Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Pencils: More Precious Than Gold


I have reached my boiling point. We are having a serious
pencil crisis at my school. In all of the years that I have taught at my school, teachers could always request pencils as needed for their classrooms. We could request the fat blue pencils for the emerging writers, the regular yellow #2 pencils and we even had the luxury of requesting fancy red, erasable pencils for student editing of written work. Those glory days are gone.

For the past several months, whenever we teachers have requested pencils, our orders do not get filled. Many of us have resorted to going out and buying them on our own. We know that we can't depend on the school or the parents to keep us supplied with this MOST IMPORTANT SCHOOL TOOL. I am not sure what the problem is here. Is our office staff is too busy for us or do we not have the $ to buy the pencils? Either one is just not acceptable to me.

On the rare occasion that a supply order does get filled, we are often shortchanged pencils. In addition, the pencils we are given are of the cheapest quality. They serve no purpose other than to make pencil shavings. The lead is broken all throughout the pencil. Today I went to sharpen a new pack of pencils and of the few that I could actually sharpen, I had to sharpen them half way down to find a point!

Today, my students were up and down, in and out of their seats ALL FLIPPING DAY LONG because they had to continually exchange their broken pencils for sharp ones. To make matters worse - it was a testing day. We were doing district wide testing. How well do you think those kids did today with all of those disruptions? UGH!

I am SICK AND TIRED of spending my money on basic classroom supplies. I am going to be forced to go out and buy pencils for my class though. I can't teach under these conditions. What other profession has to go out and pay out of pocket for basic supplies needed to perform a task? It is just one thing after another.

I am off to go and check out OfficeDepot.com. I wonder what kind of deals they have for # 2 pencils in bulk?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

My wife was a 3rd grade teacher for 30 years. I don't think there was a single year that she spent less than $1000 on basic classroom supplies that the school should have provided. Stuff like pencils, glue, scissors, etc.

Just happened upon your blog at random, you've got some interesting commentary. Enjoyed the reading.

cindylu said...

I didn't know pencils could be such an issue. Could you make this into a formal letter and send it to your principal, district officials or school board members?

MsAbcMom said...

Anon: Thanks for stopping by! We teachers shell out just too much $.

Cindy:
Sadly, by the time any action would be taken, if any, the school year would be over. I think I am going to have to start hinting to parents again....

Melissa CookingDiva said...

Kelly, that's really bad,...no pencils? Wow, what is going to be next? Hugs,
M

Teragram said...

Somehow WE managed to get a new DELL computer lab this year, but had to ask parents to provide pencils, kleenex, xerox paper, etc. I bought cheap bulk pencils at Target and the lead wasn't quite in the middle, so they wouldn't sharpen. BTW, I use the electric sharpener I bought... I doubt the superintendent bought the electric sharpener or pencils he uses.

Teragram said...

Oh, BTW, you and I DO buy those things begrudgingly because we adore our kids and want to enjoy our jobs. We wouldn't have to probably, but what would our classes be like to teach? If I hadn't bought the hundreds of trade books for my students, independent reading would be a real drag. As it is, I love that part of the day. It's not right that I have to buy those things, but it makes my job one that I love.

MsAbcMom said...

CookingDiva: I don't even want to think of what is next...

Teragram: I bought my fancy electric sharpener as well to the cost of $60! This one doesn't need to be replaced each year. I agree about buying things to make our jobs easier. I also supply all of the Kleenex and hand sanitizer, etc. I just wish I didn't have to buy so much!

BTW: For Sabi's "Christmas" present for the class we sent a box of pencils, tissues, hand sanitizer and some snacks. I wish other parents would do that.

Julissa said...

My niece brought home a list of supplies the teacher requested for each student... among the items were pencils, paper, tissue, toilet paper... hell, I think the only thing that was missing was the kitchen sink.

First time visitor :)

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