We have had strong, blustery winds blowing over us the last few days. Then the wind dropped, and we had a thunderstorm. It got me musing about my reaction to weather. I realised that, even after a few years away from classroom teaching, I still link weather and children. My job as a worker in the out-of-school-hours industry helps me maintain that link, but really it has come from 30 years of teaching.
Now I love those days when it rains all day, but it always makes me think of wet-day timetables, and makes me grateful not to be there. I remember the mayhem of rooms full of children who would rather be outside playing, the snatched lunch before dashing back to continue to supervise. Usually the kids would try hard to be occupied with lego construction or board games or computer activities or drawing; but for some of them it was just too difficult not to play rowdy games of hide and seek or downball in the corridor.
An Old Teacher’s Tale is that windy days scramble kids, and my experience says that it is true. Children seem to get blown around in the wind and come back into class like whirlwinds, as though they have brought the wind back in with them. Yard duty on those days was often taken up with sorting out niggles and complaints and injuries from falls.
I also think back to the day when a branch broke off in a gale force wind and fell onto a child below, breaking her leg. That was a traumatic time for all of us.
For many lunchtimes we had glorious sunny days and the playground generally was harmonious. Walking in the sun, chatting to children was pleasurable. However, always in the back of your mind was the next classroom activity to be organised, the meeting with the parent to plan, the pages to photocopy, the report to write.
Even those beautiful Spring days could have impacts on the kids. I remember one day in early spring. It was warm, but the temperature was only in the low 20s. We were outside for a Phys Ed lesson, when Jack and Mitchell were complaining about how hot they were. They wanted to stop the game and go inside, where it was cooler!
Of course in Summer the heat waves could go on for days. I knew that the morning lessons were important because by the afternoon we would all be tired, wilting and often cranky. In really hot weather the playground would be quiet, with the kids in the shade or maybe inside watching a movie. After lunch “Dead fish” was a popular game ~ and home time more welcome than usual.
As I said at the start, now days I look at this from afar ~ from the perspective of my comfy armchair, cup of tea and a good book!
How does the weather affect your life? Does it have any affect on your job, or can you only look at it through the window of an office?
14 replies on “Whatever the weather…..”
I love having a job that means I can adapt to the weather. Working from home (I’m a scientific editor) means that I can walk the dogs when the weather suits and make the most of the sun in the day then work in the evenings if I feel like. If it’s a horrid day, I can just settle down with my work and forget all about the outside. I hated being constrained by a 9-5.
That sounds like how our lives should be! Noticing the weather and building your life around it. You would have to be disciplined to work at home, though. If it was me I would easily fritter work time away. I remember writing reports at home (because there was never enough time at school) and there was always more interesting things to do. Even house work looked good!
It does affect our field trip possibilities…if it’s too hot or too rainy, we stay indoors. Other than that, I just enjoy watching what it brings from day to day. I love sunny days and rain and snow and thunderstorms and warm weather and chilly weather, so I’m pretty much always happy. 😀 I am thinking of knitting a “weather” scarf or afghan for 2015 where I’ll knit a row each day and each row’s color will be chosen based on the weather that day. 🙂
That is another one of your wonderfully wacky ideas! I love it! A row based on the weather……Do you think you will have the colours already sorted — blue for balmy days, white for snow etc — or will you look at your stash each day and pick one that suits the way the weather makes you feel?
I think windy days scramble everyone. Both the G.O. and I find them most unsettling. I hadn’t considered the effects of weather from a pupil management perspective. I remember long summer air barely stirred by overhead fans classroom captive afternoons that seemed like they would never end, and cosy winter classroom days… I recently volunteered for a reading program at a primary school, and was delighted that the library has the same smell and atmosphere that my classrooms did so many years ago 🙂
Other than navigating the weather conditions during my commute I tend to view the weather from my 26th floor vantage point over the harbour, so it serves to provides some diversion. The G.O. however is out in it.
You would have a magnificent view of the weather, though. Thunderstorms must be wonderful to watch, and know that, unlike the G.O., you are safe and dry. 🙂
Oh yes, those stifling days. For much of my teaching we didn’t have the overhead fans, much less AC. A pedestal fan was a luxury.
We, too, had that thunderstorm, Anne, and I was quite pleased with myself because I had spent several hours the day before mowing. So, the heavens opened on nicely cut grass! It will need mowing again by the weekend most likely!
I can always see the difference in my twins when they have had a wet-day timetable – loads of stored-up energy just waiting to burst! Thank goodness for indoor, sporty after-school activities on those days.
I admire you greatly for having been a teacher. It’s one of the most important roles in society. xoxoxoxox
Well done You!
Wet days are so hard in kids, especially when there are a few in a row. I wonder how schools cope in areas of heavy snow falls.
Thanks for the positive teacher comments. I could rave on for quite a while about how skewed our society is for undervaluing people who work with children while our politicians are paid to behave like children. ;(
I hate the north wind. Since moving out to Warrandyte, the north wind has become my nemesis. Not only does it drop branches all over the place, it’s a constant reminder, even in winter, that fire season is coming, and that windy days are days of danger. I honestly wish I could skip summer entirely. 😦
I don’t like wind either. It is always so unpredictable. Those North winds in Summer are always associate with danger and fire. But at least I don’t have to worry about bush fires as you do. For me they are on the news, not on my doorstep. That Summer Dilemma must be difficult for you — do you anxiously stay so that you can fight any fires, or run away to somewhere safer, but then anxiously wait there.
No, I’m a stayer. I have just about every protection money can buy so I have to stay to protect the house and the animals. Plus honestly? We’re a million times safer her than trying to leave at the last minute and getting caught on the roads. -shudder-
I’m always sensitive to the weather. Having volunteered in the classrooms when my boys were young, I can relate to your descriptions, too.
I love the rain, yet live in a state that is semi-arid in a good year, and now drags on through a second year of drought. I miss it so much. I don’t like excessive heat. It makes me feeling irritable and grumpy. I don’t mind the cold or the wind, enjoy the balmy nights of a hot summer day, and love, love love a good walk in the rain.
I work indoors most of the time, but remember one winter working with a client in her garage on a frigid day and how hard it was to get my fingers to work in the cold.
What a thought-provoking post, Anne.
I love windy days and movement in the air, it makes everything outside seem more alive. Also having taught kids for some years I agree with “whirlwinds” coming back into the classroom, wild weather can certainly make them hyper. 🙂
Windy days scramble animals too. We’re farmers so the weather is a constant source of happiness or depression with the weather forecast probably the most used tab on the browser.