Middle Schoolers are a strange bunch.
When they hit sixth grade they are nearly beside themselves with joy over the fact that they actually get a real, honest to goodness locker. It's a rite of passage for them. In elementary school they kept their books (and various sundry other articles like string, tech-decks, parts of ink pens, broken crayons, and goodness always knows what else) in their desks, but when they hit middle school they grow up (in theory) and get lockers.
Of course, to hear the sixth grade teachers tell it, it takes about half a year for them to figure out how to open the darn things. I believe they may be stretching it a bit.
However, for some weird reason, we have a bunch of seventh graders this year who just don't feel the need to use their lockers and proceed to leave their books just about anywhere they drop. I find books on the floor of my room, under tables, left on counters, out in the hall, you name it. This bunch of kids, of course, rarely ever have their books in class because - surprise! - they don't remember where they left them! What's strange is these kids all have lockers that work perfectly fine. They just choose, for whatever strange reason, not to use them. Most likely they are preferring to hang in the hallway gossiping with their friends and just don't have time to fiddle around with a combination lock.
We have one kid, Lazy Locker Boy, who thinks that his homeroom teacher, Mrs. Social Studies, is the keeper of his books. And if she's not keeping his books, apparently they're residing in my room.
Think again, kiddo.
Mrs. Social Studies and I hit our limit this week when, for something like the two hundredth time, we found all of Lazy Locker Boy's books scattered in our rooms. I decided to go to the big gun and that would be Mrs. Squirrel, the administrator in charge of textbooks. Mrs. Squirrel is determined never to have the school lose a single book so when she finds out that kids aren't taking care of books, she gets really, really irate. Really. It drives her nuts that kids can toss a sixty dollar text book out in the hallway where anyone can steal it, lose it, mutilate it, and so forth.
And trust me, although Mrs. Squirrel is a nature lover and is a kind, big-hearted softie when it comes to most kids and small animals, when she's irate, she's downright scary.
I dropped off the pile of books that belonged to Lazy Locker Boy and explained the situation to Mrs. Squirrel. Her eyes blazed. She said to send Lazy Locker Boy to her and she'd give him his books after she gave him a lecture and informed him that the next time his books found their way to her office he'd earn a discipline referral.
Lazy Locker Boy slunk back to his class and seemed to get the picture. No books were found strewn through the team area yesterday.
Due to the age of our lockers, and the generally poor condition they are in, we have a number of lockers in our area that are broken and that don't close. These are not assigned to anyone (obviously, since they are not secure), and are supposed to be kept empty and clean.
Guess what I found in one of these broken lockers today?
Oh yeah...some of Lazy Locker Boy's books.
They are now sitting on the desk outside Mrs. Squirrel's office. Tomorrow should prove interesting.