Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Snow Days Eliminated

Being a graduate student has its ups and downs.  Some days I am so eager to become a teacher that the wait is almost unbearable.  I’m incredibly eager to get into the classroom.  On other days, I feel unprepared and almost fearful of what is to come.  It’s not that I don’t think I will be an amazing teacher; my perfectionism just gets in the way, and causes me to stress.  Stories from current teachers and my professors often help and hinder either side of these feelings. 

One of my biggest qualms is not having enough time in the day to educate my students successfully.  Not only do I want to be a thriving teacher, but let’s face it, these days our jobs are on the line if our students don’t pass certain unnamed tests.  Specials, sicknesses, assemblies and the more unexpected barriers like snow days all contribute to the uncertainties and panic.  So I ask myself, “what can teachers do to counteract these obstacles? “ As I considered this, I fell across this article from

This article is exciting!  We are learning in class how we can use technology to better our classroom.  Why don’t we use it in this way as well?  Wouldn’t it be nice for students who get sick for long periods of time, to be able to ‘log on’ and keep up with class?  What about if the entire school is out for a week because of a blizzard?  I think most of us have been there whether as a teacher or a student.  Although snow days are nice, it’s frustrating when we have to make up for them.  Of course, there are holidays or special activities that can be sacrificed to allow make-up time.  But even with these added days, it’s often still impossible to fit it all in.    

Let me back up.  In my last blog, I was infuriated that technology was going to eliminate teachers in Idaho.  This is NOT what I am looking to move towards.  But if technology can be used to enhance our schools and to help students get caught up (especially when it comes to testing years), I think this is a phenomenal idea. 

Technology has come so far in such a short amount of time.  I am sure in just a few short years; we will be able to utilize these ideas.  I only hope   that all the schools will have the resources to use them.  That is another blog altogether.  


  1. I like the idea of using technology in a positive way to help fill the gaps when a snow day occurs. As I read your blog post I thought about how each student could have a conference call with the rest of the class just like companies have meetings. But then I thought , what about those students who lack computers at home. Or what about those students who on snow days must now help around the house or take care of a sibling.
    Maybe having set assignments in place would be good so that on their own time students can finish work they were given in advance.

  2. I definitely really like this idea of using technology to help with the snow day lags. However, I think it would probably pose some problems since some families don't have access to computers or the internet, or maybe they have one computer in the house to five kids.

    This is a great theory, but I think it would require some funding so that everyone had equal access to the technology. Maybe with the support of computer/software companies, we can make this possible in the future?

  3. I know a lot of teachers who view a snow day as a unexpected gift. A day where they can catch up on their own work, or housework, or planning, or just kick back with a cup of hot chocolate in front of a warm fire and read a novel for their own pleasure.

    Students, too, see snow days as a chance to let loose. Sometimes, children who don't go outside very often, go outside when it snows. They play and laugh and roll around. They tire themselves out. For some reason, on snow days, parents don't worry so much about kidnappings and crime. It feels like a celebration.

    While I think it's an interesting idea, using technology to communicate and extend school time on snow days, I also think we'd lose something. Call me nostalgic...

  4. Personally I love my snow days and I know that a majority of kids do as well. As Joanne pointed out, snow days are a chance for children let loose and take a break from school. While I do not agree on making children have to attend school from home on snow days, I do believe that schools should have a system in place that will allow students who are sick to keep up with the school work that they are missing.

    In 2009 when the Swine Flu was going around, a school district in New Haven, CT had a record number of students out sick for extended periods of time. The school district decided that they needed to develop a program that teachers and students could use to keep students caught up with their work. All of the 240 teachers in the district were trained in how to use the program so that no one would fall behind. While I know that this is not exactly what you are suggesting, I think that it is a good first step towards using technology to prevent students from falling behind.

    Here is the link to the article: