8/14/08

Baptism of fire!

I'm not sure what to say about today, apart from to tell you a teacher with 20+ years service, said it was the most challenging first day she could ever remember!

Let me hastily add here none of it was within our control and by the end of the day I was beginning to lookout for the 'Candid Camera' crew. Especially as it was the first 'official' day for myself and the Principal, and we were both feeling jinxed at the end of it!

When I walked in first thing I immediately discovered the office toilet was out of order. So I called our maintenance man to come over and check it out. In the meantime I turned on my PC only to discover I had no network. I rebooted our main server but still no network! The High School said their PC's were ok, so we did more investigating our end to no avail. In the meantime the toilet was fixed and the parents were pouring in with money for me.

Then the Principal called to ask if I had heard the first bell at 8:10am, because she had not? It soon became apparent our bell system was not working, so a call was made to the telephone company and our engineer dispatched to us.

In the meantime the PC's are still down, basically meaning none of us can get onto our desktops and for me this is critical. At some point the High School discovered the same issue and the phone company was called about the PC problem! Around 9:50am we got our PC's back and then minutes later I get a call from the cafeteria to say the electricity is all off.

By this point I am beginning to wonder what else can go wrong?

The engineer arrives and discovers the clock on our bell system is saying 11:15pm the night before! Somebody finds out the town lost power for some time during the night and it all becomes clear why we have also had PC network issues and the clock is off.

In the meantime we have realised when the new phone/intercom system was installed and took over the bells, external speakers weren't put in, so you can only hear the bells indoors and not on the playgrounds. So the engineer is hastily dispatched to get loud hailers for the system before noon and the students are brought back the old-fashioned way.

We make it to lunch which is challenging being the first day back. The little Kindergartners of course need alot more help as they are eating lunch for the first time and have to learn to juggle a tray, silverware and milk. Then a bird flies into the hall and the noise level screeches through the roof, effectively frightening the poor thing straight back out and giving a few staff heart failure LOL!

Back in my office and we are experiencing a few minor issues with the intercoms. Now we have the students in the rooms it is soon clear the volumes need tweaking. More parents come in to pay as the afternoon Pre-K starts. Somebody calls to ask when school starts as they have 3 boys to enroll and I ask them to head straight in! There are a couple of recess scrapes resulting in the need for bandaids, so I don my latex gloves and become nurse.

I am busy trying to get some very important papers copied to send home...and then the copier sensor decides to quit working. Nobody can fix it and as we have a new one arriving tomorrow, we decide to just wait, but no more copying or network printing for the day.

Minutes later the kitchen calls to say they are flooding and need a plumber urgently. By this time all I can do is laugh as I call for help!

This was the last of the major events for the day, but there were many other things that proved stressful in the day. Loading the buses was even a test, as being the first day it was all new to many students.

At the end of the day a group of us sat in my office and just shook our heads in disbelief at the sheer scale of issues we had to deal with in one day. But we survived, we were all still pretty cheery if weary at the end of the day and surely things can only go uphill from here?! At least everything that let us down yesterday is now operational and none of the problems really affected the students day.

It may however have all been my fault, as around 2pm I suddenly realised I had put my underwear on inside out in the semi-darkness at 6:30am! At that point I decided it was way too risky to correct my error, as I couldn't remember whether it brings you luck to do so!

I have to say though, it was great to have the kids back. Everywhere I went all day there was a chorus of 'Miss Sarah' and lots of little waves and big smiles. There is absolutely nothing more rewarding than working with children and I still love my job.

Having said that, 'thank god it's Friday' never rang truer!

15 comments:

Katrina Chambers said...

I am not sure whether I should laugh or feel sorry for you. I mean laugh because sometimes you just have to laugh at these things don't you?? But I am really laughing at the undies inside out!!! You poor thing! I really hope tomorrow is a better day for you :)

Amanda said...

I'm tempted to say that that's just a normal school day - but I guess many of the teachers already said that! What a rotten day though, but at least things can only get better from here on (I hope!)

Mary said...

I hope the rest of the year (ok, week) is smooth sailing!

Mare said...

That was an unbelievable course of events! I apologize for my laughter as I continued reading and things got worse. I could totally see it happening in my [teacher]mind. A your title to this testament is right on!!

DD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teresa said...

Oh Sarah, I do hope you dressed in the light this morning! :~) I don't believe in luck, I am just saying I hope your day got started wonderfully and that it continues for the rest of the day, next week and the rest of the year. I love your attitude about things and how the you said the kids' day was not affected. I hope you will post about this days events.

pamokc said...

Girl! Too funny (but probably not at the time, eh?). Just imagine how bad it would have been if you'd had those undies on backwards as well! Trial by fire indeed!

pamokc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda said...

What a first day! It can only get better from here on, right?!?

Rob said...

Baptism of fire - no kidding!
Let's hope Murphy's gone now!

Snippety Gibbet said...

Holy smokes!!!!!!!!

I'm three weeks back into teaching and I have not gotten over the exhaustion yet!

Lynne said...

What a day! In our family we call that Pistilli luck!

I'm glad you were able to laugh about it. Things will get better!

Rhea said...

OMG, what a first day!! It sounds like just about everything that could go wrong DID! Amazing.

Mmm said...

School had already started there?! what a start to the term!

Wendy said...

Oh, I loved, loved, loved this post. I am laughing and I am also crying inside. I miss working at my son's old elementary school back in IL! Sob, Sob! You are right, there is nothing quite like working with young children if you can embrace them and catch their enthusiasm (I actually have known several educators who, sadly, can't). Even those days when you think you're going to pull your hair out, end up making you smile.

Glad you survived. Loved how you blamed it all on your underwear (when I was student-teaching, I once wore two different colored shoes to school and not one of the HS students bothered to tell me - I found out while walking home and did a survey the next day to emphasize the need for greater rapport between students and teachers - ha!)