This is unprecedented. Tomorrow is the 4th day school has been closed due to cold weather. In the morning it’s supposed to be -21 and it’s quite windy. I don’t know what the wind chill is expected to be. But the other three days that we’ve been cancelled we haven’t had gusty winds like what’s swirling around right now.
Last Thursday was an unexpected closure. I was at school, working a gymnastics meet when I found out. You should have heard the excitement of those girls! Yes, they won their meet, but they were more excited about their day off. What’s different about tomorrow? Even though our contract has a clause in it that says we don’t have to report, the district is making teachers report to work. We’ve always interpreted this as when we’re closed due to bad weather.
“SECTION 4. QUARANTINE/CATASTROPHIC DISASTER LEAVE. Teachers will be provided up to a maximum of ten(10) days paid leave of absence for quarantine by a health officer due to a contagious disease. The same will be provided for a catastrophic disaster that occurs in the teacher’s school and/or community which causes the closure of the District or the teacher’s school.”
Since there isn’t time to grieve/fight this, we’re going in. We’ve also been told on a robo-call that the district wants us to be productive. When are we not productive? We’re teachers for crying out loud. We’re productive in our sleep! I’m productive while I swim and think about how I’m going to resolve an issue or teach a lesson. I’m very productive while I’m at home too. I certainly don’t have to be in that building, at my desk to be productive.
Many teachers will have child care issues since most districts in the metro are calling school off tomorrow. I’m not sure what they’ll do. And guess what? It is dangerous to be out in this weather. So why do we have to come in? One word. Control.