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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Great Whodunit of 2012

We had Monday off (President's Day), and I took yesterday off for my birthday. So today was my first day to go to school this week. Thankfully, my room was not in shambles, my supplies were not all gone, and no animals had been sacrificed (at least not visibly).

However, a mystery presented itself early on in the morning, and I'm doing it the honor of calling it a mystery ONLY because I had to painstakingly piece together exactly what had happened in my absence, and it took way longer than necessary.

Friday, I had assigned science homework, and so there was a stack of papers on my desk this morning. As I went through them to see who had not turned one in, I took note of the missing papers. I called about 6 kids up to my desk to ask why they hadn't turned anything in. One of those kids told me that he HAD turned something in. I let him look through the stack, and he pulled out one that had a girl's name on it. When I looked REALLY REALLY closely, I could see that this boy's name had indeed been written at the top of the paper and then erased.

Having already said my piece to the non-submitters, I kept the boy with me and called for the girl whose name appeared on the paper, wondering if it was worse that she had tried to cheat or that she had done it so lazily. She looked at it and informed me, "I didn't do that, that's not how I write my name."

Thus began the long, arduous detective work. I sent the girl back to her desk, figuring she was innocent of forgery (if not neglecting her homework). I asked the boy who could have done this, and he told me that he had passed his work in to a girl that sits at another table. So I called HER over to talk to her, and she told me that she had not picked up his paper, it was 2 OTHER kids.

It really muddles the water when your "eye-witness" doesn't have all of his facts straight.

I then had to call the 2 new suspects over and have a big pow-wow about who really HAD picked up the papers. Ironically enough, neither of these two kids were this week's "Administrative Assistants" (we can't call them "Helpers" anymore) whose names are written nice and large on the board.

These two kids confirmed that the other girl had NOT picked up any papers (while the forgery victim just looked perplexed -- is there an equivalency to racism going on here? He thinks all third graders look like one another?), and they also admitted to erasing the boy's name and writing a new name.

As far as crimes went, this one had the perpetrators and the opportunity, but there didn't seem to be a motive. Just random foolishness, something that seems wildly rampant in my class this year.

As to where the time disappears to and why we never seem to have any time for FUN stuff this year... well, that's no mystery.

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