The last three years were tough – and that’s a huge understatement. We’re all still seeking out joy and many days are spent struggling to find it. And during this time, many of our schools have taken away snow days.

Look, I’m a parent and an educator. I know a snow day can pose difficulties – no daycare, no work, another day tagged on at the end of the year. The opportunity to now have a “remote day” instead of taking a day off for snow seems like a great and rational solution, right?

Let me help you remember.

The fourth-grader puts his pajamas on inside-out and backward and places a spoon under his pillow. He is so committed to this cause that he manages to convince his 14- and 16-year-old brothers to join in and help. Giddy with excitement, he turns to Mom and Dad. At first, they do not acquiesce. But after their son explains his plight, they smile, remembering how they themselves prepared for a snow day.

And so they turn their pajamas on inside-out and backward. They send him skipping downstairs to gather four more spoons, making sure the whole family is fully committed to the cause. Because technology has advanced, this 10-year-old takes one last look at the online snow day predictor before bed – 95% chance of a snow day! It’s looking good.

The excitement coursing through his body makes it difficult to get to sleep. He is dreaming of hot cocoa, pancakes, snow forts, snowball fights and all the fun that accompanies a snow day. The next morning, he bolts out of bed to find it worked. It worked! Inside-out pajamas and spoons under the pillow did the trick. There’s a whole day to play and be a joy-filled child, frolicking in the magic that is a snow day.


As we emerge from the pandemic, let’s take time to make thoughtful choices about how technology might serve us best. Some school districts are already modeling these choices. No one wants a school year that drags into the last days of June – not a student, not a parent and not an educator. So let’s consider having between three and five “old school” snow days each winter, then implement remote days when our calendar really starts to get stretched.

The fear of falling behind and ideas about where students “should” be are social constructs. We create them.

Our constant connection through technology is all too real, creating a feeling that work and school follow us everywhere. We have our phones, our laptops and our iPads always demanding our attention. A snow day can provide that unexpected permission to disconnect – to take one day – no alarms, no rush out the door, no homework, nothing demanding your attention.

This break provided by Mother Nature might be just the call we need to answer. The winter is a time for hibernation and restoration. Let’s seize those moments when nature provides them. Let’s reconsider our rational, practical “solutions” to snow days and consider the valuable opportunities that putting our pajamas on inside-out and backward might bring. A snow day here and there delivers joy – a gift that is truly priceless. Far too often we lose our child-like joy and excitement for the simple things. Don’t forget the spoon.

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