What She Wore: black and white print dress; black cardigan with white trim; black high heels; and let’s not forget–support hose! These days, it’s a girl’s best friend.
I’ve mentioned that most of the kids I work with are from low-income homes. About 85% of the students at my school qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. Because of this, sometime their "rules" for behavior are completely different that mine.
A big one is about stealing. Most of my kids think that if you leave something out, then it deserves to be taken. You have to combat that by making rules such as "don’t touch my desk" or "don’t take my things without asking." Otherwise, they’ll just take whatever–you have to create safe zones because my kids don’t believe that taking something that doesn’t belong to you is wrong–you’re just a sucker for leaving it out.
Today I saw a perfect example of this. One of my students was walking through class and he found a dollar on the ground. He picked it up, took out his wallet, and began putting the dollar in his wallet. The rest of the kids started saying, "that’s Mandy’s dollar." The other teacher had to intervene and MAKE him give the girl her dollar back. She told him that was stealing. He was visibly upset by this, so I pulled him in the hall to talk to him.
Did your mother give you the dollar?
Did you earn the dollar?
Then taking it is stealing–it belongs to someone else.
He still doesn’t get it.
I want to be clear on this post: I IN NO WAY intended to imply that my kids are taught that stealing is acceptable. They all know stealing is wrong. The problem is what constitutes as stealing. Does taking something that someone left out count as stealing? For me, yes. For most of my kids no. They all know not to take stuff out of your purse, or to shoplift, and I feel my personal possesions are safe. It’s the gray areas where we differ.