Graphic by Isabelle Kennedy
Dear Superintendent Mark Daniel,
Fear builds for current students of the 21st century as the second semester of school approaches. It may partly be because of the novel coronavirus or school teachers figuring out how to “screen share” on Zoom, but the unfortunate real cause for concern of the 2020 – 2021 school year is that the last ever snow day may be behind us.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio declared snow days a “thing of the past” for kids, but as an avid snow day connoisseur and two-time snowball war champion, I say nay to mayor de Blasio. Snow days are here to stay.
I will never forget the anticipation of staying up on a Thursday night to watch the snowfall, or performing snow day rituals with my older brother to get the night’s precipitation to accumulate. From wearing our pajamas inside-out to sprinkling sugar on the grass outside, we thought we had snow day alchemy down to a T. Even though some mornings my brother and I would wake up disappointed, when our rituals did work, it was quite literally magic.
Still, snow day magic is more than just a break from school. I like to think of it more as a break from reality, a day dedicated to tapping into my inner child and playing and running in the snow. A day to forget about everything. With 2020 being an especially stifling year, having a day to forget about school or work and to focus on mental health is just what we students need.
And let’s not forget about teachers and staff. I have seen the ups and downs of teaching online. From navigating Zoom, taking attendance, performing rocket surgery and sharing a screen, each task is more challenging than the last. I promise it is not just the students who would appreciate a day in the snow to run and play. A snow day for teachers pays a dividend to students as an excellent teacher-student relationhip makes classes more enjoyable for everyone involved.
As schools are likely to continue virtual learning into the second semester and more snow is yet to fall, I urge you to show grace and embrace snow days. Not only are snow days a jovial time for all to celebrate and a massive breakthrough in re-establishing students’ tattered mental health, they deliver magic to snow day alchemists like me and offer a day of rest to our Zoomed-out teachers.
With thanks and an invitation to my next snowball war,