(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)
The other day, we had our first Snow Day of the school year. Leading up to it, there had been plenty of discussions among administrators and chatter among students about whether we would have a “no school” day when the storm arrived, because we had just gone full remote, working from home, due to a sharp rise in virus infections. Many other school districts (like my son’s) were already full remote and any snow day would still be a school day, from home, because it would not matter the condition of the roadways.
Our superintendent, for various reasons (including the sheer size and rural nature of some parts of our district), however, went the way of traditional Snow Day, and so we had the day off. The next morning was the most animated morning of stories from my students that I have witnessed on Zoom in quite some time. I couldn’t hold them back. I didn’t.
There were tales of sledding, of building jumps on hills, of crashes, of trying to construct snow forts, of shoveling, of snow fights, of jumping off back decks into piles of snow, of pets in the first big snow of the year. Their faces were lit up with the memory of going outside to play (safely, I kept hoping).
I shared about our puppy’s first energetic forays into the snow that morning of the storm, and how she leaped and ran and tunneled through the snow with pure rush and abandon.
This first Snow Day was a mental and emotional break, one that perhaps all of us needed, as we grapple with the demands and limitations of teaching and learning through Zoom and Google Classroom and other platforms that engage us, but keep us removed from the world each school day, too.
We need more opportunities for them to be kids.
Peace (and play),