Teachers make plans to maximize learning in the event of icy, snowy 2016


Maggie Kimber

Teachers are making snow plans an active part of the classroom discussion during the first few weeks of the semester, just in case this winter looks anything like the past two years.

Maggie Kimber, Entertainment Editor

At the first sight of flurries, many Knox County students flock to the internet, quickly bombarding Twitter timelines with memes and tweets lobbying for a snow day; for several teachers, however, signs of inclement weather have quite the opposite effect.

After the previous school year’s illustrious ten-day snow break, Bearden teachers prepare for the remainder of winter by tailoring plans to better utilize devices in case of a similar scenario.

Chemistry teacher Mrs. Cara Vaughn said she has altered her plans completely in preparation for snow days and has even added these new precautions to her class syllabus in order to keep students on schedule.

“In chemistry, we teach up to the day before the EOC, so we can’t miss a day of school,” Mrs. Vaughn said. “It was frustrating because we had to miss lab days to account for these snow days, so students ultimately ended up missing out on some fun, hands-on stuff because we weren’t here to do it.”

History teacher Mrs. Kelley Darnell expressed similar grievances over the loss of class time.

“For my class specifically, and the way it’s structured, I really prefer a lot of lecture for my teaching, and we really lost that last year,” Mrs. Darnell said.

Mrs. Vaughn’s solution includes using Twitter, Remind 101, and Canvas to post assignments.

Junior Cate O’Donnell said that she feels as though teachers’ previous attempts to make up for this lost time by implementing online teaching last year lacked this type of communication and caused several students to struggle with their lessons.

“With no teacher to ask questions to and only online videos to watch, the vast majority of us were falling incredibly behind,” O’Donnell said. “When we returned to class, we just had to relearn all of these sections anyway.”

Mrs. Vaughn hopes to counteract any problems by planning strictly enforced deadlines, especially in the case of digital assignments.

“Whatever we were planning to do in class on missed days will be modified for students to complete at home,” Mrs. Vaughn said. “I make the assumption that if [the assignment] is posted, and it’s been communicated that it is out there that students have completed the video tutorial, or they have completed their reading, or whatever the assignment is, and if it’s not completed, then students will return to class a day behind.”

Keeping expectations like these in mind, O’Donnell hopes that the workload will remain manageable.

“I hope that in the case of snow days this year that teachers will be reasonable in their expectations from us, and the amount of work assigned,” O’Donnell said.