After two days off in many cases (because of a bit of snow) there's a right old fuss about schools closing with people citing everything from childcare problems,to how writers remember the winter of '63 and following the snow plough to school, to comments on how we'll be bringing them up to life long weakness and failure if we let kids stay home because of snow, as reasons why schools should be open regardless. See the BBC here, and the Independent here for just a couple of examples.
Setting aside for a moment the idea that schools should be regarded as childcare (they should not), I am amazed by the number of online comments that say things like teachers should live near school, or councils should keep essential staff like teachers in hotels near schools (do teachers not have families that need them at home in the evenings then?) when bad weather is forecast. Amazing.
Ok, if you teach really well behaved 6 year olds you might risk living in the catchment area, but what teacher in their right mind wants to live near their teenage charges? The few that do tend to be either near retirement age and probably moved in before so many kids (not all I know) ran rings round their parents and every other adult, or they are very young, newly qualified and financially challenged.
When young, newly qualified and financially challenged, we lived in the catchment area of my husband's school for 9 months. Amongst other delights we had fireworks thrown at the house (very scary I can assure you) and kids knocking on the door on a Sunday demanding help with homework or the return of confiscated items. My husband had to repeatedly change the routes by which he walked the dogs to avoid malevolent gangs of disaffected history students, and, to this day, nine years after leaving that school, there are pubs in his old catchment area he wouldn't go in for fear of meeting certain ex-pupils. We lived in his catchment area rather than mine because his was the 'nicer' one. This is why most teachers do not live near their school! This is a news story from my catchment area around the time we started teaching. Would you live there?
I always knew that the kids thought we weren't human and that we lived on the premises and the caretaker went down to the cellar every morning to wake us from our coffins, but it amazes me that parents, adults, have so little empathy.
On a rather more praiseworthy note Scott Pack on twitter notes:
Look, it is pointless spending a fortune so that we are prepared for a snowstorm that comes once a decade or so. Just enjoy it.
Nation of fat children? More snow is the answer. The fat buggers are running about all over the place out there.
And talking of twitter, you can now follow Juxtabook on twitter too.