Living in Illinois (or anywhere in the midwest) often means coping with unpredictable weather: the kind of weather where one day it is 52 degrees and sunny and the next we have an ice or snowstorm leaving the roads basically impassible. Over a foot of snow is usually a pretty good sign to cancel lessons/sessions, but what about those times where the weather isn’t awful, but it isn’t great? What then?
I have a couple ways to cope with situations like these:
1. Let the Family Choose – When in doubt, you can contact them to see what they are comfortable with. If you can make it to work but don’t know if families what to make the trek or go out in the -10 weather, simply ask them what they want to do. I find that families sometimes appreciate a phone call or text message to check-in when these circumstances arise.
2. Listen to Your Gut – Do you feel safe on the roads? Are you uncomfortable going to work in those weather conditions? If you don’t feel safe, cancel your plans. Your clients would prefer to take a day off than take a chance.
3. Offer a Makeup Day – If you are offering a large group class, build in an extra day or two into your calendar. This will allow some flexibility in the event that you are sick, you have to cancel due to weather conditions, or there is an emergency.
We had a small snowstorm this past week on the day I had an early childhood class scheduled. Because the snow was winding down and most of the roads were being cleared, I decided to lead the class as scheduled. Unfortunately, only 2 of the 6 families came to our class, and one of them was also 15 minutes late due to the weather. We have also had several absences due to winter illness, so I decided to offer an extra “make-up” class this week that was free of charge. I want to keep my clients both safe and happy. Offering options like a make-up class can be the little thing that makes a big difference for the families I work with.