Teacher Ranks Pencil Brands Just In Time For Back-To-School Shopping

Back to school season is upon us, and that means it's time to start thinking about school supply shopping.

Teachers have a lot of tips on the dos and don't for supply buying. From which crayons to get to how to store markers, parents can do a lot to help overworked teachers out as they settle into the new year.

One teacher has some tips on which pencils are best for the classroom. Welcome to the pencil Olympics.

Meet Meribeth Miller Mathews.

She's an elementary school teacher in Boise, Idaho. Like a lot of teachers, Meribeth often posts tips and tricks for parents on how to make a teacher's life easier.

She had some helpful advice for parents regarding pencils.

Unsplash | David Perkins

"Public Service Announcement: Today I sharpened over 200 pencils to prepare for the school year (yes, a Saturday)."

The fact that teachers spend their weekends doing things like this makes me admire them even more.

PRESENTING: The ultimate pencil ranking.

In first place, we have Dixon Tigonderoga pencils.

"These last forever! Worth the investment! Label each pencil with your child's name!" Meribeth declared.

I have never heard of these pencils, but good for them.


U.S.A. Gold (America's Pencil! Exciting!) and FaberCastell (American, but CLEARLY not America's Favorite) pencils got a "perfectly fine" from Meribeth.

Given her rigorous scoring process, I think these would still be safe buys.


Some tough criticism from Meribeth here, let's see who fell by the wayside.

Staples and Office Depot embarrassed themselves with their pencils. Back to the drawing board for their corporate branded pencil department, I assume.

Pellway also got a "meh," but I've never heard of them, so I don't have a zippy joke ready.


Damn, some brutal stats for the novelty pencils in fourth.

"Cheap pencils have internally broken graphite. So frustrating!"

That's a tough loss for those of us who like our pencils to have some personality.


You hate to see it. Novelty pencils with plastic wrapping came in dead last.

"Do you hate the teacher? Plastic coated pencils suck!"

Damn. Kiss your dead fish pencils goodbye, kids.

Some parents got SPICY in the comments.

I'm sorry, but parenting discourse is so funny to me. Like any other micro niche community on the internet, parenting drama can sometimes devolve into sniping over the most ridiculous things — like pencils.

In conclusion, teachers don't get paid enough.

Meribeth took time out of her weekend to do something that most of us wouldn't spare a thought for. Teachers work so hard, and I respect the hell out of them for it.