It’s raining as I type this. And it’s going to rain again tomorrow.
I like rain.
In fact, I LOVE rain.
When I’m home. Under a blanket. With a warm coffee or hot chocolate beside me. With Netflix on in the background. All cozy-like.
And rain is good and we NEED it.
I get it.
But rainy days at an “outside” school . . .
They look like this:
See that picture on the top left? When you teach in an “outside” school, your hallways are outside. These kids are in the “hallways” on their way to and from lunch.
It rained AGAIN this week.
And on Friday, it POURED. And it was WINDY. And we were wet all the day long.
I have said this and said this and said this, but if you don’t live in California, or teach in an “outside school”, I don’t think you can really comprehend my type of rainy days.
I mean most people think ugh, rainy days, the kids are going to be stuck inside, say it isn’t so, but where I teach, it’s more I’m going to be wet all day and so are my kids and this is going to be the longest day ever.
I imagine that all of the teachers who teach at an “inside” school get wet on the way from their car to the front doors of the school, and again at the end of the day in reverse (and at dismissal).
I imagine that longingly. As in, I long for an inside school on rainy days.
Because on my rainy days, I get wet on the way from the parking lot to the office, from the office to my classroom, from the classroom to the bathroom, from the bathroom back to the classroom, from the classroom to the lunchroom, from the lunchroom back to the classroom, from the classroom to the computer lab, from the computer lab back to the classroom, and it’s all RAIN, WET, RAIN, WET all the time. And I need to go to the bathroom multiple times a day because I just do. I just go all the time. I have a teeny tiny bladder.
And so do my kids. ESPECIALLY on rainy days.
Because it’s raining.
So let’s go outside. It’s the perfect time to do so.
Rainy days in an “outside” school means telling my kids to get their coats on, get their umbrellas, don’t poke anyone with your umbrella, share your umbrella, so-and-so doesn’t have one, oh no, did your umbrella pinch you, I’m so sorry, ow, here’s a bandaid, where did you leave your umbrella, are you sure you brought one, you can’t go outside in just your tank top, put your sweatshirt back on, please, don’t step in the big puddles, look where you’re going . . . your umbrella is stuck to his . . . your umbrella inverted . . . and this is every single time we leave the classroom as a group or a student leaves the classroom individually (to go to the bathroom, obviously).
Ohh, and my favorite thing to say: STEP OVER THE SANDBAGS. DO NOT STEP ON THE SANDBAGS.
Because our library and computer labs tend to flood so our custodian protects them with sandbags.
Friday, after lunch, we went to the computer lab. And I could have said no, it’s raining too hard, not today, we’ll just skip it and stay inside, and not do the whole umbrella, sweatshirt, hoodie, pinched fingers, inverted thing . . . but HELLO? It’s 45 minutes of absolute engagement and it’s quiet and I’m pretty sure I would have walked through a tornado to get to the computer lab. And I’ll remind you — I don’t have specials so I am the computer lab teacher.
It was POURING when it was time to go to the lab.
So we got all bundled up, found our umbrellas, and I made a big ole speech.
We aren’t going to be in our two lines. We are just going to concentrate on getting from here to there. Stay low. Get with a partner. Stay behind me. I will get us there.
I mean, you might have thought we were about to go out into a tornado.
Once we got there, I had to actually do a head count and make sure we all made it.
At the end of our 45 minutes, it was raining EVEN HARDER.
And I couldn’t wait it out because another teacher was on her way. Another teacher who had the same thoughts I did. She needed 45 minutes of quiet time, too.
So I repeated my speech.
Just get there.
It wasn’t really every man for himself, but it sort of was.
We made it. I did a head count when we returned and we made it.
But most of us were SOAKED. First from just going back and forth to the bathroom all day (perfect time to go to the bathroom is when it rains, I’m telling you, it’s a phenomenon!), then from getting to the lunch room and back, and then because of our trek to the computer lab. And the majority of my kids were in sneakers.
So we took our shoes off. And I took off my Hunter boots because even though they are water-proof, my feet were FREEZING. My socks were kind of cute (pink with flowers), but some of my kids had THE BEST SOCKS (see picture above). 🙂
At dismissal, it was raining EVEN HARDER.
Our principal got on the intercom five minutes before the bell rang to tell us that she needed ALL HANDS ON DECK.
It was NUTS.
But I survived.
And most of the time, I absolutely LOVE teaching in an “outside” school. I mean, the longest I go without being in the outdoors is one hour and forty-five minutes. Then I’m either trooping to recess or lunch or the library . . . and because it’s So Cal, it’s bright and sunny and we get our Vitamin D. Our hallways are actual sidewalks with flowerbeds and trees. My campus is “nestled in the valley of a mountain”, for goodness sake! IT’S BEAUTIFUL.
But rainy days? In an “outside” school with no covered walkways?
It’s just plain wet.
I hope this makes it clear.
I’m not complaining that my kids don’t get recess on rainy days (well, of course I am, but you know what I mean) . . . I’m just telling it like it is.