The Atheist Academic: Snow Days!
My first grader ran around the house screaming in joy when he woke up this morning. He’s already learned what snow days are, and how exciting that they can be. I’m not going to lie — my fellow teachers and I LOVE snow days. What could be wrong with an unexpected day off? The two this week came at a great time. We were scheduled to go back to school from winter break on Monday; two extra days meant that school started on Wednesday, and all I had to do to adjust my schedule was to shift everything ahead two days. No problem.
I know that the idea of “snow days” is different around the United States, and around the world. I’m in central Ohio, and in the last fifteen years, schools have gotten more lax about when they call school off. Pressure from parents and actual lawsuits in the past have strong-armed superintendents into cancelling school. Our state legislator has allowed teachers to put lesson plans and assignments on the internet so that students can still complete work if there’s no school. Of course, if we get more than the allotted 8 days off, we’ll have to add more days onto the school year. But the question always comes up: should school really be cancelled?
This week, we were cancelled for the bitter cold. Although I’ve heard lots of, “We walked to school in negative 25 degrees, back in my day…”, the truth is that the cancellation this time was the safe thing to do. I don’t even know if my car will start if I go outside. I wouldn’t want small children waiting at the bus stop. There was a reason to cancel school.
I’m curious about other teachers’ opinions about school cancellation. Has your school ever been cancelled for a seemingly frivolous reason? Or has it not been cancelled when it’s needed to be? Have the students of your parents been angry, either way?
And, maybe most importantly — do you know of a fail proof ritual for bringing about a snow day? I’ve found that wearing my pajamas inside-out works, but not always. I need your information!