Sunday, November 23, 2008

Backpacks and Lockers

When did using lockers go out of fashion?

When I was in school, we were assigned lockers. The locks were built in and the school could set the combinations, meaning that the school administration could have immediate access to any locker at any time.

At the school at which I teach, we have plenty of lockers for students. Students are required to provide their own locks, which simultaneously prevents and creates different problems, but the lockers exist. We also have a schedule that is conducive to using the lockers: an extended break (about 13 minutes) between 2nd and 3rd periods, and lunch between 4th and 5th periods. With a 6-period day, students should never have to carry more than two classes' worth of materials because they have plenty of time to get to their lockers.

But that isn't how things work out. Some students refuse to use their lockers. Some share lockers with other students, and then wonder when their books or other materials go missing, even if only temporarily. They bring huge, overstuffed backpacks into class, which I then have to maneuver around in the aisles.

When did using lockers go out of fashion?

9 comments:

Eric W. said...

I stopped using my locker sophomore year because it was inconvenient. I had a heavy backpack for a while, but luckily this year I hardly have to carry anything to class. I don't remember the combo on my locker, actually...

Texas Truth said...

In my school, lockers are issued to those whom want them. Backpacks and tote bags are not allowed in class. The result: The students still do not bring their books. My class does not have a textbook and still over half of them do not bring their notebooks. Oh well, enough for education in the 21st century. With Barack HUSSEIN Obama (aka Little Barry Soetoro) in the White House, everyone will be expected to pass everyone to keep their self esteem high.

M.A. said...

You're lucky. Our school has lockers with built in locks, but we are not allowed to use them. I'm not sure why, but someone mentioned drugs/school safety issue/clogged hallways/etc.

I have about five students come into my classroom every morning and ask if they can leave their books/sports clothing/etc in there. It's getting out of hand.

Personally, I'm getting a little tired of the school safety issue (aka Columbine) excuse. It's the same response when I ask why we can't make cell phones prohibited from classrooms. And for some reason, cell phone jammers are illegal (but I want one for my classroom anyway).

Different situations though...it looks like you are dealing with a "cool trend", like not eating hot lunch in the cafeteria because it's considered not cool. Not sure how to get around that one.

Donalbain said...

Awwww... look! How cute!
Texas has noticed that his next president has a foreign sounding middle name! Well done Texas. Have a cookie.

Steve USMA '85 said...

My kids high school has assigned lockers for every student. Students are not allowed carry backpacks in the school except to enter and leave the building. They can only go to their lockers in the morning when arriving, lunch, and afternoon when leaving. That means they carry 3-4 classes worth of books & binders at all times. It is not unusual for my 85 pound daughter to carry 20-30 pounds worth of stuff around the hallways. Not exactly an easy task for her.

MikeAT said...

Some of the school in my patrol district have ended use of lockers…they have bolts where the pad locks used to go. Narcotics, knives, pistols, etc.

I carried a pocket knife at school from sixth grade on…now there are metal detectors at the front door. Bummer. Then again we used to carry 22 cal rifles for the rifle team back in Thibodaux and in AF JROTC I was a Drill Team member and we had 1903 Springfield Rifles (demilitarized). Now if I carried something like that I would be shot at the door by the school cops…

This sucks….

Rho said...

Students aren't allowed to carry backpacks or purses to class. Our freshmen have the first four classes in our wing so have no problem getting to lockers (they are right outside our doors) and they STILL don't bring their notebooks and other materials. I don't even let them bring their books for other classes into my room as there just isn't room. After tripping over a backpack strap on the floor and ending up a year later with a complete knee replacement, I am all for no backpacks and other things on the floor.

Ellen K said...

My students lug huge backpacks to every day. Very few even know where their assigned lockers are, although there are plenty. They claim there's not enough time to go to their lockers between classes, but in reality, it cuts into their social time between classes. I also think that many of our students who carry contraband want to have it with them for ready sales and know they are more likely to get caught at their lockers dealing than on the go in the hall. All of our students who have been caught with drugs or weapons left them in their locker or their car. It's harder for the drug dogs to sniff them out in a crowded hallway. In one local large suburban school, after Columbine, they tore out all lockers and made the kids use clear backpacks. The next year, they issues each teacher a class set of textbooks and students had copies to take home. Thus there was no need for books to be carried to class at all. I am not sure what really works, but I am tired of everything from letter jackets to bowling balls being left in my room. Kids trip over them, they block the pathways to the sinks and they get paint, clay and other art materials spattered on them.

Mrs. Bluebird said...

Funny how things are so different at different schools. Our lockers are ancient, and don't always have the best locks, but students can't wait to get them assigned every year. They decorate the inside of them (mirrors, pics, shelves, whatever) and their lockers are very important to them. They love their lockers (at the same time they hate the fact that they don't always open easily), and hate it when they lose locker privileges for a few days due to being unprepared in class.