Friday, March 06, 2009

Pencils, Bandages, and Erasers

It's funny what teachers have to dispense most of in the course of a week. We dispense smiles, listening ears to silly fun questions, like "Ms. Vazquez who is the best student, Angelica or I?" Quizzically, I just backed away on that one. Both of them are great kids and excellent in every way. There was one I preferred, but how edifying would it have been to say it? So no, I wasn't going there.

On the other hand, kids are constantly needing paper or asking for pencils of course. Two weeks ago, I had to begin a new system that I will lend them a pencil and they have to give me something of value in return. When I give them back their card, watch, bracelet, they get their pencil back. It has been working and I seem to have more pencils to lend and not have to spend money I don't have in order to keep kids on the roll. Erasers, not the same thing. I have these tiny erasers and I end up giving those away. It makes for an opportunity to be generous and it's okay. I don't mind.

Recently, there has been a rise in the need for bandages. Shoes that don't fit right, maybe cheaper brands, but kids are asking for them more often. So I have decided to have them stacked within easy reach in my desk drawer. Today I dispensed four to one student, because her shoes were causing her blisters on both sides of her feet. I know how bad it feels to walk on feet that hurt. What surprised me the most was the look in her eyes when I simply handed them over to her without a question. Thank goodness I had something to give her.

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