How Low-Quality Pencils Impact Our Students’ Education
There is a crisis facing our classrooms, and it revolves around the seemingly simple pencil. Schools across the country, unaware of the negative effects a poorly made pencil can have on our students’ educations, are choosing to purchase low-quality pencils and place these pencils in the hands of our students.
“Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that the pencils you buy are terrible?” wrote one teacher in an online discussion forum. “They split down the length of the pencil, the lead falls out, the [ferrule] falls off, or they sharpen unevenly…”
“I can’t believe how much class time has been wasted with off-center, lead-falling out, cruddy pencils,” added another.
“I wish parents would understand that cheap pencils actually cost more in the long run than more expensive, better quality pencils that last longer,” added a third.
By the time the thread came to a close, over forty teachers had chimed in to voice their concerns over the quality of the pencils in their classrooms. But why such concern over the quality of the writing instruments in our students’ hands?
In a previous interview here on our blog, teacher William Maguire explained why he provides his students with high-quality pencils.
“My goal was to not only eliminate pencils as a distraction, but also make them a positive focus in the classroom… My students are now ready to work when I need them to be. They have a greatly heightened sense of respect for their own property as well as other’s. Writing is now approached with greater willingness because it involves using a favorite pencil… Cursive has always been an easy sell to third graders, but now many of them reserve their favorite pencil exclusively for cursive. They get pretty excited to use it… This results in better results and students who take greater pride in their work and exude more confidence.”
In an article on Getting Kids Reading, a website dedicated to helping parents find ways to help their children with their school work, Joyce Grant even went so far as to say giving a quality pencil to your child “will actually help with his [or her] school work.” And in an era in which standardized tests and benchmarks measure a student’s and teacher’s success, help is never a bad thing.
High-quality pencils not only help teachers reduce the amount of time wasted in the classroom with broken leads, continuous sharpening and overall poor performance, they can actually help a student take pride in their work.
Not bad for something as seeming simple as a pencil.