The tornado sirens went off around 11am. I knew we were supposed to get rain, but I had no idea the weather was going to be so severe. I honestly wasn't sure the sirens were for real...like maybe they were a false alarm. I saw the other teachers in my pod area taking their kids into the hall, so I did the same.
I calmly asked my kids to line up, and we headed into the hallway to assigned place. My kids were FANTASTIC!! They got right behind the kindergarteners, dropped to their knees and covered their heads. I didn't have a single kid cry!! (But I did have one fall asleep.....)
We had teachers coming down the hall with updates. At one point there were 4 tornadoes on the ground around us and some that were headed in our direction.
My hallway is K-2. Our kiddos were really calm. Our teachers were really calm too. We all had our phones out and were texting family members. My parents are back East, so I was texting them like crazy. Some of my friends were in the way of the tornado. I was trying to keep up to date with them and check on my brother as well. Crazy boy was driving right into the mess on his way to work!!
We ended up staying in the hallway for AN HOUR AND A HALF!
We didn't get an all clear until around 12:30. Our kids had to go to the bathroom and were hungry, but they really didn't complain. We kept telling them this was serious and they needed to stay down and keep their voices quiet.
The other hallway (3-5) was in hysterics. They kids were balling and wanted to call their parents. It probably didn't help that some of them had been learning about weather and learning stuff about what happened in Joplin, MO., and one of the teachers was telling them that a tornado was coming towards us. Really? Who tells kids that?
I understand that it was a VERY serious situation, but to scare them? That's not our job. We're supposed to be the calm, reassuring ones. I consoled two first graders (who are not in my class) letting them know that we're in the safest place and that we're going to be fine and their families are going to be fine, too. We had a couple of parents come to the building while the sirens were going off. We weren't allowed to let the kids leave, so the parents joined them on the floor.
I couldn't believe how calm I was. I HATE tornadoes. BUT...I couldn't really see anything going on in the sky and I didn't see a radar until after the fact. I suppose we just get adrenaline or something going and know exactly what to do.
I think I'm going to have a better kit prepared for stuff like this. I also thought that I probably need to get email addresses for my parents, those that have them, to send them updates when stuff like this happens. This is the first time this has happened in the three years I've been in my building.
What a crazy day! Only 2.5 more to go!!