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New School with NEW CONCRETE floors

Posted by Kathy in Ky on 1/04/05 at 20:33 (166509)

Happy New Year everyone. Today was our first day of classes in our beautiful new Middle School building. I haven't posted in a few days because I've been at school unpacking & arranging my room. This is a big change for me emotionally, going from a Pre-6 bldg to 5-8. No longer have the same principal or about 1/2 the staff I've worked with for 15 years. Keep me in your thoughts- I think the stress of the move plus the new concrete floors have caused my recent PF flare up. Also no longer taking Bextra. I had no pain during the fall but the last week has been horrible. I wore my dress Birks today, they seem to do better than Saucony walking shoes. Also making sure to take vitamins, minerals, etc.
I feel discouraged because I had been so happy to be pain free & able to go shopping with my teenager. I guess many others have been through this, any suggestions?

Re: New School with NEW CONCRETE floors

JudyS on 1/04/05 at 21:54 (166513)

Kathy - I'm not a teacher so have had no experience like yours but I encourage you to remember that the stress alone can make your feet flare up. You really ARE making a big change so it's OK if your body/feet reflect that. It's very, very likely that your flare up is temporary. As long as you maintain your care habits, it should abate. BTW - be GOOD to yourself while you transist - and don't forget that this is all on top of the holidays too! Yikes - now there's a formula for stress and sore feet!

Re: New School with NEW CONCRETE floors

Suzanne D. on 1/04/05 at 21:59 (166514)

I was in 'your shoes' two years ago, Kathy. We moved to our new, much larger school with concrete and tile floors during the Christmas break. I was there every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day moving in and getting my room ready.

My old school was about a third the size of our new one and had wooden floors with carpet. My principal remained the same, but we were consolidated with another school, and so many of my colleagues were new to me. You will be in my thoughts, Kathy, during this transition time. I understand the transition challenges and also the foot pain.

My best suggestion to you would be to buy a carpet with the thickest pad (that part is important) you can get for your room. I had to spend my own money and get my principal's approval, but it has been money well-spent. My carpet does not cover my entire classroom floor, but it covers about 2/3 of it and is in the area in which I spend most of my time on my feet. Of course I am in other places of the building throughout the day, but it really helps to come back to my room and be on the carpet.

If you don't have a tall stool to sit on, I would suggest you get one of those, too. Even sitting down a few minutes at a time can give your feet relief. And you can easily move the stool around to various parts of the room.

One other thing I did when I first moved in the new school and had to get used to the harder floors - I brought another pair of shoes with me so that I could change in the middle of the day. Just the change seemed to help.

Eventually I seemed to get used to the floors, and most of the time I do really well (still wearing Birks, of course). I do notice that after a vacation from school, my feet bother me for the first couple of days back.

Best wishes to you! I hope you enjoy your new school and that your feet feel better soon. Just the exhaustion of moving in can take its toll on your feet. Try to rest when you go home at night during this transition time.

Thinking of you,
Suzanne :)

Re: New School with NEW CONCRETE floors

Dorothy on 1/04/05 at 23:41 (166521)

Try to remind yourself of the whole context - you have been in pain before and you have been out of pain before; you've had a setback and it will pass. Remember what you did before to help yourself and think about what you've read here for information that can help you get through this.(The PF stretch, the Yoga stretches, etc.) Suzanne wrote about the problems with hard floors and the suggestion of buying yourself a cushioned rug to stand on. She has also written in the past, as has Marie, about finding ways to sit down to teach as much as possible - even though that can be difficult to do. If you sit behind a 'big' desk sometimes, you might want to try a foot roller hidden there (if you can get away with this!)to use periodically - or even if you can do something like this during any breaks from the classroom. You are going through some unusual circumstances right now so you will have to take extra care and you will get through it, as you have before. Best wishes, Kathy in Ky; I do hope you feel better soon.

Re: New School with NEW CONCRETE floors

Kathy G on 1/05/05 at 08:39 (166538)

I still don't understand why new schools always have concrete floors. Yes, I do. It's because the school districts are trying to save money. But in the process, they sure do a job on teacher's bodies! I remember when Suzanne went through a similar experience, Kathy, and I hope you will adjust and feel better soon.

Her idea of carpeting is an excellent one. When my son was practice teaching, he taught fifth grade and he sat on the desk as much as possible. If you knew him, you'd understand why he sat 'on' the desk as opposed to 'behind' the desk. It just suits his personality. He said the teacher under whom he interned stood all the time but my son had to sit due to his back problems. He later developed PF and he says he can't imagine standing and teaching with it. Of course, during grad school and practice teaching, he was a part-time tennis pro so he didn't exactly have a sedentary life style.

Hope you weather the move and enjoy the new setting but I understand it will take some getting used to.

Re: New School with NEW CONCRETE floors

marie on 1/05/05 at 10:02 (166549)

We moved to our new building last August. I had a tough time adjusting. Went home in tears several nights. My feet are just so very sensitive. I did adjust after about a month. Hope you will adjust quickly.


Re: New School with NEW CONCRETE floors

Kathy in Ky on 1/05/05 at 18:34 (166581)

Thanks for all your suggestions & support. I hope my feet adjust over a few weeks. My house may be dirtier for awhile. I'm going to relax at home as much as possible & sit whenever I get a chance at work. Since I teach Soc. St. to over 100 'active' 5th graders each day, sitting is not available that often. We are all working to adjust to our new surroundings & support each other. Today I had a couple students in tears because they couldn't get their combination locks on their lockers open (something very new for them) Considering all the problems in the world today, that shouldn't seem like a big deal but we all have our days!

Re: New School with NEW CONCRETE floors

Ed Davis, DPM on 1/08/05 at 20:22 (166723)

A solution for concrete floors...
A new product that I had mentioned to ScottR earlier for possible availability is basically a 'portable tread mat' that you velcro on to the outside of your shoes. Not particularly attractive but very effective -- known as ergo mates, originating in Canada. Boeing has made them available for free to all of their workers in my area.

Re: New School with NEW CONCRETE floors

Ed Davis, DPM on 1/08/05 at 20:25 (166725)

Here is a link for availability: http://www.accesssupplies.com/itemmonth.htm

PS. ScottR had explained why the markup may have been insufficient for decent internet sales but he may want to try again as the company selling them seems to be 'flexible' on the wholesale price.

Re: New School with NEW CONCRETE floors

scott r on 1/17/05 at 10:17 (167391)

they returned my call, but never sent me a sample of the product.