The First Drill After

We were working on math when the fire alarm went off. My first thought was, “We are having a drill today? but there wasn’t an email or text.” I had a few students scream. I told them it was okay. “It’s a drill. Please grab your jackets and line up.”

One of my students said, “Ms. Dye what if it is not a drill?”

I responded “It’s okay. Its a drill. Let’s go quietly, please.”

I grabbed my clip board and started to follow them out, but I stopped after I saw the firemen in the hall, and then walked back through to make sure no one was left in the room. When I was sure everyone left the room, I walked out I could feel tears welling up in my eyes, but I held them back so I could count my students once we were outside. The firemen grabbed one of my students to make sure we were counting correctly. Outside I was short one student, but I knew where he was and that he was safe.

We waited just like we always do and played simon says until we got the all clear to go back inside. We were all safe. We were all accounted for. We had a 10 minutes until students were off for specials, so we read. I walked my class to P.E., went to use the bathroom, and burst into tears. My tears didn’t last long. I know I had nothing to be afraid of. It was just a drill. We were safe.

I was surprised by my tears and still am not sure of my emotions, but I know that I am processing the best way I know how. writing and talking. I know we were safe. I know it was just a drill, and yet I still cried. My heart is heavy. It is heartbreaking that this is the world we live in that there are reasons to be afraid in schools. I know I live in a safe community and there isn’t much to fear but I do know that this drill was rough for me.

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