I think I’ve mentioned this before. Having pencils sharpened and ready for students is always a challenge. Earlier in the year I would have students do it before school. You could always count on wondering students before school to come in and sharpen them for you. But ever since those teachers in L.A. were arrested, we aren’t allowed to have students in our classrooms before or after school (I’ll go into that at another date).
So now I have to sharpen them. And there actually aren’t a lot of quality pencil sharpeners in our school. There’s a heavy duty one in our workroom. That means dragging all my pencils down there to do that. I could. I’ve done it before, but its not my favorite option. I have an electric pencil sharpener from the school. That broke long ago. I have an electric one a student brought for me a couple of years ago. That one still works, but it’s not great.
The best pencil sharpeners are the Xacto sharpeners. You can get one that suction cups onto any flat surface. The do a great job, but they to only last for a couple of months. Maybe 4 at the most.
It’s a daily struggle. You can’t forget about them. You have to stay on top of them. Pencils. If you don’t pay attention to them, you’ll end up with 12 broken ones. You’ve got to make sure they are sharpened before the school day starts. Every time I’m in the work room, I need to bring at least a few back to the room with me.
Students are supposed to trade a dull one in for a sharp one. But some times they don’t. So my stash of 20 or so sharpened pencils dwindles as the day goes by. On a good day, I end up with about 20 broken or dull pencils, and about 3 sharpened one. But I rarely get good days. On an average day I’ll end up with about 10 broken or dull ones. None sharpened. Some days I’ll sharpen a few when I have some extra time. My goal is to go the entire day and have enough sharpened pencils to make it through the day without me having to sharpen any. That seldom happens.
I do have 2 sharpeners in my room. The electric one was one a student gave me last year. It WAS pretty good. But now it is really loud, and doesn’t sharpen so well. I have a hand-crank one, too. It WAS super good. But now it doesn’t sharpen most of the pencils very well. So to sharpen my pencils I go down the hallway to a good sharpener they have down there. When I’m lucky a coupld students will come by before school and sharpen them for me. But I never know if and when they’ll come, so I wait. If their not sharpened by 8:30, I go down and do it myself (we start at 8:45).