Well, I wrote about my first tornado watch in Texas a few weeks ago, but since it is still so new to me, I'm writing about it again after today. During a meeting today, I asked my PYP coordinator if we had a new tornado plan (the school has grown, so apparently the old places to shelter during a possible tornado had to be moved around). She said she would check.
Well, wouldn't you know, we were under a tornado watch later in the afternoon. Then, around 2:15 or so, she came to me with the message, "Here is where your class goes if there is a tornado, and you should go there now."
What?! Right now? This instant, now?!
I know I felt a little wild inside, but I turned to the class and quietly told them to get in line and follow me. Then, I led my rowdy bunch of 20 second graders into...yes, the bathroom in the faculty lounge. We crowded into the space and then were joined by about 6 first graders.
At first, everyone was quiet as they worried a bit about whether we would actually get a tornado. Then, the silence was punctuated by some nervous giggles, a few tears (from the more drama-oriented girls in class), and some surprised yelps as the toilet flushed several times (it has an automatic sensor and flushed whenever someone moved). Of course, one student did scootch through everyone to tell me that she had to go to the bathroom--there's the power of suggestion!
As we waited, and waited for the all-clear, my little ones began to get restless. So we entertained ourselves with some math guessing games and a rousing rendition of "The Little Rooster and the Turkish Sultan."
Just as I was starting to feel lightheaded? dehydrated? from all of the hot air in the bathroom, the principal poked his head in and said everything was safe.
I'm glad everything turned out fine for us today. But I am thinking about others who lost their homes and businesses around our area. Tornadoes scare me because of their capriciousness--the destruction is so random.
Welcome to Texas, everyone is saying to me. Hmmm...I prefer my welcomes with a little more champagne and a little less worry about death and destruction.