Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Snow Days

At 6:15 this morning, I sat in my bed, enjoying the last few minutes of warmth before attacking the day. My eldest son poked his head in the room and said, "I think we might have a snow day."

"I didn't think it was supposed to snow that much."

"Seriously. The street is completely covered."

I immediately clicked on the television. A covered street in a Kentucky county that is more than 50% rural almost always foreshadows a snow day. Most Kentucky counties haven't made the same kind of investment in snow removal equipment as our neighbors to the north. I watched the closed counties scroll across the bottom of the screen. Sure enough, there we were. My son went happily back to bed, and I stared at the ceiling for while before I dozed off too.

I have mixed feelings about snow days. When you first see your district scroll across the list of closings, there is elation. For one glorious moment, you are a kid again with all your responsibilities postponed for a day. Then you remember you are an adult, and reality kicks in. (Unless it's the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday which should ALWAYS be a snow day.)

As nice as it was to snuggle back into my covers this morning instead of facing the single digit temps outside, I know I will pay for it later. That's how the system works. Pay me now, or pay me later.

Now, the kids are all resigned to being back in school. They've just had a long holiday break, and they aren't burned out. Actual learning would have happened today. Instead, they're all at home sleeping or playing video games. There isn't enough snow to do anything fun like sledding or snowman building. Really. There was just enough of a covering (combined with the frigid temps) to make the powers that be nervous about putting kids in those big yellow buses. The grass isn't even covered. Plus, it's too darned cold to go outside anyway.

Later, when we tack this day onto the end of the year, it will be June. June is beautiful in Kentucky...lots of sunshine...temps in the mid 70s. The kids are done by mid-May. It doesn't matter when the last official day is. They are done in mid-May. Everything after that is cat-herding.

One school day of actual learning traded for a cat-herding day in June.

Another universal truth...it's better to pay as you go because when you wait, you pay with interest.


  1. Here, here! I went in anyway and worked one of my extended days. That is at least one more lovely day in June for me.

    Did you see we will probably be out on Thursday, too?


  2. I've always found it insane that they can declare a snow day as "optional teacher workday". Any other business that closes doesn't extort vacation from the employees. (Consider the can of worms as opened now)

  3. I've seen other districts around us do that. Fortunately, my district has never asked us to come in on a snow day. Some employees, like the library media specialists, guidance counselors, and support staff, are required to work extended days in the summer. If they are game for braving the roads, I don't blame them for getting some of those days out of the way now.

    All in all, I'm lucky to work in a district that values and supports teachers.

    And open all the cans of worms you want, Carl. I love the comments!