It’s a pouring September afternoon. Everyone in your class looks like they took a cold shower with their clothes on. Class started 30 minutes ago, and everyone is still soaked. You need to use the bathroom. You sign out, grab the pass, and run 100 meters through the rain and across the parking lot. As you cross the street, cars cut it suspiciously close when braking for you. At the door, you buzz the front desk, wait for the door to get unlocked, and walk down the hallway to the restroom.
It’s an eight minute round trip from the portables to the main building and back. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the hard knock life in the portables.
“I should get a FitBit,” English teacher Henry Level said. As students with classes in the portables have noticed, it’s an unusually long haul between classes.
“I know that I have been walking more as compared to last year—wearing a Fitbit has its benefits when it comes to step counts. When I have to walk between the portables and building multiple times, I usually hit over 10,000 steps in a day,” ELA teacher Holly Matteson said.
Some kids like the extra time out of class, some don’t. Some teachers like the walk, some don’t. The portable situation is subjective. That being said, teachers think it’s causing a problem for students.
If a student misses Level’s class for eight minutes, for instance, the class is likely in a completely different place when the student returns, so the disruption continues for a few minutes until they get acclimated again. From both a student and teacher perspective, this can be problematic. Matteson agrees.
“While I don’t want to limit a student using the bathroom, the issue, for me, comes with the loss of instruction time…while the loss of 10 minutes in a class doesn’t sound like a lot of missed instruction time, this time adds up throughout the school year,” Matteson said.
Whether you’re a fan of the portables or not, there’s not much that can be done. With more students every year, Liberty needs to compensate with the extra classrooms. At this point, the portables are virtually inevitable.