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Uncategorized   |   Nov 7, 2008

Ridiculously cold.

By Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Ridiculously cold.

By Angela Watson

Current outdoor temperature: 83 degrees.
I. Am. Freezing. In. My. Classroom.


It’s gotten so bad that I have taken to wearing turtlenecks, sweaters, jeans, and close-toed shoes, making for a rather uncomfortable recess duty (and some strange looks from parents at dismissal). I have stuffed all the classroom vents with newspaper and paper towels (see Exhibit A)…


….and then attempted to seal them shut entirely with a combination of poster board, packing tape, and stick pins (Exhibit B). Yet the air conditioning continues to blast in through my questionably resourceful barrier like a gale force wind, causing me to repair falling poster board and re-stuff with newspaper several times per week.


Did I mention that I also keep the windows open? (Exhibit C)


The kids’ hands are still ice cold (so are their noses, but don’t ask how I found that out). They sit shivering at their seats, slipping their arms out of their sleeves, trying to write with little hands sticking out all T-Rex like.

And it’s going to continue like this all winter long. In January, our high temperature outside will be around 65 (and we’ve already had a few cold fronts that were FAR lower than that). Yet the A/C has never and will never be turned off or down.

This infuriates me to no end when there is no money for teacher raises (or for the $20K in stipends that I lost this year–you knew I’d find a way to bring that back up, eventually). By a conservative estimate, the school system must spend close to a quarter million a month on electricity. 3 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR to freeze us like popsicles. Seriously?

So add ‘temperature’ to my seemingly endless list of Things I Can’t Control in My Classroom.
I am so over this. What is the point of living in Fort Lauderdale when your sandaled feet turn blue with cold eight hours a day?

My guess is that you all have temperature issues as well…an overabundance of or total lack of heat. What’s going on?!

Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Angela created the first version of this site in 2003, when she was a classroom teacher herself. With 11 years of teaching experience and more than a decade of experience as an instructional coach, Angela oversees and contributes regularly to...
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  1. My building is brand new and air conditioned. I teach in a alternative calendar setting (6 week summer, breaks throughout the year) so the AC is essential for us (our old building didn’t have it and it was miserable).

    That said, we do at least have a way to adjust the amount of AC that comes into our rooms. We can’t really adjust the temperature but we can more or less set the timer so it doesn’t come on as often and it really helps. I suppose since you’re posting about it though you don’t have that safety net.

  2. Our school district has decided to set all of our thermostats at 76 degrees and has locked even our adminstration out of changing it. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a big deal, except that 76 degrees with 23 bodies (46 if you count my suitemate because I only have 3-1/2 walls) is not cool by any means. Even better – I had no A/C the first 3 weeks of school and I am in the Tampa area! I guess we all have our issues!

  3. Setting the AC at 76 is a bit outrageous. Ours is set no higher than 68, judging by the thermometer is my co-worker’s room. The thing is, some of the rooms on the other side of the building are warmer (they’re further away from the AC unit, which is right next to my classroom).

    The teachers out in the portables are not supposed to adjust the temp, but they do have thermostats in their rooms, so if they can unlock the little plastic cover, they can turn the temp up a bit. Although this is forbidden, it saves the district serious $$.

    As far as teaching outside…maybe if we all did that for a day, someone might take the issue seriously!! 🙂

    Yeah, there are bigger issues, and it could be worse. Way worse. But it’s just frustrating to be so uncomfortable all day long by a wasteful gesture. If I’m going to be miserable, the district might as well be saving some money!

  4. I can’t imagine being so cold and trying to teach. What a waste of money. Maybe wearing a sweat shirt would help. That might make a point as well.

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