Student Well-Being

Hot for Students, Too

By Liana Loewus — June 10, 2011 1 min read
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A class of 1st graders in New York City could sympathize with the Maryland students I visited earlier this week: Neither of their classrooms had air conditioning. But the tiny New Yorkers were not quite so quiet about their discomfort, according to the New York Times’ City Room blog.

Karin Ma, a 1st grade teacher at P.S. 1, was having students practice persuasive writing, and many chose to direct letters to their principal about what was first and foremost on their minds. “We need an air conditioner we are dieing pleause let us have a air conditioner,” wrote Nicole Mei. “We can’t read if we are so hot water/are going to be in our eyes. if we don’t have one I can’t write, read or listen.” (I guess that answers my question about how temperature can affect student learning.)

“If we don’t have an air conditioner I will be seweting like a bear,” Jayla Pecheco wrote. One student drew a picture of the class sweating and “passed out on the floor with X’s over their eyes,” City Room blogger Anna Phillips noted.

An education department official told Phillips that 61 percent of the city’s classrooms have A.C. The principal at P.S. 1 “said she found the students’ letters amusing and said they had a point—she wished she could squeeze a few air conditioners out of her budget.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.