Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow Day: The Eternal Question

Scenario: Your typical Albuquerque "snow storm". A couple of inches, leaving things frozen and icy in the early morning. But you know, everybody knows, that by ten or so the roads will be almost dry to bone-dry.

You're an APS teacher. What do you hope/pray/wish for? Is it the two-hour delay or the full-blown cancellation?

Two-Hour Delay
  • Pro: No stupid extra day at the end of the year that everybody knows is just a stupid tacked on day and is roundly resented by student, teacher and administrator alike to the point that almost all teachers show movies and have "free days" out of meteorological spite;
  • Con: "Abbreviated Day" is a complete waste of academic time, consists of crazed middle-school students careening even more wildly through the halls/classrooms as their vicious hormonal cocktail is now spiked by sight/interaction with snow/snowballs/putting snowballs down other students pants; crazed situation is exacerbated by each class period lasting about six minutes as school stupidly tries to cram every period into the "Abbreviated Day".

Full Cancellation

  • Pro: See "Con" above; allows teachers plenty of time to post silly blogposts about snow days (this could be considered a "Con" as well); allows all to frolic in snow without some of us having to stop Johnny from putting snowballs down Timmy or Tammy's pants (which will suck the absolute love of snow right out of ya).
  • Con: See "Pro" above; extra days at end of school year threaten certain planned trips to fly to France and go bike touring the very second school is over; full realization during "extra days" at end of semester that the whole idea of adding school days to improve education is a bogus premise in the extreme; realization (both good and bad) that schools only really accomplish something for maybe 100-110 school days a year and that 180 days is overkill designed more for babysitting than academics; possible professional suicides resulting from aforementioned realization.
Always a tough call. Personally, I think the best solution is the full cancellation combined with the "already purchased plane ticket". That's where Teacher X buys a plane ticket to France that leaves the very day following the originally scheduled last day of school. Full cancellation snow days occur and Voila!, *"I'm sorry, but I purchased these plane tickets and they're not refundable, and it will cost me thousands and thousands more, and did I mention that my Great-Grandfather is buried in France and I've never seen his grave and I promise to make it up, really I do! Really!"

*Not that this ever happens, or that I am condoning this action if it were ever to occur. Which it doesn't. Ever.

Have a good Snow Day everybody. See you in classrooms on May Twenty-WhatevertheHell, and remember...I reserved the DVD player to show "Shrek 3" on that extra day first.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Today Is Deadline To Run for APS

By Andrea Schoellkopf Journal Staff Writer

Albuquerque school board member Jon Barela was appointed to his seat in September, but his name will not be on the ballot in February's board election.
Nor will Berna Facio's. She's been on the board since 2001.
Today is the deadline for filing for the Albuquerque board's Feb. 3 election, with four board seats on the ballot. Incumbents Mary Lee Martin and Paula Maes will seek another term.
"I feel that eight years is enough," said Facio, a retired teacher who took the District 3 North Valley seat in 2001. "It's a big commitment. It requires a lot of time and energy. It's time to let somebody else do it."
Barela, who invests in companies that deal with technology and property development, said, "I just need to refocus on some business." He cited a changed business climate since he applied for the position earlier this year.
Martin, who was first elected in 1987, is seeking a seventh term in her District 6 seat, which includes the far Southeast Heights and the East Mountains.
"I actually enjoy the position," Martin said. "There's lots of challenges. I guess I'm up for a challenge."
Maes said she wants to serve a third term in District 5, which includes the near Northeast and Southeast Heights, so she can work with Superintendent Winston Brooks. The board hired Brooks last spring to replace Elizabeth Everitt, who left to take a job elsewhere.
"I really believe in Winston's plan and his vision for this district," Maes said. "I would like to able to make sure he has a supportive board behind him to do that."
Facio said she's happy with the direction APS is taking in developing partnerships with the University of New Mexico and Central New Mexico Community College.
Barela was the board's choice to fill the District 7 far Northeast Heights position after Gordon Rowe stepped down in September.
The school board recently approved a resolution asking board candidates for voluntary disclosure of financial contributions. The issue is also expected to be introduced during the upcoming Legislature.