The One Tool That Will Save Your Sanity!

Teaching can be a very stressful job.  I have discovered the one item that can save a teacher's sanity!(Or at least it saved mine!) If you aren't a teacher, but have a teacher in your life, then this is the one item that should be on your list this gift giving season! (Or really any time of the year!) 
The One Classroom Tool That Will Save Your Sanity, best pencil sharpener
After 15 years in the classroom and hearing complaints and grumbles from coworkers, I speak from experience when I say that sharpening pencils is one of the main stresses in the classroom.  Whether the students are sharpening their own pencils, or the teacher does all the sharpening, having a good sharpener is one thing that can keep a teacher from losing his/her mind!

I used to dread having to sharpen pencils.  No matter which type of sharpener I bought, it would never get the job done. (Manual or electric, hand-held or mounted)  Either the sharpener would jam, or it wouldn't sharpen evenly, if at all.  But now, I'm in pencil sharpening heaven!  I no longer dread sharpening pencils and actually kind of enjoy it now that each time I take a pencil out of this sharpener, I'm granted the satisfaction of seeing a perfectly sharp pencil!  A few years ago, a fellow teacher introduced me to this amazing sharpener.

The most amazing pencil sharpener ever
Not only does this sharpener sharpen pencils perfectly every time, it is quick also!  I've clocked it at about 2 seconds for a dull pencil, and about 5 seconds for a brand new pencil.

I've had mine for about 2 years and it is working just as well as it did the first day I got it.  I don't let my Kinder students use it, but I think it will still hold up well if you teach older kids and they use it responsibly.

In my classroom, we have two canisters for pencils.  One is for sharp pencils and the other is for pencils that need to be sharpened.  Each student keeps two pencils in their school box, and when they need a pencil sharpened, they put it in the "not sharp" cup, and take one out of the "sharp" cup.  This way I'm not sharpening pencils all day long.  I can just sharpen after school.
Sharp & Not Sharp Pencils

Good quality pencils are also the best way to keep your sanity.  I love using Ticonderoga pencils.  The lead doesn't break as easily as other brands, and the wood sharpens the best no matter what type of sharpener you have.  (And when parents send in the PRESHARPENED Ticonderoga pencils, it's an amazing bonus!)
Ticonderoga Pencils