Is One of The Perks of Being a Teacher Gone Forever?

There was nothing like getting that email at 5:30 in the morning:

“NOVA ALERT – Due to weather Villanova University will be closed March 1st.”

That email offered the opportunity to either go back to sleep or get up and enjoy a nice leisurely morning, drinking a cup of coffee and watching it snow.

I am sure the students were just as excited.

It was something I had come to expect during our Spring semester; classes were going to be canceled at least once because of snow or ice.

I know when I was in grade school, I would sit and listen to the radio as they read off the school closings. There were not many things better in life than hearing your school number called.

And I have to admit, it was still just as exciting when I was 60 as when I was 10.

But those days are likely over, and we can thank/blame technology.

With the advent of tools like Zoom, there is nothing to stop classes from being held no matter what the weather is like.

Public schools in New York City and Omaha, among many others, have announced that there would be no snow days.

University of Missouri and Assumption University in Worcester, Mass have also made the decision to get rid of snow days.

I guess the only thing that might prevent classes from taking place as a result of a snowstorm would be a power outage to go with it.

But that would kind of put a damper on the snow day.

How would I be able to watch reruns of the Beverly Hillbillies?

sources:

New York TImes

The Atlantic

KSDK

Inside Higher Ed

*image from The Villanovan

91 thoughts on “Is One of The Perks of Being a Teacher Gone Forever?

  1. Such a terrible thought, no more snow days!😳 That always was a very important time in school, though up here it really didn’t happen too often. It took a lot to close schools, happened more for cold than for snow. Still the same idea though.😀😺

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know! We had a snow day recently -but it WASN’T, like you said. Instead, the message said the day was ‘a home-learning day.’

    … we still went out and played in the snow and missed the Zoom meetings.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. No more snow days is going to put a chill down the spines of a lot of kids. But I’ll bet there are lots of ways kids can goof off while pretending to be paying attention to a Zoom class. So maybe Zoom days won’t be so bad after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No more snow days – bummer. You could get a generator to watch TV. I’ve been thinking about it because there are two to three outages every year in my neighborhood. It is very frustrating because the houses behind me are never out of power. ☹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. we looked into getting a generator a few years ago, and decided not to get one, and roll the dice. Although I must admit to being jealous when our power goes out and I can hear our neighbors generator kicking in…

      so far, the decision has been a good one…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. yes, such days have always been one of the highlights of being both a student and a teacher. It’s a shame that future generations may have ni concept of what a snow day is…

      Like

  5. When we moved to Kansas, the high school our boys attended laughed at my wife when she asked about cancellation during our first snowfall there. They would cancel for excessive heat, though, at the beginning and end of the school year because they had no air conditioning back then.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Snow days are a must. It rarely snows where I live, so it was a real celebration. Even more unlikely were the times the snow stuck. One day, we were the only open school in the county. The public roasted the superintendent like she was abusing children for that move. Given the rarity, most parents opted to allow their kids to stay home that day. I remember having seven very resentful kids show up that day. I took them outside, and we played in the snow for the first hour.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I can’t remember anyone intentionally staying home. I recall a couple of people who lived at higher elevations and couldn’t get to work.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. i sooooooo get this! as for now, my school still has them in place and i have my fingers crossed to have a message from a robot on my phone, each winter/early spring morning when i wake. one of the best feelings ever! p.s. the kids love it too

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think a lot of perks have gone now in life. 😕 We get so little snow here I like to embrace it when we get it! 😊 As I’ve always loved snow. ❄️❄️❄️ I’ve not used Zoom yet. 🤔 It’s therapeutic to watch the snow fall. Technology is certainly a double edged sword. Hard to escape it nowadays.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gettysburg school system has abolished snow days as well. Still, they have a set number of days in the year, so the kids don’t miss out on days off, they just have more planned holidays… and no extra days in June. Working at a library, we close rather quickly. But in past years it’s always been tied to the school closings so I’m not really sure how we know if we close now. For me, if I can get in, I do, if not, I stay home. But you’re right, nothing is more relaxing than sitting on my couch with a cup of coffee watching the snow pile up. Brings out the kid in me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I guess it was the unexpected nature of a snow day that made it special.

      that will be interesting to see how the library decides to close since it used to be tied to the school closing.

      I’ve always told my students that they never had to worry about whether I could make it into school if there was a snowstorm, since I live within walking distance. I’m not sure they were happy to hear that… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right, but you could listen to that on a long walk. There are times when I’ve had an agitating day at work, I think a 30 minute commute might have done me good, but those days are few and far between.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. A far cry from the days of my childhood when many didn’t even have a phone, so the messages about school were passed around door to door! It was always fun to stay home, though. By the way, did you have to pose a long time for that photo?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, there was a well-practised system in place. We used to get much more snow in those days, and our village was often cut off for a day or Yao. Fortunately, school was in the next village!

        Glad to hear you survived…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think we used to get more snow when I was younger as well.

        I remember we were in London in the winter of 2018 when a freak snow storm hit the UK, and London actually got some snowfall. It was fun seeing kids get so excited by the snow while walking along the Southbank…

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I liked the days off but wasn’t a huge fan of snow days. I was in the mornings – when we would just watch it fall, but once my sisters got the urge to go be stupid in the white death it was me that got chased out to make sure they didn’t fall on their faces. But once they grew bored and I was allowed back inside and my body came back from the brink of snapping to bits, I loved the snow day once again!

    The only good thing about Zoom and the like is that they’re not going to start it earlier than usual. So if you have to get up at 5 am to make it to the school bus by 6:15 am, and then you’re trapped on the bus until 7:00 and school doesn’t start until 7:30, you can literally go back to sleep for that hour, or take that extra leisurely morning just watching it snow for an extra hour and a half. Also, you don’t even have to wear pants. It’s like school pajama day.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t mind the cold as a kid that much either – on my time-table though. When I got cold, I wanted to come in. Being the oldest meant that I got cold and had to stay cold and get colder as my sisters got to play about until they got cold. That is where the fun stopped. Even worse, when my mother wanted me to not only babysit them outside but also dig the cars out. Ugh… no no no no

        I like snow days as a grown up better LOL I never get them because I’m almost always considered essential, but I still prefer them

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Jim, I hope technology doesn’t drop the final curtain on snow days. Funny thing, I taught 30 years in Montana and our number of snow days is probably less than the number experienced while teaching 9 years in Columbus, Ohio.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, nooooo!!!! And it gets worse here; my preschool follows the public school snow day closings. Public schools are considering (heaven forbid) to switching to remote learning on snow days. It’s bad enough for elementary kids who need to go sledding and build snowmen (okay…snow people), and for high schoolers who desperately need to sleep in, but preschoolers? We were remote during Covid (Zoom is not a child’s best friend) and had to send newsletters to families about what they can do at home (don’t ever want to return to that), so if we do remote learning on snow days, that will be #1 awful, and #2 fundamentally wrong for preschoolers. They need to play in the snow!

    We’re on the same page, here. Obviously no one who makes these decisions asks a teacher!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Me, too! I love Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia. The scarves at Waldorf are the best. Well, I could go on and on. Does your wife teach at a Waldorf school? Our state guidelines require technology in the classroom, and I have as little as possible.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am not familiar with Reggio; I’ll have to ask my wife about that one.

        My wife does not teach at a Waldorf – they seem to be few and far between. But here school does not place as much emphasis on academics as some other schools around here. The focus seems to be more on play and social skills…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I understand, Jim. Does she have to write newsletters to parents? When mine included why we do what we do, the newsletters became lengthy, and that was the trigger for me to start a blog.

        I would love to look up her school (and know her name🙂 ). Mine is Groton Community School in Groton, MA.

        P.S. I think she will enjoy tomorrow’s post about a student. You will too.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. she does write a weekly newsletter to the parents; that’s a good idea!

        her name is Mary, and her school is St. Davids Nursery School in St. Davids, PA

        and thanks for a bit of a preview of tomorrow’s post!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. We had such snow days in Romania too as I grew up 🙂
    Didn’t happen every winter, but I still remember it happening and how excited I was!

    I have to admit that as a parent of kids heading off to university I was relieved these past years that Zoom meetings did exist. There’s nothing worst than knowing that your kid missed valuable educational time ahead of final year exams – when those grades can open or close study opportunities for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh man, I remember snow days back when I was a kid – those were the BEST!!! Now, I can catch the same feeling when I have a day off and Char has to go to daycare!!! LOL hahaha but then the reverse sometimes happens (I am off and she happens to get sick and is off with me)… then it becomes double the work for me!!!

    I guess that was a downside to zoom I never thought too much about- the inability to shut off…. *sigh

    Liked by 1 person

  16. So funny! You brought back great memories of snow days. I did the same thing! Central California had no snow days and very few foggy days either. But now… I hadn’t given it any thought, but I’m sure there are no excuses left. Everyone knows how to zoom – even us teachers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I never had a snow day. I remember walking to school in waist-high snow. During my later years when I took a bus, I remember all those times when I waited for the bus in a snowstorm. No one seemed to care. Whatever doesn’t kill you…

    I do understand what you mean and it is kind of sad that there will be no ‘out.’ Does that mean that sick kids will be expected to join the class via zoom? No more peers stopping by with notes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you must have grown up in snow country…

      I’ve thought the same thing about sick kids having to zoom, or even sick office workers having to work from home.

      I think rest is a key part of the healing process, and these approaches don’t seem to offer much in that regard.

      Liked by 1 person

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