Snow Day!

The snow day is one of the true gifts of being a teacher.

Mister S and I do a lot of writing in this blog where we push back at certain parts of our teacher world. We do that push back because of how much teaching and our students matter to us. We want the greater system to do well by our students, so we speak up when we see things that go in a different direction.

But this post today is about gratitude.

Of course there are plenty of other people who are not teachers or students who are at home today watching the snow fly, but there are also lots of people who need to still get themselves to work regardless of the 14 inches (and counting) of snow on the ground this morning. And I thank those people for braving the snow and keeping our community running despite the snow.

I love my job–I truly do. But these surprise days off are nothing short of magical.

And for it to come when I’m dealing with the first cold I’ve had this whole school year? The universe is telling me to rest and get better today.

And for it to fall on a Friday to give us a three-day weekend? Bliss.

Even though our school district didn’t call the snow day last evening when every other neighboring district did, and even though we finally did get the call at an uncivilized 4:23 a.m., I am nothing but grateful for the gift of a quiet day where I have the luxury of time to do things like write about snow days.

I do have a few work-related things I want to take care of today, but there’s a whole lot of relaxing I plan to do too. My daughter is singing as she becomes lost in her imagination this morning–some sort of drama going on among her plastic animals. My husband just headed out to the grocery store on cross-country skis with a huge smile on his face. The flakes are big and fluffy. We are safe and warm.

One thing that’s fun about snow days is the anticipation. The school was all atwitter yesterday. Of course I was encouraging that by starting each class with the weather report: I showed the class the national weather service forecast page and we looked at the winter storm warning together and the projected snow totals. When an update to the forecast raised those projected snow totals during lunch, I went down the hall to tell my colleagues.

And I’m remembering when one of my classes of seniors in Illinois asked for five minutes to run outside to do a snow dance before we started class. So off they went and I smiled as I watched them from my classroom window, all dancing and wiggling in a circle around one student in the center who shimmied with his hands in the air. They came back in with rosy cheeks and smiles on their faces having spent a bit of the distracting energy that they brought into the classroom with them that day. We had a good class that day (and then next day since their snow dance didn’t actually work).

Which is how it usually turns out. I’m perennially hopeful when the forecast shows any possibility of a snow day–but most of the time it doesn’t pan out.

But today it did, and I am full of gratitude.

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