Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Adventures in Teaching (Part 367, for those keeping count)

I put in a full day subbing for the band teacher today. He had taken the high school band on a trip to a festival (apparently they did very well), so while my morning was a sleeper, my afternoon was busy. I taught my own choir during 4th period, then 5th grade brass during 5th. Sixth period is 7th/8th grade band and the last class of the day.

I was happily rehearsing the band when a kid comes into the band room telling everyone, "There's a bomb threat! We have to leave!"

Way to go, hon. Shout that out in a room full of 40-something middle school kids with band instruments.

I called the office to confirm this. It was true. I missed the announcement because we had been playing "West Side Story" at a high volume.

I got everyone pushed out the door. Fortunately, the band room has a back door that goes directly out to the field where everyone meets up during emergency drills. They report to their second period teacher, so I didn't have to do anything...

...except stand in a harsh, cold wind with rain pelting down on me. I'd had the foresight to grab my coat, and a good thing. It's waterproof and has a hood, but it doesn't keep a gal dry on her jeans-clad legs.

The campus houses three different schools--elementary (3-5), middle (6-8) and high (9-12)--all in one large, L-shaped campus. I could see the high school had evacuated, and figured the elementary school did, too.

School gets out at 2:20, and the bomb threat came in at about 2:10, so when the bell rang, we dismissed the kids to the busses out front.

I finally left at about 2:40, and drove out on the street in front of the school. I had forgotten that the elementary school gets out later than the other two--those poor little mites and their teachers were still out on the field, in driving rain and harsh wind, waiting for the all-clear from the Jefferson County Sheriff! They'd been out there at least 30 minutes. What a nightmare.

So that's my adventure of the day. I don't think the bomb threat was very credible (who's going to get to the out-of the way 6th grade girl's loo without being noticed?!?), but every case has to be treated as if it is real. Even on rainy, windy, COLD days.

Better safe than sorry.

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