Wonderer likes this.
  9. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,822
    Likes Received:
    1,750

    May 31, 2016

    Just a general comment here....
    With all of the statements I have heard over the years about pencils being left on the floor, there should be no reason for a kid to not be able to find one on the floor except for first class of the day when the room was swept the night before.
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,347
    Likes Received:
    1,484

    May 31, 2016

    I hand out pencils with my tests and collect them with the completed documents. Makes it a no-brainer, especially when I can tell EXACTLY who put a bunch of bite marks on what they borrowed.
     
    Pashtun likes this.
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    1,107

    May 31, 2016

    This is happening across the board. Not just with pencils. It seems like it's with everything now.
     
    2ndTimeAround, otterpop and Caesar753 like this.
  12. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    739

    May 31, 2016

    I hear ya...my seniors were *shocked and appalled* that I would make them read and write on the last day of school, and take an essay final during their scheduled exam period. The poor little darlings...

    As for supplying pencils and paper...I have been told that we are required to provide necessary supplies (in CA) and that we cannot refuse to provide the bare minimum due to the "free" in free appropriate public education. Most of my students don't take advantage of this (they don't know it's the law), but enough show up unprepared that I am forced to keep a stash of cheap pencils and blank paper (misprints, etc) for kids who show up with nothing in hand.

    Mind you, they all seem to manage to bring their cell phones...
     
    2ndTimeAround and Caesar753 like this.
  13. carolinafan

    carolinafan Rookie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    33

    May 31, 2016

    I told them at the beginning of the year that I had a set number of pencils, and after they were gone I wouldn't be getting anymore, just like I told them about other consumables that I provided. So yes, I set the expectation that I would provide materials for them, but I also set a limit on that expectation. I kept reminding them of this every time I gave someone a pencil. If someone legitimately forgot a pencil, I want to be able to provide one for them, but I'm also trying to teach them to take responsibility for their own actions.
     
    Caesar753 likes this.
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    May 31, 2016

    Does your school provide your stash of paper and pencils, or are you expected to provide that yourself?
     
  15. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    739

    May 31, 2016

    We get a supply budget ($80 per section) that we use to provide these supplies. We also have to pay for our copy paper and everything else except the tables and chairs out of this budget. Although the way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised if we end up paying for those one day, too ;)
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,001

    May 31, 2016

    I get the short tiny golf pencils. I'm also not willing to die on this hill. I give them out freely if asked for them. What gets my goat is those who will wait until like mid-class to finally ask me to borrow a pencil. Hello? You needed that pencil at the very beginning of class when you were expected to write and answer the starter! Why didn't you ask me then?

    I'm pretty good at catching if they're damaging pencils and leaving them places. But the short pencils are very hard to break. I also make my students pick up all trash and items off the floor after class so I don't get stressed out about how dirty my classroom is. If a student breaks my pencil intentionally, they don't get another one, ever.

    My kids are shocked and appalled that I'm not letting them sit wherever they want and choose their own partners for projects even though it's "the second-to-last week". LOL.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  17. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    739

    May 31, 2016

    I have meant to do this in the past, but always forget to order ahead of time!
     
  18. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    141

    May 31, 2016

    FOr the last three weeks, all my work has been written on construction paper with crayons--that's what been in my room. I packed it up today since I'm leaving at the end of the year--you would have thought I killed their family pet. I actually had two kids who refused to do the work because I didn't give them anything to write on or with.
     
    2ndTimeAround likes this.
  19. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    1,485

    May 31, 2016

    You could have them give you their cellphone in exchange for a pencil. They get their phone back when you get your pencil.
     
  20. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    97

    May 31, 2016

    One caveat about this is that this isn't worth the trouble with some students. Some students and parents will lie and say that you lost or damaged their cell phone. Yes, some of the ones at my old school were this dishonest. That's one reason why I wouldn't even touch any of the students' belongings. Ever.
     
    ms.irene likes this.
  21. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    1,485

    May 31, 2016

    One way to get around this would be to do it like in this picture:
    [​IMG]

    That way, you can have them put it up on the board, and never touch it!
     
    Wonderer likes this.
  22. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    May 31, 2016

    Is it more embarrassing nowadays to have your grades posted or for everyone to see you don't have your own cellphone? :p
     
    otterpop and mathmagic like this.
  23. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    1,172

    May 31, 2016

    Or maybe even how old of a cell phone you have! Ha, I'm always a couple years behind the times at least, so I definitely would've stuck out in the modern high school times :p
     
    Pashtun and otterpop like this.
  24. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2015
    Messages:
    620
    Likes Received:
    255

    Jun 1, 2016

    In the past with some of my more challenging classes, I'd take a shoe for a pencil! Lol!!!
     
  25. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    157

    Jun 1, 2016

    I sympathize with the pencil plight. I always start out the year with a bounty of lovely pencils and pens that I swear I'm not lending out, and by the end of the year, I've actually had to borrow a pen or pencil FROM A STUDENT because I can't find a single decent thing to write with! Most of the pencils I DO wind up having are ones I've found scattered about the classroom, none of which belonged to me initially. And I've been teaching for 14 years, you'd think I'd have a better grasp on this issue! LOL!

    I really like the golf pencil idea. I think I'm going to do that next year. And NOTHING else will be handed out. They can use the golf pencil or borrow from a classmate. Or...imagine this...BRING THEIR OWN DANG PENCIL!

    Little twerps. (Can you tell I'm ready for summer break?? LOL!)
     
    2ndTimeAround likes this.
  26. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,347
    Likes Received:
    1,484

    Jun 1, 2016

    I used to do that when I subbed and was told by one school it wasn't allowed. Seriously?
     
  27. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    1,107

    Jun 1, 2016

    Probably because a parent complained. Then that was the end of that <eyeroll>
     
    2ndTimeAround likes this.
  28. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,822
    Likes Received:
    1,750

    Jun 1, 2016

    The reason it is not allowed is that it is a safety issue. If there was an emergency where students had to evacuate the building, wearing a single shoe or having to retrieve and put on a shoe becomes a safety hazard. It is also a safety issue if something gets broken in the classroom an students do not have a shoe.

    Now, the chances of either of those things happening is very slim, but many of the safety protocols are there for events that have a very slim chance of happening.
     
    otterpop likes this.
  29. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    1,485

    Jun 1, 2016

    That was my other idea, but it might be a fire safety issue.
     
  30. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    739

    Jun 1, 2016

    I don't want to collect phones or definitely not have them up on the board -- I had a bad experience at another school where we had a class kleptomaniac and two iPhones (they were still new back then) were stolen. Even with a plan and a routine for collecting, storing, and returning them, they somehow went missing. I have never been able to figure out how it happened, and I don't want to go through that again! The cell phones on the board idea looks smart but is actually just begging for someone to sneakily grab a phone while no one is looking.

    I pretty much have to collect them for finals and I HATE doing it. In order to keep them secure, I have them put their phones in individual baggies with a post-it with their name on it, and the box gets locked in my desk. I hand them back individually after the final. It takes up way too much time to go through this in a normal class period.

    I end up just getting cheap dollar store mechanical pencils and keeping them available. Most kids would rather bring their own "nice" pencils than use the cheap $ store ones in my room. But they're always there for that kid who "forgot" a pencil -- or for the ones for whom spending $$ on school supplies is genuinely not an option.

    Like Peregrin said, it's not the hill I choose to die on/battle I am willing or able to fight!
     
    Wonderer and miatorres like this.
  31. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    97

    Jun 2, 2016

    At my old school, teachers who would confiscate cell phones would be in situations similar to the one that ms.irene described--students would still somehow find ways to steal the phones. Theft was so extreme at that school that even if something was nailed down, some students would still find a way to steal it. That's just one reason why the cell phones on the chalkboard idea wouldn't work at that school. This chalkboard idea would work at other schools (such as at my new school) where most students are a lot more responsible and honest.

    Similar to what others have already said in this discussion, I would have inexpensive pencils available for students to use. I saw that teachers who would give consequences to students for not having pencils didn't see any improvement in the number of students who came to class prepared. The unprepared students would just return to class the next day and still wouldn't even try to do better.
     
    Wonderer likes this.
  32. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    1,107

    Jun 3, 2016

    So the only option is for kids to start bringing their own pencils or borrowing from a friend. It's really the most simple option. Parents AND students need to take some responsibility and not rely so much on the teacher for something ridiculous as a pencil or other writing instrument. And seriously, i'm tired of hearing the excuse that they can't afford something like pencils.
    I remember being in 5th grade and a student and teacher from 2nd grade came to the door. The student was brought to our classroom to ask his sister (a 5th grader in my class) to borrow a pencil. The teacher did not give out pencils. Period.
     
    2ndTimeAround likes this.
  33. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    739

    Jun 3, 2016

    I hear what you're saying, and for the majority, it is an excuse. But I have kids who only eat once a day (school lunch) some days because their parents cannot afford to pay rent and put food on the table. I hear about it in their confidential journal entries, and I don't think a child would lie about this. I am not going to shame them for not having a pencil. I don't always know for sure which students are which, and it's not worth the struggle in my opinion, since my district does provide funds for basic supplies.

    Also, again, it is the law that we have to provide basic supplies, at least here in CA.
     
  34. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    739

    Jun 3, 2016

    It's true, that was the case where I was at the time. It might be OK where I am now, but I am just not going to try and find out. Once bitten (actually twice) thrice shy?
     
  35. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    1,107

    Jun 3, 2016

    If the school is providing the pencils then I would give them pencils until the supply ran out. I wouldn't be buying any.
     
    Caesar753 likes this.
  36. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Jun 3, 2016

    Surely the law is that the school provides basic supplies, though, not the teacher. There is no way that I would ever be okay with being expected to provide supplies for my students. If I have them and if I want to provide supplies, that's a choice I make, but to be required to provide supplies out of my own pocket? Absolutely not.
     
    2ndTimeAround and carolinafan like this.
  37. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    97

    Jun 3, 2016

    I agree! I wouldn't take the chance of applying the cell phone on chalkboard idea at my new school either, even if most students that I have are honest. For me, the cell phone on board chalkboard isn't worth the time or trouble.
     
    ms.irene likes this.
  38. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    739

    Jun 3, 2016

    I agree -- the school provides us with a budget per section ($80) that we can use to pay for any necessary supplies. (That's what I meant be "we").

    I sometimes buy "special" pencils with my own $ that I give out as prizes, etc. I just really love buying school supplies! This is not required, though.
     
  39. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    745

    Jun 3, 2016

    I had a pencil holder for all the pencils left on the floor that were free for the taking. I had another container filled with pencils that had big, gaudy blooms taped on the ends. I tried the duct tape flags that I've seen on Pinterest but realized that didn't work when I'd find those pencils in classrooms of other grade levels when in the rooms for various teacher meetings. The flowers helped the pencils stay in my room when nothing else I've tried so far works. The golf pencils didn't work for me either, but I still put a gross or so out during the year.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  40. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    1,107

    Jun 3, 2016

    I'm pretty sure all schools where I live do not provide most supplies since in Walmart and other stores there are actual lists that you can pick up for whatever school you're kid is going to and get those supplies. I have not personally read the lists but I think they are broken down by grade. If every class in the school is given supplies then great. But if the list is given out and supplies are expected to be brought in then I wouldn't just give supplies to SOME students and not others.
     
  41. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    739

    Jun 3, 2016

    We have the long lists around here, too...it's just that if a student doesn't have something, we are not allowed to punish them for not having it, as far as I understand it. At the elem. level, I believe most teachers collect up the supplies and use them for the whole class, or at least that's what we did when I taught at a K-8 school.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. K1teach,
  2. sevenplus,
  3. Vanillandaisies
Total: 713 (members: 5, guests: 688, robots: 20)
test