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?