The first snow warning have been given this morning and in at least one of the newspapers it is predicting a “White Christmas.”
Having chatted through the classroom logistics of this; let’s turn our attention to practical matters concerning YOU…..the actual person who needs to be in your class more than anyone else!
If you travel to school by train or bus then you are quite literally at the mercy of the operators (believe me I know)….the only things you have to think about are –
- Correct clothing for the conditions
- The amount of paperwork that you are moving around.
We will deal with both of these a little further into the article.
However I would suspect that the majority of colleagues travel to school by car….so at this time of year we do need to spend a little time and perhaps some money on getting prepared.
It’s time to get that car checked…here’s what you need to think about –
- Hopefully your tyres are in good enough condition for the winter weather and possible snow.
- Is your battery in a good condition to start your car when the temperatures drop?
- Does your car have anti-freeze of the right strength?
- Do you have an in – car phone charger?
Things you may also need to buy are –
- De-icer spray (get the pump handle one not aerosol)
- Window scraper
- Cloth or interior window chamois pad for when the screen mists up
If the answer to any or all of these is “I am not really sure” and you need them checking then your local tyre place and garage can check all these for you. For an in car phone charger then nip over to Halfords who can tell you which you will need.
When that lot is checked and ok then you are as prepared as you can be….but as a last recommendation remember that if you are travelling to school in bad weather to set out much earlier!
What do you personally need for school?
There are certainly some changes that you need to think about when the weather turns cold.
- The temperature of the school goes up….this means that your classroom becomes warmer. Now if you are like me, I used to prevent the classroom from becoming too warm. This meant that neither myself or the children really had to arrive at school and then start to remove clothing just to be in class. By turning down the heating and at times just cracking open the windows we could keep the classroom at a good working temperature and we were all wearing sensible clothing for the weather….jumpers and sweatshirts. What you don’t want is for the children to arrive at school all wrapped up and then have to remove jumpers and sweatshirts because it is too hot in the classroom and then be going back out into the cold at breaktimes …..the same applies to you – so keep an eye on class temperatures.
- Make sure you have a good coat – not only for your journey to school (and be prepared for perhaps waits for a bus or train or even a breakdown in your car!) but also for any time you may be outside during the day . Your coat should be warm and be able to be fastened up high around your neck when the weather is cold. It may be that a hood or a warm hat is also a great idea for playground duties.
- Footwear – as teachers we are on our feet most of the day. But there is very little time to be slipping in and out of shoes or boots and into other footwear. If you can, then buy something that is good for both indoors and the outdoor conditions as well – remember if you are out on the playground then it is going to be either slippery or wet so make sure your footwear is both waterproof and has good grips!
A vital necessity in winter! If you are outside then schools do not allow children to carry an open / normal mug of hot liquid out to any teachers on duty. However (and some schools buy these specially for staff) – if you have a sealed travel mug then this means that drinks can be brought out to you more easily….always a winner!
And finally – schools do keep an eye on the weather and there are precautionary plans made to inform staff and parents if the conditions do become too bad. Your school will make you aware of these arrangements and keep you up to date.
Aside from this, it really is about taking sensible precautions. Make sure your transport is organised and that you allow plenty of extra time in the mornings. In addition, have the appropriate clothing and footwear and also make sure you have a charged mobile phone with you.
We probably don’t have the sorts of winters that we used to experience years ago – however temperatures always plummet and we do get frosty days at least! So don’t get caught out – be ready in advance and you should be ok!