I am SO very glad that we practice safety drills in school every month. No, I don't like dragging all of my kids outside in the rain for a fire drill. I grumble just like the children as we stand, shivering in the field. Today was an eye opener, as to why we perform these monthly drills.
My students were all huddled on the rug with their white boards, scribbling answers to our math review when we heard a firm voice bellow to us from the ceiling.
"Teachers, please lock down the building!"
Oh my goodness, I sprinted to the door to lock it. When I got back into the classroom, I found whiteboards scattered all over the floor and my children nestled into our reading nook in the corner. I closed the blinds and met my class on the floor. I glanced at the clock.....it was almost 3:00. We leave to go home at 3:10. I tried to stay calm but my heart cranked up the metronome a few more notches. I very calmly asked that the children be quiet as a mouse while I checked my email to see what was going on.
I emailed, letting everyone know that I had all my students and that we were fine. Other teachers did the same. I watched as the roll call kept appearing on my screen. No update. I began to run through every scenario in my head. How quickly can we get through my adjoining door? Should I quietly move desks to make an obstacle course for an intruder?
I felt like a duck. Calm on the surface but my legs were churning the water constantly.
The children began to ask questions. I told them that I didn't have any answers right now but they were safe here. I talked about how thick the windows were, how sturdy the door was, and how strong I am. You don't want to mess with a mama bear, I told them. They settled for a moment and then began to worry about their families. They were concerned that moms were going to be worried when they didn't get off the bus on time. The mama in me understood that worry but reassured the kids that parents would be called if we needed to stay too much later.
When we got the call to get children ready to go home, it was almost 20 minutes past release time. I looked around my room and asked the children to join me on the rug for a second. I complimented them on how quickly and quietly they went to our "safe spot". They were so grown-up and did exactly what was expected. I couldn't ask for any more from them. They beamed with pride and forgot about our scary incident. for a moment
After getting everyone safely on to buses and into pick-up cars, I took a deep breathe. Thank you for our practice drills, and thank you for the heart that is slowly going back to it's normal heart rate.
What a scary day. We don't have any details about what happened. We do know that it was a precautionary lock down requested by the sheriff and that no one was in real danger. PHEW! Never a dull moment.