I know I once posted a piece on how beautifully I can punt when presented an icky situation in the classroom, but today I just didn't have it in me to do it.
About ten minutes before my 0 hour class started the whole school lost power. Who knows how long it was going to last? It was the direct result of a crisis situation down the hallway from me, but in the meanwhile, school continued on.
The bells didn't ring, but I sent some students down to the quad to round up their classmates. (There aren't a lot of students who have class at this time of day.) When they all arrived, I read them the agenda in the dim light:
1. Skillstutor "Life Around the World"--reading comp lesson
"Well, no electricity..no server..no wireless connection...so good luck with that one." (It's an online program.)
2. Read 162-178 and 179-180 in grammar book on compare/contrast structures
"Okay. The six people who are sitting here might have enough light from the emergency light and the window in the door to handle that. The rest of you--good luck."
3. Write 5 questions with answers about the main ideas from the reading.
"Again, light might be an issue. Good luck with that."
"Miss! We could open the door and there'd be more light."
"True, but let's not. With no electricity we also have no heater, so it wouldn't take too long to get colder than it already is in here."
"Oooooooohhhhhhhhh. Let's not do that," my students replied.
"Yea. So, well..." My mind raced with things we could do. Writing in the dark? Read to them? Have a discussion? Screw it! "You know guys, this isn't the first time I've ever had to conduct class in the dark. In the times before though, we had more windows for light. I could come up with something to do, but I just don't have it in me. So just keep it low today. The teacher next door is actually trying to conduct class."
Did I actually have to tell them to keep it low at that time of morning? I've been wishing for students as hyper as I am in the early morning, and this year my wish has come true, so they are one of my rowdiest classes. 7:00 am. Go figure.
Some of them talked. Some of them took out their laptops and worked on their upcoming project while others played games. And then there were those two weird kids who my talked ear off all period long. One of them thought it was the end of the world or something. Seriously kid. The power's out. It happens.
The next period what did I do when the power was still out? Same thing. An administrator came by to check on us and told us it was business as usual. There was no word when the electricity would be on, but the electricians were on campus. If we had an emergency we were to send someone to the office.
Business as usual? Whatever!
I do not like wasted time--as if we really have time to spare EVER! I could have been a better teacher today and made the best of a bad situation, but...eh...whatever. I felt a little guilt over it for the first 10 minutes, but then I got over it.
(Yes, we did get power shortly into 2nd hour. Then it was business as usual, indeed!)