What if I can't get my locker open?


Do this . . .

  • DO give your locker combination to a parent, older sibling, or other trusted adult. You might be able to give them a quick call in an emergency.
  • DO “bury” your locker combination in a secret place on your phone (if you are allowed to have one). Other kids will think you’re checking out last night’s basketball or hockey scores. Lock or code the combo somehow so that if you lose your phone, anyone who finds it won’t know what the numbers mean.
  • DO keep your locker combination written somewhere, such as in your notebook or in another book. That way, it will appear that you’re just looking up something for your next class. NOTE: Consider writing your locker combination in code. That way it will be harder for someone to figure out if it gets misplaced. You might code it one digit below the actual numbers. For example, the combination 6 right, 12 left, 17 right becomes 5 right, 11 left, and 16 right. Remember, the code is this is just for writing. The combination itself stays the same (6,12, 17). Another idea is to write your coded combination and hide it in a hidden place, such as in a secret place in your shoe. Bend down to tie your shoes, and in the process you can remove the slip of paper with your combination on it. Nobody will notice. There are other places you could keep your locker combination for a few days, but we won’t go into that. Just know that you might need to go into a rest room to dig it out. All these tricks are useful just for a little while, until you get the hang of opening your locker. Then you can take the combination out of your shoe!
  • DO create a simple rhyming thought-picture to help you remember your combination. The rhyme does not need to make sense. Stupid is memorable—you can picture the goofy pictures in your mind. Memorize the rhyming thought picture and recall the images if you forget your combination. Example: for combination 5, 23, 13:


(5 on a hive, 23 on a knee, 13 on a spleen)

  • DO consider including your locker number itself in your coded locker message. That way, you won’t be caught trying to open someone else’s locker!
  • DO be kind and help someone else who appears to be struggling with his or her locker. Go with that person to the school office if they need to go get their combination lock number. You might end up making a good friend because of your thoughtfulness.

Don't do this . . .

  • DON’T keep valuable personal items in your locker.
  • DON’T make a scene if you can’t get into your locker. Cussing or crying will cause 10 times more attention than calmly dealing with the situation.
  • DON’T panic if you can’t get your locker open on the first try. It may not even be your fault—maybe the lock broken inside. Hey, what’s the worst that can happen if you can’t get your locker open right away? You walk to the school office and ask someone to look up your combination for you. Problem solved. If someone makes fun of you because you couldn’t get your locker open, they have much bigger problems than yours.


Here’s a video you might want to watch:

Activity: Padlock Puzzler

Using the numbers on the combination padlock as your code key, write the correct letters in the blank spaces to answer the question below.

A middle schooler mistakenly thought soccer balls were made from different parts of a zebra’s skin, and often protested to ban the playing of soccer at his school. Where did he keep his protest signs?


39 _____ 2 _____             16 _____            30 _____ 12 _____ 10 _____ 29 _____ 26 _____ 7 _____

21 _____ 25 _____ 12 _____ 29 _____ 36 _____ 26 _____ 4

25 _____ 12 _____ 29 _____ 36 _____ 26 _____ 7 ____.


Answer: In a soccer blocker locker.