October 14, 2008

Why It's a Good Idea to Practice Fire Drill Procedures Even If It's a Waste of Time

Boy, I am just having a great year. I know I'm a bit overextended, with working five nights at the alternative high rather than two and working on my master degree, so there are areas where I am not going to be a model teacher this year. That's just the way it's going to be. I'm fine with it. But there are some no-brainers that I should be able to just set life on cruise control and survive.

So what did I screw up now?

I lost 10 students today during a fire drill. Or they got lost. Something like that.

I actually knew we were going to have a drill, so I told the students to follow me when the time came. I told them we had to go down the stairs, out the main entrance where we would walk down the sidewalk across the front of the school, and then we would need to cross the street.

I kept looking back until we made it out the gate because then it wasn't as crowded on the sidewalk. When we made it to the designated area, I found 10 of my best and brightest were nowhere to be found.

In some ways it's not a big deal. In other ways a very big deal. After all, we have had fires at my school before--a small one during school hours and the mother-of-all during the summer that we missed. The big one is what earned us a new school. Last year we were evacuated because of a gas leak, too.

Anyway. Losing kids. It was a little embarrassing.

When a hall monitor came by to release us back into the building, she told me a group of my students where further down the road. Good to know.

When the dean came by to ask if I had all of my students accounted for...well...double embarrassing. I've never had an administrator come around and record of losses during a fire drill.

I'll probably get a nasty gram about it later. Oh well.

When I met up with my lost students, I chewed them an extra hole: "Congratulation! You all burned up in a fired! What happened to the part where you follow me?"

We all know that it's hard to follow the teacher when she's 5'3", but really, follow the person in front of you who is following the person in front of him, and so on and so forth, until you get to the person who is following ME!


Last month, my 5th period class was able to figure it out, but not my 2nd hour class. Nope.

I even had on a bright orange sweater. I should have been easy to see. A sea of blue and white shirts and then ORANGE! Come on people! The person in the ORANGE sweater is the person to follow!

When I was done being irritated with them for making me look so bad--I'll even admit that's why I was so irritated--they defended themselves by saying that at least they all stayed together in one group.

Good point.

It's not all bad if you can figure out what to do when you lose your teacher during a fire drill.

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