Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Champagne Weather #sol15

While we have not been pounded with the champagne weather like our colleagues in the far North East, three weather days in one week of teaching offers a little-respected must-have in our profession: flexibility and adaptability.

I just received our call for a two-hour delay today. In addition to today, we missed Monday and will most likely be snowed-out tomorrow.

A teacher's development of flexibility and adaptability can't be taught to college graduates as much as it can be learned in the thick of things. Maybe a colleague or mentor can remind us about flexibility and adaptability--but if a teacher doesn't learn it on his/her own then, well, then, good luck with that. You're fighting the wrong fight.

Be a cork in the water.

Part of my adjustment this week includes making sure my students have enough time with me to continue with the drafts and revisions and enough time with me to prepare for a quiz.

With me.

If that means I have to keep pushing due dates and scheduled assessments deeper into March, so be it. Because for as disruptive interruptions can be for a teacher, remember how interruptions impact our students. Even an unexpected announcement over the all-call can knock a lesson--or a student--off the rails for several minutes.

So, as I take time for an extra cup of coffee, I am working right now from home. Working on sorting out the best way I can work with students given the circumstances. Teaching is not a "plug-it-in / mail-it-in" profession. Our daily decisions are too powerful and too life-altering for it to be any other way.

While, the weather inserts itself into our daily considerations, make the best of it. Don't leave it to the thirteen-year-old to figure out alone. And take a breath. And maybe help a colleague nearby who might be looking a little frazzled.

Be a cork in the water...we all know a cork in the champagne eventually pops.

from A Dictionary of Victorian Slang (1909)
champagne weather: (Soc. 1860 on) bad weather--said satirically.


  1. Great last line! "Be a cork in the water...we all know a cork in the champagne eventually pops."

  2. I love this post because it is so honest, relateable, and true. I completely agree with your thoughts, and especially wish I had known in my first couple of years teaching that flexibility and adaptability can't be taught, but are true cornerstones of good teaching. And I appreciate so much that the focus of your post is on what the kids need the most.

  3. This is so true. Flexibility is definitely a trait of an effective teacher. Learned through experience, I guess. Love quote about the cork, too!