Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Staplers: The Bane of My Existence

I have been through nine staplers this year. No kidding, nine. This isn’t one of those times when I exaggerate a tiny bit and say there were 85 million people at the REI anniversary sale – nine staplers have actually begun and ended their pathetic little lives in our class.

Office supplies do not last long in my class. One very disturbed little girl (who is now in a counseling-enriched special day class, thank God) had a habit of throwing staplers at the wall – and she could THROW. Other kids have tried to be helpful and put staples in the stapler, but managed to break the stapler in the process. The office wouldn’t give me any more staplers after the first four (can’t say I blame them!), so the others were all bought with my own money.

Pencil sharpeners are also a problem. The school provided an old-fashioned wall-mounted sharpener which immediately broke. They also gave us one electric sharpener halfway through the year – again, broke very quickly. I have bought three electric sharpeners on my own (since September) and the only one that is still functional is the one on my desk that kids don’t touch. I don’t know what they do to the sharpeners – they don’t seem to be treating them that badly (except for the one time Alan sharpened a crayon in the electric sharpener).

You’d think I’d learn after the first couple of electric sharpeners that I had to replace. But you can’t really run a classroom sans pencil sharpeners. I tried getting individual sharpeners but they seem to lose themselves. Also, at the end of each day, the floor is covered with pencil shavings, which makes me crazy and never gets all the way cleaned up.

So, if anyone has any ideas on either how to deal with the logistics of pencils (I despise pencils, I really really do) or how to extend the lives of the sharpeners, please let me know, as I would really appreciate some guidance! Donations of sharpeners and staplers also graciously accepted.

A future post will be about the vanishing scissors and the runaway tape. Or perhaps the markers that seem to take their own tops off, just to be dry out and be spiteful.

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