Pencils... pencils... pencils....

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pi-R-Squared, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    213

    Dec 30, 2018

    mathmagic and vickilyn like this.
  2.  
  3. mrsf70

    mrsf70 Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    40

    Dec 31, 2018

    Pencils are not a hill I want to die on. I loan them out; if I get them back, it's a great day. Math class goes much more smoothly with a pencil. :wink:
     
    Backroads likes this.
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,304
    Likes Received:
    1,105

    Dec 31, 2018

    I always have a bin of pencils available. When they run out, I put more in the bin. It's never been something I worry about.
     
    dgpiaffeteach and Backroads like this.
  5. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    419

    Dec 31, 2018

    I read this article and I agree with it, but unfortunately schools do not supply pencils! It is wrong for the article to suggest that teachers do a car wash for pencils! At my school, if I leave 100 pencils out, they will be gone by the end of the day. I pick up “floor pencils” and they are also gone after an hour.

    A coworker at my school who provides pencils said that she had to keep buying because they break them and don’t respect them. I gave out golf pencils but I am tired of the same kids borrowing and not returning them. They at least do not break the pencils in my room (I think golf pencils are too small to break.) I am now planning on just asking kids to borrow or to get a colored pencil if they need one when I run out. I do give out nice pencils with erasers for tests if they need it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
    Backroads likes this.
  6. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,540
    Likes Received:
    282

    Dec 31, 2018

    I sub and I carry about 50 pencils around with me. The only reason I visit IKEA is to fill my pockets with their pencils;) We also have another store in the UK called Argos and they also put out pots of pencils for teachers to 'borrow'!
     
    ms.irene likes this.
  7. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    419

    Dec 31, 2018

    I have a gift card to IKEA and I have been meaning to go to grab the pencils!! LOL
     
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,992
    Likes Received:
    1,376

    Dec 31, 2018

    I have been blessed in this area. The universe tends to send pencils toward me one way or the other. It's yet to be an issue.

    I agree with the article to a large extent. Pencils is not a hill I would wish to die on. How often have I been to some seminar or another or even a bank and had to rely on a borrowed or swag pen?

    That said, I think the writer of the article puts way too much pencil responsibility on the teacher. It's one thing to offer up a pencil, if available, without too much drama. It's quite another to expect the teacher to go to the ends of the earth to make sure pencils are available. I mean, pencil drives, car washes, begging them as gifts... really?

    In my mind, the average student finding himself without a pencil can certainly ask a teacher. Or a friend. Or look for one fallen in the classroom or hall. And if all reasonable alternatives fail, well, that's less a lesson for everyone and more like one of those things.
     
  9. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,992
    Likes Received:
    1,376

    Dec 31, 2018

    Heh, I just had a memory of Scout camp days. I happened to instruct merit badge classes that often needed writing. I was a college student/new teacher at the time, and I started out the summers much weirder about pencils and pens. After a summer, I was kind enough to purchase a bag of cheap pens when I could, but I stopped having heart palpitations if I was unable to provide a pen. If a few kids had to pass around a pen, so be it.
     
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,552
    Likes Received:
    1,220

    Dec 31, 2018

    You know how some businesses glue fake flowers or a spoon to the top of a pen? I've done similar things. I've also had students write their names on the board when they're borrowing a pencil so I remember to ask for it back at the end of class.

    Thankfully there's only been one year, maybe two, where that was necessary due to running out of supplies. Students do go through them like crazy though.
     
    ms.irene likes this.
  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,224
    Likes Received:
    144

    Dec 31, 2018

    I just keep a tub out filled with pencils and pens and refill them as necessary. I really struggle to get rid of pencils though. The kids never take them! Pens go a little quicker.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    7,723
    Likes Received:
    1,884

    Dec 31, 2018

    Pens are gone in a heartbeat. Our students will use them to self tattoo, so I refuse to give them out. I pick up pencils at thrift stores, good buys on Ebay, etc. Pencils I will provide, and used pencils have the advantage of not being as impressive to break for no reason (sigh. . . ). I only ever have a few with erasers, since they are pulled off almost immediately. Used pencils with used erasers fare better. Fancy pencils are a huge no-no in my classes. Guess that saves me money. So I am the mean lady who keeps the only pen in sight hanging on the lanyard around her neck, and that's where it stays. I don't want to fight over pencils. When they feel the urge to snap them in half, I sharpen the halves and put them in the pencil can. They get used.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  13. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,042
    Likes Received:
    637

    Dec 31, 2018

    I stock up on pencils anytime I find them on sale in the summer. I also buy two gross of personalized pencils with my name on them. I also pick up pencils off the floor and ones left on desks.
     
  14. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2016
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    130

    Dec 31, 2018

    I just consider it a known job expense and buy in bulk.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  15. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,376
    Likes Received:
    1,137

    Dec 31, 2018

    I've found that the less I worry about things or make them a big deal in the classroom, the less of a big deal it is in the classroom to the kids, too.

    Plus, all that time I might spend on worrying about pencils or whatnot can then be diverted to something much more important!
     
    otterpop likes this.
  16. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    213

    Dec 31, 2018

    I honestly do not understand why my students would purposely borrow my pencils and then either break them in half and/or remove the eraser... I can understand their removing the plastic coating around the pencil but actually breaking them? If I find any pencils with erasers gone, I just toss 'em. Maybe I should keep them instead...
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    7,723
    Likes Received:
    1,884

    Dec 31, 2018

    I consider keeping the broken pencils as a silent reminder that although good things were offered, it was their choice to destroy. I never speak of it or berate. If I am between fresh pencils to put out, the halves will indeed get the work done, keeping them from claiming that there was nothing to write with. Certain of my students act out with pencil destruction when they are not doing well in all facets of their lives. My students have multiple problems, and come to us with baggage. Not only do I not want to stress over the pencil situation, I don't indulge their attempts to make it a power struggle. No certain pencils for certain students, no going to get a pen from another teacher, etc. A pencil is simply something to do the work with, which then gets them a grade they can see and appreciate.
     
    otterpop and Backroads like this.
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,661
    Likes Received:
    1,485

    Dec 31, 2018

    I need to adopt this; while I always provide a pencil, I don't always react well when I find them broken.
     
  19. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,169
    Likes Received:
    1,073

    Jan 1, 2019

    As an elementary teacher, I would always provide pencils. I had a dull basket and sharp basket. They'd place a dull pencil in the dull basket and grab a sharp one from the sharp basket. Sometimes, their pencil would somehow vanish, so they'd know to get one from the sharp basket. Dealing with pencils was not a hill I was willing to die on. I wouldn't even like to hear the word pencil mentioned from students. Every school I've worked at has had an abundance of them (Title I schools = plenty of $ for supplies).

    I can't imagine providing a never-ending supply to middle and high schoolers, though. Most teachers have upwards of 175 students.
     
  20. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    419

    Jan 1, 2019

    I'm not sure if it depends on the region, but I student taught in a Title 1 school and currently teach in a different Title 1 school and supplies are limited. (We always have unlimited paper and most basic supplies but we can't have unlimited pencils.)
     
  21. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,042
    Likes Received:
    637

    Jan 1, 2019

    I’m in a Title I district, and we have enough supplies, but not unlimited. We have had major budget cuts over the past couple of years.

    Title I funds aren’t always earmarked for supplies. Most of our is for staffing.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. 1Alicia Collins,
  2. Detour12,
  3. TeacherNY,
  4. MrsC,
  5. miss-m
Total: 337 (members: 7, guests: 312, robots: 18)
test