How to Tell if it’s a Real Fire Drill

A final thought on this school year  —

The last week of actual school (the week before finals) we had a fire drill and a tornado drill.  You may wonder what’s the point (as I did) but there are requirements to be met and apparently two more squares needed to be filled.

I was discussing this afterward with another teacher.  Unfortunately, I was in an interior classroom and had no idea what was happening outside.  He did have a window, and the rule he used was if the weather was nice outside, it was a drill.  One time last year a contractor was working in the weight room in the back of the school and somehow set off the fire alarm.  That time when the alarm went off, this teacher looked out the window and saw it was raining.  His first thought was “Uh oh, we’re all gonna die.”

By the way, there’s another disadvantage to being in an interior classroom  —  it’s really dark when the power goes out.  This actually happened for about two hours at another school.  It was pitch dark, the kids were freaking, and I was telling myself “This is only temporary.  The lights are coming on any second.  Any second now….”  Fortunately I had a student assistant (and future Marine) who recognized the danger before I did and restored order.  When it was clear this was no temporary thing, we were taken to a classroom with windows and made sure no one sneaked out.  That was tougher than it sounded because half the boys wanted to leave immediately and half the girls needed to go to the bathroom.

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