The fire alarm went off in the middle of my Reading lesson, and I froze. My first instinct was to mute myself, but if I muted myself, I wouldn’t be able to explain what was happening.
My kindergarten students were wide eyed. They’ve never experienced a fire drill, because they’ve never been in school.
This was not the time to explain. . . I needed to go outside. (A lifetime of safety drills have me well trained.)
Should I take them with me? That seemed kind of ridiculous. Besides, I’d surely lose wifi before reaching the field out back.
And yet, I couldn’t just end the meeting without a word. . .
I started for the door, laptop in hand.
“So this is a fire drill. . . I know, it’s super loud. Sorry about that.”
I reached the door and made a decision.
“I’m going to have to leave you here.” I heard myself as I said it.
“We’re going to end Reading early now,” I course corrected. “I’m really sorry. I’ll see you at 11:00 for Writing, okay?”
I hit the red button and left the laptop on a table. I turned off my light, closed the door, and headed outside.
Standing in a small group of other adults without students, I immediately regretted my decision.
My kids would have found it fascinating to get a panoramic view of all the classes lined up in the field, our principal (and remote kindergarten co-teacher—he handles Math while I have Reading and Writing) bounding from class to class wearing the bunny ears he’d been sporting all morning.
And based on the number of questions the kids had about fire drills when we gathered for Writing, that remote fire drill would have been a hit.