It was too hard for me to give up teaching entirely, so I run one elective per term. Right now I’m teaching public speaking to a group of highly energetic high school freshmen and sophomores.

Whenever I’m giving information or directions, I have slides up on the screen. It really helps my kids focus. Last week I was reminding them of an upcoming due date with the slide below.

We were, at that point, expecting a winter storm over the weekend and into this week, so I was not surprised when a student raised his hand and asked, “But what if we have snow days?” I got to experience the joy of perfect planning as I advanced to the next slide.

It was so perfect. I was so happy.

I promise, I also have a point. My school uses Google’s suite of educational tools, so all my students have gmail accounts with a school domain and access to a bunch of tools including sites and Google classroom. All of this interconnectivity allows me to create online spaces for my students much like the one we’re using here.

They were a little sad to hear that the due date wouldn’t change, but pleased when I assured them that no I would not post any additional assignments if school was cancelled and that I would be available by email and on chat to answer questions and look over drafts during school day hours. I believe that, in the future, it might be possible for schools like mine to count instruction given in this way. Not only would that mean we wouldn’t have to make up snow days in the summer, we also would be providing kids with very real experience since distance work and learning are becoming more and more common.

Also, I’m super bummed that the winter storm in the PNW seems to have completely bypassed Portland. My parents in Western Washington have almost 3 feet of snow at their house, and it even snowed in Vegas last night. I was looking forward to snuggling by the fire with my dog and practicing my hyperlinked librarian skills.

Fitz loves a good fire.

4 responses to “Serendipity

  1. I heart this. Here in Michigan schools have closed from between 15 -19 days since the winter began. Reading the paper today about the possibility make up days will take until late June, I was struck that there must not be a robust enough plan for online classes up here.

    I heart Fitz too!

    PS: we are on the 7 or 8th wave of winter storm. Oooh..I’ll make a video!

    • We have had some awful weather lately in Central NY. Many delayed openings and closings. Yesterday we had snow followed by sleet so everything shut down and then today some delayed openings due to ice overnight. It gets so tedious.

  2. @sarahtyler I also love this post and I love Fitz! What a good and sweet baaaby! I love how you turned a possible change in plans into a positive and made sure your students know you’re there to support them. Something I found to be a constant in teaching is that something always goes awry, no matter how much you plan. A fire drill, an unexpected assembly, etc. etc. Flexibility is key, and you demonstrate this wonderfully.

  3. I love the serendipity of your slides, you must have just been grinning so much when he asked his question and you got to flip to that next slide! And I remember going to school (year round – on tracks) and they very rarely called snow days, because we didn’t have time to make it up — as the next track would be coming in as we left. Distance/hyperlinked learning could be a partial solution to that.

Leave a Reply