It has happened at least once in every school–public or private–where I have taught. At some point the furnace goes, and it’s always on the coldest day of the year. How strange to keep working with gloves, scarves, and winter jackets wrapped tight. I resisted the peacoat until I made a trip into the hallway and realized the hall was warmer than my room.
My classroom is often uncomfortably cold in the winter and stiflingly hot in August and late spring/early summer. It’s one of the harder parts of maintaining such a sprawling complex. It’s more barn than building, more mall than office park. We bleed energy from every gap in the double doors and around every warped-seal on a window. All I can do is dress in layers when it’s cold and bring a fan from home to stir the air when it’s hot. To the person who solves the energy efficiency/heating and cooling problem for schools–you will be one very wealthy person.
Please get on that. Soon.
Another down side to the cold weather is that it has driven a few mice into my desk drawers. My principal likes to give teachers a chocolate bar and card for birthdays and I hadn’t taken a nibble of mine before a mouse squirmed its way into my desk and gnawed nearly a third of it while my students and I were away from the room. How impertinent! That happened before the holiday break and I managed to clean out the “remains” my visitor had left. Today I found that another “friend” had attacked a sealed bottle of vitamin C in the opposite drawer. Is there anything worse than wondering when you reach into a desk drawer for a pen or note pad that you might come in contact with a mouse–or its leavings?
I’d like to laugh. To shrug it off and say, well–these things do happen and can happen to anyone–but I wonder. I wonder.