No paper for teachers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ll1301, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. ll1301

    ll1301 Rookie

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    I just finished my first year of teaching. I taught first grade. At the beginning of the year, each teacher was given a box of copy paper (10 reams) and the principal told us it was for the first half of the year. She told us we would receive another box in January. When January came, a teacher asked when we would get our next box, the principal replied, "you will not receive another box. One box shoukd be more than enough for the entire year if you copy front and back." Needless to say, ALL teachers were very upset. No one recieved paper for the rest of the year, so teachers were buying paper out of their own pockets from January to June. I know other teachers in the SAME district did not have a limit of copy paper, and they were supplied with paper the entire year, and did NOT have a limit of copies. Can a principal do this? Can they "make their own rules" about copies and paper when several other schools have unlimited use of paper and copies?
     
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  3. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I've never been in that dire a situation, but different schools in my district do have different policies. It seems to be up to the principal.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Yes, they can do that. I don't think they should, but there's no law against it as far as I know.

    I would sooner find a way to stop using paper than pay out of pocket for it.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I have taught in a school with that type of situation. We received no copy paper. We were allowed to ask for 30 copies of something each month (my class had 36 students).

    This is where innovation kicks in...students take lots of notes on their own paper...grab recycled paper from the offices and use it for scrap paper...give lots of multiple choice tests where four tests can be given using one piece of the recycled paper...lots of smartboard activities (if you have one)...lots of project based assignments where students can show their knowledge by oral methods, etc.

    It's tough, but it can be done. When I first started teaching 40 years ago we used very little paper. Worksheets didn't exist.
     
  6. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Our P frowns on worksheets (going so far as to call them stupid and worthless) so we don't get much of a paper allowance either. Instead, we do a lot of work in the journals. I also gather papers that people have only printed on one side of and left at the copy machine/printer and sometimes I run copies on the back of those.

    Unfortunately principals can do whatever they want when it comes to paper and copies.

    Our principal made a rule that you had to submit anything you wanted copied to the office 2 days ahead of time so it could be approved by her, then one of the secretaries would run it and call you to pick it up.

    It was a major pain, but there was nothing we could do about it. Fortunately the secretaries complained that they couldn't get their work done, so she revoked the rule.
     
  7. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Your Principal does not have to give you anything.

    I have never had a principal give me a ream of anything. I buy my own paper for when the copy machine is empty (which is often).
     
  8. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

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    We add it to our student supply list (one packet per child). Never had an issue with parents complaining. I end up with plenty of copy paper
     
  9. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Schools usually have funds for supplies. How they spend that money is usually up to the P. I've always worked at schools with a supply closet. My school next year gives me $200 to spend on my supplies. I'd honestly rather have the closet since it is so convenient and I don't have to guess!
     
  10. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    My teachers receive a box (I believe it has 10 reams) of paper in August & January. It's usually plenty (some teachers return reams of unused paper in June).

    If they need a ream or two of paper in March, April, or May, they're free to email our office manager and she'll place some in their mailbox. Additionally, my office is next door to the (locked) supply room, so they're welcome to stop by my office and I'll go next door to get what they need.
     
  11. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    This is how I do it as well. In fact it is usually the only thing other than a pencil box and 2 notebooks that I ask students to try to bring on the first day.
     
  12. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Principals in our district each have a building budget. In the past, our supply room was well-stocked and the only thing our principal asked us to limit was sending things to the color printer.

    We got a new principal several years ago, and no one knows what the money is being spent on. We frequently run out of basics such as white copy paper and tape.

    We are getting a new principal this year and we all hope some things will improve.
     
  13. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    My old school gave each teacher a code to input into the machine whenever they made copies. Each month, the secretaries printed out the number of copies each teacher did & if the P found it "excessive", you were called in to explain.

    As a building sub that first year, I did "errands" for teachers on days I didn't have anyone to cover. A lot of the time I was asked by teachers to make copies, and they never gave me their code since it was against the rules. So I would make thousands of copies using my code. Of course as just a sub, having the highest number of copies in a month was considered excessive and I was called in to ask what I was copying. When I explained that the copies were all for other teachers, I was given a list of the codes & told to use each teachers' code when copying for them which made sense to me but annoyed a lot of teachers.

    My current school as no limits on copies or paper (so far) which seems like a luxury.
     
  14. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Our school has a copy limit. Last year I told the P at the beginning of the year that I will exceed that limit. I had a new prep and was introducing POGIL into it. It took me less than 2 minutes to find an answer key online so posting electronic copies was pointless and counterproductive to the whole idea of POGIL. He understood. When I reached my limit in April with 6 weeks (and finals) to go he let me use his unlimited copy code. (Wish I had memorized that.)

    This year I have another new prep and currently no textbooks have been ordered. I predict to reach my copy limit by January.
     
  15. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    We do not have any limits on copying or printing...nor do the students (printing mostly). I actually think we should at least have some guidelines to stop the obscene paper wastage. I put ~95% of my assignments and resources online for my students to access last year and they had virtually no interest in using the website I built for them. It was frustrating. My request to "save paper" was often laughed at.
     
  16. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    [Please note I'm not addressing this at you in particular, but at the larger problem of teachers buying supplies, which is a subject I get fired up about.]

    To me, this is a huge problem. We as teachers have to stop doing stuff like this. We can't just pay out of our own pocket and then vent about it after the fact. If the school doesn't provide paper, just stop using it. Make the kids copy everything on notebook paper. That's precisely what I did when our paper allowance went away.

    We let schools and school districts take advantage of us in this way. If they know that 90% of us will buy the stuff if they don't, they're going to make budgets that account for that.
     
  17. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    While I agree with you in theory, younger elementary students CANNOT copy from the board or a book. I don't know what the answer is.
     
  18. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    True. I wasn't thinking of elementary school... that would be a different situation altogether.
     
  19. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    High schoolers are really bad at it too. Many are painfully slow. It's not a practical idea. Paper can be bought very cheaply. I'm not willing to risk my evaluation over something like that.
     
  20. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I am.

    I am also willing to spend some time to develop new activities/policies so students don't have to copy a whole bunch to make up for the school's shortcomings. But I am not willing to work extra hours to do so. If I can fit it into my day, then I will. If not, I'm pretty sure it won't take long before parents get wind of what is going on and force the issue for me.

    One of the great perks of having helicopter parents!
     
  21. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Since I teach English, my kids wouldn't have to copy too much. It's still just not worth the headache to me. During back to school sales, paper is dirt cheap. I always pick some up for my home printer. There are also places that donate paper. There was an x-Ray place close to my old school that donated all sorts of colored paper. They had a couple lines in the margins. That was it.

    My school is not wasteful with its money. I may feel differently if I saw a lot of waste, but truly we are very lean.
     
  22. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    This would be where I would take to social media and ask my friends for donations of reams of paper. I would also not be shy about going to businesses and asking for donations.

    The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

    I have to agree with greendream on this. Teachers should not have to provide supplies with which to teach. Now, if copies are excessive, and someone wants to make a bunch of extra and/or unnecessary copies, that's different-but paper is needed in schools. Period. You don't bring a tongue depressor to your doctor's appointment. There are some things you expect to be there.
     
  23. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Not a bad idea.
     
  24. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    OP: I think that, on top of the unfairness of you not being given more paper, it was quite unfair of your principal to tell you that teachers would be getting additional paper and then not delivering on that promise. I can imagine that teachers might have rationed themselves to last through January, based on what she had said.

    Having worked in corporate America prior to becoming a teacher, I can imagine the absurdity of being hired in sales/marketing/PR or something along those lines and then being told that you needed to supply your own copy paper OR limit yourself to only a certain amount of copies in case you feel like doing too much of your job. ;)

    I don't really know that there's that many teachers making excessive copies. Why would they? Do they stand around copying things for personal entertainment? Or, realistically speaking, are they copying lots of extra, "just in case" things and then not using them? Full disclosure: I have been known to make copies of things and not use them. These are things I thought might enrich a lesson, if the students got the concept quickly and we had the time, but it just didn't work out that way. It's a rarity, though, and when it doesn't happen, I usually ask the kids if they want the copies for extra practice at home. What I'm saying is, I find it hard to believe that there's a widespread problem of excessive, recreational copying going on by teachers.

    As for the whole "worksheets are terrible" idea, I have this to say. I would love to teach without any worksheets. I wish each of my students had a personal chromebook/laptop/Ipad or something where they could independently practice concepts and demonstrate comprehension. We have nothing like that, nor do the majority of my students have anything like that at home. So we use paper. I could, for example, teach a math lesson and then - in lieu of a worksheet - have students copy problems off the board into their notebooks and practice them. Of course, the copying would be an issue since many children don't write neatly and would also be nearly as time consuming as solving the actual problems. So, I'd rather just print out a worksheet, have them work on the problems, as I walk around and access their comprehension of the skill. Why someone would see this as "worthless" is beyond me.

    Fortunately, I usually get enough paper to serve my students.
     
  25. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Agreed. Can you imagine this happening in any other job? Cashiers buying bags and receipt paper? Sanitation workers paying to fill up their garbage trucks with gasoline?
     
  26. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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  27. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

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    Not having access to paper just seems bizarre to me. We occasionally run out of colored paper before the end of the year, but we never run out of white! My supply budget is very small, but it doesn't include paper. Copying is a part of the building budget. Out of curiosity, what reasons are given by principals who severely limit access to paper?
     
  28. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    My poor friends at my old school are going through this. The year I was there, we got yelled at for copies all the time, but we could still make some. Basically whenever possible (by the P's judgement) we were supposed to have kids copy things into their notebooks rather than printing off a worksheet. Like Jerseygirlteach was saying, this was a disaster because many kids did not write neatly or did not copy correctly, and even when they did what a giant waste of instructional time! Then at the end of the year, the P announced that the school would be going paperless. She was so pleased with herself, because apparently all the money that went to paper could be used to fund an additional part time para. This school has NO technology. Literally, not even old desktop computers- nothing individual that students could use. The only thing in each room was an old projector that often needed to be restarted several times during the course of a lesson. So when the teachers need to give tests, for example, they have to display the test on the projector and the students have to write their answers on their notebook paper. How completely insane is that? Not that I'm surprised...so glad I got out of there!

    Also I agree with the others that said they wouldn't buy their own. I absolutely would not spend my own money on a very basic supply that the school should be required to provide.

    ETA: My current school gives everyone a "copy budget" of 200 dollars per semester. Every copy costs .01 cents to make. I feel like I am copying constantly with all the paperwork I have to do, yes I do use gasp! worksheets, and I had well over 100 dollars left in my "budget" each semester. We could also use the district print shop for free, so even if you ran out (which I seriously don't even see how that would be possible) you could still print there without having to buy anything.
     
  29. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Unfortunately yes, however I don´t think that was nice of your P to mislead you.
     
  30. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    We ask students to each bring in two reams of paper and it lasts until the end of the year, give or take a few weeks.
     
  31. teach1

    teach1 Companion

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    Just to play the devil's advocate... I used to work at a school with no limit for paper or ink (b/w & color). There was A LOT of waste going on (which I think happens in most office settings, actually). And I'm not even that paper conscious, but it was extremely noticeable.

    Having said that, I would never buy paper for my own classroom. That is not my responsibility. I buy many, many things.... but draw the line at paper.
     
  32. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Waterfall, before I became an administrator, I had no clue regarding how much copying is involved for RSP/SDC teachers! The IEPs alone are like chapter books! :dizzy:
     
  33. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    One box to last the whole year? Even half a year is crazy. I go through 8 boxes or more a year!
     
  34. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I interviewed at a school that was going to give me 1 ream of paper a month. A weekly newsletter was expected, along with daily homework. With the copying that I was expected to do, the ream of paper wouldn't have lasted the month!
     
  35. alioxenfree

    alioxenfree Rookie

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    Staples

    I used to work at a school with a ridiculously low copy limit. We were required to send out weekly newsletters and provide homework and classwork every day. We had a copy limit, and double-sided copies counted as two copies.

    If you must provide your own paper, check out Staples flyers on their website and emails. You can often get free reams of paper using the sales with the rebates, which they have often. Last week, I got a ream for .01 using the coupon for half the price of the paper and a rebate for the rest (except .01). There is usually a coupon and rebate for the paper each week, but the price changes from week to week. This week in my area, a ream is $2.00.

    I don't need to buy paper for my job anymore, but I still cannot resist free paper! I use it at home and give much of it away to my friends who still work at my old school district.
     
  36. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Principals usually determine how to spend any supply budget they have so I would say yes she can. It wasn't very fair for her to say you'd get more and then not give it to you, cause I'm sure you would've used it differently if you knew it had to last the entire year. But it doesn't surprise me.
     
  37. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Everything I have to do as a special education teacher is online and I can print out a short summary of the IEP for parents to have at the IEP meeting. (They have complete access to the full IEP online and I could print a full copy if requested but never have been asked to.) It's a shame so many places haven't started this yet.
     
  38. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

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    The last school I worked at allowed us one ream (400)of paper a month and put a 500 copy limit on the copy machines and printers so that even if you bought your own paper you could not print more. 500 sounds like a lot until you realize that for 160ish students that is like about 4 pages per kid per month. Thankfully they also allowed us to send in stuff to be printed to a printshop as long as it was like a week in advance and they gave unlimited copies that way. You just had to learn to plan any copies you needed in advance since the monthly benchmark test required that you print each students answer sheet on your 500 page account not the advance printing shop. When I first started I did not know about the print shop so I printed a bunch of stuff at home on my own printer. This year I have a inkjet I plan to bring to school if I end up with a room so if I ever need last minute copies of anything (as in not making enough on accident) I will be set.:D
     
  39. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I invested in cheaper laser printers, one for home and one at school. I did all my copies on those printers. At my last school we had to have all copies approved first and I just did not want to do that.
     

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