Ode to a Snow Day

I think that I shall chance to say

There’s nothing lovely as a snow day.

The call that comes on early morn

“Go back to bed, the ground’s adorned

With snow or ice or nasty slush.

For the buses it is too much.”

The kids rejoice, the teachers sigh,

And eyes will turn to-ward the sky.

Thankful for a break, but praying too

That we won’t make days up in June!

Yes, I admit it!  Teachers enjoy snow days.  You would too if you were in our shoes.  Any other day we aren’t at school–sick days, personal days, or attending a conference/workshop/meeting–requires us to plan out every minute of our day for a substitute teacher.  I can’t think of too many other jobs that take that kind of preparation when you miss.  Especially with the prevalence of home internet access and smartphones, many people can do at least some work from home.  But if a teacher wants a good sub, and wants that sub to ever return to her classroom, the plans better be complete and good.  I always try to over-plan.  If I thought an activity would take 20 minutes, I would schedule it for 15 minutes in my plans.  Because every now and then you get a sub who leaves a note saying, “The class was great.  We finished everything!”  Are you kidding me?  With the plans I left, plus the extra activities I provided in case there was time left over, there was three days of stuff!  If you’re reeeeeally lucky, on the days your child wakes up vomiting at 6:30, you have a good friend who can help with your plans.  The teacher next door who collaborates with you and runs on a similar schedule is a lifesaver, and of course you’re happy to return the favor.

So what do teachers do on snow days?  I can only speak for myself, and I have young children, so here is what I should do today:  laundry, dishes, dusting, vacuuming, clean bathrooms, and on and on.  Here’s what I will do today:  check Facebook to see what all the other teachers are doing, read one or more of the new books I got for Christmas, read one or more of the books my kids got for Christmas, enjoy the quiet while the kids play outside, play outside with the kids, come in and have hot chocolate, play Super Mario Bros. with my son and Just Dance with my daughter, and I’ll probably get some of that other stuff done too.

Looks like a full day, I’d better get started!

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