The rumors. The early morning texts. The DRAMA. Here, a peek at the emotions teachers feel EVERY time there may (or may not) be a snow day.
Stage 1: Anticipation
It begins with a whisper: It’s supposed to snow this week. Speculation abounds: With these winds, the busses won’t be able to run. Soon, students can’t stop talking about it: Will we be out of school? In the blink of an eye, teachers all over the state obsessively check the weather, and workroom chatter turns into amateur meteorology sessions. A buzz runs through the halls as everyone wonders: Will they or won’t they?
Stage 2: Impatience
As the forecast becomes more obvious, anticipation turns into impatience. The teacher-meteorologists wonder why on earth the powers-that-be cannot see what is crystal clear to everyone else: School cancellation is inevitable. Don’t they remember that time students and faculty were stuck during Snowpocalypse in 2011 or the Blizzard of 1993 or all of the great floods that have occurred since Gilgamesh? You spend this phase obsessively checking your phone, social media, and news channels for that official announcement. Come on, now. Call it!
Stage 3: Relief
When the official announcement of closure finally comes, you (mostly) celebrate. No students to complain that their anticipation was for nothing. No being torn between safely getting your own children to and from school or just letting them stay home while you brave the weather. And, of course, an unanticipated bonus day to recuperate from the stresses of the classroom. ?
Stage 4: Reality Check
Turning off that alarm clock is the best part of the snow day, but often the relief is short-lived. Adjusting lesson plans and catching up on grading (if you remembered to bring it home) punctuates the day(s) “off.” Cap that off with attempting to keep your own children from going stir-crazy, and you may begin to wonder why snow days come as a relief at all—especially if the blizzard turns out to be a dusting or the tropical storm subsides before it gets to you.
Stage 5: Back at It Again
Coming back from a snow day combines the feelings of a typical, mid-semester Monday and the first day back from an extended vacation. First, you’ll have to remind the students of long-established rituals and routines. You’ll quiet riled-up kids chattering about the things they did and saw. Much reteaching will take place, since a snow day, like a neuralyzer, erases students’ minds.
And, then, speculation begins again: Will you have to make up the time you missed? And if so, when?
What snow day emotions did we miss? Let us know in the comments.