Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Winter in Vermont

Today was my third work-from-home Wednesday in a row, not by choice. It’s the third Wednesday since the start of the new semester I had to rearrange appointments, reschedule class visits, and spend my day bundled in blankets with my computer to keep me warm.

For those of us in the northern climes, it’s been a brutal winter. The snow is removed with construction trucks here in Vermont; plows attached to trucks just won't do it anymore.

The winter takes its toll on students, and it takes its toll on us. The toughest part of the winter has been missing contact time with students, students who need remedial lessons and emotional support. While it’s the snow that causes the delays here in Vermont, delays happen everywhere.  It’s a delicate balance—how do you make up missed time without bombarding students who already feel like they are drowning? How do you keep them interested in remedial lessons when they are falling behind on class work because of weather, illness, crisis?  How do you remember to enjoy the snow day, something that was so easy to do as a kid, instead of fretting about lost time? 

(Rebecca Flanagan)

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