Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Day in the Life

Fire Drill!!!!
Working in a school I see all kinds of behavior that makes me shake my head, grit my teeth, and raise my voice.  All three of those happened yesterday from the same situation.  It's something that in my 15+ years in the classroom I've never experienced.

Our school has periodic fire drills.  I'm sure you're familiar with those; either from your memories of being in school, tales from your kids, or being in one yourself.  We do this so in the event of an actual emergency we can exit the building quickly and safely, and with children those things take practice.

If you've ever been in an elementary school you know the reaction of kids when a fire alarm goes off.  It looks like this - 

24 first grade faces turn to me with this expression, plus five surprised third graders that had come in early from Wiggle Time (aka recess aka State Mandated 15 - 20 minutes of unstructured, uninterrupted free play).

"All right, guys, come with me, get in line, and follow these 3rd graders." I tell them, because that's what you say in these situations.

I look back over the classroom to make sure they're all filing out as orderly as possible when I see a kid still doing his computer activity.

In the midst of chairs being scooted out, 24 little people asking, "Is there really a fire?" and "How come these always happen when we're in Computer Lab?" This kid is still doing his math games.  Oblivious to everything going on around him.

I shout this child's name, causing him to literally jump in the air at least two inches.


He comes over, glancing back over his shoulder at his computer.


Seriously, in all the time that I've been in a classroom leading kids outside during a fire drill, I've never seen this.  I've had kids scream.  I've had kids take it completely like a joke.  I've had kids talk the entire time, adjusting the volume of their voice to fit the volume of the alarm.  But this?  Nope. And it was from a 1st grader!

I spoke last week about my own lack of discipline.  I suppose if I had the discipline this student was showing toward finishing 1st Grade Math - Base Ten Activities then I wouldn't have near the troubles that I find myself having.

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