Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First Snow Day

Today, I finally understand the concept of the "snow day" from both ends of the spectrum.

As a student, the thing I looked forward to the most was the snow day. I would awake early and squint at the bright television through the early morning darkness and my still-sleepy eyes, scanning the scrolling list of closures and delays, hoping to see CPS somewhere on the list. On mornings when it was omitted I begrudgingly packed my things up and headed to school, traversing roads that were never very icy or snowy.

But on mornings when the magic words appeared on screen it was akin to manna from heaven. The initial butterflies and thanks were always obligatory, but the excitement lasted for hours. Nowhere in my mind was the effect of the snowday--an extra day slapped onto the end of the year, light a giant glaring zit on the calendar that kept taunting me.

One of the things that greatly confused me, however, was why the teachers seemed ambivalent to snow days. Some seemed gung ho on the idea and welcomed them with open arms and new shovels, while others stammered and swore when they knew an impending snow day was upon us.

As a professional teacher finally, I understand how these otherwise no-brainer emotions can become conflicted. On one hand I am welcoming this day as a respite from the insanity that sometimes plagues my freshmen CP classes, as a day to catch back up on sleep and correcting, and as one wintry day that I don't have to brave the treacherous roads. Yet on the other I am cursing this day because two of the classes I would have had today are in danger of not finishing what we need to before winter break. I can, however, speed up two of the remaining class periods to accommodate for missing the third, but if we were to have had a snowday tomorrow, as opposed to today, the rotating schedule would have plagued me with a 50/50 shot at not finishing what I need to before winter break.

Perhaps this is why many of my teachers cursed the snow days, or that they had to give up a day at the end of their summer to return, or (if they are senior teachers) that the seniors, who are let out in early June, never have to make up these days, thus putting senior teachers to the task of trying to make up an entire day.

Looking at the list of closed school districts in the area, though, I am happy that mine was one of the closures today. Every school in our conference is also closed, making it easier to schedule events (mainly sports), elections, and so forth.

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