Thursday, January 30, 2014

Our Snow Adventure... Oh, snap! is Right!!

Tuesday, January 28 was epic! I know the word is overused, but it was epic in so many ways.  The weather was epic, our responsibility as teachers and staff was epic, and perhaps the kids had an epic night spending the night with teachers and staff due to our "2 inches of snow." I am so happy it's over, and most of all, I'm glad that students are safe and at home. There wasn't so much time to document our 16 hour adventure but here are just a few pictures, and my reflection on our night.  I considered posting with time stamps and all that, but I think the photos should be posted without my comments.

My reflection:
After a knockout nap, I'm feeling so blessed to be home, and I want to thank everyone who responded to my Snowed In posts. Y'all have given me a whole lot of credit, but I feel like I had the best situation of all... I never stepped foot out in the cold, I didn't have a child out there unaccounted for or left in an unfamiliar situation, my epic duration of travel was a whopping 30 minutes, I was warm/safe/fed, and I didn't have to get out and walk in the snow. I'm an adult, so I understand why I had to be away from my family. It was hard for some of our little ones to understand why their parents couldn't do more to get to school. I overheard a first grader plea with her mom on the phone, and it killed me. I hurt so bad for the mom on the other end. Many of the teachers that stayed were away from they babies, and had to trust that they were ok because some of their husbands couldn't get to them either. I am thrilled that we reunited our kids with the families after unfortunate planning by... whomever! I have to give big props to my school, River Eves, and our staff and our admin. Our parents (my God, I love these parents) spent the night walking back and forth with blankets, pillows, snacks, dvds, jugs of hot coffee, and food. Our teachers were in high spirits and we acted as a smooth, working, and fun unit. For those of us in the building, we were warm, and we were safe. I slept better at the school because I knew everyone's status and whereabouts in real time. In all this, I am most thankful and most appreciative and have more understanding about our bus drivers than I ever have before. They were on the roads, they fought with traffic, they got stuck, they slid, and they had harder decisions to make for those umpteen hours than people who are paid the big bucks to make critical decisions. While we had heat and movies for our kids, they were behind the wheel, lives in their hands, unable to get the students home. I can't even imagine the pressure they felt. We had one bus driver, still at 11pm, trying to find a safe place to take 3 hearing impaired students. One was a pre-schooler. Our bus driver couldn't sign to communicate with these students. She couldn't reach out and hug them while driving. The bus driver stayed in contact with our Asst. Principal the entire night. She was able to pull over and get them fed and warm by stopping at a fast food restaurant. There were dozens of bus drivers stranded, trying each minute to safely get the students anywhere. When our bus driver helped us deliver students this morning, he wasn't done for the day. He came into our school for a coffee break and to get his next assignment. My hat's off.... They're so special to me! I could really go on about the acts of kindness and the heroes we had in our lives last night and this morning. There's no hierarchy, just a full heart because everyone was looking out for each other, and everyone did what they needed to do, with no questions, and from where we were, no excuses. I was happy to have been surrounded by such wonderful people, especially my fellow REES teachers and staff. Thanks goes to the little people!! You're awful big and important to me.

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