The Future of Snow Days

Nora T.

As almost every student believes, snow days are great.  A day of no school in the middle of a biting winter with loads of school work piling up is a good way to relax and de-stress.  Everyone loves them, they’re a day to sit inside watching TV all day, never changing out of your pajamas or a day to spend outside with your friends, buried under layers of Under Armour, throwing snowballs until you can hardly feel your hands.  Of course, while teachers like a day off, too, they certainly are a hassle. Each snow day we have must be made up, and some schools with brutal conditions have to hold classes during recess, holiday breaks, or even weekends. Of course, there’s a solution-but us kids may not be able to accept it.  

Technology has been incorporated into learning in most US schools.  Most students have a laptop that they do at least a portion of their work on.  Knowing this, we can see the snow day solution: attending each class virtually on a school-provided device.  In theory, this can work, teachers sharing videos of their lessons and students doing work online. Obviously, there will probably be students who simply don’t do the work, since they don’t have their parents making them physically go to school, so they can just not do it.  But overall, snow days will definitely be more productive, and schools won’t have to make them up.

While online school days are clearly a great solution to teachers, administrators, and parents everywhere, from a student’s perspective, I wonder if they’re worth it.  Snow days, like it or not, are a part of everyone’s childhood that they won’t forget. They give students hope through gruelling semesters that they could have a day of no work, a reason to keep working.  And let’s not forget the feeling of waking up to your mom or dad shaking you awake, telling you the school called and there’s no class, or the feeling of jumping up at every phone call the night before a storm and then rejoicing when it’s the one you were waiting for.  Part of being a kid is having those moments of happiness, those days when you can just play in the snow with your friends. Sure, virtual school will get work done, but at what cost? Snow days will be a phenomenon completely erased from future generations of children’s lives.  They won’t know the feeling of seeing snowflakes on the window and jumping out of bed to put on snow clothes and go sledding with your friends. They won’t know what it’s like to have an out-of-the-blue break. If snow days are eliminated, what’s next? How much of their childhood will children have to sacrifice for the purpose of work?  Is being productive really an excuse for taking away a small moment of pleasure?