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

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

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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  3. mrsf70

    mrsf70 Companion

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    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:
     
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  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    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.
     
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  5. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    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
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  6. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    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'!
     
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  7. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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

    Backroads Aficionado

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    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 Aficionado

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    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

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    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.
     
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  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    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.
     
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  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    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

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    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

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

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    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!
     
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  16. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    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 Magnifico

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    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.
     
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  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    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

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    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 Connoisseur

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    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

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    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.
     
  22. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    This.

    It truly depends on how each school/district writes their yearly plan/budget.

    We most definitely don’t have unlimited anything. That would be irresponsible.
     
  23. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    ^
    I mean we received 10 pencils for the whole year and they are very stingy about pencils. Most teachers who provide go through multiple boxes in my school, which we wouldn't be given.
     
  24. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    That's why I don't mind buying 75% off Valentine's and Easter pencils. 48 pencils for $1 is worth the hassle. Only problem is I'm very quickly running out of them. I might go through 20 a day!
     
  25. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    You're going to have to make the pencils like the pens they have at the bank. Attached to the desks!! Seriously, how hard is it to give back a pencil you borrow? For that matter, how hard is it to bring in your own pencil. Seriously, why is this such a problem???? Younger kids might have issues with maintaining supplies and school property but there's no excuse for the older kids.
     
  26. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I need to do this! The brighter, the better :)

    I do provide pencils since in California, at least, we are legally required to provide the basic necessities for our students if they are not able to provide them. I also ask for parent donations at Back to School Night and get most of my pencils for free that way. I like to think of it as "pencil-pay-it-forward" :)
     
  27. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    My state technically requires that too but it's not something in practice at my school. I did work at another school in the state that would not let us say we "required" students to send in anything or send home a school supply list. We could only have a wish list or suggested donation list.

    I get where the law is coming from but it should then be the responsibility of the school to provide the supplies, not the responsibility of the teacher! I am just so strongly against teachers being required to spend money on basic necessities (Kleenex, pencils, whiteboard markers, etc). I absolutely spend money on my classroom, but it is for extras that I want to have, not basic items that I need in order to do my job. That said, I also get that it's not the hill to die on for many teachers.
     
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  28. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    When you say 'we' are legally required do you mean the teachers or the school?
     
  29. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Sadly, I think if pushed the law would say schools can't get teachers to buy supplies from their own pockets but not enough will ever push on that.
     
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  30. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I venture it means the school district must supply.
     
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  31. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I agree with this 100% -- I do have a supply budget and it's always been enough to cover the essentials. I only buy something if it's really just something I want, not need -- like a cute desk lamp or an essential oils diffuser. I only buy the essentials if I forget to order something ahead of time -- which reminds me, I need to swing by the Dollar Store and pick up some post-it notes for tomorrow :p
     
  32. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I would never buy items unless I specifically wanted them and they were not on my school office supply order form (we can place an order at ANY time). It's not like we can write off every single thing we buy for the classroom on our taxes. I'm sure some teachers would have thousands of dollars worth of receipts!
     
  33. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    The school. We are given a supply budget that is supposed to cover all the "essentials."
     

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