After second period there is a snack break. I usually run out to use the restroom at this time. I always lock the door behind me.
Today, I got back to the room just after the warning bell rang. I inserted the key into the door, twisted, and...stuck. The key is supposed to turn all the way through to disengage the lock. My key got to that spot and then wouldn't budge.
It had to work. It got me in the room before school.
After trying every trick I knew (pulling the key out part way, jiggling the door, turning the key the wrong way, etc.), I resorted to trying brute strength. Nothing.
Many of the students (7th graders, naturally) were standing around waiting to get in. I figured I might as well ask for help. Three different boys attempted to get the key to disengage the lock. Still nothing. (But now they knew what the problem was.)
These being 7th grade boys, however, they thought they knew more than I did. They made various suggestions--all of which I had already tried. But that would not dissuade them. They kept at it.
I was ready to admit defeat and call for backup. I was even prepared to have the custodian laugh at me. That's when one of the boys got the bright idea to run his shoulder into the door. Hard. At the same time, he turned the key and...
Now, why didn't I think of that? Probably because the door opened out, not in. There is no logical reason why it should have worked. Such a thing hadn't even occurred to me.
So, now I have a new trick to try next time I have key issues. Good to know.