Around here anyway. Your start time may vary.
I know that some schools have allowed for parents to return to pick up things left before the March Break already. Some may make it happen shortly in the future. In a regular world, things just get forgotten over the break and reunited on the first Monday back. This year, it was delayed an additional two weeks. Then more delays until the decision to close buildings until the end of the year while school continued elsewhere.
Locker cleanout time was a horrible task to have to supervise in a previous life. In our case, homerooms were held for half an hour and the caretakers had placed garbage bins and bags in the hallways. With checklist in hand, we had to go up and down our homeroom list checking that lockers were cleaned out. We were looking for leftover lunch bags and food, library books, and anything that wasn’t necessary for the final day of the school year.
It didn’t take long to fill the garbage bins and bags, I’ll tell you. I always felt badly for the caretakers and placed ours in one spot at the end of the event for easy pickup. To be honest, while they groaned and griped, I think most of the students were actually happy to end up with a clean/organized locker, even if it was just going to be for a couple of weeks. The only hitch were those who shared their lockers with friends (breaking school rules) and were hesitant to make cleaning decisions for them.
It doesn’t take long on social media to see teachers and friends showing how it’s going to end this year. Lines of clear plastic bags by homeroom in the gym. Sadly, it reminded me of cleanups from an airplane crash. When I think about it, it’s not dissimilar.
Going back, I’m hearing of the challenges from teachers of going into their schools. Ironically, the inside of a school might well be the safest from the virus places, having been shuttered for so long. It’s not pleasant having to be inside a building all masked up. For the most part, schools are warm, safe, and embracing place. Not so now. Knowing teachers, they’d bring their own personal sanitizers as well. You’d hate to be caught short because the school and/or district hadn’t provided enough. Each personal item as they’re collected would bring back memories of the student who would soon hopefully be reunited with it. It’s a sad activity.
Then come the rules. Education loves rules. I heard a complaint that it would take multiple trips to the school because of having multiple kids and pickup was on a strict timetable. Education loves timetables. Then, there was another rule about how many people were actually allowed in the school and gym at the same time. Get used to it; education in the future is going to have to learn how to love social distancing. You might as well get used to the new concept of lining up. Education loves lining up.
My heart and best wishes go out to all educators who are going through this process. They don’t teach you stuff like this in Teachers’ College.
It will be a sad process. Make sure that you take some time when you get home to be with family or have a Zoom beer/wine with a friend or colleague. As always, you need to take care of yourself.