I teach sixth grade at a small middle school located in a farming community in the northeastern part of the country.  In this area, the winter weather lasts a long time and is extremely severe. We typically require heating within the first month of school, and keep the heater running until sometime in April.  In order to conserve energy and trim expenses, the school’s heating system turns off and on according to a timer. Unfortunately, the heater is set to turn on an hour after we’ve all arrived to start the day.  First thing in the morning, there is absolutely no heat and the entire school is freezing cold. The students typically keep their coats on and shiver. It’s nearly impossible to teach a lesson when the kids are so preoccupied by the chilly temperatures.  When the heating system finally starts up, the pipes make a tremendous amount of noise and introduce an abundance of dust and unpleasant smells into the air. The heater once again disrupts productivity in the classroom. While the school’s heating system manages to achieve and maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the day, it shuts down an hour before the student’s are dismissed. The indoor temperature drops very rapidly, the the kids need to bundle back up in their coats.  I’m not sure if having the heating equipment controlled by a timer saves a significant amount of energy or not, but it negatively impacts the attention in my classroom. I’d rather the district shorten the school day than leave us without heat when the outside temperature is twenty degrees.

heating system