I miss the good old days of taking a break from school to line up quietly and go outside for a fire drill, or sitting uncomfortably on the bathroom floor for a tornado drill. We will have these things in elementary school, but since I graduated from high school, another kind of a drill has been added to the mix. The Lockdown Drill. This is basically – sadly – what to do in case of a gunman in the building. I will admit, the training video was kind of terrifying. It shoes a gun coming around the corner and a child pounding on a door (once we close the locked door, we are not allowed to open them again – don’t worry – we sweep the hallways and bathrooms before closing the door).
They don’t really stress me out like the first few years of the drills did – now I know what I need to do and do it. I guess that is the point of the drill – to be prepared without the panic.
That being said, I do still have to find a way each year to explain to five year olds what a Lockdown with Warning and a Lockdown with Intruder are, in a way that conveys the seriousness without scaring them to death. Mostly I just tell them that it is a practice for if something unsafe were ever happening out in the community or in our building (INtruder means IN our school). Of course in the midst of this I reassure them thousands of times that it probably won’t ever happen and it isn’t something we need to worry about, but we just need to know what to do just in case. I even tell them “I have been teaching for more years than you have been alive, and we have always practiced, but nothing has ever actually happened.” (woah, I am getting old).
During the peptalk portion of today’s introduction to the lockdown with intruder, I said, “I care about you all so so so so much that I would do anything to protect you and would not let anything happen to you. Do you know who else cares about you so so so so much?” and one student points up and shouts: GOD! (love it!)
Unrelated, today we were talking about our sense of sight and how our eyes help us see. This included talking about the pupil and iris. I asked what color my eyes were. The response: “Green, like the hulk!” I followed this up by asking if I was also strong as the hulk. He said no. 😦