Monday, September 23, 2013


The pleasant suprises a blackout brings

I hadn't seen my students in over a week (class was cancelled for a bit due to hurricane Manuel in this area).
The beautiful campus!
Their partial exam (originally scheduled for last Weds) got rescheduled to today! Worse still, they didn't tell the teachers until 8pm yesterday. Despite my e-mails and tweets, many of my students didn't know until they got to school their exam would be today.

Regardless once we got to class they dilligently started their exams.

The lovely lit class.
My school has a beautiful campus with mostly great classrooms. Awesome windows, green views, space to try out different chair layouts, etc. This class is held in one of my less favorite rooms. It's a big room with all the technology I could want, but very dull. It has no windows and those tables that are heavier and harder to move around. Since I am only in there three times I week I don't get to decorate it.
Picture of the dark room

Halfway into the exam the lights flickered and went out.


I ran to the lights and helplessly flicked them on, and off, and back on ignoring the fact this was doing nothing to the lighting in class.

I opened the door and asked a loitering student if he could get a maintenance man. In the meantime my students just kinda sat there. "You can move to the front row if you want to grab the light from the hall." I stated still standing at the door keeping it open.

The dark room with the door open
Eventually one of the maintenance men came and explained that there was a problem with the power of the whole school.

He helped me wedge a trashcan to keep the door open; then at least I was free to wander a bit. At this point a student asked, "Teacher, can I take out my cell phone and use the flashlight?"

Within minutes my class was filled with students holding their cell phones over their tests.

I was pleasantly shocked and surprised. Normally students will whine and beg whenever they can, but this time they persevered and kicked butt!

Within the next 15 minutes I asked our secretary if she could call my boss to see what the procedure was. She couldn't get a hold of him, but she did look in my class, "It's actually beautiful" she commented. I agreed, and am a bit sorry I didn't take a picture (but I didn't want to leave then unattended to grab a camera). It wasn't just the soothing glow throughout the class that was pretty. It was the fact that my students were doing what they needed to do!

We managed to cram my students into a teacher's lounge (with big windows letting the beautiful day's sunlight fill the room) to finish their exam, and the fact that they happily moved rather than moaning and groaning filled my heart as well.

Have your students ever reacted differently than you expected and surprised you (pleasantly)? I'd love to hear about it! Drop me a comment below.

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