In spite of the fact that I would rather have sunshine and rising temperatures, I was so delighted to have a snow day today. After I received the call, I informed the two teenagers in my house who happily grunted. Then, I gleefully jumped back into bed. After a brief doze, I got up and ate waffles.
Let's read the paper! Do you want to play Wii? Can we go sledding?
Had today been a normal Tuesday, I would not have had these options. Part of me felt guilty for saying yes to all of the above. And for making hot chocolate, taking a brisk walk through the neighborhood and watching TV. The truth is, I had lots to do. The reporting cycle ends soon, I am working to tweak the school schedule with a committee and the summer program I run needs some attention.
The guilt eventually gave way to productivity. I had intermittent fun all day - which allowed my brain to just take off. I saw new solutions, got new ideas and, in the end, had a productive day.
I spent a lot of time wondering if the snow day had a similar impact on my students. Will they show up tomorrow feeling better rested with the brains filled with new ideas? Did they pursue some personal learning? Take a walk? Eat waffles? Have fun?
I hope so.
The nerdy teacher in me would once have complained about a snow day. After all, there are always things to learn and do at school. But today, that same nerdy teacher learned that learning and productivity can take many forms. A chat with your mom, a new level attained on the video game, and solution for an old problem can lead to really important learning. That kind of productivity can really only come from a well-spent snow day.