#34 Copy Machine Blues

Photo courtesy of sierrapto.org
Photo courtesy of sierrapto.org


The only satisfaction of seeing a long line at the copy machine is seeing men waiting as well as women. It almost evens the score of the line of women waiting for the restroom, but not quite. Although every school system is different, most have common copier  features. At some schools, teachers are given a lanyard with an ID. It is used to start the copier as well as keeps track of how many copies are run off. At any time, the principal can put in your ID and run off a copy of everything you have ever copied. The lesson here is only use the copier for school purposes, unless you don't mind other people knowing your business.

Most schools have four copiers, the main one that everyone uses as it copies quickly and in color. Then there is the one in the teacher's room. This one is usually broken. When it works it runs off about five copies a minute. Most teachers ignore this machine. There are a very few teachers who have become adept at fixing this machine when it breaks for the sole purpose of having a nearby copier that almost no one uses.

Then there is the movable copier in the guidance department. It works so poorly the guidance uses the office machine. The office copier works well because the school secretary is brilliant and can fix anything. Along with the copier is the need to copy off rubrics for every if not for almost every project, and whatever individual assessments you will need, plus regular assessments. If the machines break or are down for regular maintenance, you head to the nearest copy center. This includes your Sunday nights at Staples. Recently parent conferences were held at our schools. A friend of mine was a specialist and didn't have conference hours, although was available for parents should she be needed. She had made a single copy of what she would need for the month. The only problem was the copy machines were all down for maintenance during parent conferences. She missed the memo.

Sometimes the copiers work but can't be used because the PTA needs to run off monthly letters or people are making packets for early finishers. Sometimes lunch is spent using the copier, because that's when it's available. Before or after school might be a good time, but you really never know. This is just another inconvenience, but you get used to it.