Snow Day

Today is a snow day for me.

But many students today are waking up to yet another virtual school day. Logging on. Doing their work. Missing interaction with friends and mentoring adults.

It’s the opposite of what used to be. What seems so long ago. Sledding, snowman building, hot chocolate, and digging out.

I think back to last year in March when the governor announced that schools would close “for two weeks.”

I was in the grocery store later that day with a large number of my town’s fellow citizens. Shelves of canned and paper goods, nearly cleared. Yet the mood was like a holiday but even lighter. We hadn’t had a snow day that year. Not even a delay. And now we were getting a spring break.

A break from which some have not yet returned.

I talked with a class of high school students last week (our small school is in-person) about human purpose–about our need to engage others and do work.

They agreed that even playing video games gets old without human fellowship.

They understand something perhaps only experience can teach. They have a new appreciation for the everyday routine they had before COVID.

I think, every so often, of Dawid Sierakowiak, a Jewish teen in Lodz, Poland, during the Holocaust. Dawid (pronounced David) kept journals a la Anne Frank. When the Nazi occupation came, Jews were no longer allowed to go to school.

I remember Dawid’s torment at not being permitted to learn. It was the opposite of what I witnessed in the grocery store last year. But Dawid understood that his “school vacation” was not to be just two weeks.

He was right.

Had students understood last year that many of them would be away from their friends for nearly a year, the mood in the store would have been somber.

Humans yearn for fellowship. We need each other. We need something to do besides games.

Many young people understand now that having to go to school–getting to go–is a gift.

It’s a gift I hope our town soon experiences after so long.

Photo Credit: Isaac Ordaz, Unsplash

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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23 Replies to “Snow Day”

  1. As a career teacher, I remember being as excited (or more so) than the students whenever we had a snow day. Time for play, catching up on chores, watching movies–so many things to do. But everything is different now and, as you point out, we’ve recognized how much we miss being with people, sharing hugs, going out to eat, etc. I pray we can use this time of isolation and self reflection to ponder how we can come together in other positive ways and plan strategies to spread love and joy to others. What would Jesus have us do now, at this moment in time, to spread His Gospel of love?

    1. Thank you, Katherine. I love snow days too. But I don’t like to make them up. The virtual day prevents make-up days, so that’s good. I just hope kids get their share of downtime too. God bless!

    2. Thank you, Katherine. I love snow days too. But I don’t like to make them up. The virtual day prevents make-up days, so that’s good. I just hope kids get their share of downtime too. God bless!

  2. Amen Ms. Nancy. Not only in our schools ma’am, but in our churches and communities also. God’s blessings for this important message.

  3. Wonderful post Nancy. I loved snow days as I child and still do. But the deeper meaning of your post touches my heart. We do need human interaction to survive. We feel lost without it. God created us to be in community. I feel awful for the students during this pandemic. Thanks for the reminder about them. I will continue to pray for all students to find ways to stay connected.

  4. It’s sadly funny how we were so excited in the beginning for the “break” but now crave a return to interaction. Kids even miss school instead of dreading it. We humans need each other. Fellowship is a good thing.

  5. We’ve learned so many lessons this year, and the needs our children have for fellowship and camaraderie with friends is but one of those national lessons. As a homeschooler of my six kids for 28 years in the 1980s – 2010s, a choice I made, I knew the importance of social outings—home school group outings, group classes in clusters of 2 to 4 at coffee shops, organized sports teams, art and French classes, debate teams, theatre productions, and swing dance classes, etc. Sending the teens off for lunch together and meeting together in co-ops, all of these strategies together, were deliberately undertaken to provide social outings for our kids. Many have experienced homeschooling for the first time during this pandemic, but without the opportunity for those incredibly important social outings and without this decision being their own choice. I hope all the schools open soon, so that children and teens can meet again with their friends regularly in their classrooms, and so that work and family life assumes its normal routine for the majority of the families.

    1. Congratulations on your homeschooling adventure. I’ve known many homeschooled students and am often impressed by their maturity at a young age. And their deep grasp of history and literature. Homeschooling the way you did it is so enriching. And these young people live out the benefits and advantages. I also hope that schooled students–and their teachers and administrators–will see, appreciate, and encourage healthy relationships through school. Thanks, Melinda, and God bless!

      1. Homeschooling was one of our best decisions. They all went right to the Dean’s List in college from their homeschooling days, and they’ve been highly successful in their fields. I’m glad we were able to give them that experience while teaching them to think, to question, and to investigate. Their grasp of history and literature is indeed deep and wide.

        1. Homeschooling is highly advantageous for many. I’ve dealt with those students in the classroom here and there. They do think well. A skill not very highly revered in many educational corners.

  6. Such wise words, Nancy. We know that God commands us to meet together and not forego this. And we know God’s commands are always for our good. God made us to be connected. Praying it won’t be much longer now.

  7. Nancy, I dare say, even adults have learned to appreciate the everyday routine since the virus ravaged the world and our lives. We all need human fellowship. Glad your small school has stayed in person.

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