Winter comes each year, and as it does, so does the hope for an expected day off. Often in winter, it’s cold outside, skies are gray and they just don’t want to leave the house. Snow days come with hot cocoa, blankets, extra sleep, and time to play outside. Sometimes students and teachers are tired, and the anticipation of a potential snow day is what keeps them going. Sometimes they even participate in rituals hoping it’ll make the chances of it happening more likely.
Origins of Rituals
Throughout time, students and teachers have developed a wide variety of rituals that are often performed throughout the winter in hopes of increasing the chance of snowflakes to appear. While no one is quite sure how or when these rituals began, many of them are living on. One of the most well-known rituals states that if you go to bed wearing pajamas backwards or inside-out, it will snow. Another common ritual is to sleep with a spoon under your pillow. Some rituals can be as simple as doing something called the “snow dance.”
Western Elementary school paraprofessional Dawn Ross noted some of the things she has known her students to do. “My students often tell me they are going to pray, flush ice down the toilet, or sleep with a spoon under their pillow. They seem to actually believe this will create a snow day.”
Flushing ice cubes is a popular choice when it comes to these rituals. English teacher Leslie Murphy reinforced this, “Both my boys and I needed a break from school and the usual routine in November. The weatherman was discussing potential snow. So my boys and I gathered in the bathroom and flushed some ice cubes down the toilet. Since I have been a teacher, I’ve always heard of others doing this in order to encourage a snow day, so we decided to give it a try. It was my first time attempting this after eighteen years of teaching, but it didn’t work out this time.”
A simple thing to do when hoping for a snow day is to go online and check the weather. One popular blog that is well-known is Lexington meteorologist Chris Bailey’s at www.kentuckyweathercenter.com. In the winter, math teacher Heidi Little is a frequent visitor to his site. She said, “When I want a snow day, I often look at Chris Bailey’s weather blog. My students will tell you I go online and look at the news very often.”
Benefits of Snow Days
Snow days are a great break for students and teachers. They get a change from their normal routine. Snow days give students and teachers a chance to catch up on life. “On snow days I hang out with my kids, but I also get to clean up the house, which I never get to do on regular days,” said Math teacher Heidi Little.
It is true that they will eventually have to make up some of these days. Most students don’t care at the moment. In fact, Sophomore Cailey Wagner said, “I love snow days even if we have to make them up, because we all need a break every now and then.”