Following Up on the Following Up

Good morning.  I slept for a lot of hours last night.  I can't really remember anything about it, but I know it was absolutely wonderful. 

Let me start this post off by saying that I did not want the last post to bring about feelings of political angst or anything.  I'd rather not talk about politics on here.  As my pastor says, I should be a peacemaker.

With that being said, when I talked about the unions, I meant more of the type of union that matters to my friends and me at our school site.  Not the outside world as much.  You have to remember that you're talking to a girl with a 9 year old car that only only has 70,000 miles on it.  I tend to stay in my own little world (I do travel far to see the dentist, and the hairdresser, and the eye doctor, and my family, but that's all).

In other words, I kind of meant who fights for you the way our union fights for us so that we do not have to stay past our contract time for a staff meeting or a workshop or anything else the powers-that-be might plan for a fun evening spent at school.

In my old school district, it was not at all uncommon for staff meetings to run past 5:00.  Or to be voluntarily signed up against your will to attend a workshop after school without being paid.  I had no idea that was even a problem.  I just did it.

But then I came to my current school district and stuff like that is not allowed.  The union fights for stuff like that.

So our staff meetings are before school starts which is absolutely genius - there is no way that they can run long.  We've got to go.  Students are arriving.  And then, if you want to impress your principal, you could make a statement saying something along the lines of, "Aw!  Bummer!  I was really into this staff meeting matter and we've run out of time.  Pooh."  (Just for the record, that has NEVER come out of my mouth, but I'm just saying if you wanted to, you could.)

Workshops after school?  Well, first of all, you can't get signed up against your will.  And, second of all, you get paid if you do sign up.  

I know.  You get paid.  Extra.

I always sign up, but now we don't really have those opportunities, what with the budget being what it is these days.  You know - practically non-existent.

So that's kind of what I meant about who's fighting for you . . . because I really hope your staff meetings are as short as mine, and that if you do have to attend anything after school when you'd rather be home with your family, or your dog, or at the gym, or grading papers, or doing laundry, or creating a unit, or making dinner, or going to your kid's baseball game, or paying the bills, or learning about Common Core, you at least get paid for it.

And not to stir the pot in any way, shape, or form, but let me just say that I also have air conditioning in my classroom, and if it went out, my principal would let my class take over the library, or the lunch room, or something while the proper district personnel came out to fix it.  

The last thing I need to follow up on is the pencil dispenser.

It turns out that instead of following up on this bad boy, I actually caused a few more questions.


To find out where I got this wonderful thing that has created rainbows, puppies, and a kitten or two in my classroom, you can read about it in my original post {HERE}.

And, to be clear, when the knob kept falling off, it was not due to my kids' overzealous energy to get a newly sharpened pencil.  

The knob was loose to begin with.  

The hot glue is totally working.

And so is the whole system.  

I L*O*V*E it.

Now, I am obsessed with acquiring the quietest pencil sharpener in the world.  I'm sure you've seen them on the blogs.  I'm sure you have one.  Or I'm sure your principal bought one for every classroom in your school.

I finally decided I needed one when my upper grade peer helpers  come to help me, and I keep telling them they can't sharpen pencils due to the noise.  (They come on their lunch hour at the ungodly hour of 1:20 in the afternoon which means my kids are actually in class because we are pretty much finished with our lunch before it's actually considered lunch time.)  So my wonderful upper graders are sharpening pencils with the hand-held personal kind.  Over the trash can.  

It's the last thing they do.  First, they test kids on math facts and sight words.  Then they file papers in the cubbies.  Then they check to see if I have anything else for them to do.  Finally, they sharpen. I am beginning to think they don't like hand-cranking or something.

Which means, sometimes, I have to sharpen pencils after school.  

I know.  What is the world coming to?

So then I remembered about the quietest pencil sharpener in the world and I thought to myself, it's time.  It's time!  This is the perfect answer.  

Uh, no.  

Not quite.

Here's the problem.

They are SOLD OUT.

They will not be getting any more until mid-November.

I'm tho thad.

Tho, tho, tho thad.

I'm trying to pre-order one.



  1. I just bought this pencil sharpener and I am in love! I only sharpen pencils once a week now. They stay that sharp. Amazing!

    You get paid for after school meetings and trainings? Holy cow. I am just like you at your old district. I didn't know that that was an option. When people complain at our school our principal always says well it is in your contract that you will attend whatever the district requires. I will have to look that up now. Hmm.... I had 3 meetings after school this week that all last til after 5 and 2 more next week and the following week.

  2. You mean you get paid for workshops outside of your contracted hours?! Say whaaat?! Not only do I not get paid, but I have to pay for them! And then pay again to receive units for them to add to my step on the pay scale. And then go to more for free. Yup...

  3. I have THREE of those sharpening babies in my classroom and they are FABULOUS! Even my tiniest little pumpkin head can make a needle-sharp point. In fact, they want to sharpen all of the pencils for a free choice option on Friday! What?!? So, it is going to be an incentive prize to "get to" sharpen all of our pencils. Good times!

  4. Hi Kristin.

    You should check out the eBay store

    They are selling the pencil sharpeners for the same price as the website, as well as free shipping (unfortunately for me, they don't ship to Canada). I'm assuming it's the same person (the name looks the same).

    A friend did manage to get me one for my own classroom though, and I LOVE it!

    Good luck,

  5. Love my quiet pencil sharpener. I have had one in my classroom for 3 years now. Best thing ever. I brought home a bunch of pencils this summer (left overs from the year) and got a head start on sharpening. Now I just have sharpen a few each day after school to put back in the "sharp" container.

  6. Sold out?? That is hilarious!! (and I have to stay after school for faculty meetings about twice each month...and zero pay for workshop...)
    First Grade Blue SKies

  7. I am sad too because they don't ship to Canada.....last March Break I made all the arrangements to have a sharpener shipped to our hotel in Florida and they sold out just before our arrival ! Am hoping to try again on our next holiday south, I need rainbows and puppies in my room :)

  8. we don't get paid for our inservices...BUT we get the points (ooh..a.hhh..) and a lot of times we get materials for our rooms out of it...so that's good :)

  9. Christina here...the one who move from CA to NC....I used to not believe in unions...I thought if you were a good teacher and did your job why would you need a union....I wished some of my fellow teachers who didn't care about teaching were not protected by the union what ever that protection was...UNTIL.... I moved here....first off I was reading the teacher guide on writing put out by the district. The first day of school I was to collect an "unassisted writing sample" IN THE TEACHER GUIDE it stated rather than having students share stories with their peers that day, " the teacher will take home and read their writing that evening" THAT EVENING...I know we all take loads of work home and work after the bell but to have it stated like that!!!! Better yet....my kids are dismissed at 3:45 each day but my students have to stay in my classroom until their bus arrives everyday which for the 1st 14 days so far kids have been in my room until 4:30 everyday. So besides my 30 min lunch break and specials (which I am usually in meetings) I have kids from 8:50to 4:30 everyday! Oh and 2-3 days a week we have staff or grade level meetings at 7:45....ok done venting!!!! But I am really eyeing that pencil sharpener...I'll pick a pretty color since I am in my room so much :)

  10. We don't get paid for anything, and are required to do EVERYTHING and NOBODY fights for us. It is unheard of.

    First Grade @ Storybook Cafe

  11. Mine will NOT dispense the pencils! I am sooo mad. And they are the regular old yellow pencils! I don't understand!
    And, yes, I have that pencil sharpener and it is the best thing EVER invented. I can't believe they sold out!
    I guess I need to get a new straw dispenser, but now I'm scared that the pencils won't come out. Which one do you EXACTLY have??
    Kerri B

  12. Speaking of lunch times, one of the things I don't like is that 1st grade has the 1st lunch at 11:10!!!! Which makes the rest of the afternoon draaaaaag! When I look at the clock expecting to see almost 2 o'clock, it's only 12:30!! What??!!! Two more hours to go. :(


  13. I love having a union that fights for my rights. It's comforting to know that the principals can't take advantage of their power (which unfortunately happens a lot).

    However, I do not have an air conditioner and am beyond jealous!

    Ms. M

  14. You are right to get that pencil sharpener. It is unbelievable. You can hold it in your hands and sharpen. You can walk around while sharpening. You will LOVE it!I kissed it in front of parents on Back to School Night after I told them all how great this sharpener was. Had to break the seriousness that was clouding up the room at the time.

    Cialini Chat

  15. I'm hosting a giveaway right now for one of those pencil sharpeners! It will be shipped directly from Classroom Friendly Supplies! It ends tonight! :)

    Second Grade Math Maniac: Pencil Sharpener Giveaway!

  16. Who would have guessed pencil sharpeners would be so popular. People are gonna be fighting over them like fighting for a TV on sale on Black Friday.

    Pixy Stix and Teacher Tricks

  17. I want the sharpener.
    I want the dispenser.
    I want our "collective bargaining" back.
    We lost ours and our contract is weak weak weak- BUT
    our PAL is cool- so we have less worries

    Haven't "talked" to you in a while...
    Parenthood??? Did you cry? I love Crosby. and Adam. But more Crosby than Adam.

    Hang in there- we'll all keep fighting the good fight!

    Going Nutty!


  18. Truly the best pencil sharpener ever... I have 2... come on over and bring your pencils. :D

  19. I teach at an international school in Thailand, and these are the only kind of pencil sharpeners we have. They are the best! Could probably send you one from Thailand. Just don't know how much the shipping would be. : )

    By the way, I'm excited every time I see an email from you knowing you have a new post on your blog. You brighten up my day! Thanks!

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