Friday, December 5, 2008

It's Getting Hot In Here...

...So Take Off All Your Clothes...or at least strip down to a school- appropriate layer.

Why you ask? Why are we stripping in my classroom? In December?

Because today it was officially 89 degrees in my classroom. Yes, 89. I'm thinking about dressing everyone up in grass skirts and just having a luau. You know, for ha has.

I was snuggled up to a little friend today, chatting about their writing, when I felt beads of sweat rolling down my back. And I thought to myself, "self, WTF, it's December and you're sweating through your SLEEVELESS SHIRT!" I then glanced at the radiator, which was pumping out heat at such an intense level that you could actually see it rising up in front of the windows. Four of which were open. Again, it is December and today it was only 38 degrees outside.

For some reason I will never understand, The Visionary commanded our custodial staff to crank up the heat prior to our parent teacher conferences about two weeks ago. Maybe he wanted to sweat them out, maybe he wanted to show off the radiators, maybe he's trying to lose a few pounds...who knows. All I know is it is freaking hot.

Creeping around my bedroom and picking an outfit at 5:30 in the morning in the dark so Mr. Mimi can sleep is hard enough without throwing in the extra challenge of choosing something that has enough layers to keep me warm on the commute and cool in the classroom. Plus, I have shelf after shelf of fabulous, wooly sweaters (I have a winter birthday...and am on the spoiled side, so seriously, I'm talking about a hideous number of sweaters here) that I have been fantasizing about ever since I decided I was sick of my summer wardrobe.

So now, not only am I mourning my inability to wear my favorite winter wear, but I am also dealing with chronic bloody noses (If you are a student teacher or new to teaching...you need to be real with yourself about the sheer amount and varied types of bodily fluids you are about to encounter..you'll thank me later because no one else will warn you about this stuff.), sleepy children and abandoned sweaters piled up in all corners of the classroom. In the last week alone I have said the phrase, "put your clothes back on" more times than I care to admit as children attempt to strip down to their undershirts.

And every time I picture the germs that must be breeding in our sweltering sweatbox of a classroom, I think I might hurl.

Yesterday I finally thought to ask The Visionary if we could turn down the heat. You know, just a smidge. My request was met with a resounding, "it's either on or off!" which I find very hard to believe since I witnessed a custodian turn it up myself. I mean, if there's an up, there's a down, friend. As I left the office, I heard the secretary mutter under her breath, "those teachers, always complaining."

Nice.

Maybe I'll just turn this negative into a positive and embrace the sweating. You know, I'll sweat off a few holiday pounds and be ready for bikini season by the time June arrives. See? I can be an optimist too.

29 comments:

Mrs. H said...

OMG! I have the same exact problem. Monday morning when I opened up my classroom door, I was greeted by a strong gust of hot wind. I checked my thermostat and it was 85 degrees in my classroom. Things haven't gotten any beter. Some classrooms are freezing and some, like mine, are burning up.

I've been wearing sleevelss shirts all week. Every time I go shopping I have to keep in mind that I am dressing for a blistery cold day and a extremely hot room.

Emily said...

We have a lovely new building, but I have absolutely NO control over my heating and cooling. Not to mention the fact that I don't even think the heating and cooling WORK in my classroom. When I open the door in the mornings, it is usually about 58 degrees. Only after I have left the door open and the air from the hallway has come in for a while, does it even begin to heat up.

No one ever told me that heating and cooling would be on my top list of concerns as a teacher.

The Smacca said...

Just beware. I once asked, after sweating under similar conditions for a month (mind you, the outdoor temperature was a steamy -20F). Our maintenance guy happily and promptly obliged my request (!), and the next day, the temp had dropped to 45.

I was given the "It's either on or off" story, too, and was then afraid to ever request a heating change. Then, this year, a different person came into my classroom and commented, "Man, it's hot in here," walked over to the heating vent, reached into it, and TURNED IT DOWN.

ChiTown Girl said...

I'm right there with ya, Sista! I've complained about this on my own blog many, many times. I purposely keep a thermometer attached to my bulletin board just so I can see how God-awful hot my room is. Many a morning the thermometer has read 110 when I've opened the door. That's NOT a typo - one hundred-and-freakin'-ten!!!! Opening my door is like opening a blast furnace. It's ridiculous! Then, walk 20 feet across the hall to Mrs. M's room and she has to keep her coat on because you can almost see your breath in there! Crazy!!!

Rebecca Bell, Ph.D. said...

Bikram Teaching! I have the opposite problem, in our school's "it's either on or off" debate, they opted for "off" so it is always frickin' freezing. I brought this little space heater for my office but there's no outlet, so I have to go get an extension cord next. I'm kind of jealous of your own personal sauna.

SJ said...

We have been caped at 68, my room is chilly when no one is in it. It is all to save a few dollars.

Chebrutta said...

We were always told that our thermostats were controlled in Atlanta... which is not even in the same state and not even remotely the same weather. And the windows only opened 2 inches. Broiling = not ideal learning conditions.

17 (really 15) more years said...

They have to order a shitload of heating oil (probably at top dollar, at that) AND use it, otherwise they don't get the same allocation for fuel in the next school year. The past few years they never turned off the main breaker to the air conditioners, so it wasn't unheard of to have my ac running in January!

If I leave the windows open, the kids complain that it's blowing on them (which, truthfully, it is), if I leave them closed I can almost see the bacteria breeding exponentially. So, after I heard the "the heat is either on or off" bs from the custodian, I told them to turn it off. The kids are freezing, but at least I can wear my cashmere (because I, too, am a princess and need my sweaters!)

Mrs. D said...

Our school got these fabulous new monstrosities of heating/air conditioning units this summer. The go from floor to ceiling and cover an entire window. Anyway, they haven’t worked the kinks out yet (and yes, it is already December), so on a regular basis it is either 89 degrees in my room or about 60.

profesora loca said...

I have the opposite problem, but the same reaction whenever I have asked if we could have some heat... nothing like 58 degree classrooms in August! I am so sick of my sweaters, I've been wearing them non-stop since August. But, of course, teachers just like to complain.

Sarah said...

So sad isn't it?! My last classroom was like this. It does nothing to help kids learn! There are some rooms like this at my school and some that are better.

Md90875 said...

I remember when i was in high school some of the teachers learned that wrapping a wet paper towel around the thermostat made the thermostat think that it was colder in the room than it was. The thermostat would then turn on the heater.

I'm wondering if you could do the reverse, find something to put over the thermostat to convince it that it is hotter than it is. Or reach in and turn it down yourself. You can typically do it with a paperclip, even if they do have one of those plastic housings around it to keep people from changing the settings.

AverageMom said...

Ah yes, the "it's on or off" line. I get that, too. What the powers to be do not know is that I have removed the metal cover from the thermostat in my classroom, so I can somewhat control the temperature. This means that when the hallway is -10, my room is appropriately room temperature. The staff room is now a sauna? My room is fine!!!

amazeingteacher said...

Yes, I love the 'on or off line' along with the...'we don't/can't control the thermostat...it's controlled at central office downtown'! What's up with that? We can send people to space, talk to people on cell phones all around the world but NOBODY can invent/build/create a school building in which a teacher can control the temperature in his/her own classroom? Please, I don't buy it. But like all of you I have to live with these lame excuses too. So sad!

Mary Louise Brooks said...

I have a thermometer with a humidity indicator in my room. Last year my old classroom would got up to 100 degrees. That's just in the winter! I had no windows and one stinky wall fan. This year I'm in another room WITH windows but the windows are all the way up near the ceiling. The pole that opens the windows is old (and the wrong type). Today it was 94.5 in my classroom with two fans and two windows left open. Also, the heat is blaring AND it's 65 degrees outside today. I was told the SOS but I was also told to wear appropriate clothing. Really? I take the bus and dress for the weather at 6am. I'm not in the mood to carry a duffle bag with extra clothes like I'm going to the gym. I spent the majority of the day over at the new building ... they're AC has been going gang-busters! LOL!

Mary Louise Brooks said...

To add to the secretarial comment ... in our lovely teacher contract there is a line that states that during the summer, if the air outside the building is warmer than 90, then the SECRETARIES can go home! WTF?! Nothing about teachers but the secretaries get a line in there. Also, usually the principal's office has AC and so does the school's office. The weather is ALWAYS nice and comfortable for the principal and the office staff. But if the teachers complain, it's another story. My list of cons for teaching at this school is getting longer BY THE DAY!

miss bioteacher said...

I finally figured out a way to jury-rig the thermostat in my room so that I can control it. It was hellish until this week.


... and you've been tagged :o)

http://teachingbio.blogspot.com/2008/12/seven-randoms.html

miss.shana said...

since the office staff doesnt think it's something to be complaining about tell them to bundle up in their favorite Christmas sweater and go on down to your room for a nice little Christmas gathering so they can experience it themselves :)

missteachercasey said...

thanks for the body fluid warning! haha

...and sorry that your room is so hot. how ridiculous!! :(

debrennersmith said...

http://www.debrennersmith.blogspot.com

Hope the heat/cold situation works out soon.

I post writing and reading ideas on my blog if you are interested.

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