A Phillie Teacher

I was a starry-eyed teacher from New Jersey. Now I work for Philadelphia Public Schools.

“Anybody got a pen?”

Posted by aphillieteacher on February 23, 2010

Pencil Exchange

Pencil Exchange

You know as well as I do that some kids walk around school all day without anything to write with. I can’t imagine how they get through eight periods unless they mooch off other people or simply don’t do anything that involves taking notes or tests or whatever.

I snapped a photo of this clever idea in a science teacher’s classroom. I’m not sure how effective his honor system is though: notice that the bin is completely empty.


8 Responses to ““Anybody got a pen?””

  1. Jen said

    Sadly, I hand out pencils individually, by the door as they pick up warm-ups and collect them in the classwork bin at the end of class. I suppose I could demand that they bring a pencil with them, but I know how many instructional time discussions that would entail.

    I only have some pencils with erasers, earliest arrivals without grabby hands get those. Anyone ripping off pieces of eraser to throw gets eraserless pencils. If it’s more than a one person problem, the whole class gets eraserless pencils. If your pencil breaks, I hand you a sharpened, but short and stubby one. There is no sharpening during class.

    It feels ridiculous, but at least I go through fewer pencils than those that leave them out in bins and I don’t have incessant requests for sharpening (or lack of request and just taking self to sharpener — which doesn’t really work anyway). This is 6th and 7th grade, no less.

    • Amazing that we have to supply kids with pencils/pens, isn’t it?

      You have to wonder about the mindset about a kid who feels perfectly ok in announcing he/she doesn’t have anything to write with. Follow that with the expectation that *we* are supposed to supply them with something.

      I think most people would agree that it isn’t right. But we teachers go along with it just so we can get on with the lesson.

  2. ricochet said

    I give out golf pencils. They hate them so they find their own solution and the golf pencils are cheaper.

  3. I think I’ll have to try the golf pencil thing. I’m just flabbergasted by how many students show up for class w/ nothing to write with. Some only show up with themselves. Gah.

  4. The kids in my classes always show up without pens, pencils, notebooks or textbooks.

    But they do come prepared with their iPods, cell phones, makeup kits and hats (all but the makeup is forbidden.)

    This gives some insight into what our students think is necessary for a full day at school.

  5. Mr Teacher said

    A former colleague of mine, a decent teacher, made her students leave a shoe under her desk in exchange for a pen or pencil to ensure they were all returned at the end of the lesson.

  6. merissanathangerson said

    Take a cell phone, give a pen. Period.

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