I always enjoy Friday. My students leave my classroom for 1 hour and head down to the Pencil lab where the teacher there teaches them all kinds of things to do with their pencils.
I enjoy the time alone where I can grade papers, make a quick run to Starbucks, and just catch up on things that need to be done.
When they return, they will want to tell me all about what they learned. And I will smile, and listen for a bit and then tell them it is time to move on and to take out their chalk so we can begin the next lesson.
Yesterday, at staff meeting, we were told that a new shipment of pencils has been purchased for the lab. (really — was this necessary??) and if anyone wants one of the used pencils to put into their classroom, there will be a sign up list…..which we have to use a pencil to sign up on. (well, guess who’s name you won’t see there). Plus, where would I put another pencil?
I am forced to use a pencil in my class for grades and attendance — plus, they want us to start using the pencil to correspond with other teachers. Personally, I feel, this is getting a bit ridiculous.
We were also told at staff meeting that a Pencil Conference is coming up and it will be mandatory to attend. The pencil teacher gushed about all the sessions lead by pencilologists and how we will all love the keynote who’s topic is “100 Ways To Use A Pencil Tomorrow”. She also told us about the doorprizes which include erasers, sharpeners, cases…..and the grand prize of a school set of colored pencils. Oh, I just cannot wait. (insert sarcasm here)
I wasn’t trained to use a pencil and I really don’t see the effectiveness of this. I am a good teacher and love my kids and work hard at a my job. Will a pencil really make that much of a difference?
Okay, enough tongue in cheek — BUT as long as we emphasis the tool — and not the skills……….we will continue to have the same arguments, hesitations, and ruts.
Please stop using the word Technology……..