Sometimes I think I became a teacher because of the office supplies.
Case in point: today, I put a brand-new chart-paper pad on my easel. So fresh. So open for possibility. I am a nerd, so I took a picture and Tweeted it.
Other office supplies make me happy, too.
- A freshly-sharpened Dixon Ticonderoga pencil is one of my favorite things in the world. I've tried other pencils, both traditional and mechanical, and I always go back to the tried-and-true. The feeling of this pencil on paper is so smooth. The eraser actually works. I buy these puppies in the jumbo pack at Costco. I get mad if one of my students picks up my pencil when I leave it on the back table.
- Mr. Sketch scented markers have a permanent place in my classroom. I love their vibrant colors and the fact that they don't bleed through thin chart paper. The chisel tip allows me to do fancy lettering when I feel like it. When the tips get mushy, I put them out for the kids to use since they don't care about mushy markers.
- Staedler Mars Plastic erasers. By golly, these things are expensive. But I don't care. I pay the price because they erase COMPLETELY without tearing a hole in the paper. I hide these from the kids because a few of them have seen me use my "cool white eraser" and they want one, too. If they would like one, they should ask Mom or Dad to buy one, because my classroom budget does not have enough money in it for a class set of fancy erasers.
I know my love of office supplies sounds a bit ridiculous, but maybe not. I know LOTS of colleagues whose second-favorite store is Office Max (second only to the book store) because they love good pens and a fresh notebook as much as I do.
And here's the thing... being surrounded by good tools makes me feel good. Using a good pen to write notes to my students or a great marker to co-create anchor charts makes me happy, which in turn makes me a good teacher. So yeah... I could buy cheaper supplies for myself, but I wouldn't be happy with the way things turned out. I wouldn't get that little bit of joy and in fact might get frustrated, which wouldn't be good for anyone.
So if you're looking for me, you can find me in the pen aisle at Office Max.