Do you have Alex’s pencil? I know this is a bizarre question for me to ask in the middle of your exam, and I am so sorry for interrupting you. A strange series of events has happened in my classroom over the last few minutes, and I need your help sorting it all out:
Just before class started, Alex entered the room and sat down heavily in his desk. He looked around frantically, breathing hard, like he had sprinted to class.
Alex [calling out loudly while the rest of the class is starting their Do Now activity]: “Cristofer has my pencil!”
Me [from across the room, helping Adjatay get settled in his desk]: “Cristofer isn’t in the room right now. He’s taking a test with Ms. Jimenez.”
Alex [louder, slightly panicked]: “Cristofer has my pencil!”
Me [slightly annoyed but still calm]: “Do you have another pencil you could use?”
Alex [yelling]: “Cristofer has my pencil!”
Me [swallowing frustration and walking swiftly to the other side of the room]: “Alex, I understand that Cristofer has one of your pencils. Do you have another pencil you can use? I have given out all my extra pencils today.”
Alex [still yelling, although I am standing at his desk]: “Cristofer has my pencil!”
Me [yelling]: “IF YOU SAY THE WORD PENCIL ONE MORE TIME I WILL BREAK EVERY PENCIL IN YOUR PENCIL POUCH!”
Alex: “…But Cristofer has my pencil….”
At this point, I’m not proud to say, I snapped. Emotionally, that is. I certainly tried to snap his pencils, but he was right. There was nothing in his pencil pouch except a half-chewed eraser cap. I rifled through his binder rather dramatically. Needless to say, no one was working on the Do Now anymore.
Recognizing that the entire class was staring at me wide-eyed, I asked if anyone had a pencil they could loan Alex. Suddenly everyone was back to work, eyes on their own papers, no extra pencils in sight.
I’m sending this note with Ethan as a desperate plea. Do you have Alex’s pencil? If not, do you have a pencil he can borrow? I’m sorry to interrupt your test, but we’re in a minor state of emergency here.
All my love,