The Chill Factor

While there’s no better feeling as a student than a snow day, for teachers it may not be the same case. Lesson planning is one of the most crucial parts of teaching, but snow days can make consistent learning difficult. While the pandemic has made it easier for teachers to adjust to a wrench thrown in plans, it can still be hard to get students to dial back into their school work.

“When we have multiple snow days like this month, we lose the rhythm of the routine,” math teacher Molly Fast said. “I think it’s harder for students to focus and get back in “school mode” when we have so many disruptions to the schedule.”

Snow days however have been made easier by the pandemic. Teachers are so used to having to adjust their schedules on a moment’s notice.

“The pandemic reframed my thinking about lesson planning and pushed me to create setlists of activities that students can navigate and complete,” English teacher Travis Gatewood said. “It allows for flexibility when dealing with schedule adjustments.”

Teachers also try to plan ahead as much as possible when a snow day could be on the horizon.

“At the end of every day, I take home my MacBook, charger, and lesson planner. If we have a snow day, I’m able to make any adjustments I need from home,” english teacher Alison Laramore said.

When it comes to rescheduling lesson plans many teachers try to focus on lessons that are most important and will help to meet priority standards, but what if these lesson plans involve a test?

“Snow days are only an issue with planning when I have tests scheduled. For example, I had an Algebra 2 test scheduled for Thursday last week. Now since we have the 6-day weekend, I don’t feel comfortable testing on the day we return. It makes me feel like I’m getting behind with the curriculum,” Fast said.

While there are many so-called “side effects” of snow days, many teachers still enjoy a day or two off to relax.

“A snow day is a free day of life. I typically balance it by catching up on work and spending time with the family,” Gatewood said. “It provides a great reset in the middle of the winter.”