In the past, snow days have been known to be the source of joy for elementary and middle schoolers.
They’re a day of rest and playing catch up for high schoolers and college students. Those snow days
have also been a source of chaos for teachers at any level. In this day and age, it’s not quite the same
situation as it used to be. Despite the slick roads and snowball fights, classes at Eastern New Mexico
University have mostly gone unscathed.
For many students at ENMU, nearly every class has an online component. Some teachers post all of
their tests online and assignments can be submitted through Blackboard, Eastern’s online learning
service. Some classes are entirely online, and others are hybrid classes, meaning that live, in-class
lectures are recorded and posted online. That online presence seems to be a saving grace for professors
when it comes to snow days.
The biggest problems caused by the snow days include rescheduling guest speakers, supervising
students in hands-on and graduate classes, and fitting staff meetings into new time frames, according to
Adrienne Bratcher in the Health and Human Services department.
“It’s no different than any other week, you just roll with it,” she stated. The online component of
ENMU’s classes allow her to continue with classes, as her classes are hybrid and can be watched online
as well as in person.
John Petrone, who is teaching three graduate level classes in the education program this spring, says
that his online classes have been entirely unaffected. It has impacted his office hours but classes,
advising, and overseeing student teaching managed to sneak by the snow days.
There are some advantages to snow days too, for both students and staff.
“As long as their internet is working, if they’re falling behind, they can catch up on some things,” said
Petrone, who mentioned that he takes time to do schoolwork from home on snow days.
The most important of those positives, though, is that the cancellations help to keep students safe.
While rearranging busy schedules can be frustrating and stressful, putting the safety of staff and
students first is worth the aggravation.
“They [snow days] are just a required inconvenience,” Petrone said.