A shrill bell cut through storytime. The kids crouched, whimpering. They knew they were to stay on the carpet during story, but that bell had them covering their ears and straining to flee! Calmly, softly, we repeated, “Don’t be afraid. Hold my hand. Line up. We’re safe.” And anything else that seemed might keep them from bolting like frightened sheep.
We walked single file out to the fence, where we stood facing the school. Ms. Jewls explained that it was a fire alarm and that we were just practicing. We all assured kids they were safe, and calm prevailed. We waited in a quiet group until the all clear sounded and we could return to our class.
As we were walking back Kevin, one of the kids who needed extra reassurance and explanation, grabbed my hand and said, “Bud I wanned t’ see da fire!” I told him there wasn’t really a fire, that this was just practice in case there was a real fire. Kevin responded, “I nebber gets to has any funs.”