Snow days take a toll on teachers, students - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Snow days take a toll on teachers, students

Alabama teachers face an extra challenge this year due to the number of weather days schools have used during winter storms.. Source: WBRC video Alabama teachers face an extra challenge this year due to the number of weather days schools have used during winter storms.. Source: WBRC video
Jessica Williams, an 8th grade English teacher, says teachers will have to fine-tune lesson plans to make sure they cover all of their content standards. Source: WBRC video Jessica Williams, an 8th grade English teacher, says teachers will have to fine-tune lesson plans to make sure they cover all of their content standards. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

With two winter storms impacting Alabama in the past three weeks, many school districts have taken several snow days and may have to use even more weather days before spring.

For teachers, the missed classroom time is creating a challenge.

"From a teacher's perspective, the first day is a break. I love the first day off," Jessica Williams said.

Williams, an 8th grade English teacher, said the excitement quickly wanes once it gets to the second or third day off, or more, for inclement weather.

"You're like wait. I have tons to do, a lot to catch up on. So you lose that excitement. Now you're panicked," she said.

The challenge can start right when students walk in the door after being off a few days.

"When they do come back from even one day, let alone three days, we may have to have structure rebuilt into it," she said.

Once instruction does get underway, Williams says it usually starts with re-teaching what was taught the last day class was in session. Then it's getting to new content.

"You have to focus your lessons now and it's just fine tuning them so you're hitting all the content standards. You just have to break it down to the bare bones. We have to do this, get it down because it's our seventh week of the nine week period," she said.

But it's not just the classroom work that affects teachers. Williams says many teachers wear different hats at school. For example, she's the girl's tennis coach at her school as well.

"We're about to have our first tennis game and maybe 50 percent of our practices have been cancelled because of the weather," she said.

But, she says, teachers and students will adjust.

"I think a lot of it right now we're just rolling with the punches. All we can do we're at the mercy of the weather. There's nothing we can do about that," Williams said.

Not only are students returning on a Friday, but they're doing so knowing, for many of them, a three day weekend is coming up with President's Day on Monday. Plus, Friday is also Valentine's Day, meaning lots of candy, which could lead to lots of extra energy among students.

Williams says in light of all of that, teachers may need a little extra prayer and patience as they try to get their students focused back on school work after so many snow days.

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