I’ve been back at work for almost two weeks now. You know how it’s so hard to go back to work after a two-week vacation? Try two months off, which is summer vacation for schools here in my part of the world. It’s SUPER hard! (And just for the record, we teachers don’t get paid during that two-month break. Also for the record, if you want to whine about teachers even getting that two-month summer break, why didn’t you go into teaching yourself? Oh – you couldn’t stand spending all day with a pack of kids? Well, do you see one reason why we might GET that two-month break now or are you going to begrudge us that too (because in my province, we already haven’t had a pay raise in at least five years. Not even cost of living. AND they keep cutting the operating budgets of every school district.)?
But that’s not my point.
My point is that the weather has been unseasonably hot for most of these two weeks. It’s been something like 26 degrees Celsius all week. Now, I teach in an older school. It has no true air conditioning system – and actually, most schools in the Vancouver area don’t. We just don’t have the extremes of temperature here that a lot of the country does. What we do have in each classroom of my school are ancient and noisy blowers that are supposed to blow either hot air or room temperature air. However, these were turned off sometime last spring. (That was likely a cost-saving measure.) But they don’t work very well at all, even when they’re turned on. The thermostat almost never works correctly, so it’s rarely blowing air the temperature you want anyway, so the classroom is either too hot or too cold. It’s often just noisy and breezy.
Some classrooms have windows that open enough to get a breath of fresh air. Mine does – but my windows also overlook the playground. If I open them, I cannot hear myself think for all the kidnoise out there – and with this balmy weather, most classes are doing their phys. ed. outside, so there are kids on that playground all day long. Also, my windows face west. So my classroom may be tolerable in the mornings, but as the sun moves around the building and starts to shine full force on the west side, it gets VERY hot. Open windows just let in more heat – and they are old, sticky windows too, and I have to raise old, persnickety blinds in order to access the opening part at the top of each window. So sometimes I would rather suffer the heat than mess with those blinds and windows.
The bottom line is, I’ve been sweating. A whole lot. I don’t mind so much sweating during summer vacation, because, hey, it’s vacation! But school is now back in session, so I’d really rather not. The warm weather is much appreciated, don’t get me wrong, and I know that the grey winter rains will be here before too long, but I really think I’ve had enough sweating for the year now.
Could we have some cooler weather now? Or, could we maybe get those classroom blowers turned on and their thermostats calibrated properly so we could at least have some air movement?