Day 22 – Mysteries, Part 1

The Case of the Pink Spelling Paper

It must be the full moon. I don’t know how else to explain the odd things that have happened in my classroom over the past few days. Slice of Life is not about novel writing, so I am going to write about one oddity each of the next four days. Interested? Keep reading…

Yesterday: We are two minutes away from going to Music. Students are lining up at the door, it’s a little loud, but it is the week before spring break, so – whatever. I walk from the front of the room to my desk at the back of the room, and find a slightly rumpled spelling worksheet, without a name, on my desk. “Ummm… who’s spelling paper is this on my desk? It wasn’t here three minutes ago.” Crickets. “Boys and girls, who’s pink spelling paper is this? This was the homework I collected yesterday, there’s no name on it.” Silence. Then, a helpful voice from a student, “Maybe it’s Danny’s.” Danny: “No, that’s not my handwriting, besides, I turned mine in yesterday.” “Maybe it’s Elliot’s,” another voice chimes in. “No, not his either.” I think to myself, this looks like Sally’s paper. She was absent Tuesday, got the work yesterday, and is giving it to me today. Yes, definitely Sally’s handwriting. “Sally, is this your paper?” Blank stare. “Sally? Will you please come over here and take a look? This sure looks like your handwriting, plus you were absent…” “No, that doesn’t look like my handwriting.” “Did you put this paper on my desk just a minute ago? You forgot to put your name on it. It sure looks like yours.” Again, nothing. Then Sally says, “I don’t remember putting anything on your desk.”

Okay, deep breath time. “Boys and girls, please line up for Music.” While they line up, I quickly grab a class list and check in the spelling papers from the previous day. GUESS whose paper I didn’t have??? Yep! SALLY’S!!!! I call Sally over to my desk. I hold the paper in front of her. “Sally, I just checked in all the papers that were turned in, and as you can see,” gesturing to my list, “Your paper is the only one missing. This is YOUR handwriting.” Again, Sally says, “That doesn’t look like my handwriting.” Okay, I am about to lose it here, but instead, I take another deep breath. “Sally, you can do one of two things right now. You can either claim this paper as yours, or you can go get me a late homework pass from your binder.” (students get four late homework passes per trimester. Reward at the end if they keep even one) As you can imagine, Sally quickly took the mystery paper to her desk, wrote her name on it, and brought it back to me. Mystery solved. I think. Wouldn’t it just be a kick in the teeth if it turned out to NOT be her paper?! The way things have been going lately, that’s exactly what will happen. This afternoon. Two minutes before dismissal.

Six and a half more hours…

3 thoughts on “Day 22 – Mysteries, Part 1

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