Help me give my students pencils for math! We are constantly going through them and we typically run out before the end of the school year. Students should never be unable to practice for lack of a pencil.
I teach at a high school in Covington, Washington. We are one of four high schools in the Kent School District. We serve students in grades nine through twelve who live in mainly in the east central region of the district.
We are one of Washington state's largest high schools; our enrollment of more than 2,000 students even exceeds the enrollment of most other 4A high schools in the state.
Minority enrollment is 62.2% of the student body (majority Asian and Hispanic.
It may seem surprising, but many students come to math class without a pencil. They have pens for their other classes, but when it comes to math, making mistakes is part of the usual process, and therefore they need a writing instrument that produces marks that can be erased. While pencils are relatively cheap and easily obtained by most of us, we have many students who come from families that struggle to obtain the necessities for life, and thus even pencils are low on the list of priorities.
My department only has funds to purchase a limited number of pencils each year, so I can only make them available on test days.
I currently supplement this meager supply for non-test days by buying pencils out of my own pocket, but because my personal funds are limited, they don't last long.
How wonderful it would be if I could have a virtually endless supply of pencils that I could give students every day of the year!
Also, I have found that I tend to go through a box of facial tissues every two weeks, especially during cold/flu season (which seems to last all year). So this time, I'm also asking for enough tissue boxes so that I never have to send a student to the bathroom to get toilet paper instead.
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