I'm working with a student when she appears at my side and asks...
"Mrs. Kirr, do you have pencil lead?"
"Middle drawer of the student station."
I continue working with a student on an activity, when she returns...
"There are three pieces left. Can I have them all?"
"Do you need all three? What about other students?"
"They don't need them. If they did, they would've taken them."
"What about my next class? Or tomorrow's classes?"
"Can I have them all?"
"You have to make that decision."
"I hate you, Mrs. Kirr."
One aspect of having a student station in lieu of a teacher desk is that students have to manage the supplies. I've run out of tape, often times after a student takes the tape to their own desk and "decorates" their pencil. We make do without tape for a bit after that. Sometimes students help peers regulate how much of the supplies they need. I've also gained a few pairs of scissors along the way.
My students are 11, 12, and 13 years old. Their frontal lobes, the part of the brain they use to they make decisions, won't be fully developed until they're 22 years old (or even later). They need the practice making these types of decisions. I'm glad the student station provides a teeny bit of this practice.
I've told this story a couple of times, and have been asked each time, "Did she take all three?"
I have no clue.
I don't need to know.
I love that she had the internal struggle.
I'm okay that she "hated" me at that point in her life.
I hope she learned something as a result.
And really - I can afford to run out of pencil lead.