The Blob!

Most of the teachers at my school have a big problem with kids chewing gum in class. I imagine that this is an issue for teachers all over the place. The thing is, I like chewing gum. I understand the problem is that kids will stick gum under their desks and chairs. I watch some of my colleagues fight this gum war every day, making kids get up to spit it out, only to see them chewing again ten minutes later. Those same teachers hold weekly detentions with the repeat chewers to make them scrape the multitudes of blobs that appear daily under the tables and chairs.

My theory is that kids only stick their gum under things when they are chewing in class and think they are about to get caught, OR, when the flavor runs out and they can’t get up and just throw the gum away because they weren’t supposed to be chewing in the first place. I have a mutual understanding with my students. I pretend I don’t see them chewing gum, and they don’t stick it under things. I don’t allow bubbles or smacking noises, but if you want to sit and chew quietly, well, it’s fine by me. I check weekly, and I have never found gum under a chair, and have found only 6 blobs under the tables all year. When I find gum, I hold all of the kids that sit at that table until one of them gives up and scrapes it off. The last time I had to do that was December. We all know we have to pick our battles, and well, I simply couldn’t care less about the gum. In the end my system works pretty well, and I don’t have to get all stressed out about something I consider to be totally unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

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4 Comments

Filed under teacher stuff

4 responses to “The Blob!

  1. Not Quite Grown Up...

    That is a great perspective, and a great “understanding” that you and your students have.

  2. Eric Turner

    Excellent! I’ll do the same when the time comes. And you are so right – you have to pick your battles and this one just isn’t worth the aggravation

  3. happychyck

    This isn’t my battle either, but that makes me “one of those teachers who doesn’t enforce the rules.” One of my poor ADHD students is calmer when he’s chewing, but there’s a teacher on our team who is adamant about no gum chewing. And wouldn’t you know it? He’s constantly in trouble with her and has detention at least once a week. I have that student TWICE a day and cannot even think of one time I have wanted to give him detention.

  4. Proverbs16three

    I used to allow my kids to eat in my classroom as long as wrappers and bugs didn’t become an issue. I no longer do this, b/c one morning we came in to an ant colony, the principal talked about it in one of his rants and i’ve killed more than one roach. Most of the kids were pretty good about cleaning up their wrappers. The ants really were the cheerleader’s fault. But one day one of the discipline principals came into my classroom and all the students where eating at the end of the lesson. He stated “Its not lunch time.” Within a week, the principal got on the intercom and had said for us to confiscate snacks. More than that, he walks into classrooms where kids have unopened bags of chips or juice on their desk and kindly puts that childs snack in the trash can after crumbling it. So its a loosing battle. I believe we should treat our kids (high schoolers) like adults in this respect. If it will keep them awake and on task, let them go for it

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