Friday, March 15, 2013

A Neon Green Pen

"She gave up!" (This said with quite a bit of glee.)

I went around the classroom giving each student a sheet of assignment questions and a blank page on which to do the work. (This was at the continuation high school. They don't bring paper.) As I moved up the row, I found work distributed to students who I had not gotten to yet. That's when I saw the boy handing off the 3rd set of pages I had given him to a neighboring student.

I asked him: "You're not going to do it?"

I suppose I should have pushed harder. But it was Friday. At the continuation high school. I might have gotten him to keep the papers on his desk eventually, but he wasn't going to do the work. So, I moved on.

He was astonished. (See: quote above.)

Another student explained he couldn't do the assignment because he had nothing to write with. I offered a pencil. (The students don't bring pens/pencils to school either.)

"I can't write with pencils. I need...uh...a neon green pen."

Uh huh. Because I might be able to procure a pen for him, but could I find a neon green one?

Well, at least he kept the assignment.

Later, I passed by his desk. He had a pen. A black one. And then when I collected the work, he had done some. Not all of it, but more than some of them. In black ink.

The strangest thing was that period was the group that turned in the most work.  


  1. He has to use a neon green pen. Well, that's an original excuse.

  2. I wonder how many of these kids will grow up to self-identify as a republican. I'd say at least 47%

  3. I taught 7th grade math and English for 8 years. It was a "regular" school. They could borrow a pencil for "collateral" returned at the end of the period. No one ever asked for neon green. I do think I understand the kid though - I have a serious pen/pencil/journal/paper problem/addiction thing going on...
    Welcome to the A-Z Challenge, and thanks for visiting today.

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

  4. Why bring paper and pencils? Then it's easier not to do the work. Your continuation high school posts always make me laugh, especially because I subbed in a few of them in my time. You have a black belt in continuation high school subbing.


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