Thursday, January 31, 2008

6th Graders + Snow = Not sane. At all.

What is with this winter?!?!? It is so crazy! Every school day is an adventure when the weather acts up like this. As it is you never know what to expect out of each day when you're a teacher. Last week I found myself fishing a maxi-pad out of a toilet in the girls' bathroom during lunch. Someone wasn't sure what to do with it I guess and tried to flush it, no luck. No custodians were available and I wanted the girls who reported it to me to quit freaking out, so I just did it myself. Like I said, when you wake up every morning as a teacher, you just never know. Today was like that.

Paradise is not a town that deals well with snow. I mean ANY snow. At all. In comparison, however, school is totally disfunctional when it snows. Snow does not make teaching easy. At all.

It was very cold this morning, only 34 deg. at our house, 35 deg. at school. It rained most of the morning, tried, then succeeded at snowing, and was starting to stick by lunchtime. As expected, the girls marched around in their Uggs (yes, real ones) and sweats, only to complain that their feet were wet & cold five minutes later. The boys stomped in puddles, of course while the girls in Uggs stood right next to them, causing them to wail & complain, "Stooooop it! Mrs. Behlke, he's splaaaaashing me!" Snow does not help students use good judgement. At all.

Fog on my classroom windows prompted 10 minute long stories about the ice on mom's windshield earlier that day. Slush on the field reminded one student of an accident they'd observed the day before, prompting another 10 minute long description of events that had nothing to do with what we were attempting to discuss in class. These stories were told right after I asked if anyone had any questions about the story we'd just read together... Six students asked me if they could go to the bathroom during my 3rd period class. All six came wandering back from the bathroom lightly dusted with snow and sighing loudly, "It's coooold out there!" Snow does not help keep students focused or on-topic. At all.

School was closed an hour early today due, of course, to the snow. The principal asked us not to let the kids know school was closing early. I'm sure he didn't want everyone in a panic pulling out the cell phones they aren't supposed to have with them at school to call home & cause mass chaos. The second I hung up the phone relaying this message to me a student ran up to me, "Is it true they're cancelling school?!?! That's what I heard in the cafeteria!" Snow does not help keeping things "quiet" easy. At all.

Seeing the look on their faces when the snow began to fly, however, is pretty cool. Sixth graders are at a magical age- almost teenagers, but still little kids at the same time. This magical age prompts them to gaze at the snow falling from the sky and ask, "Do you think it's snowing at my house?" They can still stand with their mouths gaping open, eyed squinted, tounges extended toward the sky waiting for that one snowflake to find it's way to their mouth without worrying about how silly they appear while doing this. Being cold is not a consideration while getting soaked by slopping in the slush on their way to lunch. They don't care about the squeals of the girls they splash after pouncing in that puddle, they just see the puddle and hop right in.

Today was supposed to be a regular day, regular schedule, no meetings or conferences or I.E.P.'s or assemblies or minimum days or anything out of the ordinary. For my students, and myself, today was not a normal day. It was a wet day. It was a snowy and cold day. It was a day that made my students very excited and freaked most of their parents out (especially the ones without 4WD). It was a day that we'll reminice about in May when it's 98 deg. outside, "Remember that day it snowed and they cancelled school early?..."

Tomorrow we're supposed to walk over to the Performing Arts Center for a field trip, and on the way back I'm taking the 50+ kids who are caught up on their reading goals to lunch at Taco Bell. We're going rain or shine (or snow)... I can't imagine what that will be like. At all... but I'm sure of one thing, it will be interesting.