So, today is Day 4 of this week's bout of snow days, and I think that puts us up to day 15 all together.. maybe day 16. To be honest, I've kinda lost count. This winter sure has done a number on us. I guess it goes with the old saying "be careful what you wish for". Last year, we didn't have any snow days.. well, maybe one, and there were a lot of teachers that were hankering for a snow day or two this year. But, well, urm... we didn't expect this.
I spent some time, yesterday, using the power of Facebook to communicate with my grade level team so that we could start working on a game plan for when we do finally go back. It goes to show that not all teachers are sitting at home enjoying the high life. HA! We are actually deeply concerned how we are going to take the best route to maximize learning and skill coverage with the loss of three instructional weeks.
We figured out what we're going to do when we go back, and our consensus was that we are going to sit down when we do get back and map out the rest of the year. It means throwing our usual pacing guide to the wind (which of course, kinda happened a while ago being that we are now three weeks behind said pacing guide), and focusing on the core skills our kiddos MUST master in 4th grade. While all the standards are important, there are some areas we can combine and skim over in order to really dive in to certain areas that we can't just "introduce" or fly through.
And I just want to say that I know I raised a few eyebrows yesterday with my blog rant. I received some good feedback, but I also received some disagreement with my thinking. That's fine. I totally respect that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
My point, yesterday, wasn't to try and make teachers out to be martyrs to their profession. I think some people think that I went in the opposite extreme of the beginning intentions, starting out with trying to explain away some of the negativity that had been directed towards teachers from parents and turning it in to a situation where ALL parents hate teachers and schools. Or making it sound like parents don't care about their kids if they were against making up snow days on spring break.
That wasn't my point.
I wasn't trying to put a shining light on to how bad teachers really have it when it comes to parent support, or how much their hands are tied by the government. I'm not some kind of anti-government megaphone that wants to "rally up the troops" to showcase how schools are being corrupted and ran with only testing and government mandates in mind. That's not really how it is. Sure, we have laws and mandates we have to follow, but what company or profession doesn't?
But, in the heat of the moment, I know that's how some of my rant sounded.
In fact, the actual point I was trying to stick to was the need for making up lost instructional time. Not because of cramming stuff in for testing. Not because kids don't have near as much time in school as it is. But simply because every day at school is important, and the kids need the time they have. When that time is cut short by three weeks, they are the ones that suffer. Not the parents. Not the teachers. Not even the schools. The kids. They lose out. Regardless of how many parents look at school as "punishment". Regardless of how much teachers stress about what they need to now focus on. Just the kids. They miss out on learning, socially interacting, and being in for a few days and then out for a week, back for a week, and then out for a week does TERRIBLE things to a child's learning ability.
Don't worry, I'm not going to go on another tirade. Just wanted to try and clear that up.
Do I think teachers often get a bad rap? Sure. Do I think that I look at the situation a little one-sided? Of course. But are my motives and intentions focused on anything but the kids? Absolutely not.
I saw a lot of arguments I hadn't considered before my post, yesterday. Parents that were worried taking away spring break would prevent split parents from receiving time with the other parent, because custody regulations dictated that spring break was a visitation time for non-custodial parents. Parents who had scheduled college visits for their children over spring break. Two situations where I can't argue are very important.
At the end of the day, there's nothing I can really do but sit back, wait for further instructions, and then plan my attack with the given instructions.
My ranting and raving won't settle the argument, won't help the situation, and won't change the thoughts and opinions of the few parents that are fixated on schools being some kind of unnecessary evil thrown in to their lives to cause nothing more than disruption and problems.
What I just need to do is worry about myself, my kiddos, and how the rest of the year will play out.
I'm not going to lie, I have enjoyed all of these snow days off. Getting extra time with my family is always a bonus. My kids have kept themselves occupied, and have spent a good deal of time watching TV and playing video games. I've spent a good deal of time on the couch watching Netflix and enjoying some crocheting time.
Are we all ready to go back, though? Yes. We are.
Will we complain if we have another snow day tomorrow? Probably not.
Our household has just become acclimated with rolling with the punches. We're happy if we get to go back to school, we're happy if we get to stay home. We make the most of being home, because we have no say in the matter. But, know that it's going to be all hands on deck once we get back... and there won't be near as much time available for all this "down time".
Well, except for Peanut. She is done with a capital DONE. She wants to see her friends, she's stressed about how far behind her Algebra class will be, and how much work that will entail trying to catch up. She's worried about the formal dance that's currently scheduled for next Friday, and whether or not all these snow days will impact that. She's worried about getting in everything she needs to get in before "graduating" from 8th grade and moving on to high school.
Gotta love her. Reminds me of me when I was her age. Snow days were the WORST!!
I am just trying to push all my stress and concern down, and figure that I have always been good at making the best out of a bad situation...and that's what I'll do. There's always a bandwagon to jump on. Death to snow days!! Yay for snow days!! Death to make up days!! Yay for make up days!! Death to trying to figure out how to make up for lost time! Yay for... well... urm... how about YAY for trying my very best and proving that I can still get the job done when the going gets tough?
I just figure I need to stay off any bandwagons. Just sit right in the middle. Can't change how the weather plays out. Can't change how many days we're off. So, enjoy it while there's something to enjoy, and take care of the rest once it's over.
But, right now, I'm going to turn Netflix back on, get out my crocheting again, and wait for my marching orders that will either come in a form of a phone call this evening, or with no phone call that silently means "Get ready!! We're going back!!".
Have a great Thursday, and stay warm!!