couch potatoes

This week I taught a couple lessons, life lessons.

One afternoon we found blue ink smeared all over the arm of one of the new couches. The couches are purpose built,  priced accordingly, and brand new.A particular group of students sit there each break, and daily I have to remind them of their responsible thinking processes (aka I reprimand them). We had no proof it was anyone from that group, but I spoke to them about our disappointment, and about the cost of getting the ink removed.

Next morning, more ink was discovered on another couch in that seating area. I was angry, should we say. I would have liked to have beaten them, each and everyone, to a pulp with my stick, but that is not allowed, so I spoke to them calmly again. I asked the person to own up and explain why they felt the need to do that to their class mates who shared the library. No one came forward.

So, next time they coolly walked in to assume their couch potato positions, I  threw them out. They are not allowed back in until the perpetrator steps up and takes responsibility.

Not long afterwards a spokesman came forward from the group. Obviously a future politician, he tried to charm their way back in without anyone taking ownership. A possible culprit had been put forward, put further discussion proved that he was not at school on the day, so obviously not the artist of the second ink stain.

I listened, but in the end told them that we would come together as a group on Monday and discuss their return to the library, once all members of the errant group were at school again.

My hope is that they learn about rights and responsibilities and of course, consequences. Yes, they have a right to use the library, but with that right comes the responsibility to treat the services, the people and the environment with respect.

They need to learn that when they are sitting there on those couches, some 900 other students can not have that comfort, so they need to appreciate their opportunity. The consequence for not acting accordingly means they no longer have that privilege.

It is not easy  building defining moments for young minds. I feel that is a major part of my role. I may succeed, or I may not, but at least I will have tried.

If I don’t try, then I don’t have the right to complain that ‘the world is going to hell in a hand basket!” Indeed it is far easier to complain about young people, other people, the world, but it is far more rewarding to do something that may make a difference. At least I can sleep at night, knowing I tried.

12 thoughts on “couch potatoes

  1. Good work FD. You can’t change those of sociopathic disposition (if you have any) but you may influence those on the cusp of falling into anti-social habits. Ratty.

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    • Empty heads just don’t think. They also would rather take the peer acknowledgement even if it means punishment. I feel that my role is to diminish that peer position pay off and make it not worth their effort to try such deviant behaviour.

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  2. Good for you, for sure! You can do your bit and THEN complain that the world is going to hell in a handbasket.
    Surely no one taught any of our presidential candidates about responsibility and respect.

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      • That would have been my point too. The parents need to step up more. You can do only that much.
        It is incredible how the attitude of “it’s not mine so I don’t care” is spiraling out of control. Probably because kids these days don’t even care about their own things. If it’s broke the parents will replace it.
        God know that this won’t happen should I have my own offspring one day.

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        • Our kids come from lower socio economic to middle class levels. Their parents pay a small levy and the students receive a lap top for the entire time they are at the school. Parents can use it as well. Within days we see seem the laptops returned broken. One on Friday was completely buckled as they bounced a soccer ball off it! Many don’t have computers at home, and yet they don’t give a damn.

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      • In the suburb where my children went to school, the parents were well-educated professionals who often took umbrage at their children being punished by teachers and other school staff, however lightly. If they were lawyers, they would threaten to sue the school [rolls eyes], or they would say something on the level of “The district superintendent happens to be a friend of ours….” But these people taught me that just because a student’s parents are well-off with university degrees doesn’t mean the student won’t act like a dunce; sometimes they were more apt to do so, knowing Mom and Dad would get them off the hook.

        But I’ll be very interested to see what happens after your meeting on Monday. I’m guessing they won’t own up, based on my own experience with students (college students!), and they’ll face perpetual banishment from the couches. But that would be a good lesson for them, and probably a relief for you.

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        • I would be happy to have them out of the library I must admit. If they don’t step up that will be the result.
          Many school here say “well you chose to send you child to this school, and these are the rules….” however at a very elite school for boys all Daddy has to do is make a sizeable donation and sonny boy is allowed to stay. The rich always make their own rules.

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  3. Hard work! And you never know which one of them is getting a real lesson, since parents can not be counted on to teach their children anything these days!

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    • I have to agree. Every day, I see the most basic civilities are not being modelled for our children. They can’t be blamed for not knowing how to act in a polite and responsible manner, if their own parents won’t or can’t. Too many children are almost raising themselves.

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  4. This is a good example of how every generation seems ruder, more debauched, less ethical than the last. Respect for property is disappearing because ‘consequences’ are ineffective. Well done for taking a stand on this on FD.

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  5. We can only do our best, as you have done, when it comes to instilling responsibility into younger generations.
    If all else fails, ‘accidentally’ lock the perpetrator in the broom closet and I’ll bring my snake stick down and deal with the situation.

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