Sometimes, I wonder what other people, meaning non-teachers, do during their vacations.
Do they go back to work for professional development workshops?
Do they stalk advertisements for the best deals on composition books and scissors?
Do they spend dollar upon dollar, hour upon hour, laminating task cards and behavior charts?
Do they hit their local charities for book donations, and spend their Saturdays sifting through bins (and I mean BINS) of discarded books- in the hopes of adding to their libraries?
Do they do ample amounts of professional reading to find that one structure or idea that is going to make all the difference for the students they teach?
Do they spend their time doing this?
No! They are lying in Bora Bora, or some other amazing place, sipping on Mai Tai's, because they are on VACATION!
Yes, today, I actually spent 10 minutes of my vacation dismantling my ancient, school issued, pencil sharpener. This sharpener is older than dirt, and dirt could probably sharpen a pencil better than this 12 pound beast. It's loud, only sharpens one side of a pencil, and sprays pencil shavings in a tidy halo-type ring around its base.
But, it is the only one I have, and my sweet son - who went to work in my classroom with me last week (once again, mind you, during my "vacation") tried to sharpen that two-sided pencil (GRRR!) for my Emergency Pencil Jar. Sweet boy, he knew not what he was doing!
The pencil sharpener is now clear of all obstacles. That should make me happy, right? No, it does not. Because reality is, I am looking at another 10 precious minutes of my life to put it back together. And what will I have to show for it? A pencil sharpener that still does not really work!
So this got me to thinking - My kingdom for a pencil sharpener AND a stapler that actually works! I have a graveyard of over 10 staplers in my classroom. Not one of them works. My one "good one"? Heaven forbid should you ask that thing to staple more than 5 sheets together, and every 4th time you use it, you have to open it out to clear out a jammed staple. Does anyone else feel my pain?
So, I have decided to bite the bullet, and I will be purchasing my very own, brand new, pencil sharpener - and 2 staplers for my classroom. But, I need recommendations! Please, help! If you can recommend a stapler and pencil sharpener brand, that will stand up to large amounts of physical abuse, and is worth the pretty penny that we all work so hard to make, please leave a comment below.
Thanks, friends. I am off to enjoy what is left of my "vacation" - or in other words, what is left of my 6 weeks of unpaid prep time. ;)
6/28/13 I am making an update to this post for all my fellow teachers out there, who have suffered in silence for too long at the hands of subpar office supplies. Rise up, my friends! Rise up!
Now remember, I have not tried any of these products myself, yet. I am just listing the most recommended products, in response to the post above. The research, and risk, is yours (all prices current as of 6.28.13)
Pencil Sharpener Recommendations.
1) By far, the most recommended was this sharpener from classroomfriendlysupplies.com
Here are some honorable mentions,
Did not hear as much about staplers. Your guess is as good as mine. But these were the ones mentioned by readers.
Best of luck, to all of us.