Today was supposed to be an out-of-the-house day with a trip on the ferry to Williamsburg. But, snow cancelled all that including meeting online as my colleagues on the other side of the river did not have power. We were fortunate in that way but I’m not sure how long it will be before we can get down our long muddy driveway.
I did a bit of work, but then decided that the rest of it could wait. I took a snow day. I’m working on a miniature green house that will be a gift for my sister, an avid gardener. I have not done doll house work before, but I like putting things together. The miniature work is challenging, and I’ve learned not to fuss too much. No one will be examining it too closely.
The joy of a snow day is the spontaneity. The day to day routine gets disrupted, and life slows in a satisfying way. I am supportive of schools who are implementing digital learning so snow days are seen as learning days and not something that needs to be “made up,” but I hope the snow day learning is as personal as possible. Encourage kids to do something they enjoy doing and then reflect a bit about what they experienced and learned as they engaged in that activity. Stop feeling as though we have to fill their time, give them the gift of just doing something for the joy of it.
I am a teacher of teachers, having spent time in both undergraduate and graduate classrooms at several Virginia universities. I teach online and face to face and recently wrote about my preference for face to face experiences.
I have been able to keep up with some of my students through social media but, as with most teachers, it can be hard to keep track of many students as they head into the world. So, one of the pleasant surprises at the conference this year were the former students who came up to say hello and let me know the influence my class had on their work.
And, I had the added pleasure of sitting next to a current student during Sarah Thomas’s digital equity session. He teaches in the underserved county where I live, and we have connected over this shared understanding of the real impact of the digital divide.
He spoke eloquently about how the lack of connectivity impacts expectations about out-of-school learning and the importance of working towards equity for his students. I felt a little pang of joy that I was able to nurture this leader as he moved into the next steps of his career.
Teaching is a “side gig” for me but it informs my other work in powerful ways as I think hard about the skills and dispositions my students will need to work and lead in the future.