Friday was a weird freaking day.
Friday was going to be our first early dismissal where the kids get out two hours early so teachers can have meetings, in-service, training, blah, blah, blah.
As such, it was the first early dismissal day with our New Wonky Schedule. The Enforcer spent most of the past two weeks trying to figure out a schedule that enabled us to have most, if not all, of our academic classes, as well as get kids fed lunch, with a minimum of craziness. At the faculty meeting on Thursday he went over the plan which looked, for the most part, like it would work pretty well. Basically we cut out the kids' elective time and they simply went to their four core academic classes, plus lunch. However, being new, you never know. The Enforcer declared Friday a "casual dress day" just in case we had to "put out any fires, stop any meltdowns, and generally deal with the chaos a new schedule creates."
Looking back, I'm wondering if he regrets those words.
So, Friday started off pretty well. I had the kids on computers doing centers on plate tectonics using a variety of websites, plus I was going around and having them model the different plate boundaries for me using index cards and red construction paper (for magma, dontcha love it?). My inclusion class, which is my favorite class because the kids are so awesome, went great. Next was my fourth period which is my least favorite class, just because the mix of kids in there is toxic. It went pretty well, considering.
Five minutes left of fourth period and the freaking power goes out.
We were informed to hold our classes (because the hallways, even with the few windows and emergency lights, were really dark) and just sit tight. Strangely enough, we still had internet, so as long as the kids had battery power on their computer, they could keep working. Once they'd finished their centers, I had to come up with something to keep them busy so I had them race each other on Quizlet which is a great vocabulary building website.
One hour ticked by. It was dark, the AC was off, and it was getting really, really warm in the classroom. I started watching the thermometer tick up and up and up. Not good.
After another half hour ticked by (and they were now bored with the vocabulary races and the batteries were dying on the laptops), we were told to take them down to the cafeteria to get a cold lunch. So, lined them up, used the flashlight app on my phone to help light the way, and down we went. They got a PBJ, an apple, some chips, a frozen slushy, drinks, and back to the room we went where they could sit down and eat (it being too dark in the cafeteria for 375 seventh graders to eat.) They actually did pretty well and didn't make a huge mess, but it was getting hotter and hotter in the room. I could actually start to feel sweat trickle down my back. We were told we could crack our outside doors, but I when I opened mine it was really apparent that it was hotter outside than inside.
Seventh graders really start to smell, especially seventh grade boys, when the AC is off.
By this time everyone was hot, cranky, bored, and sick of each other. I was sick of them as well, especially because this is not my favorite bunch to start with. I finally had them put their heads down on their tables and listen to me read from the science book (again, thank goodness for my flashlight app) until we were told to have them go to their lockers and get ready to go.
Five minutes before they were to leave...the power comes back on.
Longest. Friday. Ever.
And the smelliest.