If you've ever wondered how to identify a principal from among a crowd of people, Sam had this litmus test this morning: the fanciness of the person's pencil. A rather high-tech pencil had been left behind in our classroom after yesterday's teacher workshop. Sam found it and immediately labeled it as too fancy to belong to a second grader. It was mechanical after all. I mean, second graders do lose dozens of pencils a day, break or rip off erasers, and sometimes have paint-covered hands after art class.
Clearly a pencil of this caliber would not last ten minutes in the hands of a student. It must belong to a grown-up. Further, it apparently seemed a little too fancy, even, for a teacher. I'm not sure what level of pencil I'm at as a teacher, but perhaps one that's somewhat but not too fancy - a hologram print, let's say, or a pseudo-mechanical one with the seven or eight very small leads that you remove when dull and then put back into the pencil from the end, pushing a sharp very small lead to the top. Or maybe teachers are known for their comically oversized pencils like the one I got from a student one year. It made a great prop when I had to exaggeratedly write down important teacher things like science.
But no, THIS marvel of lime-green plastic had a oval-shaped BUTTON that you press with your index finger to kick out more lead. Definitely the instrument of someone with his or her own office. He pinched it delicately between his fingers and brought it over to me. "I think this belongs to one of the principals." When I chuckled and asked him why it couldn't belong to a teacher, he referenced the oval-shaped button and its overall fancy-shcmancy-ness.
Unfortunately, Sam's pencil hierarchy theory was debunked when I happened to run into both the principal and the assistant principal in the hall, and neither was missing a fantastic green pencil. Could it possibly belong to a superintendent??
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