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The first day of school has Junior High School Teacher sweating bullets—and it’s not from nerves. Although her classroom’s sweltering temperatures are “unbearable,” JHS says there’s no relief in sight:

A few years ago, I complained that the fan system (we have no AC) in my room wasn't working. Or that it was working, but only when I turned on the heat. That wasn't going to do. I brought in fans from home, but still, my room was in the low 90's for three days in a row.
They finally came to address the problem.
And removed the thermostat.

Don't give up. There are lots of resources that can help. They make the case that school indoor air quality is vital to student attendance and performance as well as everyone's health and safety. Also, learning to document poor indoor air quality and other health and safety problems can create a "learning environment index" that highlights barriers to teaching and learning. Your observations and concerns could lead to more responsible leadership as everyone sees the multiple health and educational benefits (including significant cost avoidance) of a "continous improvement" performance management model. (See the link to the Westborough Schools story below.) Contact potential allies such as parent groups as well as colleagues and leaders in school wellness, occupational health and safety, school health, and asthma prevention programs. Here are a few links just for starters:
-- AASA Asthma Wellness
-- AFT Building Minds, Minding Buildings
-- Healthy Kids: The Key to Basics
-- Healthy Kids 2006 Indoor Air Quality Heroes **Westborough, MA** http://www.healthy-kids.info/resourcesdetail.lasso?-skiprecords=2
-- Healthy Schools Network
-- Healthy Schools Campaign
-- US EPA IAQ Tools for Schools
-- Center for Health, Environment and Justice
-- CHEJ Green Flag Schools Program
-- Natinal Clearing House for Educational Facilities

I am still laughing at this one. For the 7th time in 10 years my classroom is being moved. I'm teaching a whole new program and the room I'm moving to needed to be 'fixed' quite a bit. As of today, my 'room' is still lined up and down the hall and I can't move into the actual room. I've been promised I can get into it the day before the students return. Great! It will only take me a week to get it all organized. I'm going to keep smiling at your thermostat situation...and consider my 'move' a minor 'temperature' issue.

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Recent Comments

  • JGK: I am still laughing at this one. For the 7th read more
  • Ellie Goldberg, M.Ed.: Don't give up. There are lots of resources that can read more




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