Tuesday, March 28, 2006


"Caring community people do not steal from each other and the trust bond is
broken when they do. No faculty member should have to face thefts." (P.I.S. Week

The smallness of our school is being "robbed." Robbed by the lack of stewardship in the building; Robbed by the lack of respect for peoples property; Robbed by the inherent tracking of specialized classes; Robbed loss of trust amongst some of the staff toward the students; Robbed by the negative remarks teachers make behind closed doors.

"Who is the victim here? The teachers who had the phones stolen are the
immediate victims. Of course they will, in time, get over it. They will replace
the phone and, slowly, rebuild the trust. . . . Who is the other victim? QHST. "
(P.I.S. Week 27)

We cannot sit around and be victims. We must act. These students would not steal from their own family. We must ask ourselves why then are they stealing from us and each other? Why are the students not feeling the same love and respect for the community here as the staff and administration feel? Have our Advisories failed? Do the students feel a lack of respect from the staff? Why is this happening?Please do not let these select students "steal" our sense of family.
Let us use these incidents to raise awareness just how tight of a family we are. Let’s take our community back through advisory before it slips too far away. I believe the deans are working with some volunteers to address school wide values and make a School Wide Value Week. This should be the event the school looks back on as memorable, don't let anyone steal our sense of purpose.In our SLC we suggested walking through the hall and cleaning the garbage. The garbage problem, sounds separate, however it all stem from the same root. It's a sense of responsibility an individual has to the whole group.
Montessori sophomores have been talking about the individual’s responsibility to the group. We need to take the next step. How can we let the students take authentic ownership of the hallways and classrooms? Maybe each advisory should be responsible for a different section...kind of like those highway signs you see explaining who cleans that section.It sounds crazy but it would open up the conversation. Let them have some responsibility and possibly be the way to regain stewardship in the building.


Anonymous said...

I read your recent blog. I actually encounter this problem once a year in my classroom.
I read an article one time that changed my outlook on everything. It was about the students in Japan, and how they had complete "ownership" of their classrooms, wether an adult was in the room or not. I treat my classroom the same way now, and believe it or not it helps.
My students are no different from anyone else's. The difference is that at the beginning of the year when something of little or no value gets "lost" I make it a point to discuss respect. I tell my students that this is their classroom, and they have a responsibility to themselves, to make sure everything remains in order.
I can't tell you how many times my students hand me my pink razr(a wanted commodity among 13 year olds.) I leave my purse anywhere and everywhere, and never lock my door. The kids also feel comfortable enough to leave their things in my classroom because they feel it is a safe room.
I have a motto in my room "Your rights end where the rights of others begin." It will work for 90% of the students. The other 10% will follow because of peer pressure and fear of snitches! Arlene

P.S. You're Great!! Never forget that! :)

W Brown said...


I like your idea of creating a culture of positive peer pressure. I am interested to know what article inspired you to take these steps.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't remember exactly. I know it was in one of the educational journals I get. It was really interesting though. It discussed in detail the respect that the students have for the classroom.
We set the tone for the students. Respect for the property of others is a "teachable" skill. I do however, know what it feels like when someone steals from you. It's a total violation. It's even harder when you think that it could be little Johnny who you pat on the head everyday.
It's terrible for those educators who feel robbed. I'm sure they feel robbed of more than just their cell phones.
As you stated in your blog though, you can't let anybody "steal our sense of family" There is a lesson to be learned from everything. Find that lesson and teach it. Your students can only benefit. Arlene