Backwards and In Heels

Last Wednesday Colorado was hit by a major windstorm. Like, 100 MPH wind, kind of windstorm.

It made school… interesting.

12:40 PM – power goes out. School continues because “the generator’s working.”

12:45 – I email to ask if the generator is powering the air system. The admin call the district to ask because they “didn’t even think of that!” Answer is no.

12:50 – I express my feelings via email about having 900 people indoors with no air circulation during a spike in the pandemic. (Yes, I am diplomatic and polite.) The response is 🤷🏻‍♀️.

1:00 – Teachers are told by email that one of the wings of the building is damaged and is now off-limits.
Later, I learn that part of the roof was peeled off in the wind. Not only was there a hole in one teacher’s classroom ceiling, but the roof-peeling curled around and broke through a window. Several classrooms and a hallway of lockers are full of dust, debris, and wind.

1:17 – I call to ask where the kids with classes next period in the wing should go. The admin said they didn’t know yet. I pointed out that the bell is going to ring in 1 minute. “Oh, crap” they said, then hang up.

1:18 – Passing period. An admin races to the damaged wing and redirects kids to their best guess for new classrooms. Many kids come to my class with backpacks (typically not allowed) because they are not allowed to use their lockers.

1:22 – I start my last class of the day, Broadcasting. After warning the students that one wing is off-limits, I send them off to film their videos and start helping those who are editing.

1:30 – Power fails in the two outlets in my room that were still working. We still have internet, though. I guess they know what is the most critical for schools to operate these days.

1:55 – My students unexpectedly return. I ask if they’re done shooting, they said that “someone told them it’s an early release and to go back to class.”

2:00 – Staff gets an email saying that we are doing a rolling release (example #8462 why I don’t trust what students tell me) and that each grade is being released 5 minutes apart so students can be escorted from the building out the main doors.

The wind rattles my windows. I look at the 6th graders and picture Mary Poppins.

2:15 – The last group of students is released. Staff is called to an emergency meeting in the library.

2:20 – The principal explains about the damage. She says many schools in the district have damage/no power, so who knows when we’ll get repairs. She also has no idea whether we’ll have school tomorrow due to the damage. “Watch your email tonight,” she says.

2:30 – I look around my dark classroom and decide end-of-term-grading be damned, I was done. I pack my bag and leave.

Best of all? I do all of this in a floor-length ball gown because it’s Formal Day for Spirit Week. And I am nothing if not a dedicated teacher.


3:00 PM – All-call from the district office, texts and phone calls saying to check your email for “an important message.” I wonder if they are indeed calling off school tomorrow to fix the buildings.

Nope. It’s a message saying, “Oh, BTW, there are a bunch of people on TikTok saying they’re going to shoot up schools on Friday. But don’t worry because we know about them! Talk to your kids about reporting suspicious things and how social media is bad. KThxBye!”

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