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Field Notes

Julie Mazz's picture


At school X, the teachers rarely have printer paper, so instead of printing out essays for their teachers, the students email them or add them to Google Docs. This is also because most of the students can't afford printer ink at home. There were a few teachers who would force their students to print their work, so they would run over to my teacher's classroom, or the classroom of another teacher and ask to print their work there so they wouldn't get in trouble. Recently, the administration made a rule that you have to be able to email your work instead of printing it. 

So what?

Forcing the students to print out their work when a printer isn't easily accessible is not promoting equality at school. While some students may have a printer at home, this leaves out the students who can't afford one. Additionally, for my teacher and the others that help out the students who are forced to print end up with a smaller supply of paper. My teacher said that when he hears there's been a paper delivery he hunts it down in the school to claim some for himself. 

Now what? 

Hopefully the new rule will stop those teachers from forcing the kids to print their work. Additionally, it's just better for the environment. To tie this in with my journalism class, the students received their first article assignment, and some students are covering the new rule for the newspaper!


alesnick's picture


So cool that the newspaper is covering this story!  Do you think it would be useful for the teacher to know what kind of computer access students have at home?  Could this also be a story for the paper?

mfarbo's picture

Re: Field Notes

Wow, that's crazy that there was actually a rule made because students were rushing to print! If I remember correctly, you're in a public school correct? If so, the children are obviously from families of varying levels. What about the kids who don't have a computer...?

Julie Mazz's picture

Yep! It's a public school in

Yep! It's a public school in West Philly. As far as I know, they do all have computers at home, although in my class they usually spend most of the period working on their assignments on the school laptops, so I could be wrong. The teacher told me about this printing problem, citing the fact that many can't afford printer ink, but he seemed to think they all have computers.