Upset about All Those Snow Days? Let’s Chat…

OK. I’m pissed (I guess that explains why I’m posting again after almost a year). I’ve seen just a few too many people whining and complaining about schools in my area having another snow day today and I am, frankly sick of it.

Set aside, for the moment, that most of the whiners have absolutely nothing to do with public education (not teachers or administrators or parents or students) and yet feel it appropriate to complain because, apparently, teachers and education are fair game (I presume they don’t get this upset by everyone who happens to work a different schedule than they do — those who work part-time or nights instead of days or get three weeks of vacation or work banker’s hours or…).

I am going to try to say this as clearly and simply as possible. Teachers in my school district are most often on 194-day contracts. Our salaries are based on that contract and pay us for that number of days. We do not work in the summer because we are not paid to work in the summer. We do not work on certain holidays because we are not paid to work on those holidays (of course, very many of us are actually working on many of those days, but the whiners don’t like acknowledging that).

Anyway, the district has a school calendar that meets the state-approved hours of education for all students. Built into that schedule as of this year are 12 snow days. These were added after we had a couple years of needing to add days to the end of the school in order to meet the requirements for students. Teachers were not paid extra for the days that were added, but we were required to work. The 12 built-in snow days this year are not part of our 194-day contracts. For every day that is not used, we will again be working time that is not part of our contracts and without additional pay. The county has been clear that they will not be asking to shorten the school year if those days are unused. So far, we have used 7 days. That means that, as of now, teachers will be working 5 days longer than our contract days.

Many people seem to consider snow days “free days” for teachers. In actuality, every one of those built-in snow days that we don’t take is a “free day” for the very people whining (and everyone else who paid their taxes) because they get our labor without paying us a penny. If we have to work on these days are you going to be complaining just as much about how unfair it is to us?!? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Yet people complain and argue and spout and bemoan.

Here’s an idea for all the complainers: Maybe consider putting some small amount of the time you waste worrying about what other people’s work schedules are into improving someone’s life rather than trying to tear someone down. You may actually find that it helps you in the end. If not, then someone else will at least have gained the benefit of your time (and the rest of us will have had to listen to a little bit less of your drivel — good things all around).

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