Tales From A School Laminator: The Dos and Don’ts


It’s that time of year again. You may be setting up your classroom or out shopping at your favorite dollar store. Teachers all over are gearing up for another school year. And we all know what that means. Fire up the laminator!

If you are were like me, there is a secret (or not secret) pleasure in cutting through laminating film. There’s something about that glide with an extra sharp pair of teacher scissors. It almost makes parking yourself in front of the TV on a Saturday night with a roll of things to cut out a little more bearable.

You may be one of those lucky ducks who own a laminator at home. I admit I got myself one for Christmas two years and have no shame. It’s great for small jobs. But sometimes you need to bust out the big guns and use the industrial size laminator. That’s where the trouble begins.

If you are working in a school with a laminator, you fall under one of the three categories:

  1. The school laminator is open for anyone to use in a central location.
  2. The school laminator is housed in the office. You can use it, but you get looks.
  3. The school laminator is kept under lock and key. One must request to have anything laminated by the laminating queen (or king), wait for it…and be grateful.

I have worked under all three conditions and all have pros and cons. Let’s discuss number one.

The school laminator is open for anyone to use in a central location. This is the ideal situation for any laminating job. You come and go as you please, you laminate whenever. 
  • But… someone just decided to use the rest of the laminating film. And you have no idea how to change it. Who really does?



  • The person ahead of you just laminated their class book with glue that hadn’t dried. DON’T DO THIS.
  • The last teacher didn’t remove the staples from their kids’ books and now the whole roll has these annoying little bumps. DON’T BE THAT PERSON.
  • You get your lanyard stuck in the roll while it’s in operation. True story. DON’T LEAN FORWARD.
  • There’s some strange blinking red light making the laminator inoperable. If you ever find the person who walked away from that…well, I’ll leave that up to you.
  • Forgetting to to unplug the laminator! Someone left it plugged in all night in one building a worked in a few years ago. DON’T BE THAT PERSON.

So, after hearing about all the potential consequences, which laminating scenario would you like? Personally, I love the comfort of my home laminator. I gather up a whole bunch of newly printed materials and we have a hot date. LOL. How about you? Whatever your ideal situation, may your scissors be sharp, your laminating film be bump free, and your lanyard be within a safe distance of a revolving roll. Happy BTS!


One more thing! Be sure to checkout the TpT Back to School Sitewide sale on 8/1/18-8/2/18! You can save 25% everything in my store with promo code BTSFRESH at checkout.

My store: www.shopliteracynest.com



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  1. I like having a home laminator too, however at the beginning of the year I'm usually looking at needing about twelve feet worth. Our schools don't get supplies in until a couple days before school starts so if you're trying to get centers and things ready ahead of time you are forced to pay for lamination at a teacher store. There are three types of laminator operators there: 1) The "they're going to pay for me getting stuck with this job today" operator…they will place your items one to two inches apart to make sure your laminating bill comes to as near $50 as possible. 2) The "I'm so good at this I can squeeze your 12ft into six" operator…they will inevitably overlap at least two critical pieces causing you to have make another purchase or remake something. 3) The "I only run the laminator twice a summer during lunchtime" operator…who will laminate your items quickly and efficiently with perfect accuracy and a smile on their face. When you get this person, you will feel like you won the lottery!

  2. Wow, what a great post. I am so glad I have never had to handle this machine. We are lucky enough to have resource staff. Shared this for you on FB because I know others will find it useful. Emma 🙂

  3. I bought my own a few years ago, because I was tired of trying to locate the ONE we have at school. I buy a box of 200 sheets from Sam's club for like $20 and it's more than enough for all my laminating needs throughout the year. I paid like $25 for the machine (Scotch). Truly the best investment ever. I use mine ALL the time! I noticed a few years ago that there were a bunch of laminating rolls in one of the classrooms and I began to drool, but apparently we DO NOT have a machine that uses the rolls. Such a tease!

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