what about classroom management?

So, I'm in the midst of a discussion with a parent about the concept of using paper and pencil. We discuss the safety issues of sharpening each pencil and I assure her that most of the students will not get stabbed if a teacher is doing his or her job.

From across the hall, Mrs. Thomson cuts in, "I'm worried about the classroom management issues. I mean, what happens if kids choose to pass notes instead of paying attention."

"If learning is meaningful, you'll find that . . . "

"But I can't compete with drawing pictures. Kids will want to draw pictures. At least with a slate, I can check their hands to see if they erased a picture."

Mrs. Jackson adds her concerns, "Besides, what would happen if they break a pencil. I heard that in some places kids actually snap pencils in half and throw them. I'm concerned about student safety."

"Besides," adds Mrs. Thompson, "you want to allow students to use paper and pencil at home. What if they write a letter to a stranger? What if they send a letter to a pedophile pretending to be a pen pal? You can't do that with a slate, can you?"

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