Those of us on The Team keep shaking our heads and marveling over how good our kids are this year compared to previous years. It's a bit odd in a way, but I don't think you'll catch any of us complaining. It's just a completely different set of kids with a lot better behavior for the most part. Those sixth grade teachers obviously kicked some butt with this group last year and trained them well.
However, that doesn't mean we don't have our share of knuckleheads who just can't seem to get with the program. These are the few kids who think that they're just too cool to follow the rules, too cool to do work, too cool to do anything they're supposed to.
Like bring their freaking book to class.
At first we thought it was just a few of them being forgetful (which is a common state of unawareness with seventh graders) but during our discussions at lunch we noticed a fairly common pattern. These weren't kids who were forgetting to bring their books, these were kids choosing not to bring their books. Instead, they decided to spend their four minutes between classes socializing and hanging out at the drinking fountain rather than going to their locker.
Contrary Boy, when asked where his book was for the umpteenth time, informed me that he just didn't have time to get his book. I then pointed out to him that as a kid who played football, he was certainly capable of carrying more than one book at a time. That apparently never crossed his mind. The fact that our kids don't have to walk very far to get from class to class (we're all right there in a cluster, in fact, Mr. Social Studies and I have doors separated by a mere 12") tells us that they're just goofing off.
So, we laid down the law the other day. Lockers, we said, are a privilege, not a right and if they continue to choose to leave their books in their locker then they'd lose the use of their locker. Three "forgotten" books equals three days without a locker. We're basically borrowing this trick from the 8th grade playbook - they post locker eviction notices, empty the lockers, and secure them with zip ties for continual infractions of the student code of conduct (among other things). It's quite a sight to walk down the 8th grade hall and see the brightly colored eviction notices and zip ties up and down the hallway.
We announced the policy yesterday. Today we already had 3 kids who had lost their locker privileges. And guess what? They include Contrary Boy and two of his pals.
What a surprise.
They're gonna be mad on Monday!