If you are a teacher in a school that serves low-income students, then your school may not have added a high quality laminator to the budget. However, your school should rethink their decision to not provide a laminator. If you are having trouble coming up with arguments for why the administration should purchase a laminator, then read on.
1. Laminated material can be highly effective in the classroom
From whiteboards to motivational posters, classroom materials are expensive and many times teachers are expected to provide these materials. With even the cheapest laminator, these materials can be quickly created. For example, making whiteboards by laminating white printer paper makes for a highly effective check for understanding in the classroom. Imagine having every student write an answer or show work on the laminated material with a dry/erase marker and then holding up the work for the teacher to scan. That is a quick and powerful check for understanding that students will also love. Another cool thing to do at the beginning of the year is to have each student write about his or her culture in one sentence. The teacher can hang these posters around the classroom to build culture. The next year, the teacher can take them down and erase them to start anew.
2. Keep materials for multiple years
Laminated materials can stand the test of time. Even with the rowdiest of classes, laminated materials can be cleaned and dusted. As well, laminated materials can be re-laminated by running through the laminator again.
3. They are surprisingly affordable
A quick search through Amazon.com shows that a thermal laminator goes for as low as $22. Schools do not need to provide an expensive machine, but can provide several inexpensive laminators.
4. Saves both teachers and the school money
While the curriculum and materials that a teacher uses each year are tweaked, motivational posters do not really need to be tweaked every year and can cost hundreds of dollars each year. Teachers can pick images that work for their classroom, print them off, and laminate them for long-lasting posters. As well, bathroom passes can be laminated to be repeatedly used.
5. Kill germs
Laminated materials can be cleaned with soap and water. Especially those bathroom passes. The bathroom passes can be quickly cleaned with a Lysol wipe.
Whether you need to make long lasting material or want a clean set of classroom supplies, laminating can make your life easier. Since laminators are so cheap, do not wait for your administrators to purchase the laminators. Go ahead and pick one up for your self or crowdfund from other teachers in the building.