The absolute last thing a teacher wants to worry about is classroom safety related to lockdown drills, intruder alerts, and violence within the school. But we do and we have to be AWARE of school surroundings at all times whether we're in or out of our own classroom.
My Bright Idea revolves around two Classroom Safety Measures you can take to speed up the process in case of a school emergency which include magnetic strips and paper blinds.
I'll also be the first to tell you that each school, district, county, and state have varying rules regarding these safety measures, so double check with your administration to make sure it's okay.The Magnetic Strip
About a year ago our school began using magnetic strips on our doors. These magnets slide over the door's strike plate (where the door wouldn't normally shut) and allow us to quickly lock the doors when removed.
The magnetic strips block the door from latching but also allows you to always keep your door locked all the time (without locking yourself out). If a time comes when you need to lock the door just remove the magnet. No keys are needed, just remove the strip and close your door.
This has worked very well at my school and worked out great during our lockdown drills and even a couple of other times. It will take you a bit of time to become accustomed to opening your doors by pulling rather than turning the knob (since you always keep them locked, but after a while it becomes second nature.
Paper Blinds For Indoor Windows
During lockdown-type drills we're asked to move our students away from windows and out of line-of-sight. Some classes can do that, others can't. Many teachers have curtains by their door windows. I'm not a curtain guy, so I invested five dollars to buy paper blinds.
Normally I always want to be able to see out of my window since it faces a main hallway, but during emergencies outside of class and/or situations inside my room I just unclip the blinds for immediate privacy/security. I love the speed of this too--it's done in literally a second.
Overall it took about 5 minutes from start to finish to put up the blinds. You can even use a paper cutter to make them fit to size. I picked mine up at Home Depot, but you can find them at just about any hardware store.
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