There are several days during the school year that can be considered exciting and important, but one definitely tops them all.
The first day of school, homecoming, Thanksgiving break, open house, parent-teacher conferences, Christmas break, field trips, guest speakers, end of the year picnics, and graduation should all get consideration as the best day of the school year.
Students would probably add birthday parties and that most sacred of days; the one where they walk into class and who is standing there… none other than a substitute teacher.
They usually like their regular teacher, but it is a special feeling when they walk into the classroom and see a sub (it can only be compared to watching the birth of your first child).
The difference between a regular classroom teacher and a substitute is quite similar to the difference between like and love.
But these examples of great days pale in comparison to what can easily be considered the grandest day of the school year.
The SNOW DAY. A day so special that it must be typed in all caps (twice…SNOW DAY… there are more to come).
If you live in the part of the country (or with our new friends in Canada) that gets to experience the SNOW DAY, you should consider yourself an extremely lucky student, teacher, staff member, or administrator.
But if you live in part of the country that is well prepared for 14 inches of snow each winter day, or even worse, in a part that doesn’t get any snow- I pity you.
Unfortunately, if you are a parent you may not be the biggest fan of the SNOW DAY. In fact, you may want to put this blog in the “I hate the cold, the snow, and I can’t believe my children aren’t going to school today” file.
In my humble estimation, the SNOW DAY is a beautiful thing and should be treated with admiration and the respect we usually reserve for Kings, Mother Teresa, Oprah (for the ladies), Elvis, Kramer from Seinfeld, Ferris Bueller, and Bob Barker.
As an angry middle-aged administrator, I can never admit my true love for the SNOW DAY when I am out in public. I can’t show any emotion that may allow the students and staff to think that I am a regular human being with feelings, hopes, or dreams.
Because of this, I take the party line when students ask about the SNOW DAY.
My patented answers if I am asked about the SNOW DAY or getting out of school early because of inclement weather includes the following:
“No, we are not getting out early. Nine inches of snow is not that big of a deal.”
“We don’t want to get out early or have a SNOW DAY because we need to prepare for state testing.”
“I would rather go to school today than use a SNOW DAY. I don’t want to add another day to the end of the year when it will be 87 degrees and sunny.”
“If we get snowed in here at school for the next 48 hours, that is just an opportunity for more learning to take place.”
In reality, there is nothing better than getting that phone call at 6:00 a.m. that tells you, “Don’t come into work today, there is too much snow on the roads and it isn’t safe. Stay in your house and watch Regis and Kelly (mainly Kelly… that is for the gentleman).”
This special day doesn’t happen to doctors, lawyers, or members of the military.
The SNOW DAY is purely an educational thing. How sweet it is.
Actually, the only thing better than getting the call is making the call.
If someone had told me as a 12 year old junior high boy that I would one day grow up and be in charge of cancelling school because of bad weather, I wouldn’t have believed it.
The power. The prestige. The power. Did I mention the power.
It makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck just thinking about it. The ability to cancel school and let an entire school district of students and staff sleep in… what an honor it is (I can assure that while power hungry, I am respectful of this ability and try not to abuse it).
Who wants to be an engineer, or the President (although I was, briefly, with an elementary class), or professional athlete, or even the Pope (although I wouldn’t mind being Regis… other than the fact that he is 102 years old… actually Kelly’s husband might be better)?
Sure these professions and people make more money, but they aren’t the caretaker of the Emergency Phone Tree.
A single call sets the Phone Tree into action. And once it is started there is no going back.
School is cancelled.
As a professional educator, I should be disappointed in the fact that a day of learning is lost… but I am not.
What an honor and privilege it is to be a school administrator when the weatherman says, “Looks like we could get quite a storm tonight, please tune in to the Early News to see if there are any school cancellations.”
Who says the dreams of a 12 year-old boy don’t come true?
I am going back to bed. School is called off. Thanks SNOW DAY.