I am a sucker for books. I started collecting books for my classroom library LONG before I even had a teaching certificate, much less a classroom to put them in. Every time I see a garage sale or thrift store or scholastic book order, I absolutely have to look. And I don't allow myself in the children's section at borders because I have no self control but can't even remotely afford those price tags. So needless to say, I have a pretty impressive library for a first year teacher. I also have an "open door policy" in my classroom library. While initially I planned to have the kids sign out books, after I started the Daily 5 I realized there was no way I could keep that up. My kids all have book bins and I'm constantly tossing books in them, and encourage the kids to pass on books they've enjoyed to each other. I think this is a positive thing for the kids, so I am willing to risk a few books getting lost in the shuffle here and there.
That is I was until I realized the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books had disappeared from the "humor" section...I have 2 copies of each of the 4 books and haven't seen any of them for awhile. All but 1 of them I bought with my own money and 1 is a hard back that cost me $9. (I couldn't resist getting the newest RIGHT AWAY!) I started asking the kids about them, and no one knew where they'd gone. I started having stern discussions about the books and how I trust them to return them and how I bought them with my own money. I threatened to take home all of the books if they didn't come back.
I waited a week and none were returned. I started getting even more frustrated. I decided if books weren't returned this week, I was going to start calling every student's parents and asking them to be on the lookout, as well as cover all of the bookshelves in butcher paper and getting rid of book boxes (temporarily of course). Books would be on a BYOB basis. Yes, this conflicts with every best practice I know of, but I felt I needed to make a statement.
Thankfully, it did not come to that. I have a little...stealer. She has stolen cell phones, mp3 players, and the list goes on. So, almost positive that it was her, I decided to call her mother and ask her to look around. Well, today after school I had a voice mail from her saying she had found MANY books, in fact too many for her daughter to carry. She will be delivering a bag to school Friday.
I know I should be disappointed in this child, but honestly I feel like a kid on Christmas--it feels like I'm getting a whole bag of new books Friday! (never mind I already paid for them...) Not sure what I should do about this student, though...She has already been reprimanded for each of the phone stealing incidents. I somehow don't think anything I say or do will sink in. Obviously she does not have book privileges in the classroom... but after that, I'm not sure what to do. Thoughts/suggestions?