Monday, February 28, 2011

The Trouble with Delays

Today I experienced my first ever "Rain Day". I'm sure it was the right call, but it was very odd and surprising. I received my text alert at 4:40AM and spent the next several minutes trying to confirm it before rolling over and trying to fall back asleep. It's true. We had a 2 hour delay.

Did you know that when there's an early dismissal or delay schedule, teachers still have to be there at normal time? Well, we do. I checked in on time and got to my room to see what the delay schedule was like. Of our five periods, our first two were each ten minutes in length. Ten minutes. Ten minutes to take attendance and get something accomplished. As you can imagine, not much was done.

Why was the time taking from only the first two periods? The simple answer is lunch. Students are required to have lunch for a school day to count and not be made up. We have three lunches. Each lunch is thirty minutes. There's a break in between each lunch so that the cafeteria can recover. Lunch happens during third period, beginning at 10:10AM. Lunch could not be moved and had to be the same length so that all students could be fed. As a result, our schedule included two ten minute periods and three seventy minute periods.

Honestly? I would have rather not had the first two periods at all. Ten minutes isn't enough to do anything, really. Normally, even giving vocabulary words, which I do every Monday, takes longer than ten minutes. I like to use sentence examples and have the kids guess the words from the context. Instead, I posted the words on a single slide and the students frantically copied them until the bell rang. And that was how we spent our ten minute class before I moved on to the actual size classes I had the rest of the day.

I understand we needed the delay. I understand that kids need lunch. I just wish there was a more logical way to do all of this.


  1. if you have tobe there at the normal time, why wake you up to tell you at 4:40 am? can't you just find out when you get there?

    i teach art in back-to-back (no travel or prep time) 30-minute blocks. that means about 20 minute classes, once you count coming in and cleaning up. that's one little five minute lesson, and then about 15 minutes once a week (if everything goes perfectly and there are no behavior issues, which...not) for the kids to do whatever it is. and that's the regular schedule. not counting the month of march/april, when i have to travel to their regular classrooms because it's testing season and they don't want hallway movement. what's the point of all this, you ask? beats me.

  2. Help a poor confused foreigner out - what exactly is a rain day?


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