[Back today, on a two-hour-delay, after two snow days off, for a start to a new semester and new courses. This semester, by the way, I am teaching Principles of Engineering and AP Calculus.]
Cold classrooms & burst water pipes have been the norm the last few weeks at my school.
I am one of the lucky ones whose classroom heater usually works (noisily, but at least it provides heat). Several colleagues have bought multiple space heaters (paid for out of their own pockets) just to keep their classrooms tolerable. Other teachers have pretty much moved shop for the season into different classrooms, ones that do have heat. I’ve heard of three water pipes freezing & bursting over the past three weeks – one that flooded an entire floor of the building, one that flooded the auditorium, and one today in the aerospace engineering room next to mine (which we’re currently using for equipment storage – I couldn’t imagine teaching in that room with temperatures as low as they’ve been!). While working on the biggest pipe break, water was turned off to 3/4 of the building and restrooms were out of order, for a period of several days.
I know we’re not alone. There is a similar situation at other city schools, including Epiphany in Baltimore’s. “This is an education equity issue,” he writes. I wholeheartedly agree.