Getting an assigned locker in a school hallway could be considered a rite of passage. Not only do lockers serve the functional purpose of storing books, but lockers also allow students to express their creativity and their individuality with pictures and other decorations. This school year, the hallways look a little different at Eastchester Middle School and Eastchester High School. Students are not using their lockers to allow for social distancing.
Many students have created virtual lockers on their computers to fill this need. The students imported pictures that represent what makes them unique or photos that express a hobby or interest and place them in a virtual locker. Sixth grader Cassidy Pordage admits he was disappointed when he first learned he wouldn’t have a physical locker this year. Still, he enjoyed the Virtual Locker Project. Cassidy selected a photo of his favorite food – pizza, his favorite soccer team logo and a picture of a boat. “It reminds me of the things I like to do and if someone else has the same things, we can talk about it,” said Cassidy.
Sakura Stram posted a photo of her dog, a lake where her grandparents live and a winter scene – all expressions of her personality.
Middle School teacher Clare Delongchamp explained the lesson to the students, which teaches them essential computer skills that they can use throughout the school year, including screen sharing. Each student shares his locker with her and decides whether classmates can view it.
Alexandra Bloshenko incorporated the lesson with her students in the High School and said building relationships is at the core of her teaching practice and holds an even greater significance.
“This school year is like nothing we have ever experienced before,” said Bloshenko. “The virtual locker assignment gives students the chance to decorate a locker to express their identity with the same, and potentially even more, room for creativity as they would have in a regular school year. In doing so, students are able to share information with me that they feel is central to who they are and provides me with the opportunity to get to know them better.”