not my style, but if it works . . .
Apparently, there are new, ultra-portable mechanical pencils that do not even require a sharpener. I've never heard of that, but my God, the ingenious methods of industrialization? Will the progress ever stop? We very well might be at the pinnacle of technological development as a society.
Should students be able to bring mechanical pencils into a pencil-integrated classroom? Can we handle the diversity of both various paper types and pencil types? Should we have a uniform set of learning tools or should we allow for customization based upon personality and preference?
I brought this topic up to Mr. Jackson, the Language Arts (which incidentally is less about the art of language as much as the science of grammar and syntax) department chair (which incidentally does not have anything to do with chairs, but is more about managing a committee).
"I think we should let kids bring in whatever pencils they want," I explained.
"But won't that be unfair to students? What if one student comes to school with one of those fancy glittery pencils that shines when the light hits it? You know what I'm talking about right?"
"Uh huh, go on."
"So, you supply your students with those bland yellow pencils. It just doesn't seem equitable."
"I see your point. However, students come to school with different clothes and with different books and no one is complaining about that. Yes, I'd love for every student to have something fancy. However, it's not about the glitz. It's about learning."
Mr. Brown cuts in, "Plus, it will be chaotic and disorganized. How are you supposed to problem solve when I have multiple pencil types. I'll have one kid asking for help in sharpening his pencil while another student asks me to help her refill her pencil lead. I can't do that."
"Why don't you teach kids to problem-solve their pencil issues? I have a hunch they have been doing some of that on their own at home."