Feb. 12, 2010 marked Abraham Lincoln's (201) birthday. It also marked my third (maybe fourth) two-hour delay in that past few weeks.
Throw in a snow day and President's Day and you have a pile of lesson plans that haven't been used yet.
When you get behind due to weather delays or other unwanted (in some cases, wanted) time off school, you have to make a series of choices in regards to student learning.
I talked to two veteran teachers, Beth Bloom at Amelia High School in Batavia, OH and C.E. Sikkenga at Grand Haven High School in Grand Haven, MI.
Sikkenga said he recommends young teachers look at cancellations as a gift and use them as a chance to recharge. I think we can all agree that a few extra hours of sleep can go a long way.
Secondly, Sikkenga said it is important to know your content and be aware of what is most necessary to teach.
He said, "A lot of effective teaching is not as much knowing what you have to teach so much as knowing what you don't have to teach. A lot of that comes from experience."
Bloom also said she recommends student teachers enjoy snow days and cancellations and to be flexible. While it can be challenging to meet deadlines and state standards when time is lost, eventually, Bloom said, "Everything still manages to work itself out."
Overall, I think it is important to plan effectively. This is something that has been a challenge for me so far. It's hard enough to plan for things to go well, let alone plan for potential problems.
But I think if I make planning a priority, I will see results that I am not seeing now.