Sideways Stories

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 29 2011

When You Want Something that was Stolen Returned…

It was my first time having a substitute in my room; early September, and I still was on the semi “trusting” side with my students. When I returned the next day, everything in my room was fine except one thing: an amethyst rock I kept on my desk was missing. Now, this rock was not expensive, it was more for fun since I teach science, BUT the fact that it was taken did not make me happy. Not happy at all.

When the students entered and were all sitting and listening I began to tell my “story” of my verrrrry precious rock. I told them how disappointed I was that someone would it take it because it was a generous gift from my grandmother. I spoke slowly, “trying” to hold back tears, and then told them how my grandmother passed away and this rock was very special to me because it was from her. I kept going, exaggerating the rock and everything connected to it.

The rock is not from my grandmother. My sister left it behind when she went to college and I found it. It probably costs $5. Oh, and my grandmother is still alive.

Students who misbehaved while the sub was there were required to copy letters while the other students played a math game. While I was walking around to make sure they were all writing and reflecting on their misbehavior I heard a soft “Ms. Rubinnnnnnn…..” *sniff sniff* “Can I talk to you outside?” I tell the student to wait outside.

When I walk outside my classroom to speak with him, he is standing huddled in the corner behind where the door swings back. I literally did not see him at first. Quietly I ask him “What did you did need to talk about?”

*mumble mumble, sniff sniff*
“What did you need to talk about?”


I just looked at him, waiting.

My rock was returned the next day, placed perfectly in the vacant spot on my desk. Accompanying it, sheets of notebook paper with the line “I am so sorry I took your rock Ms. Rubin” written 100 times.

2 Responses

  1. Funny and touching.

  2. spencer

    That kid will never steal anything again. Kudos Ms. Rubin!

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