Mr. Goodman’s stapler certification in sending good vibes


Mr. Goodman works with certified stapler Jayden Shuke.

Ben Nofsker, Staff writer

It’s been known at Bellwood-Antis that Mr. Goodman has some wacky ideas – all directed towards the pursuit of science – but none are wackier than the famous Stapler Certification students earn by memorizing the functions and parts of a stapler.

Without such certification, students in his classroom are barred from the use of the stapler.

“Stapling is such a risky task that I insisted on a rigorous program as soon as I started teaching. Incidentally, stapling accidents hit an all-time low after students were required to get certified to use classroom staplers,” Mr. Goodman quipped.

What a jokester! In actuality, the Stapler Certification is a fun way for Mr. Goodman to connect with his students.

“The obvious answer is student safety, but in reality it’s just a thing I do for fun,” said Mr. Goodman  “Maybe, subconsciously, I’m poking fun at how regulated life in the U.S has become. A stapling certificate sounds like something stupid someone might really require. Fortunately, most students seem to pick up on this unspoken satire by laughing at my sincere demeanor when I ask ‘Are you a certified stapler user?”’Often the process of ‘getting certified’ is an ice breaker moment for my students to see me as a person who likes to have fun.”

Mr. Goodman … what a caring man for trying to make Bellwood’s Earth and Space science class an even more fun class to take! But does the certification program have any correlation of sending “Good Vibes” to students, a movement that has swept B-A this year with the rise of Renaissance Club?

“I don’t know,” Mr. Goodman said. “I can tell you it has produced a lot of student laughs over the years. I’ve had seniors tell me that they still have their stapling certificate. I often wonder how many old stapling certificates are tucked away on scrape books.”

And the feedback? It’s quite good.

“Very positive,” said Mr. Goodman.  “Although I like to throw in some speed traps, especially for the overconfident students. There are the ones I find tripping up on their first try, or two. This initially frustrates them, but it’s all smiles when they finally pass and get their certificate.”

Mr. Goodman said he has had to deny very few requests for certification over the years.

Student safety is our priority. These rigorous tests are designed to ensure that students know how to safely staple.”

— Mr. Goodman

“Student safety is our priority. These rigorous tests are designed to ensure that students know how to safely staple. So, on occasion a student fails on their first try or two, but eventually they all pass. My message is, have fun and don’t take life too serious because before you know it, you’ll need a certificate to get a certificate.”

The process to receive a certificate is quite simple, Mr. Goodman said.

“It’s a step by step process designed to demand proficiency with an emphasis on safety. First a student must be recommended by a classmate. This occurs as a written statement. Second, the student must pass a pretest in identifying what a stapler looks like. Third, the student must correctly identify all parts of a stapler. We review the parts together, and an oral test is given. If one wrong answer is given the student fails for the day. Fourth, the student is instructed how to properly and safety staple. After that they must demonstrate their skills by successfully stapling two pieces of paper together. This is the most challenging part. Just on a Monday, a student in my third period class failed for the second time. The final part of the process involves the student taking a stapler oath. Upon graduation they receive their stapling certificate. I only certify one person a day per class.”

And there you have it. The ins and outs of why Mr. Goodman does the certification and how you can earn one yourself. Even though it’s mostly all in good fun, it has meaning.

Students and staff alike have been able to earn this certificate, each with a different view on the topic.

Freshmen Emilee Kensinger and Tayiah Keefer took the test and  successfully earned their certificates of stapling. Emilee says, “Being the first certified stapler in my class, just hits all the feels.”

“It’s the most amazing feeling in the world. You hold a power that few others do,” said Tayiah. “It’s more than knowing how to staple, it’s knowing how to treat the stapler properly. Nothing beats this feeling.”

Amazing. The fact that such a small little thing brings such joy to those who earn it. And if you’re ever curious, Ms. Shimmel has her own stapler certification, so don’t be afraid to ask.

So if you’re lucky, and have a friend to recommend you, you never know, you may be able to get your own. Best of luck!