Classroom cleanup begins on campus

Beginning+Monday%2C+May+4+teachers+returned+to+campus+while+practicing+social+distancing+procedures.+Now+teachers+will+begin+to+clean+out+their+classrooms+a+week+before+the+end+of+the+year+as+opposed+to+in+the+last+few+days+of+school.

Michael Martin

Beginning Monday, May 4 teachers returned to campus while practicing social distancing procedures. Now teachers will begin to clean out their classrooms a week before the end of the year as opposed to in the last few days of school.

Athena Tseng, Guest Contributor

Teachers have begun to clean out their classrooms after being allowed to return to campus if certain social distancing guidelines are followed. 

“The way the clean-out process was organized was by using a sign-up sheet. We selected a day and a two-hour time period to go up to the school to work on cleaning out for the end of the year,” teacher Kristen Newton said. “There was only one teacher per hallway on campus at the same time, so we were all very spread out from each other.”

Usually end of the year procedures are done the last few days of school, but it’s been a much different situation this year. 

“There was a very heavy sense of a lot of emotions when I unlocked my classroom door,” Newton said. “Seeing the student desk groups, the writing I still had on the board, the drawings that were upon my bulletins, and all the little details brought on big emotions for me. Everything in the room was left untouched since the Friday before Spring Break. There were still worksheets in my turn in trays. I had ‘no-name’ papers clipped to my whiteboard. My teacher planner was sitting open with lesson plans for when we came back from break.”

“It was tough. Especially to remove old papers from students and to realize that we have been out of school since March,” teacher Jennifer Nelken said. “It was helpful to move things out and remove personal items to get ready for next year.”

Newton learned a lot from cleaning her classroom and the effects of this pandemic on students.

“Everything looked as though I was in a movie where I had the ability to pause and move through time,” Newton said. “I had this feeling that my classroom was a time capsule of what my life (and my student’s lives) looked like before the pandemic hit us. Being in that preserved past of ‘normal’ really put into perspective for me what a huge deal this whole pandemic is. Up to that point, I didn’t feel like my life had been all that affected. Aside from working at home, there was not a lot that felt vastly different. Being in my classroom, though, made me realize how much all of our lives have, in fact, changed, and how all of our lives will be forever changed by this situation.”