I have a pretty big classroom. When they finished remodeling our site back in ’96, our principal passed around a map to everyone and we staked out real estate. Most of the herd wanted into the new wings that were built (“oooh shiny”), but I saw right away how small and cramped they were going to be, especially with all the shtuff I had accumulated over the years. So I managed to snake one of the biggest rooms in the school. It used to be the typing room back in the day. Back in 2010 I blogged a virtual tour of the digs (Part I and Part II), but things have actually gotten much tidier in the past five years (good student assistants), so I will have this year’s girl take some current pics and we can take another tour soon.

But to the point of today’s post. I also have two front doors. Outside they are separated by a long water fountain, inside they are separated by a big whiteboard behind the little stage I have that used to hold the typing teacher’s desk. The way my classroom is arranged though, you are entering from the side of the classroom. (I know, I’ll have Bella take pics tomorrow.)

Only the left-hand (from the outside) door is ever open. Sometimes if there’s a mad rush, a few will exit through the other door, but it’s locked from the outside and never open for entrance except on Back to School Night.

Tuesday morning when I got to school, there was a printed note on the left door that said:


Hmmm. Ok. Whatever. Maybe the night custodian had mopped in front of the door or something. At 6:30 in the morning, I wasn’t really thinking too hard yet. So I entered through the other door and looked for a wet floor sign or maybe some garbage bins. Or the old bucket over the door trick. It was clear, though. Hmmm.

Awhile later I catch the day custodian and ask him about the sign. Did he know anything about why it might be there?

He had nothing, and as he pointed out, if it were the night guys, they probably wouldn’t have printed it with a computer.

Hmmm. Still a mystery. But it did give me an idea.

I made another sign with the same message and, you guessed it, put it on the other door.

The bell rings for 1st period. Usually at that time I am behind my desk with my feet up, squeezing in 2 more minutes of nap. Today I am outside watching the show.

We have those rubber “lock-block” things that keep the locked doors open a crack so we don’t have to keep locking and unlocking doors. They are actually pretty handy. The main entry door on the left is cracked with the sign just above the handle. The first kid obliviously grabs the handle without looking and starts to open the door.

Now I have a very specific rule about entering my classroom. If the door is propped open all the way, you are welcome to enter, whether I am there or not. If the door is closed, even if there is that crack from the lock-block, you better knock. Open = welcome. Closed = not.

BAM. I whack my stick against a handy recycling bin. Every head in the hallway turns.

“ONE: What’s the rule about the door? TWO: Read the sign!”

Now all the heads turn back toward the door and the sign.


Oh. And the herd migrates to the right. Again the blind tug on the handle.

“That door’s locked!”


“Did you read that sign?”



“Read the sign.”

“We did.”

“And so?”

One kid goes in the door to the next classroom. He gets laughed out of the room.

Some brave souls go back to the left door and start to pull it open.

“Uh uh uh uh uh uh. Read the sign.”

One little girl actually throws her hands in the air and lets them land on her head and looks like that’s the only thing keeping it from exploding.

“What are you doing to us?”

“Trying to get you to follow directions.”

“You’re just messing with us!”

“No way? Really?”

“It’s not April Fools’ Day!”

“I hate April Fools’ Day.”

After I pulled it on 4th period and finally let them in…

“Umm… where’s Kily?”

“She’s still at the other door.”