Today My Kids Have Pencilology

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……..



  1. Erica says:

    Hear Hear!! I get SO TIRED of listening to people say they want to measure the use of technology in classrooms! Do we measure the use of textbooks? Calculators? Pens & pencils??

    Nicely done!

  2. Bill Gaskins says:

    I agree with the statement you are making. I am still in shock how little teachers know about how to navigate the Internet. We need to raise the bar for teachers instead of giving lip service.


  3. It is challenging to use the word *technology* only for those cases in which it can be taken at face value. But necessary.

  4. Rachel young says:

    And just the other day my Pencil stopped working, the lead went blunt. I had a sharpener on the table, but I wasn’t allowed to use it. Instead I rang the Pencil Help who came three hours later, while I was in the middle of a discussion with the kids. Thankfully he was able to use the sharpener himself.

  5. Bill Gaskins says:

    […] Today My Kids Have Pencilology […]

  6. Jen,

    Have you read the blog Adventures in Pencil Integration? by John Spencer

    I enjoy every post I have time to read!


  7. Melanie Boyd says:

    You had me at first on this one. LOL
    Very good point!

  8. […] Little Thoughts Swirlin’ Round Me October 25, 2010 — Vicky Sedgwick I just read Jen Wagner’s Today My Kids Have Pencilogy blog post and chuckled but then quickly realized that I am the Pencilogy teacher at my school. Yes, our […]

  9. […] Wagner recalled a blogpost she wrote in 2010 entitled […]

  10. […] article, Crating a New Culture of Teaching and Learning by Alan November and Jen Wagner’s blog post reminded me a lot of what I learned from David Warlick’s book Redefining Literacy 2.0. All of […]

  11. […] integration is limited in the least and non-existent at the most. The blog post by Jen Wagner at provides an analogous insight into the apprehension some teachers feel towards technology use in […]

Leave a Reply to The STEM Catalyst - Can Technology be a Bad Thing Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *