No Heat

If given a choice, which I am usually not, I’d rather teach in a cold room than a hot one. The kids complain, of course, but they also complain if it is too hot, or too boring, or the lights are on, or the lights are off, or if it is Tuesday, so I don’t worry about that very much. As I am the one dashing back and forth all over the classroom like a deranged pinball machine ball, I get overheated. My body has never adjusted well to temperatures, so in a hot classroom, I end up feeling sick by the end of the day in a hot room. If I have to put my coat and hat on in the classroom, I’ll feel a lot better. (Either way, my feet will hurt, but that is another slice altogether.)

So, usually, I prefer a cold room.

However…

As we returned from Spring Break last week, some sort of water leak was discovered in the walls, and the heat had to be shut off for my entire wing of the building. Not only was it cold in the classrooms, it was also cold by the heaters in the hallway. The students complained even more than usual, as it was clearly my personal fault that they were cold. They demanded that I adjust the thermostat. They did not believe me that my classroom does not have a thermostat, and that teachers have zero control over their environments. (Come to think of it, many of my non-teacher friends find that unbelievable too.) Strangely, or maybe not so strangely, it got colder and colder all week. By Friday, it was colder inside than outside. Yesterday, despite some false spring and sunshine over the weekend, it was even MORE cold than outside, and windy to boot. Brrrr.

Today, we had some false spring again, and I left home without my coat, knowing (ha!) that it was going to be warm and I would be fine. This worked out great in my car. It has heated seats. When I stepped out of my car at school, in my parking space that feels miles from the building door, it did not feel so nice. The sun was behind a cloud again, and it was quite nippy. I hustled as fast as I could under the physical and emotional load of my bag full of ungraded papers, and got inside. Where it was…even colder than before.

It turned out that the blustery storm from the night before had led to a power outage for several hours at the school yesterday evening. The warmer parts of the building were not wafting warm air into my corner of the building, because there were no warmer parts of the building. My classroom felt like I could freeze water in it. To make matters worse, the power outage did something inexplicable to the boiler, and there was not going to be any warm air until it could be fixed. I wished I had worn my coat, so I could put it back on in my classroom.

Did the students whine and complain? Nope. They did not even notice.

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4 thoughts on “No Heat

  1. Can you believe we remembered to slice on Tuesday?? I am so with you in general on preferring cold to hot. I have a hot classroom, and it makes me miserable. It was 79 by the end of the day yesterday (even though it was only 50 outside). My students are bundled up in coats and borrow blankets (I have a basket of blankets for anyone to wrap up in if they’re cold), and I’m overheated and cranky and headachy! The “emotional load” of the ungraded papers–brilliant!

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    • My first middle school classroom was so incredibly overheated. I walked in one winter morning when it was 26 outside and it was 87 degrees in my room – before any students had even arrived in the building! In this current school, I am in the traditionally hottest part of the building apparently, so some cold days are kind of a relief. May and June may not be too pleasant if we get hot weather early.

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  2. I ALWAYS prefer a cooler classroom. But that sounds unbearable. I’m shocked they didn’t call a remote learning day. That doesn’t even sound safe!

    I worked in the computer lab for several years. It was an interior room with no windows. In the winter, the room would rise to 85*+ due to all the computers. I had the custodian turn off my heat but it didn’t help because it was an interior room. I needed the AC unit turned on so the computers wouldn’t become damaged. It had a remote control because it was installed at ceiling level. I wasn’t allowed to have the remote control so I needed to call the admin building. They needed to put in a work order with the head custodian for the district and HE had to personally come over to use the remote to turn it on. Talk about micro managing. 🙄

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    • You wouldn’t want the teachers to have control of those remotes! Who knows what we would do? Yesterday, the heat was still out in the entire building until about 9:15, and it took a while to warm up, so I taught my first class in the library. But my classroom and three others still have the heat switched off because of a water leak, so it is pretty chilly all day still. Apparently they are waiting for a part, and then when that comes in, the parade of work orders. It has been a week and a half already. 😂 Could be worse- the portable classroom I had just before the quarantine began had an ambient temperature of 47 degrees one morning. 🥶 It took weeks to fix the problem, which resulted in constant heat blasting through the room no matter what the temperature. That was the day before the quarantine started, so it was not so bad. But when we were allowed back into our classrooms in June (for 2 hours) to clean them out, the heat was still blaring away.

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