In defence of Snow Days

There’s been some murmurs of unrest recently over the topic of Snow Days …you’ll notice that I capitalized the term, like it is Something Meaningful, probably because I am a high school teacher and Snow Days have a particular resonance in my life.
Ahhh, Snow Days. How we love them.
I know… I know, not everyone is fortunate enough to have their work day transformed by the whimsy of Mother Nature. There are many dauntless and intrepid individuals who must go forth into the storm to their place of work despite the weather, and I feel for them. I do. It sucks.
Do you know what I do on Snow Days? I don’t get dressed in order to be at school at 7am. I don’t go near a photocopier to prepare information for my 85 students. I don’t argue with a seventeen year old about the reasoning behind the “no hats in school” rule. I don’t tell anyone not to swear, or tape the desks together, or stop-making-that-farting-sound-didn’t-I-already-tell-you-to-stop-making-that-farting-sound? I have a coffee. I read for an hour. I do the laundry.
I celebrate my Snow Day, because anyone who has a job would be insane not to celebrate a day when you don’t have to show up.
And then I do school work.
I mark. I prep. I worry about how we’re going to ever cope with Shakespeare when we’re still having trouble with the thesis statement. I grieve over the misuse of there, their, they’re.
I bake cookies.
I eat half the batch of cookies.
I pretend I baked the cookies for my English 11 class, but ten cookies aren’t enough for a class of 25… so I eat the rest of the batch.
I am thrilled that the responses to AlexJ’s editorial (The Pulse of Queen’s County) were in support of the safety of kids, and the school bus drivers, who are Super Heroes in my eyes. We really only have a few Snow Days a year… some years more, some years less… but our school bus drivers have to drive those wee devils to school and back every day, and that is a triumph of will and an indication of nerves of steel when the roads are dry, never mind when they are ice covered skating rinks.
Sometimes, people are bitter about Snow Days. Sometimes, they see the closure of school for a day to be an indication of the pervasive failure of our education system. Some people ponder the unfairness that allows teachers to have a day off, when people who have made other career choices have to flounder through the drifts. I’ll not argue.
Teachers get storm days.
Teachers eat too many cookies on storm days.
And, dammit, they lounge about in their underwear cackling maniacally into their third cup of coffee about all the poor slobs who aren’t teachers. Not really. My Love isn’t a teacher, neither are my children who all have jobs and have to slip-and-slide to work. I fret and worry about them and wish that they were all teachers too. (But that’s a double edged sword… there are days when wishing teaching on anyone would be a cruel curse.) And our children? Ruination. A missed school day due to treacherous roads is surely more damaging to their moral development than video games, Miley Cyrus, food additives and cyber-bullying combined… right AlexJ? But I have a theory.
Children need Snow Days. That delicious exemption from duty. That unexpected release from schedule and demand. That magical opportunity to flounder in the storm, to embrace the unexpected, to cheer with the radio-guy at 6am because suddenly their day is transformed as surely as if Harry Potter just sent them an owl telling them to stay in their jammies and watch cartoons. Our kids’ lives are filled with obligation… school, sports, clubs, chores, part time jobs, homework… isn’t it marvellous that they can experience that sense of holiday that comes with a Snow Day? Because once they’re grown up, once they have careers and obligations and bosses, those moments of magic become fewer and farther between.
Unless they become teachers.
In Canada.
Where it snows.
(I’m sorry. I’m a teacher. I get Snow Days.)
I defend the Snow Day as a bastion of a healthy childhood. I leap to the defence of happy children everywhere, when the radio announces “stay home today, kids” because I think the joy that follows that statement does them good. I don’t need to expound on the value of safety for our drivers, pedestrians, children waiting in waist high drifts for the bus… that’s a no-brainer. I defend Snow Days because they’re Good For Kids.
And I get caught up on my marking on Snow Days.
And that is Something Meaningful too.

PicMonkey Collage

One thought on “In defence of Snow Days

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  1. Again, Love the blog. We’re having a snow day too. Well, everyday is a snow day here, not ’cause it snows, but because, yeah, the whole unschooling thing. What can I say? We’re slackers – with or without snow. 🙂

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