30 October 2012

dd, pencils edition

I think pencils are the bane of my teaching existence.

-I don't even want to think about the number of hours I've spent in my (comparatively) short lifetime sharpening pencils.

-Schools are rarely equipped with quality pencil sharpeners.  Annoying.  My most favorite pencil sharpener is this beauty, which I had at my last school (side-note: was my favorite teaching year. I'm not saying it was because of this sharpener, but now that I look back, maybe it had something to do with it.). And guess how much it is?  More than a massage at a nice spa/low-end Tiffany's necklace/a reasonably-priced pair of boots.  Ridiculous.

-My pencil rules are the following:
*Kids don't use the sharpener.
*Sharpener isn't even out where they can reach it.
*It's hidden in the cupboard and I only bring it out before/after school hours.
(Want to know why?  Pencil sharpeners are LOUD.  You know what's even louder?  25+ children.  You know what drives me absolutely insane?  25+ children AND a very loud pencil sharpener.)

-Some common pencil (and eraser) conversations:
*You broke your pencil?  No, I will not sharpen it for you.  That's why I put out five extra pencils at your table.
*You broke all of the pencils at your table?  Not my problem - go find another one.
*ALL of the pencils are broken?  Share with a friend. (I then sharpen during the next break.  Sometimes.)
*Don't put the pencil in your mouth.
*You chewed off the eraser?  That's why I put the big eraser in your pencil cup.
*You poked holes in the big eraser?  Not my problem - guess it won't work as well.
*You tore up the eraser into pieces?  Guess you get to share it more!
*You put the eraser down your pants?  That's gross.  I'm still not giving you a new one.
*Don't put the eraser in your mouth.

-The above being said, I think that the pencils (and erasers) that children use are one of the dirtiest things on this planet.

-Also, their claim is true: Ticonderoga pencils are the best, at least when it comes to the wooden pencil variety.