Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Day 80: 2-Hour Delay, Day 2


Another 2-hour delay.  These are really a double-edged sword for me.  As a morning person, I much prefer to just get up and get right to what I need to do.  My alarm goes off and I'm in the shower, dressed and out the door in 15-20 minutes.  I get to school early to prep and get ready before the students show up.

My ideal schedule is morning loaded, getting the majority of my classes out of the way before I run out of steam around lunch.

Once I get going, I need to keep going.  Momentum is my friend.
"Watch out, learning! Here I come!"

A 2-hour delay kills much of that momentum.

I can't really sleep in because I still need to be at school at the normal time.  Then I'm ready to start my day with another 90 minutes to wait before the students get there.

In addition to this, many of the students seem to think that a 2-hour delay means a day off when they just happen to be in the building.  Reigning them back in from this misconception takes a bit of effort.  Students crave routine.  There is safety and comfort in predictability.  A disruption to that routine is hard for everyone.

The benefits, however, FAR outweigh these inconveniences.

First, classes are shorter.  Since my classes are all double period, this means on a normal day, I see my students for 90 minutes.  90 minutes every day.  Every day for 180 days.

90 minutes is REALLY hard for middle school students.  60 minutes, however, is perfect!  It allows me to do enough activities that I feel we've covered enough material while still changing things up enough to keep them interested.

Second, starting later in the day means that the kids are more alert when I ask them to perform complex tasks.  The number of times I have to say "pick your head up, please" drops dramatically when I'm not saying it at 7:45 am.

Also, my classes are generally smaller on 2-hour delay days.  It isn't particular students who stay home, but I imagine that as the parent of a kid who doesn't want to go to school, it's much easier to extend a delay than to skip let them skip a normal day.  As a result of cold temperatures, parents giving latitude, or just the inability to add 2 hours to the normal time you would leave your house, my classes are 30%-50% smaller.  Regardless of who the students are, a class of 15-20 is much more manageable than a class of 25-30.

Snow days are nice, especially when I don't have to go anywhere, but I'll take a 2-hour delay over a snow day 9 times out of 10.

They've already called one for tomorrow!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...