Back to School: Teachers Edition

It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to start thinking about heading back-to-school! Students may be soaking in every last moment of Summer, but if you’re a teacher or professor, chances are you’re already preparing for the upcoming semester. 
This time of year often symbolizes a fresh start! It’s a new year, with different students and new things to learn. As you prepare to head back to the classroom, our team at has selected several pen, ink and paper recommendations to help get your school year started on the right foot! 



We had some of our own product recommendations in mind, but we also asked for
input on our  Facebook page. Many of these recommendations come from teachers and
professors themselves, who use these everyday in the classroom and office!

  • Pilot Varsity Fountain Pen, $3.25-$21
    • Many teachers shared with us that they keep Pilot Varsity fountain pens in the classroom and encourage students to give them a try. They’re a great, low-investment way to spread the love of fountain pens! 



Red is the classic color to grade with, and we’ve got some great red ink recommendations for you. But if you’re looking to grade tests and papers in another color, we suggest giving one of these a try! An ink sample is always a great way to test inks before committing to a whole bottle.



Even though we’re living in the digital age, it’s always helpful to have a notebook on hand!

    • This product was recommended as a great notebook for your “to-do” lists. Its size also makes it convenient to take with you to faculty or departmental meetings.

  • Leuchtturm1917 medium notebook, $19.50
    • The table of contents at the beginning of this notebook make it helpful when writing notes/lectures and a safe place for keeping your math, history or Spanish lesson ideas on paper.

We’re very thankful for all that teachers and professors do and we wish you a great school year ahead! We know that many of you will need to consume numerous cups of coffee this year as you face long days ahead. So, what better way to consume your caffeine than with a new Goulet coffee mug? πŸ™‚

If you’re heading to college or graduate school this semester, you can find our recommendations here. For our middle and high schoolers, check out our recommendations here

What products will you be using this Fall as you make lesson plans and grade papers?

Write on, 

The Goulet Pen Company Team

2017-10-11T13:52:42+00:00 August 4th, 2015|Holiday Gift Guides|37 Comments
  • Erica

    I grade with my TWSBI 580AL – the nib is great and the ink (usually Diamine Oxblood or Red Dragon) looks nice and imposing in the barrel. πŸ™‚ I also use my pilot metropolitans a bunch since they’re inexpensive. AND I recently bought some refillable J Herbin rollerballs – I’m looking forward to using them to teach annotation.

    • Madigan

      Hi Erica! It looks like you have a wide selection of pens to help with your work. Great choice on grading inks- I love those colors. πŸ™‚

  • Nicholas Dolce

    Nice Filson bag to put it all in!

    • Madigan

      Thanks Nicholas! πŸ™‚

  • tp

    I find that the Skrip ink behaves quite nicely with American “bathroom tissue” type notebook paper. I love the red–it reminds me of the ink I used in the “Student” pens I had growing up. I recently cleaned out my mother’s attic and found a single cartridge of that same red–although quiet dried-out after 30 years.

    If only I could find my old Sheaffers…I know I never gave them up. Where are they? Ah, nostalgia.

    Anyway, there’s not a single ink selection above that isn’t beautiful. And the Pilot Varsity is perfect solution for co-worker who likes to “click”.

    • Madigan

      Hey tp! I hope you find those old Sheaffers! That would certainly be an exciting discovery. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you enjoyed our selection!

    • Murphey

      I have two of my old Scheaffer “school pens” from when I learned Gregg Shorthand back in 1968-70. Yes, it took that long to learn! Our shorthand teacher would let us use nothing else, and I kept them for when I graduated and went out there in the “real world” to take dictation. I was still taking dictation as a legal secretary in the early 1980s.

    • Murphey

      I have two of my old Scheaffer “school pens” from when I learned Gregg Shorthand back in 1968-70. Yes, it took that long to learn! Our shorthand teacher would let us use nothing else, and I kept them for when I graduated and went out there in the “real world” to take dictation. I was still taking dictation as a legal secretary in the early 1980s. As far as grading with different color inks, I have most of my pens color-coded to the ink, so it is usually just what I feel like picking up that grading session. Students never know what color is going to come back to them.

  • Mark Gilchrist

    My “weapon of choice” is the Preppy. The students think it is “cool” and the cost means I am not (financially) bothered if it goes missing. I feed the pen with either Waterman’s red, Diamine Dragon Red (I keep wanting to call it Dragon Blood!) or some Mont Blanc Red I got in a fancy bottle YEARS ago.

    I also use a couple of Parkers and a Jinhao loaded with Peach haze… confuses the heck out of the kids as the pen body is red and black!

    • Madigan

      Hey Mark! Those sound like awesome ink choices. I love that the kids are confused by the different ink color! Do you explain fountain pens to them and how you can change the ink?

      • Mark Gilchrist

        A lot of them seem to know what fountain pens are … even calling them old fashioned; perhaps I’d better show them how to cut a quill pen!

  • Sarah Pozderac-Chenevey

    Also useful is Noodler’s waterase ink! Dry erase markers run out very quickly, so all the faculty and other TAs wanted to know where I got refillable whiteboard markers. I referred them to Goulet, of course πŸ™‚

    • Madigan

      Hey Sarah! Great idea! Are you using them in the Preppy refillable markers?

      • Sarah Pozderac-Chenevey

        Thanks! Preppy highlighters, actually, as the fatter line is more visible from the back of the classroom.

        • Madigan

          Of course!! Such a fantastic idea. πŸ™‚

        • Briggsae

          I should try that. The included Preppy marker is a bit too fine for my taste.

    • Melissa Hogan

      Wait…Goulet carries refillable dry erase markers?! Oh my…this place just gets more and more dangerous πŸ˜›

  • Tom Johnson

    This is a super collection. Beyond teachers and professors this grouping should appeal to the office commuter, conference or seminar attendees, or the researcher going into the field. Maybe some of the inks go beyond “business casual”, but I used colorful inks to edit drafts at work when I wanted eye catching comments. All good practical selections. These themed blogs are great.

  • ladymath

    I’m a teacher and I use most of the products on this list! Skrip red is the only ink I’ve ever needed to buy a second bottle.

    • Peter Zimmerman

      Strip and Quink are good if they come in the right colors. Most of the modern brands (noodler, Private Reserve, Pelikan and Pilot, etc.). I had troubles with Parker Penman. Fast drying and smudge resistance are crucial. Used with fine nibs most don’t bleed or feather too badly on wretched paper. But try before you buy, Trust but Verify!

  • Peter Zimmerman

    I’m a bit of a heretic here. And I have about forty years of teaching experience at undergraduate and post grad (MA, MS, PhD.) levels to fall back on. Red ink is a terrible, Terrible, color for grading. I tried it for two years as a teaching assistant, and again for one term as an assistant professor, not to mention being graded myself. Nothing ticks a student off as much as seeing blood streaks in red all over his or her efforts. All their lives they have been taught to associate red ink with their own failure. But you can’t grade in blue, because that’s likely been the student’s choice to write with. Nor black either.

    Try to ‘soften’ the encounter by choosing a cheerier, maybe cooler, color. In the Goulet Universe greens, purples, and maybe that beautiful yu-yake orange. Bravo Fountain Pens, the only way to write or grade with a full spectrum of colors to choos from!!

    Speed counts. Your speed. Use a fine nib, or at widest a nice smooth medium. I used an old style Vanishing Point with an F nib for decades, alternating between a green (rotring, sadly unobtainable in the U.S., or Lamy; but going back through the decades whatever brand was around) and a violet/purple. Important that the inks not be too commonly available, just in case of a challenge.

    Now I use a Pelikan with a custom ground ‘Italifine’ made for me by Nib Uebermeister in chief Richard Binder. I can grade a lot of blue books without refilling the pen. And a Private Reserve purple/violet replaced green most of the time.

    Ball points: no, and anyway the colors are pallid.

    I’ve asked former students about grading in anything-but-red. They loved the idea, and agreed it made the interaction nicer.

    Just an opinion…

    pete zimmerman
    retired prof of physics and of science and security

    • Mark Gilchrist

      We are TOLD to use red. The students then “Act on Advice” in green; otherwise they must write in black (or blue).
      Squash individuality!

      • Peter Zimmerman

        Gaagh! Where do you teach so I can avoid it?

        • Mark Gilchrist

          I’m in the UK. The inspection regime set up by our wonderful government is such that everything has to be data -based and evidenced. Marking policies and the demand on students is to help if we are inspected. We also have a ban on any sort of doodle or personalisation as it doesn’t show “a thirst for learning”. Me? Any colour goes and doodles are a way of keeping the brain from wandering!

          • Melissa Hogan

            ACK! School is such a life sucking place to grow up. So many children all over the world be squashed to fit in a box they were never meant to go. πŸ™

  • Melissa

    As the product of two teachers, I’m curious. When using a FP for grading and such, since it’s probably rarely (if ever) on FP friendly paper, are there particular pens/nibs that are preferred to cut down on feathering, or is that just something that is overlooked so as to enjoy using a FP? I would love to never need to use anything but a FP, but sometimes it’s not exactly practical (like when needing to jot something down with no FP friendly paper at hand).

    • Lisa Barron

      I’ve found that an extra-fine nib – especially the Japanese ones – lay down such a small amount of ink with every stroke that even the least-fountain-pen-friendly paper tends not to bleed with it. You might have to be careful not scratch through the paper, but then you shouldn’t be pushing too hard with a fountain pen anyway! πŸ™‚ As for ink, I’ve heard (but can’t claim personal first-hand knowledge) that Noodler’s X-Feather ( is great on budget paper – check out the reviews! πŸ™‚

  • Denise Rogers

    I grade in pencil (lots of good choices there) or with a Frixion pen in purple or green (I reconsider my working quite a lot).

  • Mike

    I understand the point made below about red signaling failure; and after teaching undergrads 50 years I appreciate the use of other colors for grading writing–Private Reserve Spearmint and Chocolat being favorites. But even our best frosh classes today are loaded with students that received A’s in HS for mediocre writing that echoed their teachers’ biases. Creativity, they’re taught, trumps basics. For such complaisancy there is nothing like Noodler’s brilliant Nikita or his Dragon’s Napalm to shock the poor dears into an awareness of just how bad their writing is. We have FP inks for every purpose!

    • Peter Zimmerman

      I agree; far too many mediocrities enter university thinking that they are superior beings because they were valedictorians in high school, forgetting that every selective college could fill its freshman class with nothing but valedictorians. And they do need a serious shock to their tender systems. Red grading supplies some of that, but I think great teachers can convey the same thing in his/her quiet words. Augmented with underlines, punctuation, and where necessary, bold arrows. After all, the front office would still like to keep them in class writing those nice tuition checks which pay our magnificent salaries. And most of them do have potential worth using.

  • Marla

    For really bad paper, iron gall ink is fantastic – doesn’t bleed, doesn’t feather. It doesn’t usually come in bright colours, but Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa is distinctive at least.

    • Madigan

      Hi Marla! I’d never considered iron gall inks. What a great suggestion! πŸ™‚

  • Melissa Hogan

    I homeschool my kiddos as well as build web classes that integrate Minecraft for a kids server. I use a Filofax notebook to plan the classes out that I’m currently building. My daughter stresses out when I grade her papers in red so now I use Private Reserve Tanzanite or Diamine Ochre (my current fav!). We use a quality printer paper, so I can write all over my kids work with my fountain pens. Daughter has some Varsity’s of her own and is getting a Lamy Al-Star for Christmas (shhhh, it’s a surprise πŸ˜‰ )

  • Not trying to be a jerk, but you probably should change the Filofax recommendation. I just hit the link and it appears Goulet Pens no longer sells the product. A Rhodia top bound notebook works well for me and has far better paper than the Filofax

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thanks, Kal.

  • prunesmith

    came to this post via a link from recent “back to school roundup” post – you no longer sell G2s πŸ™

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Oops! We’ll have to update that. Good catch. Sorry about that!