Fire Drill!

12:50  We decide to do a Just Dance break after yet another indoor recess.

12:55 I hear the fire alarm going off and we lead the kids outside.  We are in the suburbs of Chicago, in the middle of one of the coldest winters in 100 years, and we are leading a class of children outside to stand with out coats or even sweatshirts on.  Usually we know of a drill, but we had no warning.  Millions of thoughts racing through my head including:  “We are supposed to walk to the field, there is at least a foot of snow covering the field. Where are we going?”

12:56  We take the kids down the sidewalk and take a head count.  I count 24.  “There should be 25!   Two absent, 27-2 is 25.  Yes!  There should be 25!”

12:57  Role call – everyone is here.  Count one more time – yes!  25!  I hold up the green card!

1:00  Finally go inside and grab their coats to warm up and then off to music. The kids were good, but scared. Can’t blame them – it took half an hour for my stomach to stop flipping.  Never a dull day in elementary school!

It turns out that there was a first time substitute in the gym and a basketball hit the alarm.

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5 thoughts on “Fire Drill!”

  1. Yikes, I am in MN and I can’t imagine a fire drill (or real need for a fire evacuation) in this weather. That had to be horrible and so cold for the kiddos. Although I suppose they maybe got out some energy that has been needing release because if you’re like us, we’ve had indoor recess way too often this winter due to the cold.

  2. What a scary moment! An unexpected drill in the dead of winter would do that to me too. I like how you structured your time through your piece. Very effective.

  3. When the alarm was ringing, I was just thinking, “I hope we don’t have to walk through the field of snow!” Glad that we were led down the sidewalks!

  4. It’s a valuable lesson, the fire drill. Once my elementary school had a real fire — at lunchtime! The teachers ran around for several minutes, making sure to find each student. We did find them. They were all lined up and ready to walk to the high school down the street; we were so proud of them! We received many compliments from the fire department and police about how wonderful our kids were at staying safe and looking out for each other. Whew!

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