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Two Writing Teachers
"That desk has roaches," her classmate stated.
"No, it doesn't," replied the owner of the desk.
Since the bell rang, I asked the student if I could help with her desk.
"You worked hard for me today," I told her. "So I would like to help you."
I offered to stack her notebooks and books, and then place all the papers in a folder.
She said I could.
I started the deep dig into her desk. I placed books and notebooks to the side. I moved past paper, after paper, after paper, finding assignments and newsletters from long ago.
I think about how discouraged she must be each time she opens her desk. It got away from her.
I find her folders and place important notes and classroom coupons and math charts inside.
Her classroom teacher helps me decide what papers should stay or go.
Books get returned. Pencils sharpened. The desk is wiped clean inside and out.
I didn't do this chore for praise. I don't intend to berate the desk's owner tomorrow.
I just wanted to help this child have a chance to succeed tomorrow, with a clean desk.