Snow Days, and the Fallacy of Relaxation


Image result for  school counselor snow day

January 4, 2018 and we have our first snow day. This event does not bode well for the rest of the winter or our June escape from the school year. Yet, I am invigorated by the prospect of a bonus day to get the things accomplished that I just didn’t get to finish on Christmas vacation – like sorting the Christmas decorations before storing them, trading some stocks, sending a few notes to friends who are ill, dealing with an overfull iPhone that barks warning messages at every click. Lofty goals, but one can hope…

While I say I will spend my day in pajamas while sipping coffee and watching The Price is Right, I am at work. Yes, work work. Not at my desk at the high school but what fancier people call “telecommuting” (how glamorous!).  It’s a great opportunity to get things accomplished that are in that pile on the side of the desk for those down times that are so rare and often fleeting. In my business, the best laid plans for productivity are interrupted by a crying kid, or a teacher on prep with a student concern, or any other emergency.  Guidance counselors are the jugglers of education; responding to a new, unique crisis everyday, or hearing a new scenario requiring problem solving, all the while doing the job that the world thinks you are doing.

So a snow day for me is a dubious gift – and for my district, a bonus. In essence, I work for free because this day off that I dedicate to my job will be tacked on at the end of the year to be worked all over again. Sounds like a good deal, right? Or is this what grown ups call “being professional”.

So as I read emails from parents asking me to call them today, or transcribe transcripts, or write reports for the town, I focus on how much I love what I do – at least the ideal of what a school counselor does. We have the most misunderstood role in education – the dumping ground for everything, and when things go pear-shaped, the ones who get dumped on! Yet, we persist. Even on snow days.

Maybe I’ll get to the decorations or my e-trade account today…one can only hope.

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