The pre-rain date

Here is my new, brilliant idea:

The pre-rain date. Allow me to explain.

The Turkey Bowl has become an annual tradition at my school. Students and faculty play a flag football game on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. It’s great fun.

But last year, rain forced us to postpone the Turkey Bowl and eventually move it to the spring, when rain once again postponed it until we ultimately had to cancel it for the first time.

Disappointing for everyone involved.

My colleague suggested that we schedule this year’s Turkey Bowl on the Monday before Thanksgiving in order to allow us to use Tuesday as a rain date if needed. But Tuesday is a better day for the game. It's closer to Thanksgiving, and by avoiding the Monday, we give kids a better chance of being prepared for the game. Whenever you schedule an event on a Monday, you give children the opportunity to forget over the weekend, increasing the chances of them coming to school wearing something other than sneakers or wearing a skirt or dress.

Tuesday just makes more sense.

So here is what I proposed:

The pre-rain date.

Schedule the game on Tuesday and make Monday the rain date. Meteorologists have become accurate enough for us to easily look at the forecast on Thursday or Friday of the previous week and determine if Tuesday’s weather would be suitable to play.

If not, we move to the rain date. Monday. Less preferred than Tuesday but still a viable day before Thanksgiving.

Think about it:

Instead of always assuming that a rain date must fall after the originally scheduled date, why not allow rain dates to fall before the date?

It’s a little outside-the-box, I know, but in certain circumstances - like this one - I think it makes a lot of sense.

Here’s an added bonus:

This would make some people crazy. The folks who can’t stand shifting away from an expected norm will lose their minds, and that is always fun to watch.

Many years ago, my friend, Donna Gosk, and I went to a professional development seminar in our district. The instructor, a colleague at another school, asked us to work together to describe what excellent reading instruction looks like in the classroom.

It was a time-wasting, fairly pointless, nonsense request made by someone who had forgotten that we are adults, fulling capable of engaging in a productive discussion on the topic rather than engaging in an activity more suitable for children, but not a surprise. This happens all the time in education.

Adults who teach children all day long somehow think that they should teach adults using the same methods.

Donna and I grabbed a sheet of white construction paper and started drawing a picture of a classroom where great reading instruction was taking place. We thought it might be interesting to have a visual representation of this stupid assignment, and we thought it would be a more entertaining way of fulfilling this ridiculous request.

Meanwhile, everyone else in the room was making lists. Writing lengthy descriptions. Using words.

When we brought our drawing, complete with amusing speech bubbles and images of our favorite books, to the group, the instructor looked upon it with great disdain. “Oh,” she said. “You must be from that artsy school” and failed to acknowledge our efforts.

We left the seminar at the break, returned to our school, and told our principal that we didn’t want to go back the next week. To his credit, he gave us the option of doing an independent study instead.

There are people in this world who insist that everyone remain in their proper box. They want their days to be average and expected. They don’t want anyone upsetting their apple cart. They embrace tradition with all of their might.

The concept of a pre-rain date will make people like this crazy. They will hate it so much. They will roll their eyes, sigh dramatically, utter their favorite phrase, “Yeah but,” and generally be unhappy.

And that is always fun to watch.

The pre-rain date. Give it a try. Let me know how it goes.

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