Archive for August, 2014

School Closures in Winter

Posted: August 14, 2014 in Education

Meme - school closed

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) voted on the decision this week to close schools entirely when buses in their region cancel their service due to inclement weather. According to Marg Macfarlane (president of the ETFO in the Halton District), it is a safety issue.

This decision has parents/guardians up-in-arms claiming that the vote forgets about the children that are in walking distance or that are driven to school by other means – do they not have a right to learn?

Of course, from a teacher’s perspective, nothing is sweeter than waking up to a blanket of white 3ft high and, in childlike fashion, listening carefully to the radio to find out whether or not it’s time to dress for work…or head back to bed. At my school (private high school), we do close the entire school if the buses are not running. Is it worth it (even for those kids that walk) to trek to school in that stereotypical Canadian weather only to find out you’re the only kid in class? Are teachers really supposed to teach full lessons even though 99% of the class is absent? Heeeeeeck no! This would just mean having to repeat the material again the following day anyway.

Trust me when I say that if I can make it to work, I will. Any good teacher who respects the career path they have chosen, their administration, and their students, will make it to school. It is preposterous to assume that teachers simply want the day off especially when other careers don’t offer the same luxury.

I can understand, however, that this becomes a parental issue when their child is not yet old enough to stay home by themselves – this means parents/guardians also must miss work to tend to their child(ren). Again, some careers are not so flexible to allow parents to do this, especially the morning-of.

Then, there are teachers who must commute from far where driving through inclement weather is simply not an option (or it is, but a stupid one). I know I know, no one asked those teachers to live so far from where they work, but it is what it is. Are they to call a supply teacher then?

Universities are notorious for cancelling classes – but what about those students who live on campus? You’re forgetting about them!!!…

I’m just saying, if it didn’t snow so much in Ontario, we wouldn’t have an issue. Moreover, if you really think teachers like the day off in winter, we do, but it only lasts about 10 minutes until we realize we have to shovel.