In the past few weeks, we have had over 10 snow days, half days, and two-hour delays. Everyone loves a good snow day, but not 10!
I have got to admit, it is nice sleeping until noon, drinking hot cocoa, and having snowball fights with siblings, but 10 days at home will make you go stir crazy!
But how does all that time off affect students’ learning, social life, and lifestyle?
I talked to fifth-grade teacher Mandy Thiel to get her point of view on this topic. She thinks that all the snow days interrupt regular school day routines, as well as students forgetting the expectations, or rules. Also, the days off stretches the teaching units, and one unit turns out to be three weeks.
Harvard Kennedy School Assistant Professor Joshua Goodman conducted a study about how the snow days are affecting the students. Goodman said that the snow days do not affect the students too much. He finds keeping a school open during a storm is more detrimental to learning than a closure.
“With slack in the schedule, the time lost to closure can be regained,” states Goodman.
The WCPO TV news team think superintendents are too fast to call off school.
“Back in the old days, we walked to school in 20-foot-high snow drifts,” the WCPO team said.
With kids having so many days off school and seeing their siblings the whole day, I personally believe that kids need to see their friends. I get super grumpy and antsy when I am with my brothers all day.
It is important for kids to interact with their friends regularly because:
1. Friends are the number one people that kids can talk to if they are struggling with something because, for most kids, especially teens, it is hard for kids to talk to their parents.
2. Some, not all but some, kids do not have siblings to play with when there are snow days, or their parents are at work So they count on their friends to be their “siblings.”
The worst thing about snow days is adding more school days to summer. It prevents kids from getting the vacation time, or going to summer camps so they can experience new things and make new friends. Instead you are sitting in the same old room with the same old friends (not that the friends are bad!), and the same old teachers (not that the teachers are old!).
Mandy said she believes that at the end of May the students brains shut down, and the kids just about go insane. Also, she assumes that learning is not as affective, and the kids just won’t listen that long into summer.
Finally, here are a few things that Mandy recommends you do to learn while on snow days. One way is just read. Your brain will benefit so much from just reading.
Another way to learn at home is study your spelling words. If you don’t have access to them, practice words that you can find on the internet.
Also, you can continue your monthly book reports. Finally, you can just do something other than watch TV, something productive.
Snow days impacted a lot of kids, including me. Like I said earlier, I enjoy a nice day or two off school, but I hope the weather gets better. I bet you are thinking that as well. Just stay warm and hope for the best.
— Mia Reicks is new to the Sentinel-Press column rotation. A fifth-grade student at Briggs Elementary School, she will bring a youth perspective to the editorial pages. She is the daughter of Joshua and Brielle Reicks of Maquoketa.