“Teacher?” Zelda said, her hand not quite raised yet.
The teacher sighed, years of board statutes and parental demands weighing down on him, and said, “Yes Zelda?”
“Why am I always put in the dunce group?”
“There is no dunce group, Zelda. Just students with higher learning needs.”
“Okay. Why am I always put in the ‘students with higher learning needs’ group?” Zelda made finger quotes around the phrase as she said it.
“Because you consistently do poorly on assignments. So I’m trying to help your learning.”
The teacher’s voice was so devoid of feeling that Zelda frowned.
“Can’t you help me with my learning by designing an assignment suited to my capabilities? I mean, if you think I’m a total dunce, why not do something different? Or, you know, teach me and stuff?”
“I don’t think you’re a dunce, Zelda. Just that you need help to learn this material, which is what this assignment will do, as will the group you’ve been assigned.”
“Whatever, teach. I’m a dunce. You know it, I know it. Let’s just accept the facts.”
The teacher sighed and walked away, leaving Zelda to start thinking about her schoolwork.