Snow day taught students an important lesson

Published 10:16am Tuesday, February 18, 2014

By DONNA GLAUSIER/Guest columnist

On the morning of Jan. 28, I prepared to go teach my class of 6th graders.

After listening to the weather early that morning, and believing that Birmingham was only to receive a possible dusting, I presumed we would spend the school day “normally.” So, I settled into my classroom with a nice, warm cup of java. Little did we realize that Tuesday would not be a “normal” day for anyone in Alabama.

As a teacher, January and February holds opportunities of snow days, which bring anticipation of early school dismissal, or even an entire snow day! I think I get just as excited as my students.

Of course in Alabama, these days are rare, so even the hint of the “S” word makes the hallways and classrooms buzz with excitement and a lot of window watching. So as the snow begin to fall that Tuesday morning, students’ eyes grew wide with excitement, and their attention became focused on the outside. Actually, mine did too!

So, we donned our coats, scarves, and gloves, and then headed outside. Even though they are “middle schoolers”, snow is wonderful and meant to be enjoyed! Our planned vocabulary lesson was interrupted for the day, and little did we know, that we would experience a different vocabulary lesson throughout the day, into the evening, and the rest of the week.

We learned all about “black ice”, snowed in, stranded parents, a botched forecast, sheets of ice, snowstorms, blizzards, treacherous, inclement, bleak, glacial and the list could continue. We learned about time being a critical element and Mother Nature being her own boss. We learned that we could survive separation and fear of the unknown, and we learned that we could work as a team in our school.

All in all, we experienced a real Snow Daze … not being sure of the outcome, at times confused, yet making the best of a scary situation. Hopefully, this situation will not occur again, and it probably won’t in my lifetime.

I believe some valuable life lessons were learned that will be remembered for a lifetime. I’m sure my students will tell their kids about the Snow Daze of 2014, the scary memories will probably fade, and some great stories will abound.

I’m glad to live in Alabama, where we really don’t know how to drive in the snow, but we know how to work together and help our neighbors survive any situation.

Donna Glausier is a Chelsea resident.

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