Friday, January 31, 2014

My 24+ Hours Preschool Day

On January 28, 2014 something very strange happened in Central Alabama - WE UNEXPECTEDLY HAD SNOW.  Soon the fallen snow turned to ICE and a lot of it.  According to all the newscast our area was just going to get a "dusting".  FUN!  But around 10:00 a.m. heavy snow started to fall.  By 11:00 a.m. the ground was covered and the streets were icing over.  Schools were starting to close but it was too late.  Cars and buses were having trouble driving on the ice.  Parents were desperately trying to get to their children.  Then it happened . . . roads became impassable.  Our little school is located in a large church on top of a very steep mountain.  And then  things started to get strange.  The road in front of our school became a ski slope, cars begin  to slip and slide into each other or into a ditch.  Now reality is setting in, we may be here for the night . . . with our students!   AHHHHH!!!!  Our director, Mrs. Turner, suddenly went into "disaster" mode.  The Department Homeland Security could not have handled it any better.  Her motto was, "do whatever you have to do to keep everyone happy" and we did.   We watched a movie, ate a snack, played games, ate another snack, sang songs and then we realized it was only 4:00 p.m.  Parents were calling telling us they were trying to get to us, others made it to our school but could not leave.  Soon we were told that the lovely church ladies were making us dinner!!  YEA MORE FOOD!  We all formed the "largest preschool line in the world" (yes, that is what we called it) and headed up to the church fellowship hall for a wonderful spaghetti supper.  YUM!  After dinner we played more games, ate more snacks and tried to get everyone to sleep.  Lucky for us, we had the greatest group of students EVER!  By about 10:00 p.m. everyone was sound asleep, except for the teachers.  If you really want to know your co-workers, unexpectedly spend the night with them.  By morning some teachers had gotten a couple of hours sleep.  Me?  Nope!  I sat around playing with an I-Pad and pretending to be a security officer.  Soon it was daylight (although since we do not have windows we just looked at the clock) and the students were starting to wake up.  An amazing group of men from the church cooked up a wonderful pancake breakfast!  DOUBLE YUM!  For the next 4 hours we continued to entertain all the children as they were slowly picked up by their parents.  We painted, we ran, we ate a snack, we played indoor basketball and of course we did a fun science experiment.  I was lucky, around 11:00 a.m. a four-wheel drive vehicle was headed to my neighborhood and I hitched a ride.  I am told that everyone else was home by mid-afternoon. 

All-in-all it wasn't too bad, but I'm really way too old to be staying up all night.  So, here are a few things that I have learned (in no particular order) from "The Great Southern Snowy School Sleep-over of 2014".
- I understand the song Find Out Who Your Friends Are SO MUCH better now!
- Deodorant and toothpaste are one of life's biggest necessities.
- I really do like to sleep.
- There are some people who can go without sleep and still look very nice.  I however, am not one of them.
- Parents will do ANYTHING to get to their children.
- There are some parents who have raised AMAZING children.  Lucky for me, they were the ones stranded at school with me!
- I miss my husband and sweet dogs when I am not with them.  Yes, even after other 30 years together, I still WANT to be with my hubby.
- I cry when I am tired too.
- There are good people in this world.  I am so grateful to those wonderful men who came to our school and took people home.
- Speaking of men, I need to talk to some of my Moms.  They NEED to know how wonderful and helpful their husbands are.
- Southern people DO need a lot of advance warning when it comes to snow.
- I will no longer complain when schools are cancelled, delayed or dismissed early because of weather.  Caution is a good thing.
- A change of clothes at school should be required for teachers too.
Goldfish are really good when you are hungry.
- People are generally very nice and appreciative.
-  I need to keep more "ready-to-eat" food in my freezer.
-  If you have to be stranded in the ice/snow, a church is a GREAT place.
-  Multiple bathrooms are a good thing with a large group of people.
-  Children are tougher than adults.
-  I am not as young as I use to be.
-  I do not like the taste of coffee.
AND finally, after months of praying and thinking about retirement, I have come to the conclusion that I'm not ready to leave the wonderful people I work with and for and of course, I'm not ready to leave the students.

Thanks for checking on us!  Next week starts our big unit on "Valentine's Day".  I'm not sure if I can make it as exciting as the last few days, but I'm sure going to try!


  1. Wow! What excitement! While you were getting snow, the Chicago area was in a deep freeze and school was cancelled for the 4th time in the month of January. The calls started coming in about reimbursements or make up days and I went into "figure it all out" mode. I recently became the supervisor at our school (as well as still teaching every afternoon) and have NEVER dealt with anything like this. Finally, after researching how many children were affected (270) and how much we would have to refund ( A LOT), the decision was made to extend school by a week at the end of the year. As stressful as the situation was for me, it was nothing compared to what so many teachers had to deal with in the south. So proud of all of you! You showed our country what teachers are made of!

    Teaching preschool is the most amazing thing in the world! I am glad that you have decided not to retire yet because now more students get to have you. In making my decision to take the supervisor position, I made it very clear that I wanted to continue to teach as well. I'm finishing out my year with my wonderful 10 Junior Kindergarten students and looking forward to teaching 3 year olds next year (only two mornings a week). God obviously put us on this earth for a reason--to teach!

    Again, I am so proud of what all of you did!

  2. Siete tutti bravissimi!!! In Italia queste cose non succedono, nevicate così sono molto rare, in compenso le nostre classi hanno un elevato numero di bambini: 28 per classe!! Ciao

  3. Hey Karen,
    OMG!! It's an unforgettable moment for you.Waiting for the Valentine's day's stuff from your blog.