This week, my son has been very sick with a bad flu. I had to scramble at work on Monday, then managed to work from home on Tuesday and today, having to cancel a class today.
Whenever I have to cancel a class, I think about many things. Is it better to cancel a class and give students some written work to do or is it better to send in a substitute to show them a movie? It does depend on the movie, I suppose (just as an aside, the movie I had in mind is in fact very relevant to the course material – a movie that I would have shown clip from). However, I tried to see this from my students’ point of view. Would they feel like the showing of a movie was a waste of their time, that because I could not be there I had put together some “random” activity to kill time?
I also think that while some students will be quite happy that the class is cancelled, others may feel “cheated” out of the learning they would be experiencing had class been held. Maybe they think, “I paid for that class session, and she robbed me of it.” But then again maybe I’m over-estimating their enthusiasm for this course.
Even as I write all this out… I realize that I’m over-thinking it. Maybe no one thinks any of these things. Maybe they’re thinking, “That’s too bad her son is sick.” Who knows?
I was able to work from home for these few days, but there are some things that I just can’t do without being in the classroom with the students. Sure, they could answer the discussion questions on their own and submit it as an assignment, but would it have been a same learning experience as having the discussion as a group in class?
I wish the students could know just how much I care about this, that I think about all these things. Being a mom and being a teacher… both are really life-consuming.