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We Had a Snow Day After All! (Just At School)

Chatting with my colleagues in the lunch room yesterday, we speculated about the likelihood of having a snow day today. One teacher put it at 45 percent, or “just under a coin toss.” Others thought “no way,” or “absolutely.” Snow day closure decisions are a mixture of weather and local politics, so it was anyone’s guess.

Snow days are a mixed blessing. For students and teachers, there’s the timeless thrill of discovering that a work day is suddenly a day off. But eventually the snow is cleared and we have to deal with the reality of missing a day of instruction. At this time of year — so close to the Regents exam — each day feels even more precious and snow days disruptive.

But, as it turns out, non-snow days are also disruptive. I taught about 30 students today total, if you add up all the students in the three classes that I teach. Such low attendance challenges teachers and schools. How do we honor the students who do attend while knowing that if we move on today, we’ll be playing catch-up tomorrow.

So what did I do today?  I had a lot of conversations with students. I tried to make sure that the majority of those conversations were about learning and what was going on in class, and less about why we weren’t playing 7Up.

We talked about John Proctor and Reverend Hale’s conflict in The Crucible. We tried to decide if it is a conflict between men, or a conflict between men and religion. We pondered whether track is an individual or team sport because we’re designing independent research projects in another of my classes. We also talked about the snow and what we were planning to do after school.

I would definitely consider today a snow day, it’s just that we happened to be in school. What did you do on your snow day?

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.