etc. Teaching

Snow Days: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

We have another snow day today, so that’s two for this week, and five total so far in the school year. Snow days are curious in that they mean different things to different people. Students and teachers probably enjoy a  day off here and there, as a bonus weekend, or just time to catch up with family and homework, but there are other implications as well, that often go unnoticed. It all depends on one’s frame of mind.

The Good:

  • Time off to catch up on sleep, homework, etc.
  • Students get more time to do what they like, and don’t have to be in school. Maybe hang out with friends, relatives, and family, especially if the snow day comes before of right after a weekend.
  • Opportunity to actually enjoy the snow, build a snow man, etc.
  • Complete projects that have been on the back burner for a while. Bake bread.

The Bad:

  • Missing school.
  • Lesson plans are interrupted, time frames are busted.
  • Scheduled resources go to waste, like computer lab time, A/V equipment, etc.
  • Dates that are scheduled for tests, quizzes have to be pushed back, and that messes with everyone’s schedule.
  • Lack on continuity – it’s hard to follow logical connections if you’re in school for one day, off two, then back for two.
  • Students have to be home – and parents may not be able to. No problems for high schoolers, but certainly for younger kids.

The Ugly:

  • Many districts only have so many calamity days (we have three, and now we’re in deficit spending!)
  • … and if you’re in deficit spending of your calamity days, that means we’ll go longer in the summer.
  • Some districts make up calamity days over spring break – that’s no fun for anyone, and presents a whole host of other problems, especially students not attending due to pre-arranged plans.
  • Summer plans get messed up.
  • The district, once calamity days are spend, tend to not want to take more days, even though they ought to.

So, there are many ramifications to snow days, other than a great time off from school. However, unless we break it down, some of them might go unnoticed until much later in the year. Not to mention the lack of actual instruction time, as we all know that students, and teachers alike, have a hard time focusing those last days in June.

Have any other others that I missed? Feel free to comment below…