Pencils, Part One: Managing Your Pencil Supply

Hard-Won Knowledge about Pencils in the Classroom: An Occasional Series (Part One)

As a teacher, you will spend a surprising amount of time thinking about pencils.  Your teaching career will probably be one long pencil shortage.

I hope these tips help new and veteran teachers alike.  I sure wish I had known them when I was a new teacher.

1.  Buy as many pencils as you can at the back-to-school sales.  I recommend the Ticonderoga brand.  Some other brands tend to shred in the pencil sharpener.

2.  Obtain (hopefully through your district) fat pencils like little kids use.  These will be helpful for students with bad handwriting and poor fine motor skills.  Every year, no matter what grade you teach, you will instruct someone on how to use a pencil.  In doing so, you will make a lasting impact on the student’s life.

3.  Buy mechanical pencils if you can, but DON’T HAND THEM OUT.  Keep them for standardized testing.

At the beginning of the year, collect all pencil students bring in and control the supply yourself.  (If this isn’t the policy in your school, check with the principal first.)


 

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