That's a picture of the snow that I woke up to on Sunday morning. Today is Tuesday. It is Tuesday, right? I'm kinda losing my days. And this is what it looks like outside...
We have not received any additional snow since Sunday, yet it still looks exactly the same two days later. That's because the temperature has been CRAZY low, so no melting has occurred. That's supposed to change today. We are supposed to get a couple of hours of temps above freezing in order to melt some of it. We shall see how much actually melts.
I've seen a lot of unhappiness surrounding this bout of snow and additional snow days. Mainly because it will affect how late we get out of school in May. Or June, as some people are predicting.
The way I look at it, I'll be teaching summer school the entire month of June so it's not like I was going to get any summer break until July anyway. So, I really have nothing to worry about. The worst that's going to happen is that I won't get a week off between school getting out and summer school starting. Which may be ideal, because after having a week off, it kind of lowers the motivation level to go back for another month.
What I don't get is that people are so OK with being off for three months in the summer, but extend Christmas break (which is two weeks) by a few days and we're on the verge of anarchy.
Yes, I understand that it's easier to find stuff to do in the summer when the weather is nice, and the kids aren't cooped up indoors. But what happens when we are dealing with temperatures near and over a hundred and people are urging us to stay indoors due to extreme heat? It's not that much different.
I know that last summer, by mid July, we were rationing our time in the pool to early mornings or early evenings and avoiding the midday sun. It was just too hot. If we were outside for more than an hour, we were taking the risk of sunburn and heat exhaustion. Jelly could go outside and ride her bike during those same hours, but there was no way I was letting her out when it was 100 degrees outside. Instead, we were looking for stuff to do indoors, in the air conditioning, away from the heat.
The same thing goes for being in school. Had we been in school these past couple of days, we wouldn't have let the kids out at recess. The temperature was WAY too low for them to go outside. So, we would have been trying to get kids to concentrate while the sun is shining, telling them that they have to ignore the sun, it's too cold to play. The same way we tell them to ignore the sun in August, because it's too hot to play outside.
I, for one, am not complaining about our extra days at home. Any additional time that I get to spend with my family makes me happy. And feel free to quote me as we draw near to summer break and I'm complaining about not getting out as early as we should due to making up snow days.
But, any complaining coming out of my mouth won't be because the snow days "ruined" my summer. It will be me complaining that it's time to spend time with my family. Because that's what it's all about for me. I'm either home in January, or home in May (or July, because like I said..summer school).
I know that these snow days are going to now make us give up any days off we had scheduled in February, maybe even all the days we had off in March. If the weather patterns continue, we may be sacrificing the days off in April, too. But, after ten snow days, the state forgives any additional. So there's no way we'll be going to school well in to July to make up ALL the days off. That won't happen. Today is day seven, meaning after three more snow days the rest is forgiven and doesn't have to be made up.
If any complaining should take place it should be about the time the kids are missing out on their education. I'll take a second to do some complaining about that.
With all these snow days, the kids are missing out on their learning. Making up snow days at the end of the school year does us absolutely no good, because all of the state testing is done in March/April.. so the tests are long gone by the time we add on those additional days.
So, while I'm rejoicing about having a few extra days home... I'm also panicking on the inside about how we're going to get in everything the kids have to learn by the end of the year... or by state testing.
While I shouldn't be spending too much time worrying about those state tests, I have to. Because the kids are going to be tested on what they know, or should know. We're being tested on how the kids retained the information and how they can apply it. Well, if they don't get the chance to learn the stuff they're supposed to know.. how do they pass that test?
I'll tell you how.
By the teachers going back to work and going in to double time mode. We'll have to pull out every trick in the book to do what we can to expose the kids and teach them the content they need in order to be successful in the next grade. Because, at the end of the day, I'm not really that worried about the test... it's more about sending my kids on to 5th grade with the tools they need to succeed. There's a reason why we have standards and stuff. It's the content the kids are supposed to learn in 4th grade. If I'm sending them to 5th grade with a few holes, those holes could very well affect the rest of their schooling. Holes and gaps are very hard to fill, especially when there's a whole grade level of content that also has to be taught.
OK, rant over. I feel better now that I took some time to complain about the snow days. I didn't want to feel left out, or that I'm a giant, annoying ray of sunshine that everyone can't stand hearing from because all I bluster out is positivity and goodness.
Like one of my very good friends pointed out the other day... I can sit behind this computer playing Mom of the Year, but people actually know the real me. And one thing they do know is that I'm not all rainbows and sunshine 100% of the time. I like to whine and moan with the best of them. Might as well find something to whine and moan about.... even though on the inside I'm perfectly happy with another day off.
Like I've said a thousand times... I LOVE MY JOB. I really do. It's the best job, hands down, on the planet. I love teaching. I love building relationships with students. I love "a-ha moments". I love finding creative and new ways to teach. I love my students. I love the people I work with.
But, there's one thing I love more than all of that. My family.
How could I complain about being home with them?
Now, I will say that pretty soon, I know that I will have three kids who are ripping their hair out because they are ready to go back to school. Two and a half weeks is quite enough for them. They've had enough time to try out all their fancy new toys from Christmas. They've enjoyed spending time at Grandma's house, playing PS3 online with their friends, watching movies, playing board games with me, and they will be ready to head back and hear all about their friends' Christmases.
And, when that time comes, I'll be ready right along with them. We all know when enough is enough... but I let them make that call. While they're not complaining, I'm not complaining.
And so far? No complaining.
Which is weird. But, like I said... fancy new toys, stuff to do, all that jazz.
OK, I'm done rambling. I need to go and check the mail and see if I can make it up there without falling on my behind from the ice.