Today I discovered I have a problem, a teacher’s problem. Something was taken from my classroom, something easy to covet. You teachers out there know how this feels. Ugh. Even if I don’t care about what is missing, I have to deal with it. Somehow. Because it is not good for a child to get away with this.
I was teaching a lesson using a set of large mineral specimens. Some (limestone) look like concrete. Others (granite) have multiple colored specks. Obsidian is enticing with its glossy black curving surfaces. But I also had a piece of beautiful blue-green Amazonite.
And I talked them up, those rocks. I told the five classes that came through my science room that these were valuable specimens, to build respect for the rocks in their hands. But even if I hadn’t, I know that blue-green stone had many eyes on it, and quiet fingers itching to hold it.
In retrospect, I should have checked that it was back in the box after each class. I think I checked after the second group and decided not to worry any more about it. Now I can’t pin down which group “disappeared” it.
I can substitute another nice rock. I can even replace it. But I can’t let it slide. I feel for the second grader- still so young- who will have that burden of conflicting feelings; of having something they love but shouldn’t have.
To quote our friend Dr. Seuss, “What would you do, if it happened to you?”