Monday, March 31, 2008

Drills? Psshhh!

Apparently we can't have normal Mondays at my school. About 10 minutes before the bell rings (for the end of the day) it starts POURING rain.. I have last period off so the secretary told me it might be a good idea for me to go get my stuff before it gets worse. Worse? I go outside and the tornado sirens are going off. Fantastic. I am soaked within 10 seconds, but I go get my stuff and run back inside. Intercom message to the school to release students who ride the bus so they can load early... I'm thinking to myself, do they not know the sirens are going off? 10 seconds later that message has been canceled and we are all now retreating to our tornado safe rooms. That's right... 390 students on our hallway.. 4 tornado safe rooms.

At first the kids are just sitting there because we've just been told to be in the room, so they are goofing around, angry that they are being held after the bell, then not a minute after the griping we get the message to "duck and cover". It sure was quiet then... I take over from the other teachers and explain to the students how to tuck their legs under them and put their hand on back of their heads, because at this point they were just all sitting against the wall. Now we've got kids crying, hugging each other, etc... and your normal adolescent boys who think it's a good idea to fart in the middle of the group. It was already dark outside, but I turned off the lights in case of any power surges and that made it even more eerie. The rain is still absolutely torrential, then all of a sudden it stops. For those of you not familiar with these types of storms, that is never a good thing. I'm under a desk trying to calm down one of my students, surrounded by 5 of my co-workers and we're all looking at each other like this is not going to be good. I keep getting text messages from my sister, who is at home watching the news and is like.. it's on its way right toward you guys! There is sheer marker on the screen right above where you are at(which means there is rotation in the clouds)! So we're all sitting there waiting for the "freight train" sound, but thankfully all we hear are the intermittent sniffles from some very frightened students.

The kids eventually get bored with being stuck in this uncomfortable position and start joking with each other.. then 15 minutes later they call on to release all the students, we walk out of our cave and it is sunny outside! Texas is crazy... I saw later on the news the funnel cloud that formed right near us. Had this happened just 10 minutes later we could have had mass chaos on our hands!!! As for the kids, aside from their goofing around when the fear wore off, they followed directions well and did exactly what they should have. Who needs drills? They'll do it right when they are afraid!!!!


Smithie said...

Holy crap that's scary! I'm glad everyone is OK.

Jenny said...

Love the idea that we don't need drills because they'll get it when they have to! I think that is so true.

You've reminded me of one of the reasons I love living in VA. Thanks!

Edna Lee said...

Wow! What a scary day! Thank goodness all went well.

Here in CA, we have earthquakes and the same useless drills. The last time we had an actual quake, it was so small I didn't even really stop teaching. The ground shook, we paused, the kids asked if that was an earthquake, I said yes, we all shrugged and we went right back to math!

Ahhhh...the flexibility of kids!