The snow has finally arrived!
Outside it’s coming down thick and fast and I’m watching it from the cosiness of my front room, feeling very thankful that today is my day off.
In teaching there are many things that can lead your carefully planned lesson astray; last night’s Facebook kick-off, a puppy love quarrel (and the subsequent tears that come with it), someone accidentally calling you Mum. But nothing compares to the complete derailment that is snow! Forget trying to teach them anything, your lesson is literally out of the window!
It starts as soon as the first few flakes begin to fall, “It’s snowing!” and thirty kids race from their seats to be by the window. To be fair, watching snow fall is a lot more fun than solving quadratic equations so I don’t blame them.
And then the questions start:
“Do you think we’ll get sent home?” No
“How cold does it need to be before they shut the school?” Never going to happen
“We don’t need to do any work now do we?” Ermm, yes
“We’ve got to go home, it’s a health and safety risk!” I’m sure at the age of 15 you can manage to walk on snow
“You want to go home as well, don’t you Miss?” Too right
“Can we have the lesson outside?” Definitely not!
“Can we thrown a snowball at the head, he’ll see the funny side?” I can guarantee you he won’t!
When break does arrive they race out onto the playground as if they have never been allowed outside ever and the fifteen minutes that follow are carnage. Snowballs thrown from every direction whilst staff monitor from corridor windows, far too risky to actually step foot out. No one wants to be known as the teacher who got the snowball in the face!
Of course, trying to get them in after break is no easy task, and if there’s anything worse than kids who are desperate to be allowed home to play in the snow, it’s wet (and now very cold) kids who are desperate to be allowed home to play in the snow.
The rest of the day is pretty much a write-off. You will have regular updates from the kids about which schools have already closed and they will personally blame you for the fact that they are still in school, “It is so unfair!”
My advice to any teachers out there is to just roll with it. Write a snow poem, draw some symmetrical snowmen pictures or discuss the finer points of Frozen because the kids, for the day, really do care more about the snow than Pythagoras and his theorem. Actually, if i”m being honest, so do I!
Can we go home now?