Today I was teaching general music at an elementary school. I've subbed for her before, and it was a very good day (lots of musical chairs with kindergarteners).
The weather has been very "March is going out like a lamb" this week. Finally feeling like spring. However, the spring weather has it's flip side. This afternoon, severe thunderstorms started to roll into the area.
At about 2:OO, with 2.5 music classes left to go for the day, the principal announced that there was a tornado warning, not a drill, and that we needed to proceed to our assigned safe areas. So I lead my 20-some 2nd and 3rd graders, recorders still in hand, out into the hall. There were other classes out there, and all of us teachers got the kids lined up against the wall, kneeling with their hands over their heads. Then we started listening to the weather report on the radio.
Well, no one had seen any funnel clouds, but there was rotation visible on the NWS radar. None of it was near us, but the warning was county-wide. After a couple of minutes, the kids were allowed to sit up, but we had to stay in the hall.
The warning extended from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, to an hour. We got progress reports, but all of the hot spots were in other areas, and we didn't seem to be in the path of any of it. Still, we had to err on the side of caution. We didn't get to leave the hall until 3:05. If you've ever dealt with young grader schoolers, you'll know that is a very long time for them to have to sit against a wall not doing anything and staying quiet. We did our best to keep them entertained, but it was a challenge.
In the end, the buses were also delayed for a half hour, so all the bus kids had to sit in the gym for 30 minutes after school, waiting for them to arrive. (We showed them the start of Finding Nemo.) However, at least I was at an 8:30-3:17 school. Some of the grade schools run 7:45-2:32, and the district made them all stay put until 3:05, too. They probably didn't get buses 3:45 either, so that really would have been hell.