Open Phones: Teaching and Learning in the Heat

Thursday, June 09, 2011

It's one thing to sweat over a test, it's another to sweat directly onto the exam. As summer kicks off with a heat wave, we open our phones for teachers and students on how you cope in sweltering classrooms.

Comments [14]

Want to Improve school results? Air Conditioning! from better test scores and learning when you're not passing out

If you want to improve learning, focus,
and morale - if you want to improve test scores - TRY AIRCONDITIONING ALL CLASSROOMS!

NYC is often very hot during the months of May, September and October. As anyone who has been outside or in an unairconditioned space today can verify - it's very hard to concentrate in the heat.

For 3 or more months per school year,
NYC students and teachers are performing suboptimally because of
overly hot classrooms. Given that
we spend about $ 20,000 per student
per year, this is simply unacceptable.

Many exams for evaluating performance may also occur during hot weather.

Cool schools will also encourage students
to stay in school and study during sweltering days (and classrooms and libraries could also serve as cooling stations).

The NYC School System should conduct an experiment. See how installing working airconditioners in all classrooms and libraries improve performance.

(Control group classes could have the current status quo). In all likelihood, even
just taking tests in a well airconditioned room will improve outcomes. If one also teaches and has library study halls in comfort this will go even further.

It's time to test the : COOL SCHOOL

Jun. 09 2011 09:34 PM
Sheniqua from Brooklyn

let's see, half the earth deals with higher temps than we do on our worse days, have no AC and somehow outscore us most of the time... I think people complain far too much.

Jun. 09 2011 06:33 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I'll add a low-tech suggestion to Margaret's list: Wet a bandanna or other absorbent cloth at the drinking fountain to wear around your neck & occasionally wipe your face, arms, & legs with. When I was in college I worked for the federal government during the summers before their buildings were air-conditioned, & this technique made a *big* difference.

Jun. 09 2011 05:12 PM
Margaret from UWS Manhattan

Low-tech suggestions for school in heat: 1)as a caller mentioned, put ice in front of fans. 2) Have students carry spritzers w. iced water/small injury icepacks 3) Advise wearing lightweight, open-neckline, eyelet fabric/cutout design, loose-fitting sleeved
/sleeveless clothing, and 4) open-air hairdos - braided, or puffy. 5) individual battery-operated mini fans, or paper/grass hand fans.6) Wear white/pastel/ice or bright blue clothes for the visual 'tromp le psyche'. 7) White curtains/static cling window shading 8)Mind direction of natural air flow through building in placing fans; enhance circulation with second facing opposite/past the reach of the first. 9) On restroom breaks, hold wrist pulse area under cold water, and cold towel to neck.

Jun. 09 2011 03:31 PM
ileen from manhattan

@Sara - many of the lifeguards for city pools are high school students. This is why the city pools don't open for summer until the end of June.

However, the indoor city pools are open year round, and kids out of school early today are probably there if they or their parents are smart enough to know this.

Jun. 09 2011 02:50 PM
Jessica from Manhattan

I would like to respond to Rich B. from Rego Park. The attitude that teachers whine and complain too much instead of "dealing" with conditions that are not conducive to teaching and learning is exactly why teachers are not supported in our city. We have to demand professional conditions for ourselves and our students if we are being expected to perform well. Bottom line.

Jun. 09 2011 11:27 AM
Sarah from UES

What I think is obscene is that the city pools still aren't open!

Maybe school kids get out at 1:00 for the heat- but they can't cool off in the pools yet.

Jun. 09 2011 11:14 AM
Sub from Long Island

Substituted last week in Jamaica on 2 really hot days....every room had two lovely window A/C units but they weren't plugged in ...turns out the budget ran out last year in the middle of re-wiring the "dedicated lines"...the teachers tried plugging them in anyway and caused a blackout! Nothing like looking at perfectly good units that you can't use!

Jun. 09 2011 10:55 AM
Amy from Manhattan

A grant to a public school? I didn't know that ever happened. What organizations give grants to public schools? Are some schools more likely to get them than others?

Jun. 09 2011 10:43 AM
Leah from Brooklyn

Most of the time, the one room that is air conditioned is the principal's and main office (the often conjoin).

Jun. 09 2011 10:36 AM
Rich B from Rego Park

Luckily the kids ar eoff and I am wearing shorts and a tshirt. As for coping I just deal witrh it, so many of my peers complain so much about it that makes the it worse for the kids.
I try and do my lessons, but I slow the pace down and we get through it. The trick is to work at a slow pace, and not whine about it.
The kids end up ok. As I say if you weren't here sweating you would be in the park playing and sweating. Many get it, of course some do not.

Jun. 09 2011 10:35 AM
IC from NY/Montrea/Hawaii

Maybe private schools in NY have AC...and some public ones.....but I can assure you that private schools in Hawai'i and Canada do not have AC. Yes, it does get hot even in Canada some months.

Jun. 09 2011 10:32 AM
JohnNJersey from NJ

Perhaps teachers should teach a class on why NJ pulled out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. It seems just in time!

Jun. 09 2011 10:30 AM
Fuva from Harlemworld

Never were schools closed for "high heat" when I was coming up. Please explain the rationale.

Jun. 09 2011 10:30 AM

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