Fire Drills as a Substitute Teacher

At the office in the morning, they tell you that there’s going to be a fire drill that day at 1 pm. You are thankful because often, fire drills come as a surprise to substitute teachers even though the rest of the school knows about it. Even so, some of the grade 1 students scream when the alarm goes off and you’re unsure if you have an up to date class list. Thankfully, you know you have 20 students that day.

This situation can happen any day, so it’s good to be prepared for fire drills as a substitute teacher. In the morning, when you enter the classroom, look to see if there is a sign posted by the door saying which exit to take if there is a fire alarm. Also, many schools have an emergency folder by the door with a (hopefully) up to date class list that you can take with you outside. If there is no information, ask another teacher or the students if you have an older class.

When the alarm goes off, remember to shut the windows and turn out the lights before exiting the room with your class (all the while telling students not to scream if necessary). Once outside, make sure you have all the students that are present that day. In many schools, you have to hold something up to indicate all of your students are accounted for – it is often in the emergency binder so take a look around once you are outside at what the other teachers are doing. Hopefully it is a nice day and it’s a good break for you and the students.

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