Thursday, January 13, 2011

The ever popular "Snow Day"

My husband swears that as part of my education in becoming a teacher I became a meteorologist. While I disagree wholeheartedly, I can tell you that I've sat glued in front of the Weather Network's forecasts in giddy anticipation of the tight isobars and the red weather warnings going across the top of my tv screen. As a student -- way back when -- the anticipation of a snow day meant one thing: playing for the whole day outside! (It did not mean sleeping in.) Then, as I got older -- junior/senior high age -- it meant days of comfy jammies and reading, reading, reading, all day long.

Enter now into my professional life. Before I had children of my own, a snow day meant sleeping in, lounging around watching the tv I never get to watch and usually planning some lessons or doing some correcting. Oftentimes, it meant a huge scoff prepared for my hubby for supper that evening, maybe even with some baking thrown in for good measure.

Much like today, Kids and teachers alike would banter and rally together for that possible day off. I was a music teacher not too long ago; I created and taught my students a snow dance and song to help bring on snow days. The usual traditions of wearing pjs inside out to bed, putting mittens, ice, any number of things, under one's pillow didn't seem to be enough for us all. We did the snow dance, too. It caught on, because, ironically, it worked for one whole school year. Whenever the students and I would do it, we'd get the next day off. Embarrassingly, it has spread to several other schools with its popularity. LOL

Another snow day tradition was started by a friend of mine. Whenever a storm day would happen, he always found that the weather would clear by noon, and he'd be off to Walmart... which his grandmother called "The Woolco" (Walmart is located in the former Woolco's location). Thus, he started putting a Woolco symbol as his Facebook profile picture on the eve of a storm. His colleagues have found solace in his "flag" and so he "raises the Woolco flag" in hopes of storm days. It's fun.

A recent news program spoke of schools NOT closing due to inclement weather. The discussion had to do with students missing too much class time and the option of simply allowing buses not to operate on these days. Whomever gets to school, learns. THose who do not get theere, well... til tomorrow, I guess. We discussed this in the staffroom over lunch one day. There were some interesting points:
a) 100% of the students at our school are bussed. What would happen in that scenario?
b) If RCMP / police are urging people to stay off the roads and teachers are required to head out on those roads to report to school, that's 10,000 people in our area on the road, some of whom are traveling long distances on likely unploughed roads (been there, done that MANY times)
c) If only 2 of a normal class of 20 showed up on these non-snow days, what kind of constuctive learning / teaching would take place? WOuldn't it be a "wasted day" anyway?
d) What would happen if there was an accident on the way to school? Ultimately it IS the parents' decision whether or not to send their child to school, but could the transport to school for a teacher be considered something under Occupational Health and Safety?

There are many angles, many sides to the debate.
As a mom and a teacher, I'm still going to hold on to the hope for the snow day. The thoughts of having a day to play in the snow with my kids for the whole day sounds just right to me! Heck, when I was on mat leave with my daughter, I still got giddy with hearing of a snow day. I can't shake that feeling, sorry!

Happy Snow Day, to you!

1 comment:

  1. We are a city school, and currently if we have a snow day, the school "usually" stays open. 90 per cent of our school is bussed, so it is hard to teach anything when you only have 1-2 students in your class show up. If it is a dangerous or horrible storm, school is cancelled totally and teachers are even urged to stay home. Sadly, that has only happened to me twice in ten years!!!

    So enjoy your day at home and stay safe . . . and have fun :)


Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post! ~Dawn