Control Your Class During Fire or Civil-Defense Drills
You must control your class during fire drills, civil-defense drills, and other types of drills for reasons of safety. Most school districts hold regular fire drills not only for safety reasons, but because they are legally required to do so by state statutes. In most districts, teachers have to participate in a fire drill with their class sooner or later. Keep everybody safe.
Fire drills are generally announced ahead of time to minimize panic. Drills usually commence with the sounding of the school's fire-alarm system. Next, students, teachers, administrators, and other staffers quickly form lines and exit their respective rooms and buildings using designated emergency routes. Everyone subsequently assembles in assigned safe areas away from potential danger zones. Sometimes, drills even involve the transportation of students by bus, etc., to areas remote from the school site.
The purpose of fire drills is to ensure that if a real fire occurs, everyone will have practiced sufficiently beforehand to ensure a safe, orderly, rapid evacuation without injury or loss of life. However, if you blithely allow your kids to goof, scream, stumble, horseplay, and fight during a fire drill, you're defeating the drill's purpose because your class' evacuation suddenly becomes disorderly and unsafe. If the unthinkable eventually happens and a fire menaces your school, you'll never forgive yourself if a child is harmed due to your lack of professionalism during drills.
Instead, spend a bit of time before each drill discussing the rules that apply to all drills with your students. In general, students participating in drills should make an effort to pretend that the drill constitutes a real emergency because in a real emergency, students must:
Keep unnecessary talking to a minimum in order to hear potentially life-saving instructions
Not panic, shove, or run to eliminate the danger of falling or being trampled
Walk calmly but quickly to minimize the possibility of danger catching up with the group
Not engage in horseplay to minimize the danger of accidentally injuring other students
Stay with the teacher so as not to get separated and wander into potentially unsafe areas
Keep cell phones turned off in order to hear potentially life-saving instructions
Obey the instructions of all valid authority figures to minimize the possibility of injury
In addition, there are several things you must make certain to do during fire drills. While you are pretending that the drill is real — just as the kids are — you must be sure to:
Keep a careful eye out for each of your students so that no one is accidentally left behind
Permit no horseplaying, screaming, fighting, running, shoving, arguing, or silliness
Bring your first-aid kit, supplied by the school, filled with bandages and other medical items
Bring a copy of your roll so you can take attendance at the first opportunity
Bring a clipboard, paper, and pens so notes may be written and delivered, if necessary
Bring your cell phone in case you need to make any emergency-related calls
Bring the American flag, if there's time or opportunity to safely do so
Take fire drills seriously and teach your kids to take them seriously. Afterward, you might even print out some certificates, which are easily created using simple software preloaded on your computer, to reward exemplary fire-drill behavior.
Civil-defense drills, too, are important and must be taken seriously. Civil-defense drills are designed to help kids practice safety procedures that might save their lives during earthquakes, cyclones, hurricanes, etc. When kids hear a siren or other signal, they commence the drill by ducking under their desks, tucking themselves into a fetal position (curling up like an unborn baby), and lacing their fingers together over the backs of their necks.
Again, teach your students to approach these civil-defense drills seriously, as with fire drills. When students are under desks, if they thrash around and act silly they may cut themselves on bits of protruding metal or snag their clothing. Instruct your students to make themselves as comfortable as possible, ignore gum and other detritus under the desks, and behave properly. That way, if a real disaster strikes they'll be mentally prepared to protect their lives.