The other day I was doing some fraction work with a 9 year-old who decided she’d practice math during the summer. (Yes, it really was her idea.  Which is not to say that she wanted to practice during the summer.  Only that she wanted to practice more than she wanted to be confused or behind upon returning to school in the fall.)

At one point she was pondering what to do next in one of the problems from the book she’s been working through and she said to herself “I think they want me to…”

I wonder what kids imagine when they ascertain that there’s a they behind all these things they’re asked and told to do. What kind of an entity do they picture?  An omniscient teacher (or principal) sitting at a computer somewhere writing up all the stuff they’ll have to learn?  Or something more amorphous, just floating out there somewhere in publishing land, telling all the teachers and parents what to say?