Thick

To celebrate the Kyoto protocol, Belgian schools were asked to “thick sweaters” day, reports Live from Brussels.

The idea was to turn off the heating in the school buildings for the day, to save energy, and to have everybody wear extra clothing instead, including thick sweaters.

So far, so good.  My wife follows the lesson plan, explains it all to the kids and turns off the heating in her building.  But then, for some classes, her pupils need to go to the other, larger school.  There, they also have ‘thick sweater day’.  But they didn’t manage to turn of the thermostat.

Result: super hot classrooms.  Talk about global warming…  And to make things even worse, because everybody was wearing extra clothes and things were geting really  unbearable, apparently some teachers even opened the windows of their classrooms, with the heating still on full-blast…

Brussels is quite cold this time of year, apparently.

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Comments

  1. Carl Larson says:

    Just about every day in my classroom during the winter is “thick sweaters” day.

    Although in Chicago we call it “thick hoodies” day.

  2. It’s thoughtful of the authorities involved to refrain from burdening the children with the knowledge that the Kyoto Accords are in any way controversial.

  3. Ross the Heartless Conservative says:

    I wonder if they are going to have a tight sweater day in Sweden to celebrate? Now there would be a holiday I could get behind.!

  4. My elementary school had what amounted to a big on/off switch on its heating system which apparently could only be flipped twice a year: once on, once off. Thus in the winter when it had been turned on, as soon as we got inside we peeled off our jackets and at least one sweater, shoved them into our cubbyholes, and learned in T-shirts.

  5. Mike in Texas says:

    My elementary school’s thermostats are controlled by a company in Beaumont who specializes in hiring Supts. as “consultants” who, if you can believe this, turn around and recommend the school districts buy computerized thermostat control from that same company.

    There are classrooms that are always hot and some that are always cold, but the official line is “The average temperature is 74 degrees” When teachers have shown the maintenance director a thermometer reading in their class they have been told their thermometers are defective.

    In the hot classrooms, teachers typically open the windows in winter to bring the temperature down.

  6. Turning off the heating in the middle of winter for didactic reason could backfire. The pupils may wish it were warmer and pray for more global warming.

  7. Walter E. Wallis says:

    I tried to operate a drafting room without air conditioning – no way. Productivity loss equalled the cost of installing A/C the first week. We build to seperate ourselves from the environment.There is nothing wrong with being comfortable. There is everything wrong with wishing or causing discomfort to others for some politico/religious crusade. For the cost of one sensitivity symposium you can air condition a classroom.

  8. Mike in Texas wrote:

    When teachers have shown the maintenance director a thermometer reading in their class they have been told their thermometers are defective.

    There’s a certain ironic symmetry to that.

    The maintenance director clearly is of the opinion that teachers know as much about maintaining a building as some teachers feel parents know about reading instruction.

    You are one up on the parents of illiterate children though. At least the maintenance director isn’t blaming you for shivering (or perspiring), he just doesn’t care and you’re powerless to make him care. Oh look, another parallel!

  9. Walter E. Wallis says:

    …and of course, get a thermometer and make a class project of charting the classroom temperature.

  10. I’m preparing a post about environmentalism on my own blog–don’t know when I’ll ever finish, but I’m working on it. Ideas from this post will certainly be included.

  11. Mike in Texas says:

    The maintenance director clearly is of the opinion that teachers know as much about maintaining a building as some teachers feel parents know about reading instruction.

    Allen, actually I tell parents of young kids all the time, read to them, read as much to them as they can stand, that’s the best way I know of to ensure a kid is successful. Then I tell them when they have the TV on to turn off the volume and turn on the close captioning, they’ll read plenty then.

  12. It’s Kyoto Day every day in my classroom. Keeps the kiddies from dozing. I’m up and around and burning calories, so I’m comfortable with the room being 66 degrees. I just tell the complainers that they know it’s gonna be cold in there, so bring a friggin’ sweater/jacket/parka. Besides, the AC is the only way to get rid of the stale air.

  13. Mike in Texas wrote:

    Allen, actually I tell parents of young kids all the time, read to them

    What do you tell them a five or six years later when the “balanced approach” results in 30% of those kids being functionally illiterate? That they didn’t read to their kids enough?