Saturday, September 12, 2009

When school closely resembles Office Space

Remember this post when I revealed all the money I'd been spending on school supplies? Well, it's been three days, and I feel like I'm out of supplies. Out of supplies! Three days!

I put mechanical pencils in all my table caddies, which I knew wasn't the brightest idea in the world because what do hyperactive second grade boys do with mechanical pencils? They jimmy all the lead out until they're all empty. I bought three packages of markers, and after writing my 27 students' names one thousand times, the blank ink is drying out.

Yesterday, I broke almost every working printer in the school trying to print out copies of my homework sheet and reading log. First I caused a paper jam in the computer room, which led our high-strung technology teacher to start screaming. Like, literally screaming. Not at me, but just in general about our crummy technology. Then, I tried again in another room, which will remain nameless because I caused a paper jam there too (after four measly pieces of paper -- four!) and couldn't figure out how to clear it, and the printer was making really horrific noises and no one was around to help me, so I just switched it off and left and prayed that there was no trace of my print request in the queue.

I couldn't print in my own classroom, because the printer is broken. (And bolted to a huge table. And taking up valuable classroom space. But apparently I'm not allowed to ask to have the giant broken printer removed, because we're supposed to be using technology in our classrooms and it would look bad if I requested to have a giant broken piece of technology taken away.) I couldn't print in the library, because the printer was broken. I couldn't print in the other section of the library, because the printer wasn't hooked up yet. I couldn't print in my old office, because that printer wasn't hooked up yet. I couldn't make copies in the office across the hall, because the copier was broken. I couldn't print in my colleague's classroom, because she successfully petitioned to have her broken printer taken away. I couldn't print in my other colleague's classroom, because even though she has a printer, she can't get into her laptop cart.

Are we seeing a pattern here? Meanwhile, our literacy coach used to print out our monthly checklists for us and put them in our mailboxes, but apparently this year it's our responsibility to print them out ourselves. Except they're several pages long and need to be printed on legal-sized paper because we have to fit 27 names across the top, and I can't seem to find a single printer in the building that consistently works without giving me a minor heart attack during my lunch period. (During which I did not eat lunch, by the way, as I was too busy demolishing our building's crappy printers one by one.)

This year, we're using a whole new program to do running records. That means that the billions and billions of copies of running records we all made last year are now defunct. Seriously, I have a couple of trees' worth of useless running records sitting around. So we all needed copies of the new running records. Now, it would have been nice, and logical, if the school had automatically put in copies for us over the summer, but of course they didn't do that. Nevertheless, we got an email on the first or second day of school from our principal that read, "By Friday, you should be starting your running records."

Okaaaaaay. Um, with what? With what hypothetical copies am I supposed to be starting these running records? Aargh.

4 comments:

stealthisscreenname said...

I've had a request in for over a year to get the wireless internet fixed in my classroom so we could use the computers which are also bolted to a table. Over the summer someone decided the solution would be to unplug my computers and push a file cabinet in front of the outlet.

Hedgetoad said...

golf pencils... seriously, they are the bomb for students! Seven bucks for a box of 100! Always reconizable as yours.

An added bonus? Since they don't have erasers, you can give out erasers to your students to use with them as prizes or rewards.

Have you looked into getting your own printer? Last Christmas I was up at 4am with the other WalMart fools buying two printers for $40/ea. At that price it's too cheap to pass up and a serious anxiety reliever. Plus it prints in color if I need it. I am all about less stress is so worth the money

Pigtailed Teacher said...

I know technology is suppose to make our lives easier, but I've had similar problems with printers today. I tried to print color mini-photos of my students to three different printers in my building and by the end of the day, I stil had a big pile of blank paper. So much for making my room personalized!

J said...

egads! gotta love the 21st century "technology" in nyc schools...
i second the idea to just buy your own. maybe even an all-in-one so you can scan. i think i've seen them for less than $100. then you can make copies from books and things too.
of course, plaster your name all over it so no one else touches it. :)