Hello, my name is Mister Teacher, and I work for the Yo-Yo Independent School District.
This morning, we had what is known around the world as "freak weather." Sure, up north, freezing rain and a quarter inch layer of ice may not be considered freaky, but down here in Texas, the only thing freakier is Matthew McConaughey's bongo-playing habits.
So I wake up around a quarter till 6 this morning, and the radio dudes are talking about how bad the roads are and how a lot of schools are closing. So I did what I do every morning at 5:45 -- I hit the snooze button. Ditto for nine minutes later. However, a little after 6, I got out of bed and wandered into the living room to watch the TV. Apparently it was snowing, if the television reporters and their immediate surroundings were painting an honest picture. All four of the major stations had crawls on the bottom of the screen, listing all of the schools that were closing and/or opening late. One district was conspicuously absent. You guessed it, Dallas ISD.
Now the policy has always been that school closings are announced on TV by 6:05AM. I sat there and watched the crawl on all four stations to be sure, and Dallas ISD was not listed on any of them.
So I reluctantly began the process of showering, getting dressed, getting in gear, and getting out of the house. As soon as I pulled out of the garage, I felt like I was being salted from above. Small pieces of freezing rain had left a layer of frost on the ground, with more being added every moment.
To make a long story short, my journey to the school took nearly twice the time that it normally takes, but I did arrive in one piece. Out in the parking lot, I encountered two of my fellow teachers engaged in conversation. One of them, like me, was just arriving; the other, was leaving. She told us that school had been canceled after all, and that we could go home.
Sweet -- just what I wanted to do. Get right back out onto the road.
But then, another teacher stuck her head out the door and announced that school had once again been declared open. I couldn't help but get a mental image of one of those plastic bobbing bird toys. Head goes down, school is closed. Head goes up, school is open.
As indecision goes, this seemed to be pretty major. However, it didn't hold a candle to what was going on with the kids. Come to find out later, the buses did in fact leave the "bus barn" at their normal appointed time to pick up the kids. Midway through their route, though, they were told that school had been closed and recalled back to where they had started. THAT'S why I didn't see a single bus pass by during my morning crosswalk duty today. When I got back inside at 7:45 and mentioned that to the principal, she told me that the buses had just been sent back out to pick the kids up.
Now think about this for a second. If YOUR kids were out there waiting on the school bus at the normal time, and it was snowing, and it was 27°F, and maybe you had to use the bathroom pretty bad, and the bus never came -- would you really stand around for more than an hour on the off chance that the bus might be coming late? Well, neither did most of our parents and kids.
By nine o'clock, Mrs. Educator and I had a combined total of 10 kids. Most of them had been dropped off by their parents, though one, maybe two of them came on the late bus.
So as far as that was concerned, it was a nice day. We put all 10 in my room for the first 2 1/2 hours, and the kids and I talked about weather and the difficulty that goes into making accurate forecasts. Then after lunch, Mrs. Educator tagged in and did some reading activities with them while I got a nice new bulletin board completed.
I just hope that we don't have to go through exactly the same thing tomorrow morning, here in the Yo-Yo ISD. Because if we expect our kids to learn from their mistakes, I certainly hope that our adults can as well.