Central teachers using the elevator
October 15, 2019
Central’s elevator is not all it’s cracked up to be, so why do teachers keep using it?
For those who need the elevator, for whatever reason, it is a godsend. It makes getting to classes far easier and possible. It’s a nice break from the very fast pace of passing periods that are difficult for those who have physical impairments. Plus, who wouldn’t love awkward elevator conversations?
But it also comes with many flaws. The most obvious being that it takes forever to get to you. The elevator takes quite some time to get to the floor you need to get off on because it will pick up and drop off people. It is also only on one side of the school so once you get to your floor you may have to walk around two sides to get to your class.
In the main part of Central, the elevator is very small, creaky and either blazing hot or freezing cold. Plus, you can hear everything happening on the floors in between which is very unsettling. It is full at all times with people on crutches, in a wheelchair, or on a roller foot.
Yet, many staff members choose to ride the elevator out of what, joy? Laziness? Fun?
There are many employees that ride the elevator for valid reasons, like knee issues, heart problems, moving carts etc. But that is pretty much all I can come up with. The vast majority simply want to avoid walking the stairs with students.
This is not only offensive to the students but makes moving through the school very difficult to anyone who is not able bodied.
Most students who ride the elevator are over five minutes late to their classes because the elevators are so full; they must wait for it to take many trips and come back down. Five minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, but they are missing sometimes 45 minutes of class time a day.
It is a running joke around elevator kids that we are late to every single class.
Riding the elevators with a teacher can also be cause for very demeaning conversations. I do not have a visible disability, so every time I get on the elevator with a staff member, they ask to see my elevator pass and check to see if my key is real. They also ask what is wrong with me and why I “like” to ride the elevator.
I have had a few conversations with other students on the elevator who look fine about how hard it is to have to prove your right to be there to every passerby. We are given keys and passes by the nurses because we need to use the elevator; that’s as much as we should go through. It is not the job of every educator to interrogate us.
This is ableism in its purest form.
Staff on elevators also feel very entitled to their position there. They have a tendency to ask students to wait till they get off to get on because they don’t want to be late to class, or simply press the door close button and yell “you’ll have to wait”.
I have and will never ask an adult why they chose to use the elevator because I don’t want to put them in the same position that they put me and others. If you are on the elevator, I’m going to assume it’s because you need it. But if you don’t, please refrain from using it. It’s very inconsiderate and downright disrespectful.