The school year started out amazing. Your student had all of their supplies neat and orderly in their booksacks ready to start the beginning of the school semester. You took their first day of school pictures with their uniforms crisp and pristine. You sent them off on their journey to a new year.
Fast forward to the end of the semester……….where in the world did all of that go?
Your student can barely find a school shirt that doesn’t have a stain on it or matching socks for that matter. The binding for one of his books has completely been torn in half. Permission slips, lunch bills, and signed papers are shoved in the bottom of his booksack without your required signature because they never made it to you. The rings in the binders are bent because he left his binder on the floor and a classmate stepped on it. Do I need to continue?
Let’s face it. It’s time for some new pencils.
Here’s a few reasons why it’s time for some NEW PENCILS:
1. They probably have not seen any since September.
Have you ever been in a school and seen the hallways and lockers. There is not a lot of organization from many students. Don’t get me wrong. There are the occasional Neat Nancy, but most of them are like Little Johnny and have a sandwich growing mold in their lunch bag that has been in there for three months.
Pencils are the last thing students keep up with. They are found on the playground, on classroom floors, and weirdly enough, in the bathroom.
On a daily basis, there are at least five pencils left in my classroom that I pick up off the floor. That’s on the low end.
2. They lend them out to their friends.
Many students aren’t that stingy with their supplies like pencils because it was not their money that paid for them. I have a student give out multiple pencils to friends because they did not have their own for the day. It is not that we do not want them to be kind and generous in letting their friends have pencils. We do love to see them helping each other out, but we know that it is going to be that student that will need pencils some days later.
Students need to be aware that in the event that they give out all their pencils that means there is a good possibility that they themselves may not have a pencil when they need one. Every student is responsible for their own supplies, but not their friends.
3. There is always that one class that requires pencils ONLY.
I know this class well. I am this class.
There is nothing more annoying than trying to grade a test from a student who does not know how to write in pens. In my English class, I require pencils only. With a lot of the papers and worksheets that we do, it is too complicated for me to allow them to use pens. There would be scratch outs all over the place, and it would be difficult to read in between all of that.
Therefore, pencils only is the route I take.
Many students are not all that excited when they find that out, but that is the way it is. I do have pencils they can borrow in my class, but then that leads us to the next point in this blog.
4. They are constantly “borrowing” the teacher’s stash.
Like I said, I do have pencils that I allow my students to use in my classroom if they come unprepared, but some students do not remember that the word is “borrowing”.
I start out every year with a big bucket of pencils. A WHOLE bucket of freshly sharpened and ready to use LEAD PENCILS. I use my own personal money to pay for these pencils. There are not just any pencils, but they are GREAT pencils. I do not get the cheap, colorful pencil, the ones that simply do not last very long and are constantly needing resharpening. Ticonderoga are my classroom pencils. They are amazing.
The students know how much pride I take in my pencils because I tell them I buy the good ones. However, they are not great at getting my pencils back to me. They do not “borrow” well. It is halfway through the year and my pencils are gone. GONE. They have disappeared.
I mean I will not go into debt buying pencils for my students, but it is not quite my responsibility to do this. I will have them ready at all times to use, but students need to be more mindful with putting them back.
As you have just read, parents, it is time for you to get your student more pencils. We are about to go into a whole new year so buy some brand new pencils for your student.
Fresh new pencils for a fresh new start.