Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Kingdom for a Stapler and a Pencil Sharpener!

I have come to the conclusion that not all vacations are created equal. 

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.  ;)

See ya,


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 

 $24.99

Here are some honorable mentions,


2)  $59.97-$149.99


3)   $23.95-$31.92

Did not hear as much about staplers.  Your guess is as good as mine.  But these were the ones mentioned by readers.

1)  $23.39-$26.99

2) Staples® One-Touch™ DX-3 Desktop Flat Stack Full Strip Stapler, 20 Sheet Capacity, Black $15.99

Best of luck, to all of us.

24 comments:

  1. Have you tried the "quietest pencil sharpener" everyone on the blog has used?
    I don't think the word quietest should be used in the description, but I do think it sharpens well.
    Patty
    Second In Line

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patty, are you talking about this one?

      http://www.classroomfriendlysupplies.com/

      This is the one I am considering right now - Miss Taraba mentions it below.

      Thanks for the rec.

      Nicole

      Delete
  2. By far, the best pencil sharpener on the face of the planet: http://www.classroomfriendlysupplies.com/

    Every time I show mine off, teacher's faces GLOW with joy. Seriously--I will never use another pencil sharpener for the rest of my life. My students love it (almost as much as I do) because it makes, every time without fail, the sharpest pencil ever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miss Taraba,

      I am excited. This is the 4th recommendation for this sharpener! I was surprised at how reasonable they are! Done!

      Now, any recs for a sturdy, and reliable stapler?

      Nicole

      Delete
  3. This is by far the best pencil sharpener I have ever owned. Designed by a teacher and virtually indestructible, it sharpens the perfect pencil EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.
    http://www.classroomfriendlysupplies.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's unanimous!

      Thanks 2nd Grade Teach!

      What about staplers?

      Nicole

      Delete
  4. I have not laughed so hard in weeks! I understand completely!
    ~Fern

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad someone understands me, Fern! LOL :)

      Nicole

      Delete
  5. The classroom friendly supplies pencil sharpener guy will send you one for free to review for your blog. Just go to the site and sign up. The sharpener really is awesome, so you won't have any problem giving it a good review!

    Sweet Rhyme – Pure Reason

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like the paper pro stapler that you can get anywhere. . . and when mine broke I wrote to the company and they sent me a new one. . . for free!
    Patty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patty,

      It looks good! I am definitely looking for a stapler with soft springs - the kind you can do with 1 finger.

      Thanks

      Delete
  8. I got the Classroom Friendly Supplies sharpener too but it only lasted 6 months, and my kids had only been using it for a week because I was paranoid that they would break it. Self-fulfilling prophecy? It was good while it lasted but I won't bother with it again.
    ❤ Karen
    flamingofab@gmail.com
    Flamingo Fabulous in Second Grade

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, no! Thanks for the review, Karen.

      Nicole

      Delete
  9. Wait! I have one for you! (It's not the one that you can get for free though).

    I got this from Santa this year and it has been AMAZING and still works perfectly. I even let me teammies come over and use it all year too, so it got worked hard.
    Here is the link:
    http://www.amazon.com/School-Smart-Vertical-Pencil-Sharpener/dp/B003U6VSHU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1372382609&sr=8-2&keywords=pencil+sharpener

    Karen
    http://www.amazon.com/School-Smart-Vertical-Pencil-Sharpener/dp/B003U6VSHU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1372382609&sr=8-2&keywords=pencil+sharpener

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Karen! This one does look promising! Thanks

      Nicole

      Delete
  10. I have had the same sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies for TWO YEARS and it is still going strong! LOVE it. Word of advice, if you do get this sharpener DO NOT sharpen colored pencils with it. It doesn't sense when the colored pencils are sharpened (due to what I am assuming is a difference in the "lead") and before you know it your brand new colored pencil is an inch long! I have a basket of hand-held sharpeners just for colored pencils.

    Christina :)
    Apples, Books, and Crayons
    applesbooksandcrayons@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the note about the colored pencils, Christina!

      Nicole

      Delete
  11. I have this xacto sharpener at school:

    http://www.amazon.com/X-ACTO-Electric-Pencil-Sharpener-SmartStop/dp/B001PMHZGO/ref=sr_1_5?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1372397103&sr=1-5&keywords=xacto+pencil+sharpener

    It's pricey but it's held up for several years. Sharpens really well. I don't let the kids use it though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the link.

      Nicole :)

      Delete
  12. Thank you, all! This post with all of the comments have reassured me that I'm not a crazy teacher! I've had soooo many pencil sharpeners in the past 20+ years and all of them are history. In fact, one year I resorted to buying a box of miniature golf pencils (truth). That didn't work, so I'm back to spending my hard-earned money on chasing the perfect pencil sharpener and stapler. I'm a positive thinker, so I'll look into all of the suggestions above.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment made me laugh. I am happy to know I am not alone! This seriously drives me batty. I am really happy with the recommendations I received from this, and am still hopeful that one day, I will find office supplies utopia. :)

      Nicole

      Delete

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