Managing pencils

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by J. A., Sep 22, 2018.

  1. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Sep 26, 2018

    This is just like the other school supply thread. The school needs to provide the pencils NOT the teacher. If you have provided pencils and they disappear then it's on them. When students feel entitled to certain things from the teacher most of them won't really take care of the items because they think they'll just ask for more. How is it your fault that they lose them or forget them?
     
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  2. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 26, 2018

    I'm in the "not a hill I want to die on" camp. If a student doesn't have something to write with, they aren't able to participate and they miss out on the learning for the day. If I send them around to borrow from others, not only do they miss out on learning, but they disrupt the learning of others. I put out one or two pencils for each student on the first day of school, then I have a bin of extras; the majority of the "extras" are not new, I easily pick up 5 or 6 every day from the floor of the classroom or the hall floor (especially once the caretakers have swept out the rooms!).
     
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    Sep 26, 2018

    I have been known to amuse myself with the hypothetical of a situation of a school such in the habit of teachers providing this and that and what would happen if the teacher just flat-out refused or even gave inarguable reasons why she just couldn't purchase that at this time. Really, what would the school do?
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Sep 26, 2018

    They can't do anything. They would have to step up.
    I do remember my first day of middle school I was so nervous that I forgot to put a pencil/pen in my backpack. I borrowed one the girl sitting next to me. It didn't occur to me to complain to the teacher that I didn't have a pencil!

    I have a student in my self contained autism class that needs food to reinforce good behaviors. The case worker told me to give her goldfish when she followed directions. Ok, lady, just let me know where I can get my hands on some goldfish and we'll do it! Sometimes you just have to ask because there are people who do assume you will just go out and buy stuff yourself. It's easier for them that way.
     
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  5. CharRMS

    CharRMS Companion

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    Sep 26, 2018

    When it comes to pencils, I tell my kids the first day of school that I don't provide pencils. I always have a few that ask, and I remind them that I don't provide pencils (sometimes it is hard to tell them no because I want to help them). When they ask, I remind them of the ways they can get a pencil to use in class.
    1. The borrow cup: I stocked it with four pencils at the beginning of the year, and now I stock it with pencils found around the room and the hallway. The kids will even find pencils and put them in the cup. I'll replenish every once in awhile.
    2. Borrow from a friend or team member.
    3. Write with something else. They can write with a coloring pencil, pen, or crayon, which are provided from them in their team caddies.
    For the most part, kids are resourceful with finding something to write with. If I did have to provide pencils, I would ask around for misprint pencils or maybe even try golf pencils.

    My first year, I kept up with a pencil cup for kids to borrow from, but it turned in to me buying pencils constantly, and I was tired of always spending money on pencils only to find them broken and scattered on the floor. However, I did, and still do buy pencil lead refills and cap erasers and give them out when they are needed.
     
  6. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 26, 2018

    Agreed. If we continue to fund our classrooms, districts will have no incentive to do so.
     
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  7. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 26, 2018

    I gave a kid a pencil today only to find it broken on the floor at the end of class.
     
  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Sep 27, 2018

    :(
     
  9. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    Sep 27, 2018

    Golf pencils.A pack of 144 for 5 bucks.
     
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  10. ms.irene

    ms.irene Groupie

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    Sep 27, 2018

    This is a nice idea, but in California, at least, we are required by law (Williams Act) to provide necessary supplies as part of a free public education. Some schools provide supplies for teachers, but others just provide a supply budget and it's up to the teacher to order supplies, including pencils. If you teach in a high SES school, you never end up worrying about it, because 99% of the kids bring their own, and the rest is donated by the parents. If you work in a low SES school, you will never have enough of anything, ever.
     
  11. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    ^
    I teach in a low-income school and I had some kids destroy or hide (not sure which) a tissue box in my room. I've also given kids a pencil to find it broken on the floor later. It seems like kids just don't respect supplies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
  12. Camel13

    Camel13 Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2018

    This is a weird one for me. Last year, I ran out of pencils all the time from the borrowing cup. Lectured students about it. Some donated a ton. Gone right away. I started collecting a shoe from a student if they needed to borrow for an hour. They thought it funny but it worked. This year I bought personalized pencils and put in caddies at the tables. Floor pencils are in a cup and they have stayed full so far all year. A few of the others have ended up in other teacher’s rooms but brought back by do-gooders. Not sure what shaped the change, but all is good now!
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Sep 28, 2018

    If it wasn't such a liability for the teacher, I think trading their phones (which they don't need to have in class) for a pencil would be the way to go.
     
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  14. J. A.

    J. A. Rookie

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    Sep 29, 2018

    Some good ideas. Lately I have been "flagging" them with hot pink duct tape and writing a number on the tape's flag with Sharpie. However, the numbers somehow fade? I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume their palm sweat rubs it off when they turn it upside down to erase. I'm determined to win this war. lol. I used my instructional funds to order a gross of pencils, and I have plenty that the former teacher left. Still... they go fast. Anyway, during bellringer time, I quickly write on the dry erase board the student's name and the pencil # in their hand. It works okay, but when the numbers fade or I forget to collect them during a class change, it's pointless. (get it?)
     
  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Sep 30, 2018

    This may seem strange, but I just let the students keep the pencils that they take from the writing containers in my classroom because there are so many of them added each day that I quickly run out of space to put more in. It’s getting ridiculous just how many pencils my high school students leave around. I still can’t figure out why my students bring so many to class. I’d think having one and a spare would be plenty, but they have entire pencil-pouches filled to the brim almost and it seems like they just leave their contents in my room after they leave, lol!
     
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  16. Aces

    Aces Comrade

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    Sep 30, 2018

    I'm with you on this one. I don't make any effort to monitor or maintain the pencil tray really at all other than to put ones in it I find. If I get too many, I toss em in file 13.
     
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  17. ms.irene

    ms.irene Groupie

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    Oct 2, 2018

    Send them to me, please -- I never have enough! :)
     
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  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Haha, yes!
     
  19. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Oct 11, 2018 at 8:44 AM

    There is always the option of going to various (free) expos, festivals and such and getting freebie (promo) pens and pencils. I have accumulated hundreds doing this!! A lot of the time, I will simply ask nicely and explain I'm a teacher and the person working the booth will load me up.
    Police departments, volunteer fire departments all seem to have tons of pencils for free (they usually say 911 on them or such). Bank pens!
     
  20. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2018 at 2:20 PM

    If it were that easy then parents would be doing this to get the pencils for their kids so teachers wouldn't have this ridiculous problem in the first place. Apparently, it's too much trouble for them to go to the dollar store to buy pack of pencils much less go hunting around for free ones.
     

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