My name is Emily Burkett and I have been teaching for 10 years.
Somehow during this past decade I have noticed that students have become less skilled at bringing writing utensils to class. I find myself saying, “How come you are not prepared” and/or “Why do you not have something to write with” about 30-40 times per day.
It is exhausting.
One simple requirement for students is that they must have something to write with — especially in a math classroom. Other students seem to have the “drill” down and they sit in their seats prepared for class.
Those students make my life easier. Less classroom interruptions, less time away from learning, because they are prepared! However, there is always that one student who is prepared that needs to sharpen their pencil just as the lesson begins.
If you are a teacher, I’m sure you’re stomach just turned a bit.
That one student who shouts out “I need to sharpen my pencil” and then takes 20 minutes to stand up, walk to an ancient wall sharpener or electric sharpener and makes A TON OF NOISE.
Another disruption. Not to mention, after they are done sharpening their pencil, the sharpener does a lack luster job and they have to ask other students for pencils.
It is SO annoying.
One day in the lunch room, I was talking with a colleague about this situation. She told me she has the solution. She said she has a pencil sharpener that sharpens pencils perfectly every time. I had to see what she was talking about. I had to use this magnificent piece of equipment, just to experience it for myself.
I walked into her room, she taught me how to use the sharpener as it takes some getting use to…and voila! Perfect, sharpen!
She went into her closet and handed me an unopened one as a gift. I felt like I hit the lottery! I ran to my room, I excitedly threw out my very loud and inefficient electronic pencil sharpener and installed this one on a desk.
When my students came in, I gave them a tutorial on how to use this machine so they do not break it. “Pinch the tabs, pull them out, pinch again, insert pencil, sharpen with crank, pinch tabs and pull out”.
AWESOME. My students couldn’t wait to sharpen their pencils (if they brought one).
The next day, I had students from other classes coming into my room to sharpen their pencils (a disruption yes, but it takes 3 seconds to sharpen and it’s so quiet!).
Unfortunately, this sharpener got a ton of use, and eventually broke. But, I was able to get replacement parts easily on the website: http://www.classroomfriendlysupplies.com/. I just ordered one in red (class voted on color) so we can have two in my room. It has been a life saver, a time saver, and has helped minimize disruptions in my classroom. It truly is the best, pencil sharpener in the world. Spread the word, teachers!