Thoughts: Snow Day Guilt

We are all supposed to love snow days.  I love them.  I love the excitement and the anticipation.  I love the “day off” from work.

I take the “day off” and only do school work for 3-4 hours instead of my usual 7 hours teaching, 2 hours I spend at school, and the 3+ hours after school I spend on my computer or grading.  I try to get work done around my house or for school so that maybe, just maybe, I will have less to do over the weekend and can have a life.

At this point in the year, my school district has had 8 days off due to weather.  I’ve gotten really used to not working a full 5 day week in 2013.  It has allowed me time to make some really great activities and get prepared for upcoming lessons.  This irregular schedule has also been a mess for kids and frustrating to plan for.  Our end of year tests have not been moved, so there just feels like less and less time to get to all of the material.  So then I don’t get to do all the activities and fun things I’d like to do and have spent time planning.  It’s a vicious cycle of emotions. This is all just how the snow days affect me in my little life.

I actually feel quite a bit of guilt about how I enjoy my snow days, beg for them, and then resent them because they mess up my plans.

I feel guilty because when my students (and my family) haven’t had power, lost groceries, and felt uncomfortable due to a lack of heat, I am hanging on my couch with my iPhone 5 next to me, iPad on the coffee table, and AppleTV catching me up on my favorite missed shows. Did I mention I am warm? And that I’ve got a kitchen full of food ready to make and eat?  But, that is just luck. My power could have gone out just as easily as others and I could have just as easily been miserable.  That is not where my real guilt lies.

My real guilt lies with the kids who are ALWAYS a little bit cold and are grateful for a warm school to warm them up 7 hours a day.

My real guilt lies with the kids who DEPEND on the school for their breakfast and lunch each day, and on days with no school (this includes weekends, breaks, and summer) are hungry.

My real guilt lies with these kids.  So as people are on social media sites begging for school to be cancelled because they are bored without power, can’t do their homework because their internet doesn’t work, and haven’t showered in a day, I just want them to know they should be grateful.  Grateful that they have things to occupy their time when they are bored.  Grateful that they have internet to do their homework.  Grateful that they are used to showering regularly.

I can’t pretend like my reasons for wanting school cancelled are anything but selfish and petty.  I don’t want school tomorrow because it just seems like it is going to be excruciatingly painful teaching on a Friday, with a 2-hr delay, after 2 days off, with 50 minute classes. I don’t want school tomorrow because I made a disaster of the spare room at my house doing crafts, and I want to finish them and clean up.

Now I feel even more guilty.  I should be grateful.  I’ve got a job to go to!  I’ve got amazing kids who I enjoy seeing each day because they make me happy!  I’ve got a spare room at my house! I have extra money to buy things to craft!

As I head to bed, I feel guilty… I know if I get a call saying that school is cancelled, my first reaction will be pure joy.

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