Sunday, September 5, 2010

I’m Picky About Pencils

Today while in the supply room at school I actually “whooped!”. I love office supplies, but they don’t usually make me cheer. I had good reason today!

Since the end of last school year, these pencils have been the bane of my existence.

pencil 2

They come pre-sharpened, but who cares when they are lousy pencils. They don’t sharpen in the pencil sharpener. I think my students have spent more time trying to sharpen these pencils in the last 6 months than they ever have in my entire 11 years of teaching. I’ve grown so frustrated that I just keep filling the pencil jar with boxes and boxes of these pencils so the kids can just throw them away when they get too dull. I know it’s wasteful, but that has certainly been a better option than losing my mind. My hope was that my new procedure would use up all those dumb pencils, in the whole district, so they’d have to buy us new ones.

Of course, the state of California is BROKE and schools have been hit really hard with budget cuts. I get that, and I know we have to cut back, but on the other hand in “my business” we kind of need good pencils, that are usable.

Well, today my pencil struggle came to an end! Boxes of my favorite pencils of all time, the Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencil, were sitting in our supply cupboard.


Hooray! No, they weren’t pre-sharpened, but at least they have the ability to be sharpened.

Since I had no idea what kind of pencils the bad ones were, I had to do a little research to find them. It took me awhile because they are not part of a school’s regular repertoire of pencils. I found out that the crappy pencils, in bulk, are about 22 cents each and the Ticonderogas are about 17 cents each….

Well, no wonder we’re in a budget crisis!


  1. Ha ha ha! Just yesterday I was school supply shopping with my daughter. I tried to get her to buy the cheap Office Max brand, but she dug in for the Dixon Ticonderga #2s. I didn't understand her insistence and since it was only a $1 difference, I gave in. Now I understand.

  2. Get out of the city. That is pure craziness. I am glad you are back in business with pencils that can be sharpened : )

  3. Those darn blue and white ones cost more?!

  4. I also hate those decorated ones...straight from China...they won't sharpen either and that paper covering rips off in the sharpener...AHHHH! Thank goodness for fat, eraserless kindergarten pencils.

  5. Is the State of California actually calling for Tax.
    Realistically, CAN the State call for such a tax.

  6. Those kind of things totally make a difference! All pencils (and other things) are not the same!!

    I totally understand your whoop of delight!!

  7. I'm glad I'm not the only one picky about pens and pencils!