Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Eating Crow.

91 more days. Not that I'm counting.

My classroom is in the north forty of our campus. As a result, in the beginning of the year, I was lenient in enforcing tardies. I know better than that. Middle Schoolers sense leniency like dogs and bees sense fear. They began to abuse this leniency. I saw them sauntering up to class or standing at the opposite end of campus, talking to friends after the first bell. They waited to order lunch until the first bell rang. Students who arrived at school at 7:15 were tardy to my 7:50 homeroom. So I got strict.

I began sending students all the way back to the office for tardy slips of they came in even one minute late. I stopped excusing tardies incurred during lunch purchases. I religiously handed out detentions for those students who had been tardy three or more times. I was the Tardy Nazi.

I even checked the student handbook and interpreted the tardy code as being 2 tardies for the year, with the third resulting in a detention. It was vague, but I was pretty sure I was right.

I wasn't.

I assigned detentions to two young ladies who had two tardies from last trimester and had been late for my class once this trimester. They questioned this, but I showed them the entry in the handbook. They served the detention. They also checked with another teacher, who then talked to the principal, who verified that it is two tardies a trimester, not a year. Oye.

I was pretty embarrased after I got the voicemail setting me straight on the tardy policy. I apologized to the girls and bought them lunch at Jack in the Box. I had the detentions wiped from their records. But I still feel stupid. Dang, I hate losing credibility.


Blogger theshellieshow said...

That sucks! There is nothing worse than being proven wrong by a couple of preteeners...

You would think the other teacher might have come to you instead of the principal...ya know, united front...

I teach fifth grade and it kills me to let them get one up on me!:-(

9:41 PM  

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