Hat Hair Hampers Outdoor Learning

2 October 2008 · 0 comments

in General Commentary

Does it matter what your hair looks like once you have removed your hat? Ask most primary teachers and the answer is a resounding “Yes”.

I have come to the reluctant conclusion that this is one reason is why outdoor enthusiasts and environmentalists have so far failed to motivate the vast majority to teachers to capitalise on all the outdoor offers. There are simply not enough decent hats for teachers to wear.

Oops I forgot…we wear many hats…counsellor, tutor, nose-wiper, butler, serf…but unlike the list I’ve mentioned, hats for keeping our heads warm outside tend to make teachers look horrendous once we’ve removed them. Common sense says the obvious next move is to remain indoors with the hat on. In today’s Eco Schools, this makes brilliant sense as up to one third of our body heat can be lost through our heads. But there are other reasons too.

School heating systems are frequently bizarre. In one Highland school the heating system was controlled by a company based in Aberdeen. So the heating depended on the prevailing weather conditions in Aberdeen, a three-hour drive south east.

At another school, convector fan heaters located on the ceiling, were the only heating in the classroom. The poor teacher spent years attempting to outshout the noise which was equivalent to living on a Heathrow runway. After half an hour you could stand in this classroom and have your toes numb with cold whilst the top of your head sweated profusely. Temperature readings showed a difference of 8 degrees between the floor and ceiling.

With increasing energy bills it would be logical to advise schools to try not to switch on their heating unless really necessary. Alas there are strict guidelines covering minimum working temperatures in schools depending on room and the nature of the activity. Many unions advise that members should not work in schools where the temperature falls below the threshold. Thus wearing hats in cool classrooms is not for the Union Die Hards who prefer hat hair and heat.

So, readers, I beg you please to put on your thinking hats and help find a GHD solution to this matter! Answers on a postcard welcomed.

*GHD=Good Hair Day

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