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> I am having some trouble with students who steal or break or damage the art
> supplies. I have had two substitutes this year and when I returned, the
> room was a terrible mess. Rulers were bent, erasers crumbled, colored
> pencils broken... I feel like taking everything away from the students. I
> can't punish specific children because I never know who did it. My
> students are 7th, 8th, and 9th graders who seem to be quite irresponsible.
> Does anyone have experience or advice in dealing with this problem?
I had more of a problem last year with kids wrecking stuff and stealing
supplies. One thing I do now is I buy drawing pencils, Sharpies, and the nice
Statdler-Mars vinyl erasers, and those I sell to the kids. They are quite
possessive of them, and take very good care of them if they actually own them.
I charge seventy-five cents for each item. No one complains, and I simply
take the $$ and buy more as I need them.
Another thing I do is I tell them if they abuse or misuse a supply, I will
find something else for them to work with. If they use a ruler for anything
else but to draw a straight line with (i.e., drum stick, weapon, etc.) they
cannot use rulers anymore, and must use a folded piece of paper for a
straightedge. If they don't treat the watercolors properly, I'll give them
crayons. Currently, I am working with exacto knives, and I'm going to have
kids sign them in and out.
Accepting collateral (I.D. Card, watch, money) works very well for items
loaned out. Plus you get to teach them what "collateral" means.
Last, but not least, I do have a box of pens, pencils, etc. that I pick up in
the hallways, and out of the custodian's floor sweepings, and those I place in
a shoebox, and a kid can borrow from there if he or she has no $$.
Hope that helps,
Norwalk High School
WHO THREW THE ERASERS IN DENIAL?