Thursday, October 22, 2020

A Very Different Evacuation

Desk with chair and two computers

I really, really hate emergency drills. But we're doing the distance learning thing with no kiddos, so we're exempt now, right? Uh. . . 

Every year, California does its Great California ShakeOut. The district I work for always does it. And last Thursday was the day. 

Usually, I know it's coming. But this year is so different. I didn't even realize it was the day until the assistant principal came over the speaker system beginning with, "Attention all teachers who are on campus. . ." 

I happened to be co-teaching on this day, so I let the other teacher know something was going on. As she was working from home, she kept going while I evacuated with the rest of the staff on campus. 

I wasn't the only one in my immediate vicinity, it turned out. Three other teachers exited classrooms in that wing. One got five steps away from her classroom, noticed that we were all wearing masks, realized she wasn't wearing hers, and turned around to go back and get it. (I think we've all done this once or twice this year.) 

When we got out to the evacuation staging area (outdoors, in the PE area), I heard more than one teacher say the very thing I was thinking. "I didn't realize there were this many people on campus." 

I'd guess there were about fifty of us. Now, compared to a student population of 3000ish plus 170ish teachers plus instructional aides plus security staff plus administration, that's really nothing. But considering how empty the place feels, it's really a lot of people who are actually around.

We hung out until we got the all clear. When I got back to the room, the class was still going. (I left the meet on.) It's amazing how long it did not take when we did not have the whole campus population to deal with.

17 comments:

  1. Seems kind of silly to do considering there are no students on campus.

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    1. What about the 50 people who WERE there? Drills are for the safety of everyone, not just the students! e

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    2. Which is why we evacuated. It felt rather silly, but we know where to go with these things.

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  2. No, not silly at all. I've done those kind of drills in every office I've ever worked in post 9/11

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    1. I'm sure. It's so different without kiddos, though. Takes a whole lot less time.

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  3. I adored fire drills disrupting class as a student. While on my last job, not so much if I was busy. But they were needed as chemical fires happened. Be well!

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    1. Oh yes, things do happen. I've been at school during actual earthquakes, and we evacuate just to be safe. They check to make sure no cracks in the buildings and no gas lines are leaking.

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  4. I'm only surprised they're not making the kids leave their houses and go stand outside for five minutes. Because that seems like school logic.

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  5. Here we don't have earthquakes to contend with, but they do fire drills and lockdown drills. There have only ever been false fire alarms (burnt food in the home economics rooms is common) but there have been serious lockdown events.

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  6. Never minded them in school but I was not a teacher having to round up kids....I do however dislike it when I am in town at work.

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    1. We have too much to do to interrupt our day ;)

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  7. Truly if it was a "real" earthquake or fire the teacher wouldn't be penalized for not having her mask, would she? Loved fire drills and the like as a student :)

    betty

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  8. This was very interesting for reading. And it is so strange campus without students.

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  9. Those who were at home missed it ... Important to have these drills.

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  10. Hi Liz - well at least it was quicker ... still important to do them. Have a good weekend - Hilary

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