Snow Days – Every job is different

writing16Today was a Snow Day. Capital “S”, capital “D”, which means students and teachers in our school district had the day off.

This also means the haters were out in full force once again on talk radio (or as I call it, Old Man Radio). Teacher-haters love Old Man Radio. It gives them a chance to publicly air their views about all the wrongs they see in society. Most of which are caused by lazy-ass teachers.

I wish I could host that radio show when these issues come up.

“School’s cancelled again, which means teachers get a day off! It’s crazy! Why should teachers be allowed to stay home when I have to go to work?!” shouts the irate caller, obviously taking a short break from his very important job.

“Oh, I see. So you think things should be the same for everybody?”

“Yeah, right. They should be the same.” The caller is happy now.

“So, everyone should make the same salary, work the same hours, get the same benefits, and have the same rules regarding their employment?”

“Well, no,” he stammers. “I mean, you know, every job is different.”

Right.

Every job is different.

writing17 scene-where-a-school-bus-slid-off-the-road-at-abercarn-178024589

There are so many jobs that I could not, would not, or choose not, to do.

As much as I would like to make the money that comes with being a surgeon, I didn’t have the brains or the desire to do all the work it takes to become one. Do I begrudge them their high salary and all the other perks of their job? No. I understand that in order to get those things, you have to do all the work beforehand and afterwards and I wasn’t prepared to do that.

And as much as I would love to argue cases in a courtroom and learn all about interesting facts of laws, I know I wouldn’t have the ability to remain neutral. So, do I hate lawyers for doing what they do even though I wasn’t able to do it myself? Of course not. That would be illogical.

Someone in a high-end sales position can make my entire annual salary in bonuses and incentives. Does that annoy me? No, because I didn’t choose to go that route. I couldn’t sell ice cream to kids on a sunny day.

There are a million jobs that I think would be fascinating and interesting, but I know I’m not suited for them.

Here’s the thing: I don’t begrudge anyone the salary they make or the benefits they enjoy from their chosen career. I know that no matter what your job, there are ups and downs. Perks and pains. And people pick their career according to what they want out of life. Do you want lots of money or do want more freedom and free time? Do you want to help people, animals, or the environment? Everyone makes their own decisions.

I’m a teacher. I’m suited for that and I’m good at it. And I worked really, really hard to get to where I am today. Three degrees, student loans, numerous mandatory courses and workshops, and years of dead-end short-term contract positions just to get the opportunity for a full-time position.

Some people are suited to teaching. Other people are not. If you don’t enjoy teaching, if it doesn’t make you tick, you’re going to have a very difficult time in the classroom. If you’re doing it for the summer break or the rare Snow Day, enjoy that time, because you are going to pay for it the rest of the year.

That’s why it ticks me off when non-teacher-types complain about Snow Days.

Snow Days are magical for those of us who get to experience their joy.

Unfortunately, not everyone gets to have this experience. In fact, the majority of the population doesn’t. Most people have to leave their homes extra early in the middle of dangerous driving conditions in order to get to their job.

And I’m sorry for that. If I ruled the world, unless you were in a mandatory service industry (like fire, hospital or police personnel), I’d let you stay home until the plows cleared the streets and made it safe for everyone to get back on the roads. But since I don’t, all I can say is this.

Yes, teachers get the day off during a Snow Day. It’s part of the job. Just like cleaning up a child when they get sick on themselves. Or helping them through an argument with a friend. Or teaching them how to read when that’s the hardest part of their day. It’s a part of the job like writing report cards late into the night. And being cursed at by angry students and parents. It’s a part of the job like a million other things that make up the position.

I’m not going to complain about doing any of those things; however, I’m also not going to apologize for the occasional Snow Day or the summers off.

I have the job I chose and worked my butt off for. And for now…my job includes Snow Days.

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163 thoughts on “Snow Days – Every job is different

    • We recently had temperatures negative 12 degrees. Back roads in our state are not scraped or treated because the main roads and interstates come first. Even with salt and cinders nothing melts at those low temperatures. Our transportation dept. decides if it is safe or not. If there were a bus wreck, many people would be suing the school board or upset that their child was put into harm’s way. So it is all about safety of the children.

      I heard many parents complaining that they couldn’t stand to have their kids home all day for days on end. That it interfered with their free time and sleeping in. They needed to go shopping etc. The stay at home moms were the worst, you know, the mothers who chose not to work because they love their children so much. They complained about teachers getting their day free, when actually the parents wanted their day child free.

      Though I am a teacher, I could go to work any snow day if I am required. I can always work in my classroom by cleaning and doing the janitor’s job, organize, prepared lessons, etc. I could also teach to the empty classroom for it is easy to do my job with no children. But I do not feel it would be appropriate or a good use of my time.

      People always want to pick on teachers because, like another comment said above, everyone has been in the classroom and knows how it works. I have a foster grandparent who volunteers in my classroom and has done so for years. She has eaten her words many times about how anyone could teach, anyone could do our jobs and that we are just glorified babysitters. See, she thought like the general public. Now, she knows first hand, that teachers need holidays and summers off or the teacher burn out rate would be extremely high. There would be a lot of cranky teachers who would just leave education all together for their own sanity.

      • Scarlet- Please do not pick on Stay-at-Home Moms or you are no better than those picking on teachers. I am appalled that you suggest that SAH Mothers are lazy; you clearly do not have children. It’s a big job and you should be respectful. I found your comments to be ignorant and misinformed. I’m embarrassed for you.

      • So in solidarity to people hating on teachers you are hating on stay at home moms? All of the stay at home moms I know are superstars, but they don’t sit around all day with nothing to do waiting for kids to come home. Or consider it “free time.” There are ALL THE OTHER THINGS that goes into childcare – laundry, shopping for food and other supplies, and a whole bunch of other things. Their days are filled with value, and it hurts them when people ignorantly spew comments like yours that stay at home moms are lazy.

      • OK. I understand why people are upset. I was a stay-at-home mom and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I don’t like where this strand is going (pitting mostly women against other women) so I’m not going to post anymore comments on this issue. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

      • Dear Princess,
        Thank you so much for your article. Actually in my school board we don’t even get snow days. No matter what the weather unless the schools are considered closed (which hasn’t happened in my 13 years with the board) you are expected to drive to school-or you can totally waste your day by reporting to the nearest school and then be assigned all day to supervise students that you don’t even know.
        In fact, for the 5 students that show up we are expected to create meaningful curriculum connected experiences after we have white knuckled it into work. I also get to put the life of my children in danger because they attend my school and well-when I work, they have to go to school on a snow day. We will never convince the mass population about what we do at our job-because people have been to school they think that they are experts on teachers. As teachers we smile and nod and have to know in our hearts that we do what we do because we love it.

      • So true. Everyone is an expert on what should be done in the classroom because everyone was a student at one time or another. I had an operation once but I don’t think I could perform one. ;)
        I wrote the article because I just got so tired of the teacher-bashing that goes on everytime there is a snowday. I’m sorry you have to white-knuckle it to work so you can basically babysit.

  1. This post made its way to my facebook feed this evening. Today I was honoured to be graced with *half* a snow day. Imagine. As I trudged on my 1/2 hr drive to work… knowing full well that school would end up being cancelled within an hour or two instead of taking the precautionary route… I thought over my morning’s lesson on facts vs opinions. I grappled with how my struggling readers would attend to the lesson. The lesson went on. The adaptations and differentiations were successful. There was a lot of fact vs. opinion discussion surrounding it becoming a “snow day” or not.

    Then it happened. At 10:02 am. The principal met me in the hallway to warn me to “Start making the phone calls.” Sigh. I continued to the photocopier to get my papers. I intercepted a phone call to a colleagues parent re: school being cancelled midday and arranged his departure. Then, I headed to my classroom to personally phone the parents or emergency contacts of each of my students…. from my cell phone, as the school only has 3 outgoing lines and about 20 people lined up to use them. I scrambled to contact and make arrangements for one last student. I phoned cell phones, work numbers, brothers, sisters, aunts.

    And once all of my students were safely on route to their homes on their buses, I waited for the cue to leave so I could drive my usually 1/2 hr home in a now-started snow storm.

    I begrudged this snow day; but, I certainly do not begrudge most.

    I agree wholeheartedly — snow days are part of my job.

    A great post!

    • The mid-day dismissal is complete chaos, no matter how organized you are. There are always students who don’t know where they are going and parents who can’t be reached. Even when all of the children are on the bus, the day isn’t over. You need to be sure every child makes it home safely. Some children show up to the place their parents said they should go, only to find no one waiting for them. These children are bussed back to the school so we can start the calls again. It’s a nightmare for both parents, children and school staff. Cancelling first thing in the morning or taking your chances with the day are always better options.

      • Not to mention the bus drivers! I myself am a bus driver for a school district… weather, early closings and such… big hassle… but part of the job I love!

  2. I agree with this – you choose your career and get to reap the benefits that come with it. Snow days, monthly “professional development days” (which I intentionally have in brackets as not one of my friends who are teachers seem to be developing anything other than their ability to extend their weekends, based on their posts on Facebook), summers off, extended Christmas breaks, and so on. Anyone could have chosen that career path, been a teacher, and had a glorious day off today!

    That said, you choose your career and the crap that comes with it too – marking papers, taking work home after hours, dealing with unruly kids, spending your money on classroom supplies, and so on. So, teachers, stop bitching about that aspect all the time. Guess what? It’s part of your job – remember, the one you choose? If you didn’t want to deal with it then you should have chosen another career path. Stop your asinine breakdowns of just how much you would be paid if you were paid a per child/per hour basis. Once again, it’s part of your job so suck it up.

    You can’t have it both ways you know. Just as in any job, you take the good with the bad. You (meaning teachers in general, not the author) are going to wish for snow days and then head off to the ski hill when it’s too dangerous for our kids to be on the road and the majority of the population are going to bitch about it. Then you’re going to bitch about doing anything above and beyond normal working hours and the majority of the population are going to roll their eyes. Then you’ll wonder why you get so little support when you strike. This is how it works – one of the benefits of being a teacher is getting the day off when the kids get a snow day. One of the downsides is having to work after hours. You can’t have one without the other and maybe if teachers got that the whole situation would be easier.

    • I wonder what kind of friends you have on facebook? My teacher friends are all at work on “professional development days” training to become better teachers. Yup, suprise surprise we are actually at work for the entire day.

    • umm this post isn’t a teacher bitching about the work they do. it’s about the general population bitching about teachers getting snow days, and the poster is saying everyone’s job is different…. did you even read the article?

    • Thanks for your comments, Moragh. I think what happens is that we get into a vicious cycle where teachers feel they have to justify what they do based on comments they hear both publically and privately. Their justifications sound like whining and then people complain that teachers are whining. If we could all just respect each other and the jobs we do, this wouldn’t happen.

    • I’m sorry – but I chose to become an Educator. I did not choose to become a child care provider, so your comment that “dealing with unruly kids” is part of my job offends me. I should be available to work with all of my students in a safe and enriching environment – not “dealing” with issues that are a parent responsibility!

    • I have never heard of someone going to a ski hill on a snow day – and if they go, good for them for risking their lives for a few hours on the slopes. You could just as easily bitch about anyone’s job – politicians who get private jets, or other government employees who only work 8-4 and get every weekend and holiday off. You could bitch about dentists or corporate employees who head to Florida or California for their professional development sessions. Just as equally, everyone will – and has the right to – bitch about some aspects of their job. Complaining a bit is just human nature. Maybe instead just stop judging other people – there is no use spending your time being jealous of what other people have, it will just make you miserable. The fact is EVERYONE has pros and cons to their profession. And if you’re just working part-time or for minimum wage, you genuinely have the right to complain about whatever you want because your life probably sucks.

    • Also, provincial regulations on the so called snow day vary. In Alberta, we have no such thing as a snow day. We are required to go to school or the nearest school in our district and work. We do so on the off chance that students arrive (for their safety and well-being) and to get caught up on the demands of our chosen profession (I use that term firmly in that we ARE professionals). Do I ever fear that I will hit the ditch, get in a horrific accident or, God forbid, find a child freezing their hiney off as they try to make their way to school thus succumbing to severe frostbite? Of course I do! No one wants to be put in the way of danger; a reality that we teachers face regularly (insert lockdown call on the intercom here). I often worry when I hear people complain about how lazy I am in my job due to the so-called perks. It tells me that our education system has failed as our citizens lack empathy and good moral stature. Do not judge lest ye be judged. Would I ever walk up to a nurse and say to her, “You walk around and visit patients and then sit behind your call desk all day!” Never!!! Because when that nurse is working he/she is giving it their all and taking the stress of the day home, worrying about their patients and the families. Would I tell them that they chose the job so they should just face the death and pain of patients and the mourning of families and get over it. No… I wouldn’t WANT them to not care. Then they wouldn’t be very good at their job. Would I tell the rig worker “You just sit around camp all day and jump out for half an hour to play around with the rig” NEVER!!! It must be awful to be away from family and loved ones for weeks, even months at a time. Would I tell them that they chose their job so they can suck it up and be away from the family they chose to leave behind and just do their job. NEVER!!! I wouldn’t think them to be very good mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sisters, or brothers if they didn’t care about their family or coming home to them considering the dangers of their job. Don’t tell me that I whine and complain, when the only whining apparent is coming from those too ignorant to understand the reality of the situation. But maybe I should just join in with the rest of society and complain… about the parents who don’t take time for their children, or the kid who’s annoying me today despite the fact that he hasn’t eaten since I gave him lunch the day before, or the principal whose hands are financially tied so they can’t offer the supports to the school that they know should be in place… or the ignorant citizens who would rather find fault in others rather than being empathetic to the hardships, of their fellow man even in light of their so-called perks.

    • So sorry you had whatever bad experience with a teacher you had. I love being a teacher and have been one for twenty years. I have had some very difficult parents to deal with and some difficult children to deal with as well but I don’t complain. If I do, I might just say a word or two to a colleague but that is all. I love my job and believe it is very important in the grand scheme of things. I am sorry you are so bitter about teachers and I would love to talk to you about the bad experience you have had. I wish you well and that you have a happy day!!!!!

    • I am very sorry for whatever bad experience you have had with a teacher. You seem very bitter and for that I feel very sorry for you. I am a teacher and I love my job!!!!! I have been teaching for twenty years and love it. I have had some very difficult parents to deal with plus some very difficult children to work with however that is my job. I do not complain, maybe say a word or two to a colleague but that is all. I am sorry you are so angry about teachers and I wish I could talk to you about the bad experience you have had. It has clouded your vision. I wish you a very happy day!!!!!!

    • Spending my own money on school supplies should NOT be part of my job! Do you buy pencils, pens, glue sticks, tape and construction paper for your job?

    • Teachers are *required* to be at professional development days. The schools usually organize it. It’s not fun for them, either, they’d rather be in the classroom. Your facebook teacher friends (who should probably block you at this point) are probably being sarcastic, and you’re too busy being jealous to notice . . .

    • This isn’t necessarily true anyway. For example, when I began my education to become a teacher, school was very different than it is now. When I first started college on the Secondary Ed track, No Child Left Behind was a new concept, there were no EOCTs, students were NOT required to take four years of math to graduate high school (I’m a math teacher), and there were no Common Core standards that set impossibly high expectations for learners with no foundation. By the time I finished college and signed my first full time contract, all of that had been implemented. I can’t very well turn around and start over with another track because I don’t believe in the direction education is going. I didn’t have the time or money for that. And teaching is my thing. It’s my passion. So, I just suck it up, and jump in hoping I can make a difference for the better somehow.

      The reason teachers complain is because, as professionals, we know how to be successful teachers and create successful students, but our hands are tied by all of this regulating and accountability garbage. I have never experienced a more mico-managed career than teaching. With all of the ups, downs, requirements, ever-changing learning theories and curriculum, observations, and reviews from my bosses, it’s a wonder we even make it to the snow days. But like you say, it’s part of the job.

      I have administrators breathing down my neck and forcing me to answer for low “benchmark scores” on an impossibly unfair test that was not made by a teacher, but by some “education expert” who never spent a day in a classroom. I have to call parents and explain why little Suzie is failing, and when I tell them it’s because she hasn’t done a single assignment since the school year began, that is somehow my fault. Along with that, I get snow days once every few years. I completely understand an educator’s right to get frustrated when somebody scoffs at us for that.

      • I always find this complaint from teachers to be the most comical…the one about being over-regulated and wanting government to stop breathing down your necks so you can do your jobs, because you believe you know how to do your jobs better than bureaucrats in government that aren’t even trained teachers. Yet, the teachers’ union always squarely backs their democratic candidates, the “big government” party. The teachers union was the very first to back Obama this last election. The hypocrisy is perplexing to say the least. So, basically, it’s okay to vote to have big government in everyone else’s business as long as it’s not in the teachers’? Likewise, everytime it comes to healthcare/benefits cuts in teachers’ contracts, the teachers threaten strike, even though their fellow Americans are facing the very same over and over again. Or, maybe those are just perceived to be more of the “perks” of teaching? You get to vote candidates into office that will implement negative consequences on fellow Americans that you won’t have to be subjected to?

        Here’s one for you. Maybe physicians and other healthcare professionals feel they know their jobs better than the government and would like the government out of the practice of medicine too (Obamacare).

        It seems to me that if you really want big government out your hair, the teachers’ union shouldn’t have backed Obama in the first place and they should start endorsing the republican party from here on out (and no, I’m not a registered republican).

    • I have sympathy for the children most of all. When we were talking about this issue at work about the need to extend an extra week to catch students up…the typical response was “that is not fair to the teachers!”. Personally and professionally, they should add an extra week each year as a buffer to these school day closing (no kid has to walk this weather) and if there are no school closings that year, then the week would not need to be used. If there were 5 days of school closings like this year, then children can be caught up and I don’t have to hear “its not fair to the teachers”. It’s a win win. Right now, it’s a lose lose

      • In the school district I am employed in, there are two days “built” into the calendar for snow days. If we don’t have any days off, we work two extra days. No uprising over that from the public! If we have more than two snow days, we make those up at the end of the year. So, hate to disappoint you teacher bashers…but I don’t see and perks here.

    • Keep in mind that half of the US doesn’t get “snow days” like those of us in CA who come every single one of those darn 184 days … even when it’s 110* outside and we can’t send the kids out and have to cut our lunch short to stay in with them …. you don’t have a freaking clue what we do on PD days – at our school we write new curriculum to keep up with “common core” and totally redesign everything we’ve spent the past few years perfecting. Normal working hours are 8-3 and really, I know no one who leaves then. Sometimes I’m there until 7! You are a jerk and an uninformed one at that.

    • Interesting…I don’t know a single teacher who complains about after hours until people in the general public start critiquing our salaries. We do defend our positions.

      Sweeping generalizations exacerbate the problem…don’t be a hater! If you’re reading this, thank the person who helped you learn to read. Your life would be vastly different!

    • Dear Moragh,
      I think that you should stop “bitching” and assuming a lot about teachers and become one. I live in ski country and when schools have a snow day the vast majority of the teachers I know use that day to plan, grade, etc. Hell, we will race one another to school on days off just to get the papers copied that we need. The ones who aren’t working on school work are anomalies. You have issues that you hold against this profession. Why? Maybe you should become a teacher and see what this side of the red pen is like.

    • Most people, and I am guessing you would be included, would not last a week as a teacher in a classroom. The work and hours that are put into the job are much higher than 40 hours per week. The money teachers’ spend on their own classrooms is not something they should ever stop bringing to the public’s attention because teacher pay is basically poverty level in many states. There is so much more to our job than what the parents, students, or public sees. It is a snow day here in VA for me. I have been grading writing, working on PD Edmodo modules, and answering parent e-mails for 4 hours. Not exactly a “day off”. Every job has it’s problems. Every person complains about the things in their job that they find unappealing. However most people who chose to be a teacher 12 years ago are being paid at a rate from 8 years ago or longer. Meaning that the house they bought then they can technically no longer afford according to the people who would not refinance it. Do you have that problem with your job? The public here would not consent to a 2% meal tax increase to fund public schools. Does your job have that problem?
      I am so glad that the only power you have Moragh is your sad misguided opinion.

    • You evidently have never been a teacher, been married to a teacher, or been a family member to a teacher. Sounds like someone is bitter. If you don’t like truthful comments concerning teaching, then get off the board.

    • Thank you for this, I am a teacher and the comments responding to your post demonstrate just how hypocritical some (I repeat, some) teachers can be regarding their expected duties and perks. The original post was a great example of the upsides and downsides of teaching i.e. extra work, having to deal with parents and students, standardized tests and sometimes an overbearing administration. However, the perks involved (all holidays, summers and weekends OFF) means that the constant complaints from educators come across as very frustrating to the rest of the population. I am embarrassed when another educator complains about having to grade papers all weekend, there are many other people working normal hours every weekend. There is no excuse, as a teacher, I know that we work hard and often under difficult conditions with high stress (often unrealistic) expectations from our administrations, but we signed up for it. Do your fellow teachers a favor and stop complaining constantly about your very difficult job! Most people have difficult jobs but I have to say, that I find teachers to be the “group” that most complain about their jobs and attempt garner sympathy from peers.

    • I am not a teacher. Just wanted to clear that up. I am an Educational Assistant. Teachers and EAs have a certain amount of hours we are required to work everyday, when at school. The fact that teachers, and myself as an EA, take work home to do in the evening is because we care about our students and want what is best for them. Most people who work after the hrs required get paid overtime. This is not so for teachers or EAs. There is no such thing as overtime pay for us. So before you complain about us complaining about all of the extra work educators do, remember all of the extras your child is getting. The teacher has chosen to take work home to prepare, so that your child receives the best education they can be given, even though the teacher is off the pay clock. Are we entitled to complain about our wages? You’re damn right we are. Our wages reflect only a portion of the work we as educators do.

      • Thanks for your comments, Louise. EA’s are the unsung heroes of the school system. You folks work with the most vulnerable members of our community and yet you are among the lowest paid and least appreciated (by some). Thank you, thank you, thank you. If it weren’t for EA’s, our school system would fall apart at the seams.

    • I don’t hear the b****ing from princess you are talking about. She is not griping about the difficult side of teaching. I think she accepts that as part of the job. Believe it or not most teachers are in this profession because they love working with kids. There are profound personal benefits from making a difference in children’s lives. It is a very rewarding profession despite the difficulties. There are downsides to any job and yes most teachers continue to retirement because of the rewards.
      Really? Heading off to the skii hill in a snow storm? Did this happen in your experience or did you make that part up to help in your argument?
      I am a teacher and yes, I do enjoy my time at home on a snow day. I take time to relax, but I also take time to do some catch up planning and organizing. And if the district authorities made an error on the side of caution, I go in to work and get stuff done that I normally don’t have time to do. I think of it as a Godsend. I have been doing this job for over 30 years and still love it. My summers aren’t off. I am not payed for July and August, I am payed only for the days I am at work. But I am thankful for those summer days. I need them to destress, to plan and to charge up my batteries for another year.
      You say that anyone could have chosen to be a teacher and have had that day off. Be careful about making statements like this. Until you walk a mile in anyone’s boots and truly understand the job, your opinion has no substance. Sounds like jealousy and maybe you should have gone to teacher’s college.
      Oh and by the way the things you see on facebook about the breakdown of teachers pay being per child per hour, that is meant to be taken as a joke! So lighten up a little and be brave enough to change your career if you are unhappy in it. Hey, come join the teaching profession! Just don’t criticize what you don’t know!

      • Thanks for sharing, Audrey. People always think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Yes, some parts of teaching are great, but other parts are really challenging. It’s not whining. Just a fact. So glad you still love teaching after 30 years! Your students are lucky to have you.

  3. I agree, I do not want my kid on the roads if it is bad outside. So if there is no kids in school why should the teachers risk going out on the bad roads if they have to kids to teach when they get to school. If you are so sour about your job and having to go to school on a snow day maybe you should try to go back to school have a huge student loan, “TRY” to do what teachers do everyday with out kids and get that snow day off. I bet you won’t be long regretting everything you said about them.

  4. Oh do I agree with this however, not every school teacher gets the snow days off. Where I am teaching now all teachers are required to go to school on a snow day. If it is too dangerous to get to your school you have to go to a school nearest you. So as much as I would love to have snow days off, we still go to school and we still have children show up. Our schools are never closed just buses are cancelled so if parents still want to chance the roads we have kids and we still get all of the children that normally walk to school. I love my job!

  5. Hi SPT (great handle!),

    Personally, I think it was a good call not to have school today. It would have been difficult for the school buses. I come from a family of teachers so I understand where your rant is coming from! People do love to dump on teachers, often unfairly. Most teachers do work very hard & many give freely of their time by providing extra help, supervising, coaching, directing plays, etc. You make an excellent point that most people can choose to become a teacher if they want to put in the time & effort. Thankfully, many do choose that path.

    I do not begrudge teachers their time off, whether it be Easter, March Break, Christmas or the summer. I’m happy that there are Professional Development Days as well as it’s important for teachers to keep learning & developing. I certainly don’t begrudge them a Snow Day when the driving conditions are hazardous! But I’ll tell you what I really do hate… it’s when the public schools in NS close when the weather really doesn’t warrant closing. It’s not because the teachers have the day off. In fact, that never entered my mind. It’s definitely not because it’s an inconvenience for me to find child care so I can go to work. What I focus on is the fact that Nova Scotian children have missed another day of structured learning. That’s what bothers me the most!

    Suburbanworkingmom :)

    • Thank you Sue for saying what many parents feel. We don’t begrudge the school staff or the bus drivers the day off. However, yesterday’s weather, with 5cms of snow, did not warrant the school cancellations. We live in Nova Scotia and it’s January. You have to expect for some snow to fall. I was out on the roads yesterday as were my husband and two of my children. We all made it to our destinations without a problem. With High School exams in the very near future, the last thing the kids needed was to miss another school day.

      • I understand the frustration when school is called off and then the weather clears. Unfortunately, it’s crapshoot. Sometimes the school board gets it right and sometimes they get it wrong. I think they always have the children’s best interests in mind. Sadly we cannot control or predict the weather…yet. ;)

      • I was glad to have school cancelled in NS. Yes, there was only 5cm of snow, but when I tried to drive in it, I slid all the way down our hill. With winter tires on. I don’t wan’t school buses out in that. Even children walking are at risk, with cars sliding all over the place.

    • I totally agree. My son is preparing for his grade 12 English exam and I’d like to see him get as much help as possible. Sometimes the school board gets it right and sometimes they get it wrong. They rely on the weather forecast and sometimes THAT is wrong, too. Until we can control the weather, mistakes will be made and people will be inconvenienced.

      • The forecast was for 5-10cms of snow. I don’t know, maybe it sounds like a lot to some people but that is 2-4 inches of snow! That’s all. They also forecast it to be windy…again, we live in Nova Scotia and it is January! I personally believe that the only reason school was cancelled yesterday was to appease those parents who were upset that it was not cancelled last Friday. I have no problem with school being cancelled had the forecast been for a heavy snowfall warning but that was not the case. Really, those kids in High School can not afford to be missing unnecessary days of class with exams coming up. Some of them will be writing either the English or Math provincials and those marks are really important. Again, I’ll say I have no problem with snow days, when the weather is forecast to be bad. I’m sure the HRSB is overwhelmed with complains today, so next time, don’t be surprised if school remains open.

    • I think there were one or two accidents in the past ten years or so due to bad roads, and so I feel they have gotten more cautious about it since I was in school. I remember it only getting cancelled in very extreme circumstances, maybe once or twice in a winter. And I remember the bus fishtailing on the roads as it came toward me! But then it happened that a bus actually went off the road…most parents and teachers would rather miss the day than risk their children’s lives. Buses are not exactly the safest vehicles either if we are perfectly honest.

  6. THANK YOU!!!!
    You speak the words we all know and feel….

    Carrie
    Teacher….

    PS teachers also spend snow days catching up on correcting or planning… But the teacher haters don’t see that either.

  7. Most teachers work very hard and put up with alot from students and parents. Where would this world be without teachers, so what if they have a snow day…I think the people that complain are just jelous…grow up and stop complaining, life is too short.

  8. Snow days rock!! Teachers earn them and I want my kids home safe! Anyone who is complaining either hasn’t done a good enough job raising their child to want to spend a bonus day with them or is too “inconvenienced” by them. Forgive the Hater’s it ticks them off more! ;)

    • Good point. If people changed their mindset from, oh no! to oh, wow – I get a day with my kids, it would change a lot. I know some people don’t have the luxury of taking the day, but if you do, treat as a bonus day with your children. They will never forget it.

    • I hardly think most parents haven’t done a “good enough job raising their children to want to spend a ‘bonus day’ with them”. That is a ridiculous statement! Some parents go through absolute hell trying to get out of their job to get home to their kids on short notice like that! All jobs do not allow you to just pick up and leave at will – even if you’d like to do just that. It’s called responsibility and commitment to your job and co-workers. My managers aren’t very happy when I have to pick up and run at 20min notice, and neither are my co-workers who have to pick up the slack for my short-notice absence. I love my kids and would love a chance to have an unexpected day off with them to get my driveway shoveled before it gets dark, or make a snowman with them. –But I have other responsibilities, and expectations from my employer, and it’s not to run home at the drop of a hat to make a snowman.

      • Also you would only be inconvenienced by them of you haven’t made proper plans. I think it is fantastic that some parents are able to come home . The more people off the road the better. You misunderstood, I was referring to those complaining about having a snow day and their own kids home all day, because unfortunately those types do exist.

      • Have a Plan B. It is ridiculous not to, you are in an area that has inclement weather, have a Plan B. Perhaps a high school student that has the day off, a stay at home mom that can take your kids or sign them up for a drop-in daycare. It is not anyone else’s fault or responsibility than yours to arrange these in advance. If you have to scramble….who’s fault is that?

    • Funny about that, eh? If we have such an easy job, why isn’t everyone quitting their job and clamouring to get in? I love when parents volunteer. By the end of the day, they are reaching for the Advil and saying, “Bless you my child.”

  9. Well said!
    Sadly, we don’t get “Snow Days” here. We don’t even get “It’s Dangerously Cold Days”. Those would be days like we have had here for the last couple of weeks:
    -40 to -45 C, combined with a good breeze to drop us down to -56 C or so, factoring in wind chill.
    Parents have the option, according to policy, to keep their kids home if they feel it is unsafe to send their kids to school. Not us though. Report to work.
    We don’t close our school unless there is no water (no toilets, hand washing, sprinklers…) or there is no power (heat, lights,…)

    But we wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  10. In response to the lady who bemoans students missing a day of structured learning…You should know that many years ago, days were ADDED to the school year to ensure students did not miss any learning time. Most people have forgotten, or never knew that. The days are there, whether they get used or not.
    I think if you have an employer who demands that you struggle in to work, when it is not safe to do so, you have a heartless employer who does not care about your well being. You should get another job.
    As for teacher haters, I say this…for the most part, teachers have the same amount of education as many WAY higher paid professions. If I ruled the world they would be paid as much as doctors. THEY EDUCATE THE NEXT GENERATION!!! Besides mothers and fathers, this is the MOST important job!
    Great post. Rock on teachers. Try and ignore the haters.

    • Thank you! Good point about adding the extra days. Yes, these were added into contracts years ago. And if people think snow days are a new phenomenon, they are forgetting Canadian childhood winters. I remember snow days with great fondness.

    • Yes, adding in the missed days would work. Wonderful to have a positive solution to that one. Perhaps it would also be a positive step to move away from using terminology like ”Teacher Haters” as I think that might be caught up in the vicious cycle that SPT mentioned previously. It’s not helpful in trying to resolve the issues. And no, I don’t have an employer who demands that I travel to work when the conditions aren’t safe.

      • I know our province added extra days to the school year to make up for possible snow days. And you’re right. Terms like “teacher-haters” do perpetuate the cycle. But I do know people who have earned that title and wear it proudly.

  11. The reason people complain on “old man radio” about teachers getting snow days is because we hear a never-ending barrage of complaints about the things you claim not to complain about. If teachers treated their duties with a little more dignity, perhaps they wouldn’t be such a target for criticism.

    • Like I said above, I think it’s vicious circle. Teachers get criticized and then feel the need to justify their job. The justifications sound like whining and the criticism continues. Mutual respect people. That’s all I’m sayin’.

  12. Great story and if I could just add my two cents worth,
    I think snow days are a part of life, reality and above all, “common sense”!
    Just step back for a second and think about this… So you’d rather have your precious kids out on those snow-covered and many instances, icy roads??
    And yet, if you had a choice, you’d rather stay put, in your warm bed and home for the day, sounds like someone has their priorities a little messed up!!
    I think certain critics just need their, in many cases, “ridiculous” views to be heard, ( perhaps as a fix) regardless of whose feelings, or toes they step on in the process…
    Perhaps ‘one’ should have chose to be a ‘teacher’ and get to enjoy all those snow days, it’s all about life and career choices, as far as I’m concerned.
    After-all, you could have chose to join the Military (like I did for 25 years) and spend time up in our Canadian North on maneuvers, at times ( -74c ), or perhaps over-seas, ducking bullets for your Countrry!
    Or perhaps you would like to criticize us for that as well!
    Trust me when I say “there’s times when I’d like to stay home in a nice warm bed and know that my family is warm and safe”, but like I said before, life is about choices, many of which have perks, or special benefits and some aren’t that fortunate I guess.
    Anyway, I could ramble on for hours on this subject, but I have a job to do, out in the frigid temps of the day( -27c), so if it’s all you critics have to do is whine and complain about something as trivial as a snow-day, perhaps you should step away from your precious computer and warm homes/offices and come outside and join me… I’d LOVE that!
    So suck it up ‘buttercups’ and give the teachers of your kids, some well deserved respect and credit, they well deserve it!!

    Husband of a “teacher” and loving it!

  13. All the nay-sayers would likely be the first in line at their attorney’s office to file suit against the school district if their child was injured in a weather-related school bus accident. Schools are closed for no other reason than the safety of the children. And here’s a newsflash: teachers don’t determine when schools will be closed, If parents want the schools to operate as usual regardless of weather concerns, they need to attend school board meetings and let their feelings be known.

    Interesting side note: My wife and I sat down one evening and tallied up the extra hours spent grading papers, writing lesson plans, doing report cards, attending mandatory continuing education classes, staff meetings, parent conferences, etc and when it was all said and done, even with Summer break, Christmas break et al an average teacher works as many hours as most full-time employees in other fields.

    It’s the uninformed who seem to complain the loudest.

  14. Thank you so very much for this post.
    As a teacher I whole heartedly agree on every point you make.
    I have spent too much time “apologizing” for my time off, dr’s appointments / sick days (that I RARELY take) summer & of course snow days (that RARELY happen).

    I stop apologizing today!
    Thank you!!! Bravo! Well done!

  15. Well said. This article was right on the money.
    I find it so offensive when people talk about teachers getting the summers off. I don’t know of any other career where people make as little money as we do and put in as many overtime hours. I can’t tell from this article if you’re working in Canada or the US but I can tell you that here in eastern Canada the budgets keep getting slashed, the classes keep getting larger, the demands on teachers to do parents’ jobs keep getting more ridiculous…and in the end it’s the students who are suffering the most. But we’re a close second. No one…and I mean NO ONE….outside of this profession can possibly understand what it’s like to be a teacher in today’s world. Sure – it was a somewhat cushy job when my parents were doing it in the late 60s, 70s, 80s….I’ll give the public that. Because really, discipline problems were minimal, support from parents was high, respect was there, and assessment rules / curriculum outcomes / differentiated lesson expectations were not as ridiculous as they are now. It was still a very difficult job that took a special person….but it didn’t have as many difficulties. But today, it’s a whole different ball game. The red tape in today’s system and the lack of concern for teacher health and welfare is just unbelievable. Believe me – we are not in it for the perks.
    And to the ignorant person who made the comment about teachers not doing anything on PD days…..are you kidding me? Not only are we learning yet another new program/tool/way of doing things …most of us are working our butts off to squeeze in some uninterrupted marking. Our PD days, where we supposedly do nothing, are basically a regular work day for anyone in the private sector. In other words we can go to the washroom or stop to eat during the day. What a joke…..I’d like to stick a camera in any meeting at any place of business and then one in a typical teacher pd day and compare. If anyone is not getting a whole lot accomplished it would be the business people who spend their entire day in “important meetings”. I don’t even know why I’m dignifying your ignorant comment with a reply. People like you wouldn’t last 5 minutes in the classroom. Today during my “off period” (ya….that hour I’m “not working”….imagine…..which is actually meant for prep time but is usually spent giving your child the one-on-one teaching large class sizes don’t allow….or calling parents etc) I comforted a young teenage girl while she talked about her father getting out of jail. The father she watched hack her mother almost to death with a machete 10 years prior. But I guess that “free time” is just one of the perks eh? Do yourself and everyone else a favor and don’t pontificate on things you know very little about.

  16. I’m a mother of 3 school aged children. I respect each and every teacher that has been a part of my childrens learning and life. I remember my daughers first day of school and the mixed feelings of walking away from her classroom for the very first time, not knowing how she would be without me , not knowing how she would ajust to her teacher and a school setting… as I walked away from her classroom door the teacher looked at me and asured me she would be fine and adressed me as “mom”. I knew right there and then not only did I leave my child in wonderful hands but also with someone who respected me and my feelings. I guess what I’am trying to say is that our teachers are not only “teachers” they are mothers/ fathers, friends, support, guidence, love, and so so much more…a teachers job is like a mothers, it is never done. A teachers job goes far beyond its duties. I think as parents we owe our teachers/eduactors some respect . As I’m sure a snow day is well earned. I think in saying a teachers job is never easy is only a under statment. Hats of to all you wonderful people who are a part in molding our children into successful adults. :) thank you!

  17. As a retired teacher, I can certainly relate to the days when we got a snow day. It has changed however because now the school boards have taken precautions for keeping our children safe. Way to go. The fact that teachers also get the day off, we’ll let’s face it….teachers do more than a days work at school..they bring home work and work for hours at home grading papers, doing up lesson plans, writing up report cards and the list goes on..and I bet that when they do get a snow day, they are working on making their classroom a better environment for the children to enter. So I have no problem with teachers staying home on snow days…been there, done that.

  18. The people who complain about teachers having summer “off” do not understand deferred salary and those who complain about snow days do not understand safety. Those who complain about both are just bitter. Imagine if the time spent complaining was spent on creative problem solving and collaboration instead. Just sayin’….

  19. Typical! Sitting at home writing a blog when the rest of us are working!! Ha ha only joking. Love teachers but have many ‘hostile to teacher’ friends and could just hear them saying this.

  20. Pingback: Teachers: Love us or hate us, we’re still going to teach your kids. | suburbanprincessteacher

  21. Snow days are not to give teachers a day off. Rather law enforcement has been assigned the responsibility of making sure our roads are safe for the school buses. This act makes it safer for our school children.

  22. “Every job is different” that says it all. I really enjoyed your post. I am a bit upset by some of the comments. I think they do reveal how out of touch most teachers are with other occupations. There are many comments of what teachers have to deal with,but very few show the understanding of what other occupations deal with. I feel your post spelled it out very well. Although teachers have their challenges, other professions could have just as many, fewer, or more. I have just came off working 10 days in a row, 12 hour shifts, inside and outside, in sub zero weather. Add to that, I live an hour away from my job. Did I chose this profession? No. After a few career choices that may not have been the best, this is where I am. But, I need to provide for my family and am very thankful in this economy to even have a job. So I try not to complain, or begrudge others for what they may have. So, to all the commentators here, please try to be a little more understanding when some workers are a jealous of getting a “snow day” off from work. You may never know the shoes they are in either.

    • I think most people are out of touch with other people’s professions and other people’s lives in general. We tend to envy people for what they have (more money, more power, more freedom, more time off) without really understanding anything about their actual lives.

  23. I wish the article would have stated that “day off” means teachers, by contract, will be making up that day to fulfill their contractual day.

  24. Just how many of those teacher haters have HOMEWORK every night and weekend? How many of them spend part of their vacation getting ready for “work”? After 37 years my reply has become ” After you have voluntarily done my job for 1 day- then we will talk.” Sometimes they are honest enough to admit they would not want to and couldn’t do it. One lady said to me “Just the noise alone would send me over the edge.” That was after attempting to tell me what was wrong with schools!!

  25. Thank you for this article! My hubby is a teacher and gets a lot of slacker comments for having summers off. Not all teachers get snow days though. Living in an arctic climate is yet another choice people make just like their profession. So to all the snow day haters… MOVE! It’s your choice to live in a climate with nasty winters. Just sayin…

  26. This article is well written and makes some great points. If only I didn’t hear teachers complain about low salaries so often, I would agree 100%. However many don’t realize they are paid quite well considering the awesome schedules they have. I am a pharmacist and I plan on going part time in a few years. I realize this will drop my yearly salary to roughly that of a teacher, and I understand that less time worked equals less pay so I am okay with that.

  27. I think you made an excellent point about the pros and cons of various jobs. My only problem with this article is your use of the word “hater”. That seems to be the buzz word these days. Anyone that disagrees or has a different point of view is labeled a hater. That’s a strong word. I’m sure those people don’t “hate” teachers.
    They’re just ignorant. They have no idea what your job incurs. My daughter is a teacher and she puts in long days. I couldn’t do what she does. I certainly don’t hate her (or you) because you get a snow day.
    I’m really concerned with the direction this country has taken. What ever happened to free speech? Just like a child with a disability shouldn’t be labeled, so shouldn’t a person with a different point of view. Forgive them. They don’t know what they’re saying.

    • I don’t mind people expressing a different point of view. Those people aren’t “haters” in my mind. People who use “hate speech” and go on public radio, blaming teachers for school cancellations, calling teachers lazy, saying teachers don’t deserve their salaries, telling teachers they should quit. Those people are preaching hate and disrespect and it leads to a lowering of morale within the teaching community.

  28. As a teacher I love snow days. However I would like to point out I am not getting a day off. I am contracted to work a set number of days. If I don’t work that snow day I work it on a different day. (And that pay I get in the summer is money for those contracted days I already worked! I don’t get summers off either!)

  29. I would like to say thank you to all the men and women that are brave enough and strong enough to even think about becoming a teacher. God bless the bodies that make the decisions to close school. Either for the day or early dismissal. I grew up in NE Ohio, my children have lived in North Carolina their entire 6 years of life. I had to call my mom with a chuckle to tell her I was sitting in line to pick my children up @ 11am yesterday because the weather was calling for snow starting around 1pm. Though I found it mildly amusing, I was thankful that our school district chose to be proactive.(Just look at Atlanta) I would venture to say that those on a rant on morning radio probably don’t have salaried jobs, or are they fulfilled in their general lot in life. Wonder how much they think the world owes them. Teachers are just their target for the day.
    With much respect,
    An uneducated, mother of twins
    Lo

  30. The original article is very well said. Snow days are inevitable when you live in cold climates and it’s not for the teachers benefit it’s for the safety of the students. I’m a nurse who is married to a teacher. One night after driving in to work in bad weather working 12 hours and then driving home in bad weather my husband (who had a snow day) told me school was already cancelled for the next day. I made a smart remark of “must be nice” which I turn upset my husband. I didn’t say it to be mean or come down on teachers but out of pure jealousy. I love being a nurse and I do have the perk only working 3 days a week but I only get 6 call in days in a rolling year so no matter how bad it is outside I still have to drive in to work, so there are days that I’m jealous my husband gets to stay home when roads are bad and it’s cold out. There are many days that he is jealous of my work schedule when I have 5 or 6 days off in a row without taking vacation days. Every job has it’s perks and there are days that we are all jealous of the perks another precession has to offer but there is no need to bash the people in the profession we are jealous of in that moment in time, because we have no idea of the struggles they go through on a daily basis in their profession.

  31. Good article; however, I’d like to provide you with another argument.

    Snow days have ‘nothing’ to do with the teachers (they have something to do with the teachers, but when arguing with Old Man Radio listeners, it’s easier to deal with absolutes, haha) – they are for the safety of the children and the drivers who bring them to school.

    And as a school bus driver, I appreciate the consideration that goes into snow days; driving my pickup truck into work isn’t that big of a deal. Driving a 25ton, 40 foot school bus in bad conditions is a bigger deal; driving that vehicle with 35-70 school children, bigger deal yet. And lastly – driving said vehicle while avoiding all the other people who don’t have snow days – um, thanks, but no thanks.

    Snow days aren’t for the teachers; it’s for the safety of the children, first and foremost. Surely, everyone can get behind that. Even listeners of Old Man Radio were kids once . . .

    • I completely agree. Snow days aren’t magical, they’re for the public good and the safety of the children.They’re not a job perk, they’re a burden as they throw off schedules, planning and cause staff to have to teach double time to catch up. If there are too many weather related cancellations more days get tacked on to the end of the year. It’s not extra vacation.

      Often times there are accidents, power outages, delays and injuries on bad weather days. There’s nothing lucky or fun about bad weather. Maybe that’s why people give teachers grief about their attitude about snow days. Just because you’re fortunate enough to be able to stay out of harms way because you’re presence isn’t required for the good of the children does not make the day magic, special, or a good time.

  32. They are preaching ignorance and disrespect. The word “hate” is overused and watered down to the point that it is used to describe almost any negative thing that is said. You are right to be frustrated by what they are saying. The next time you hear something like that on the radio, you should call in yourself and read verbatim what you posted. Then they themselves could hear the view of a teacher and maybe their attitudes would change.

  33. People also fail to realize that when there’s a snow day, teachers then have to re-examine their scheduled curriculum and try to make up for the material that was already crammed into a packed amount of time.

  34. Pingback: Snow Days – Every job is different | Behind the Teacher's Desk

  35. AMEN!!! I am not a teacher.. but my fiance IS. I never recognized how stressful a job it was until knowing a teacher deeply. I also hate the ” you dont deserve summer off” debate… for real, dont even get me started. Teachers are amazing and they work incredibly hard. I think I feel so passionately about teachers because I too, as the future wife of a teacher, dream of the last day of school. Its incredibly hard to watch someone you love deal with the nonsense and politics of public school. Not that it goes unnoticed, my fiance was just named “Teacher of the Year” at his school.. an amazing achievement!

    On a side note, how ridiculous for people to complain about your snow day. I grew up in Michigan. A snow day is no pleasure. Did these people calling into the radio station think you were going to the beach on your day off?

  36. Pingback: Snow Days – Every job is different | Helping hands in health and wealth!

  37. Sigh! The decisions to cancel school is made with much careful consideration, and in consultation with others (the weather office, DOT, etc.) This decision is ALWAYS made with the safety of your children in mind. Predicting the weather is not an exact science, sometimes things change, and sometimes those making the decisions will get it wrong. Nevertheless, I would rather the school board put my child’s safety first and err on the side of caution. Parents SHOULD have a plan in place for their children in the event of school closures; this is a parent’s responsibility. I don’t understand how anyone can be upset about a decision that is ALWAYS made with the safety of your child in mind. Unless you can accurately predict the future, you should just keep quiet.

  38. To those boo birds who complain about “SnowDays”and teachers.
    These would be the same people who would be first in line to “Hang” the schools for having school on a bad day when kids got hurt because school was not open!
    Remember, school is NOT public, garanteed Day Care!
    Also remember, teaching is one of the few jobs I know of withZERO paid vacation days!

  39. I enjoyed reading this so much that I just had to meander about your blog reading other posts and comments. I even went to a few of your ‘Blogs I Follow’. What a wonderful person you must be! Thank you.

  40. Ugh, I HATE people that put down teachers. My parents were both in education and I was actually an education major before I realized that I really wasn’t suited for it. I like working in the university library. The thing that gets me about snow days is that in public schools YOU MAKE THEM UP. So you’re not actually getting an extra day off. There are generally days put into the calendar for that purpose – if you miss school for snow, you go on those days. Otherwise, not.

    And even if you didn’t have to make up the days -seriously? I did love how Jon Stewart talked about teachers back when everyone was set on attacking them. “You, you teachers with your JC Penny clothes, and your chalk, and your cars with the windshields . . .” The amount of work good teacher put in is far more than others see. They come in before work, they stay after work, they work weekends, and even the summers are getting shorter and shorter. And as far as salaries – it’s a teensy part of the budget. Higher education has taken a huge hit as well. State funding used to make up 75 percent of our budget. Now it’s like 20 percent, and dropping. We’re expected to take time out from educating to raise money to keep universities open. Because college is just for elitists, right?

    Oops, sorry, writing a blog on your blog. But yes, I totally get your frustration! Those talk radio types need to shut the beep up. :D

  41. Thank you for this! As a teacher I have experienced so many off-hand comments about how we basically do little work throughout the year given the fact that we work 8-4 (riiiiiiight…) and have weekends, holidays and summers off. No one seems to care that our “8-4″ job is actually more like 7-6 given the marking, planning and extracurricular activities we put in. Furthermore, we do more than just teach these kids curriculum, we teach them about life. We parent when there is a dispute, we guide them through their problems and concern, and we coach them in sports and sportsmanship. There are many students in my area that come from impoverished homes – we feed them a hearty breakfast to kick start their day. I have students who come from abusive homes – I give them a place where they can feel safe.

    The fact that teachers are picked on in society goes to show the ignorance of the job title. There are most certainly perks to the job, just as you pointed out the perks of being a surgeon, salesmen and lawyer. As teachers, we didn’t sign up for the money. We signed up to make a difference in the world we pass on to our own children. We mold the minds of surgeons, businessmen and lawyers. And as angry as those off-hand comments make me (my inner Hulk twitches), all we can do is continue to do what we do best, because those opinions will never change, sadly. Ignorance will live on, but we need to stick together. Educate those who complain about our career choice and keep making a difference to the ones who truly appreciate what we do – the students.

    Thanks for this article write-up!

  42. Some of these comment amaze me. I have a great job as a teacher. I worked hard to get where I am and I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had. Does that mean my job is all peaches and sunshine? Of course not. Why am I not allowed to be frustrated sometimes? If a teacher expresses a frustration or complaint of any sort, the public attacks.

    I love my job. Very few teachers who don’t love what they do don’t last in this profession, and that’s ok. Do you want miserable teachers teaching your children? I don’t. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have very bad days, that end with me home in tears, wondering if I shouldn’t have been the stay at home parent instead of my fabulous husband, or very, very long days with rehearsals and performances, where I feel guilty for not being there to tuck in my babies. But it wouldn’t matter what the job was I had, there would be bad days and good days. But if I still worked in retail, I wouldn’t get attacked for venting or having those bad days.

    Regarding snow days, when I worked in telecommunications, when the weather was horrible, I could call in and say I can’t get to work due to weather, and I got….wait for it….paid! So no, teachers are not the only people who can stay home when the weather is bad. In Ontario they often cancel bussing if it’s unsafe, but that means schools are open and we’re expected to drive the unsafe roads in to work. And we do. And on one such occasion, through no fault of my own, a poor driver crossed over into my lane and I had a head on collision trying to get to work for the 3 kids who were coming. I wrote my car off and was hurt. So be it.

    Some days, I fight back when people make the summers off, short days, snow days comments. As I get older though, when we’re negotiating contracts and the public seems to despise us, and people rail at me about my summers off, great benefits, “short” teaching days, I usually say, “yes, those are all great perks of the job. You should go back to school and become a teacher too!”. When we aren’t negotiating our contract, do you know what I hear more often than not from members of the public? “You teach high school?! You couldn’t PAY me enough to do what you do.”

    • I do not understand the system of pulling buses but keeping schools open. Just can’t get my head around it. So glad you weren’t badly hurt in your accident.
      Love your response to people who talk about your great job! ‘Yes, people. It’s so great! Please enroll in your nearest university and get your BEd. WE could use more dedicated teachers. See ya in 4 years…plus a few more while you get your masters…plus a few more years you’ll spend subbing without a f/t job on the horizon…but hey! see ya soon! You’re going to love it.’

  43. I wish for you a thousand snow days in a row – paid and taken wherever your heart desires. My respect for great teachers is boundless. I wish I could find that all of them felt and worked as you do, but I’m sure there are a plethora of reasons why some grow despondent with their work and give up. That is a mighty impressive deck of cards stacked against you.
    Thank you for all your efforts. I hope you have made your fair share of snowmen. :)

    • Well, that is just super nice and warms my heart in the middle of this ice storm we are experiencing. ;)
      Seriously!!! It’s almost April and we just had two snow days! Global warming…I could use a little warming right about now.

  44. Not only teachers get snow days. I am a Police 911 operator and have been picked up at my driveway by police after the county plow cleared the road to my place while all the non essential clerical workers in my department get snow days, not as many as the schools do, but when the roads are dangerous they are advised by management to stay home. And rightly so. If your job is important, but not so important that lives are involved, you should be able to stay home when the roads are treacherous. And I’m sure we’ve all seen banks and doctor’s offices etc, closed for the day or part of the day due to poor driving conditions. My doctor’s office was closed until noon today due to the icy roads. So the teachers are not the only ones getting a day off due to the weather, plenty of jobs also do. And I haven’t heard too many stay at home moms whining about the school district caring about their child’s safety, but I have heard SOME from working mothers who had to make arrangements for child care on those days, and weren’t very happy about it. As someone said on this forum earlier, WHAT prevented you from being a teacher if it was so easy and so much fun?

    • Thanks, 911 operator for your support and for all that you do. I had to call 911 once when my son was choking (it turned out fine – thank heavens I had learned the heimlich manuever). The operator stayed with me, kept me calm, got me help. I’ll never, ever forget it.
      You are so right. All of our jobs are important but not so important that anyone should put their lives at risk.

  45. The best snow days for me as a teacher was the unexpected ones. And the Monday and Wednesday ones. A teacher’s job doesn’t stop when the kids go home. For the people that rant, get a life.

  46. Love your insight! I am the husband of a teacher. I also happen to be a contractor who’s employees go out in every snow and ice storm for snow removal no matter the day of the week or hour of the day. I don’t wish it upon anyone to have to go out on the roads in some of the storms I have to. Many of our customers including banks, insurance agencies, restaurants, supermarkets, medical offices, and retail stores are closed during the worst storms. I am not sure why society feels the need to bash teachers about this.
    Back in the day, my wife spent 5 1/2 years earning a BA and BEd followed by 4 years of substitute teaching and term positions all while trying to start a family. When she finally earned a full-time position (and the salary & benefits that come along with it), there were actually a few extra dollars to pay back student loans and buy back pension time from the term positions. All tolled, it took 10 – 12 years to become established in her field. No complaints on that – that’s pretty typical for any professional. But I don’t hear the public outcry when the doctor closes her office early because of freezing rain or the accountant doesn’t go to the office in the morning because of a blizzard outside.
    We all have good and bad in our jobs. I often stop at the supermarket or take my children to extra-curricular activities during my “regular” work hours. (My wife can’t because she is teaching at those times.) I often run into people I know who ask “You not working today? I’d like to have your job.” Would you? Really? You have no idea what else my job consists of other than seeing me picking up a few groceries at 3PM on a Tuesday or taking my daughter to a hockey tournament on a Friday afternoon.
    Doctors make a large salary. Accountants get to play with other peoples money all day. CEO’s have a big climate-controlled corner office with a leather couch. Nurses only work 4 days and then get 4 days off in a row. Teachers get snow days and summers off………….

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