In my class is a boy, let’s name him Sam. Sam for Samkelo. So Sam is one of those learners who loses every thing he possesses at least once a day. On this one particular day, Sam seemed to excel at it. While other learners were engaged in a Maths activity, I heard a giggle and as teachers do, my eyes and ears tuned in to what was spoiling that blissful silence. Sam’s neighbour to his right blurted out
“Miss Sam doesn’t have a pencil!” . Now if you are a teacher, these words seem to always touch a nerve because that very morning I had ensured that every individual was in possession of a lead pencil. I could feel my teacher vein, ticking(if you don’t have one or know not its location, you are not a teacher). I then calmly question Sam as to the whereabouts of his pencil. At this point, every eye was on Sam and no writing was taking place. I heard snuffled giggles. Are you wondering why? Do you remember that I said he loses EVERYTHING!
“Miss I put it here”. He pokes his desk. An uproar of laughter followed.
“Miss he put it on his desk before break” adds the neighbour. More laughter. Having done this more times than I could remember, I decided to question no more and got him a new pencil. Now from there, the story took a very strange route.
Giggle-giggle. I looked up, wondering what happened now.
“Miss he lost his pencil again.” Giggle-giggle. Giggles neighbour.
I was confused as to be mad or just laugh at the absurdity of the situation. He couldn’t have misplaced a pencil in barely two minutes, could he? Sam was not amused and seemed genuinely concerned about his missing pencil. That was where I decided an adult was needed and unfortunately I was the only one in the midst of those giggling souls. I commenced the hunt for the lost pencil. Chair bag- nothing, pencil case- nada, under desk- dololo, and behind and under him- no pencil in sight.
I fear to mention that I became concerned as of that point. How could a pencil disappear into thin air? At this point not a soul was partaking in the Maths task. In the African culture we believe in Tikoloshe(dwarf-like water sprite). Could this learner have them? I continued to look, twice, three times. You know when you whisper to yourself and curse? You begin to question your own sanity as well. Did I really give him the pencil?
Of cause I did! How ridiculous was I! The question remained. What had happened to the pencil?
“Miss Noxy says she will write a story about the lost pencil”. Giggle
What a brilliant idea! We had a story writing activity that same day and what better story could we write but the one that confused us all.
THE LOST PENCIL was born
The above story was authored by Noxy herself and learners will surprise you with creativity and captivating stories. None wrote about my suspicions of tikiloshe‘s, and thank goodness for that as I have sensitive learners who scare pretty easily.
The stories ranged from the pencil that had wings and flew away to join other flying pencils to a pencil lost in the forest who met up with another pencil and met a giant and they all banded together to throw the giant into a river to get rid of him.
The above pages are from a few of the books(English is their second language, so excuse misspellings and grammar) I just love kids and their individuality if given room to be free.
Noxy will definitely be an author and she will mention how I taught her to write and I was her favourite teacher(hahaha).
The pencil is still missing as I write.