Teaching in the shadows

Discussion in 'General Education' started by jday129, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    Sep 13, 2010

    Last week we had a major power failure at our school. No electricity, no emergency lights. The power went out the evening before and the electric company was having a hard time fixing it.
    The bathrooms were pitch black. The boys bathrooms had to be closed since they have electric flushers. (They converted a girls bathroom into a boys.) Cafeteria was limited to cold food- cheese sandwiches.
    And the classrooms were while not completely dark, very shadowy. (Next door at the middle school some teachers w/o windows had to teach by flashlight.

    We stayed open all day. Would you have closed or stayed open?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 13, 2010

    If it happened before the school day began, I imagine we would have closed.

    But once those 120-something busses drop off those 2500+ kids, it's virtually impossible to close school. Some of our kids commute an hour to get to school, and our ages range from 10 to 18. There's no way we're sending a minor home unless we're sure a parent or guardian is aware that they're coming; it's a huge liability issue if a kid is unsupervised when he is thought to be in our care. So if it happened after about 6:30 am, we would cope. We actually have lost power twice in the past few years (once a squirrel ate through some power lines--ouch!-- and the other time a custodian did something (I'm not sure what) that he shouldn't have). Both times we regained power by 8:30. And, curiously enough, both were Exam days. The kids would have lost a vacation day if we had been forced to reschedule exams.

    But I do have one question: How is it possible that you had no emergency lights? I have no idea how they work, but always assumed it was by battery. If they don't work during a power failure, then what good are they? Both times we've lost power, we had at least minimal lights.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Sep 13, 2010

    The fire dept would have made us close...no fire alarms.
     
  5. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Sep 13, 2010

    We've lost power several times, once with no emergency lights; something happened not only to the power but also to the generator that ran the emergency lights. It was a weird confluence of coincidences. The power was out for a couple of hours, and I teach in a "garden level" classroom, so it was really dark. Kids were sneaking calls on their cell phones to tell their parents to come pick them up. I was glad; that meant less babysitting for me, since we were stuck in our homerooms all afternoon.
     
  6. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    Sep 13, 2010

    Here if the power is out for more than two hours we close. Elementary school makes phone calls to parents and if they aren't available alternates are called to get the kids.
     
  7. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Sep 13, 2010

    Same here . . . in my 16 years here I think we have only lost power twice. There was some amout of time the fire dept gave admin to restore power before school would have to be cancelled. Once the lights were back on within the time limit and once we had to go home. Since I work at the high school, it wasn't a big deal to leave early since more than half our students drive. It was a nightmare down at the elementary and jr high though.

    I don't understand why school wasn't cancelled before the school day even began.
     
  8. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Sep 13, 2010

    If there was no power before school began they probably would have done a two hour delay to give them more time to get it going, and then they would have canceled. If the power went off during the school day, they would probably give a reasonable amout of time to get the electricity back on, but if it was apparent that it was not coming back on that day they would have canceled. THe majority of out classrooms only have one window (maybe 2 1/2 by 5 feet) so we don't get a lot of natural light. I just counted and we have 17 classrooms with no windows. That's a lot of people to be teaching and learning by flashlight.
     
  9. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Sep 13, 2010

    One day my first year we lost power for several hours in the middle of the day. We made it work, but it was not fun. If it happened before school, we probably would have closed or delayed.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 13, 2010

    We had a major power failure last spring. All electricity off...hallways and bathrooms were DARK so traveling outside of the classroom was not safe. Plus the roof leaked in just a few places so in addition to darkness, it was potentially slippery. The office did a automated phone tree in which parents were notified of the situation and were told they could come pick up kids early. At 2:00 any remaining students were taken to the gym for dismissal from there. We were closed the next day as well as electricity lines were down all over town from fallen trees.
     
  11. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Sep 13, 2010

    If it was before school started, we would probably not have school that day. However, we have the power go out a lot, so we're kind of used to it. It usually doesn't last that long. We will get school cancelled if it is too cold in the rooms and if they can't make lunches.
     
  12. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Sep 15, 2010

    One time I was at a high school and their electricity went out at the beginning of the day. They waited a while to see if it could be fixed. Then they sent all of the students home - due to safety issues.
     
  13. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2010

    Alice- I'm not sure why the emergency lights were out.

    I never even thought about fire alarms. Guess we were very lucky that electricty problems didn't cause a fire.
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Sep 15, 2010

    Hmmmm...Well, I would guess we would likely have stayed open. We can function without the lights and computers, and the only other major issue would have been the snack shop. As far as teaching/learning, we could probably still swing it. The weather is nice here, so we wouldn't be too much affected, but would miss the fans.
     

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