Stealing in the Classroom
Here's What You Can Do About It!

Stealing in the classroom is always a HUGE problem and forever a mystery - who took it???

Right from the beginning of the year, I stress about not leaving anything valuable in your knapsack or coat pockets.

Now, I always taught in a classroom where there were coat hooks at the back of the room. In other schools, the coat hooks are all in the halls and there are some schools where the junior students (in a public school) have their own lockers - that's the best.

It's amazing what's stolen from knapsacks, coat pockets and even students' desks. From erasers, pencils, pens, markers, food like chips, toys, ipods and of course money.

I always told my kids, if you brought something valuable to school, give it to me for safe keeping until you need it.

Money was always a problem, especially when there was a bake sale, book fair or other special events in the school when money was involved.

And then there's the problem when a student claims money was stolen from their desk and you don't know if he/she had brought money to school in the first place. Believe me, that has happened as well!

When one of my students has reported a theft, I speak to that student, asking for details of what was stolen and if the student has some idea of how and when.

I then have the students in the classroom stop what they're doing and explain the situation. I tell the class how extremely disappointed I am and how our class is like a little community where there must be trust and honesty.

I usually say something like " whoever you are, either leave it on my desk or put it back where it was sometime during the day, with no questions asked." Sometimes it happens and more times it doesn't.

I also write a note in the student's agenda explaining to the parent what stolen and what actions were taken.

If it was money or an expensive item, e.g. an ipod, I also report it to the principal and the office and even make an announcement about it throughout the school.

I am always hurt when there is stealing in the classroom and my kids are quite aware of that!

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