Do you keep your classroom door locked?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JimG, Feb 17, 2018.

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Do you keep your classroom door locked?

  1. Yes

    15 vote(s)
    65.2%
  2. No

    8 vote(s)
    34.8%
  1. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    Feb 17, 2018

    I always do, primarily for security concerns. The only people who should just be able to walk into my room while teaching are people who already have a key (IE admin). Keeping it locked is just one more time barrier in any intruder situation. Additionally, my lock can only be locked from the outside with a key. I’m not going to, in a lockdown situation, have to open the door to who knows what in order to have to lock it.
     
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  3. Kat.

    Kat. Companion

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    Feb 17, 2018

    We have a policy where our door is actually locked but we put a magnet in the frame to keep it from closing all the way. That way if there's a security issue we don't have to find keys to lock it and we can quickly slide the magnet out of the way.

    Plus then if a student leaves to use the restroom we don't have to have someone open the door for them every single time. I think it's a pretty good idea!
     
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  4. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Outside doors in the building are always locked, but not the inside ones. I'm in a portable, and keep it unlocked during the day since people are always coming and going, but can lock it quickly if needed.
     
  5. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    This is what we do, too, but some teachers don't comply with it.
     
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I keep my door locked, although it may be open depending on the number of students, IEP's, etc. However, at any time that there is a disturbance that could spill into my room, I simply have to close my door. I should add that I have a locked door, in a locked section, in a locked building requiring keys for all of those locks. Not having to take the time to lock a door in an emergency is valuable time.

    I don't even have a window, now, but have in the past. That actually gave me great angst at times for more reasons than school shootings. Windows are terrible distractions in schools where distractions are an enemy. Windows vary the room temperature throughout the day, depending on the amount of sunlight, and students inside the room are constantly trying to contact individuals outside. I can't say that I miss windows at all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  7. JimG

    JimG Comrade

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    Regarding the mindset of keeping the room accessible but being able to secure the lock quickly, I just don’t buy into anymore.

    For instruction, I would rather have to open the door at a knock than have anybody be able to just walk in. I have had an office aid barge in without knocking and address me from across the room while students were taking a test. You could tell the aid felt embarrassed when they realized their mess-up.

    For security, yes we have exterior doors to the building locked, but many of the threats to be concerned with may come from students already in the building. It is much easier for a shooter to do extensive damage with an open door than with a locked door and a narrow window on it. If my room is an assailant’s first target, I am going to be proactive and keep my door locked to give everyone in my room, if nothing else, a few extra seconds to either keep out, get out, or fight out.

    It totally sucks that we need to think about these things, but I think everyone should be aware of their setting’s vulnerabilities and be proactive in addressing them as part of their every-day routine.
     
  8. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Feb 17, 2018

    I did not use to keep my door locked, but I would have parents opening the door 5-10 min. before dismissal to get their kids. So, I started to lock my door. At one time it was mandatory for our doors to be locked.
     
  9. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    We used to have those magnets, but then the fire marshall said they are banned this year...ugh. I miss my magnet.
     
  10. MissyB

    MissyB Rookie

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    Feb 17, 2018

    Our entire school is portable buildings so we keep all our doors locked but then use these things call lock-bloks that prevent the door from completely closing and latching so kids can get in and out of the classroom without causing an interruption. When we need the doors to be completely locked closed we just slide the thing out of the way, like Kat with the magnets, instead of going outside with our key to lock it. Our school is fenced with locked gates so the only way in during the school day is through the single office door so the system works pretty well for us.
     
  11. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Feb 17, 2018

    Our classroom door doesn't even have a lock. :(
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 17, 2018

    This.
     
  13. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Mine is always locked, but I've usually got it propped open with a doorstop.
     
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  14. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    The same thing happened to us. We're required to keep the door locked but not closed. I have tried to train my kids to pull it mostly closed to keep out distractions, but not all the way so we're not constantly having to get up and open it.
     
  15. Guitart

    Guitart Companion

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    Feb 17, 2018

    We locked our doors in the BD wing of a HS I was at. Prevented kids going in/out at will, retaliation assaults, and drive-by b____ slappins'. It was effective.

    My next stop was at a tough inner city middle school. I continued to lock my door because kids ran amok there. Running in and out, opening the door to shout, general disruption of educational time. One day the principal told me to stop locking my door because it was a safety concern. She said, "What if something was happening and they needed to get in my classroom?"

    I did not question her but I did say to myself WTF?? All security and admin staff had keys to get in. Made no sense.
     
  16. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    My school requires it. I love the magnet idea. However, I dutifully lock my door although it is super annoying. :)
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 18, 2018

    When I was in a classroom, I used to have my door locked at all times.

    Now I'm in a different type of space that is more communal, so I don't/can't lock the door. I have heard of these magnets that go on the door that a PP mentioned, but I've never seen one. I'll probably try to get one and see how it goes.
     
  18. cocobean

    cocobean Companion

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    Our campus is all portables. All doors automatically lock behind you. Anyone who needs to get in has a key. I don’t find it to be much of a disruption when students return from the bathroom, office, etc.
     
  19. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    Feb 18, 2018

    My door is automatically locked from the outside. For safety reasons we are required to lock it. Closing it is something I struggle with.
     
  20. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Feb 19, 2018

    We’re actually not supposed to lock our doors. We used to and had the magnets, but those went away, and I was still in the habit of locking my door. Then one of the VPs told me not to (when he saw one of my students knocking on the door to get back in from the bathroom). So I keep it unlocked and open during class, but I am able to lock it from the inside in case of emergency. Not sure why it changed. I guess if there’s an emergency or issue inside my classroom, like a fight, then personnel can get in even if they don’t have a key? Who knows as I assume they all should have a key.
     
  21. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Feb 19, 2018

    A lot of our classrooms don't have doors, mine included. It's really odd and can be very off-putting.
     
  22. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Is it an open floor plan? When I was in 5th or 6th grade we were all in one huge room but with different teachers. I don't remember switching, nor do I remember noise being an issue. The room was 1 big circle. I don't think there were dividers either.

    I agree it is odd not to have a door. Do things disappear overnight?
     
  23. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Yes, when the classroom door is closed. (Our classroom doors have an automatic lock that latches when you close the door from inside the classroom.)

    Of course, you would have lock the door with keys to lock door from front
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  24. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    It used to be an open floor plan, but they threw walls up about ten years ago and any room that has an outside fire exit has no door. It's very random, and the rooms are all different sizes. There is a lot of noise--just acoustics--and the building is very drafty. Surprisingly, things don't disappear, but I don't leave anything valuable overnight anyway.
     
  25. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My door is locked but kept wide open during the school day. We have open seating and half of the teachers have their desks outside of traditional classrooms to be closer to the students, so the open door allows for free movement. However, when the school day is over, all computer carts are wheeled into my classroom so they are secured overnight. This came in handy the one time a break-in was attempted. The perpetrators only got away with a single monitor.
     
  26. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    It's on lock about half the time, typically when the caretakers have opened (but not unlocked) my door before I get in. My room is a bit of an awkward shape, so having to answer a closed, locked door can be a disruption. I prefer keeping my door open, but my room is right next to a stairwell, the library, and the hall to the Gym and the Music Room, so there's often a fair bit of traffic. I also rarely carry my keys with me, so getting locked out is a real possibility!)
     
  27. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    We never lock it. The key is high up on a shelf above the door and we'd have to stand on a chair, get the key, and fiddle with the old lock to make it go. I just emailed my P about these lock blok things. Could be very useful and much faster during a lockdown.
     
  28. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Feb 23, 2018

    We have to lock ours, but are permitted to use the magnet option. Many teachers use magnets, some don't. But woe be the teacher who has an unlocked door if a Principal comes!!
     
  29. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    How do you not have doors? Is that even legal?
     
  30. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    kpa1b2 likes this.
  31. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    Interesting. I'm not a fan
     
  32. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I have a student printer in my room, so I have kids in and out all day. I mostly keep it unlocked because it's so disruptive to have to open it 20+ times in a period. I debate this a lot though. I wish I had a better solution.
     
  33. RussianBlueMommy

    RussianBlueMommy Comrade

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    The magnet is a great option, any thin magnet sheet cut to size will do. You don’t have to buy the $13 “lockdown magnet”” ;) old giveaway magnets etc work well. Freebies that companies give out with calendars on them etc cut to size. A magnet sheet from hobby lobby is like $3 and will make about 6-7
     
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  34. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    My district's middle school was built just a few years ago and has no doors for most classrooms. Most of the walls facing the hallway are also glass, which one, has to be a safety issue, and two- means kids get to be distracted all day long by gazing out into the hallway. Basically, it's whatever the architect's vision is with no concern about how a school needs to function.

    We're building a new school this year and have run into the same issues. They asked for a lot of feedback, but ignored all of it and continued on with their vision of what they thought a nice school should look like. For example, they were super proud of gigantic hallways with lounge spaces for students to sit and "study." This is elementary school. We don't want kids sitting in the hallway "studying!" The classrooms are significantly smaller than our current rooms to make room for these giant hallways.
     
  35. ChildWhisperer

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    I don't only because people are in and out all day (coworkers, admin).
    The door that leads outside (every classroom has its own door that goes outside) is automatically always locked. It can't be opened without a keycard (our IDs) unless someone on the inside opens it for you. This is the door parents use to drop off/pick up kids. Kids who ride the bus use a separate entrance in the back of the school.
    So during lockdowns (and we have more real ones than drills because of the area we live in), we only have to lock the classroom door. I'm always the one to do it, as well as turning off lights. My assistant closes the blinds. We do this while yelling calmly (if that makes sense :p ) at the kids to go to the bathroom (each classroom has their own bathroom as well. It has one toilet & sink, but big enough to hold 20 children and a few adults.
    It's not the best way, but I've never felt like I was in any real danger.
     
  36. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We are required to lock our doors. Most of the time my door is locked. If my students are in and out to the library often, then i leave it locked but cracked open. If we have a lock down, all I have to do is push the door closed.
     
  37. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I'm really intrigued by open floor plan schools.

    When I was in elementary school, we had grade level pods. Essentially they were large areas with four or so classes, but they had wall dividers and bookshelves separating classes. There weren't any doors. Sometimes we'd hear the classes next door but not often, and it wasn't a distraction. I wonder how many schools still do this.

    I keep my door locked by cracked open, because it's annoying to have students knocking when they come back from the bathroom .
     
  38. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    I am in an open environment building and we have NO doors at all. I hate it. I have seen this set up in other places, and it's only good to see admin, parents, and visitors walking by, but I still find it very disturbing. You hear and see all the madness across the hall, in front of you, and behind you. Kids run up and down the hall and throw food and toys and junk piles up in front of my lockers, and I get blamed for this mess. I know if kids are out in the hall unsupervised, we will all lose our jobs. Some teachers don't care. Toddlers are always running away. And disruptive kids will walk out in a minute.

    My biggest beef with this is that it's so distracting to learning. If another teacher starts banging on drums at circle time, how the heck am I supposed to keep my kids from getting up and dancing and screaming?!

    Additionally, my severe behavior problem kids have a distinct understanding that they can do anything they want, and then cry until somebody (admin.) comes over and rescues them. This sucks big time. Whenever I reprimand these kids they just start screaming like they the ones that were hit. They hit others, and scream when I put them in time out. Admin never asks me or co-teacher what this child did. They just come up and hug them, pat 'em on the head, and take them for a walk. Then the kid runs back in and starts playing. WTH? I stop them and say, "Excuse me? You need to apologize to so-n-so for punching them in the stomach!" Then sit down in time out for a few before you can play. Jeez!

    When you don't have a door, everyone watches you. And, needless to say, stealing or 'borrowing' runs rampant. I find my stuff in other classrooms, even though it's clearly marked with my name on it. Admin takes stuff right off my shelf, "Let me borrow this." And then I gotta chase them down to get it back. It's annoying because you put your stuff up and know where it is, but somebody takes it and uses it and never brings it back because they won't buy their own stuff or let their kids tear up stuff and won't replace it.
    :mad:
     
  39. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    WOOOOOHOOOOOO our magnets were reinstated today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  40. TeacherNirvana

    TeacherNirvana Rookie

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    Yes, I keep my door locked at all times. It can be unlocked from the inside. Therefore, there's no danger of being locked in. Our doors have tumbler locks that were installed a few years ago(Just turning the handle unlocks it from the inside or you can insert the key to unlock it permanently). If someone needs to enter my room, they have to knock. If it's someone doing a walkthrough, they have a key. Our campus had an issue with "wanderers" for a little while. If I saw them at my door, I simply called the office to let them no they were roaming around instead of being in class.
     
  41. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Mar 16, 2018

    Things have changed since I posted a month ago.

    We are no longer allowed to prop doors open if we have students in the room. And students are not allowed to answer the door. Every time someone comes to the door, I have to open it myself. And the door is all the way across the room from where I typically stand if I'm giving instructions or using the Smartboard. Just to make things more inconvenient, nobody seems to know how to knock on a door. They barely touch it or rattle the handle. I bought a wireless doorbell.
     

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