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pdxteacher's Message:

I teach the same type of class as yours. Admin and I have worked out a deal about drills. Through the month of October I'm told of all drills and alert my staff and students. We practice a lot. Then in November/December we, the staff, are still given warning, but we stop telling the students. Around February the office stops telling us when the drills will be, but by that time we've had lots of practice. Hope this helps.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
ElizabethJoy 09-17-2016 03:07 PM

At our school teachers are told, and we can prepare the kids on a need-to-know basis. My kids do fine not knowing, but some students have anxiety issues, past trauma, or are prone to meltdowns for whatever reason so their teachers do prep them ahead of time.

I think it's definitley something that should be decided on a case by case basis.

looteach13 08-27-2016 03:08 AM

I teach K - 2 self-contained with a behavior focus. I absolutely believe that admin should give us a heads up so we can prepare our students! We have been given the dates for fire and tornado drills, but we haven't been given the times. Usually the office staff makes my class aware. As for lockdowns and evacs...those are case by case situations and have been delivered via email with a prompt from the office to check email immediately, so that is a bit easier since we just move them to a corner of the room, close the blinds, and lock the door (thankfully I have a bathroom in my classroom!)

Beach Glass 08-26-2016 06:43 PM

My daughter is high-functioning developmentally disabled.

When she was in grades 4 and 5, she was in my school which was a 3-story school built in 1911. On the third floor the students were expected to use an outside set of stairs - angle iron, mesh steps, steep, and a pretty freaky sight when one looked down. There was no way on God's green earth my daughter could handle it. At the first drill, I was asked to intervene. She never did make it down the stairs. Finally gave her permission to use the inside stairs, even though that was not an acceptable escape route.

Absolutely. The teacher should be advised of fire drills. The drills should be teaching moments. They should practice outside of the "real" drills. The teacher could blow a whistle or something. Knowing when the real drills are, the teacher could then graduate to giving them a "range" of time when the drill will occur - "We will have a fire drill this morning, remember our practices? What should we do when the bell rings?" After practicing enough, the kids should experience less anxiety.

Fire drills are a skill just like so many things we learn in school. That's why we practice. Some kids just need more practice!

Miller 08-26-2016 06:00 PM

the teacher should know

the more practice, the better the students will become when a real one occurs.

we would do social stories after the drills and usually the kids would be talking about them the next day too.

Sherryl Lynn 08-26-2016 05:04 PM

YOU should be told if a drill is eminent so you can have all mobility apparatuses geared to go and all hands on deck...HOWEVER, it is not always a good idea to pre-warn students too far in advance. I have had TWO autistic students who could NOT be warned, or they would FREAK OUT until it happened, then, actually be fine during it. We made the mistake of telling the first one a day in advance, and he did not come to school the next day because of it. The other didn't want to come to the first day of school this year for fear of fire alarms, and I had to reassure him there would NOT be a drill the first day, and he asked me every morning the first week of school. Finally, I promised to tell him RIGHT BEFORE it was going to happen, and that put him at ease. I will NOT tell him any earlier than like a minute before because he would freak out for that whole time after I told him.

kahluablast 08-20-2016 04:55 PM

Our teachers always have a heads up. I do think the teacher should know do they can anticipate it better. I don't think every kid should be told, depending on circumstances.

FLteachESE 08-20-2016 04:49 PM

Yes- most definitely you should be aware of when they will be.

With that being said, I have found my autistic children do better when they are not anticipating the fire drill because the alarm itself is so loud athat their anxiety just over the sound is worse than dealing with it as a surprise. I do have headphone out and available when ready, too.

pdxteacher 08-19-2016 03:15 PM

I teach the same type of class as yours. Admin and I have worked out a deal about drills. Through the month of October I'm told of all drills and alert my staff and students. We practice a lot. Then in November/December we, the staff, are still given warning, but we stop telling the students. Around February the office stops telling us when the drills will be, but by that time we've had lots of practice. Hope this helps.

ConnieWI 08-19-2016 02:51 PM

I think it would be a good idea if you were told ahead of time that there would be a drill.

Perhaps you have a parent that could approach the principal and explain how anxious his/her child gets. The parent could suggest that you be notified ahead of time so you can prepare your class.

eeza 08-19-2016 02:09 PM

The admin does this for our mod-severe class because of their needs. Even when it's supposed to be a surprise, this class always knows ahead of time. Why put that class through the hell of freaking out over a practice? But that's just my opinion.

O.A 08-19-2016 10:40 AM

Hello all!

I teach a middle school self contained class and absolutely love my students & coworkers. Is it wrong that I believe the admins should make self contained classes aware of emergency drills (i.e. fire drills, evacuations, lock downs, etc) before they occur to prepare students? I feel my students get very anxious due to the over stimulation that occurs. If my students were to be given a "heads up," I feel I could better prepare them for the drills.

Feelings/thoughts?




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