I looked across the classroom into a sea of faces. The first day of another school year; my first year back after a year's hiatus, had me treading water with four never-before-taught upper grade classes in three never-before-taught grades.
As we began our lesson I asked the students to pull out their notepaper. One student blankly stared back at me; no paper in sight.
"Do you have your paper?" I asked.
"Yes." he said.
Still no paper emerged.
"Do you have it with you in this class?"
He shook his head no.
"Why didn't you bring it with you?"
"I actually didn't think we would do any work today."
Silence followed. After all, what should one say to that?
Thankfully, for both of our sakes, I did not say what I was thinking.