Wednesday, September 3, 2014

It never fails...bring kids back to school and a heat wave arrives. It's horrendous in some schools.

I'm having a flashback - somewhat of a hot flash - to the days I spent in a Syracuse High School working with English teachers. It was spring and the temperatures were in the 90s. The school had no ventilation and the English wing was on the 3rd floor. Even with windows open, no air moved. Teachers brought industrial fans to their rooms to stir the air, but it didn't work.


Because every May the school heaters kicked on and the heat cranked out. Freeze in the winter, but they work in the spring. Kids used to strip down to what they could get away with and if a teacher picked up chalk, it melted in their hands. Thermometers read over 100 degrees on the top floor. And teaching was supposed to occur?

This was the working conditions of some schools. Actually, these ARE the working conditions of some schools. What amazes me is that everyone act like it's normal - like the steam is supposed to be there and walking through a fog of moisture is healthy for young people in school.

Fast forward. New city. Same thing. Urban classrooms don't have air conditioners. The heat rises fast in old buildings and no air stirs. Today, the hottest day of summer, was a sauna in Bridgeport. After I ran in the morning, it took two hours to quit sweating. Then, in the air conditioned rooms at the University, the heat crept in and the cooling didn't take effect. It was hot.

But, in classrooms of poor school districts, the hot gets outrageous. It's criminal. There's nothing enjoyable about it at all. I imagine most parents from wealthier backgrounds would pull their kids out of such an environment.

And that is why I'm ready to say, "Go away, heat. I love you, but you didn't visit us much this summer, so don't come sticking your icky fingers on us now. Kids are back to school. Leave the extra misery away from their buildings. They are already enduring enough. They deserve to have a cooler experience. The testing culture is bad enough"

Now bring me a pool. I want to jump in. 

1 comment:

  1. Room 238 at the Ham would get up into the high 90s in May and June.