The Good ‘Ol Days

Looking back at when Snow Days meant a day off


Snow days are an integral part of many people’s childhoods. Unfortunately, now that virtual learning is set in place, snow days will just be another day of school, just one from home that it is online. Although this does allow for a full spring break since days will no longer be cut off due for make-up days, this still seems like it will leave something missing from the childhood of students today.

They will no longer know what it feels like to wake up, having watched the weather reports the night before, and wondering if they were get a delay or have a day off. Kids would wait by the TV or radio or phone to know if their school was delayed or canceled due to the snow.

When canceled, kids were able to play outside in the snow all day long, making up all kinds of different ways they could have fun. Kids these days will never have those memories so The Oracle asked some teachers to reminisce on snow days from their childhood:

Mr. Tom Cooper

“Coming from Massachusetts, we always had at LEAST a couple of snow days every year (even though the town was well prepared for snow), and I remember them as an integral part of my childhood. I used to wake up extra early on days when snow was forecast and quickly flip through the various local morning news channels hoping to see my school’s name appear on the scroll at the bottom (this was before email and the internet was used for EVERYTHING, and that was the way you would find out). Looking back, I feel like the anticipation was half the fun of the snow day… Later, I’d meet up with my friends across the street and have snowball fights with the paperboy and when I was in high school we used to go down to the field and play football in foot deep snow. Unexpected days off were a fun part of childhood. Another funny story I often tell people is how when my mom was growing up her superintendent wouldn’t cancel school unless the snow was “up to his knees”; the problem was that he was 6’7″…

In all seriousness though, I respect the fact that technology is making snow days obsolete, especially when we all have experience with virtual learning because of COVID. That said, it is a bit sad that moving forward people might not be able to enjoy that part of being a kid.”

Mr. George Tepshich

“I grew up surrounded by farms. We had an old snowmobile as well, so a snow day when I was growing up consisted of a lot of shoveling and then riding the snowmobile all day around the farms. One time when I was a teenager, it once snowed for three days straight.  The snow was up to my waist and everything was shut down for a week. My brother and I rode to the local grocery store on a snowmobile to pick up supplies.  I felt like I was in Alaska!”

Mrs. Holly McCarthy

“‘Snow Days’ from my childhood always included sledding and hot cocoa, but for some reason we never sat on the sleds, we stood on them and since my backyard was a hill with a fence at the bottom, you had to bail out before you got to that point and let the sled just hit the fence.  My sister and neighbor both flew and slid right underneath it without a single injury!  IT WAS AWESOME! And, like I said…it was always complete with hot cocoa and sitting with our feet by the vents to warm-up, even though my mom packed us up in our snow gear so tightly we could barely move (which is probably why we never broke bones doing the crazy things we did).”

Mrs. Anne Loudon

“Back in my day, we didn’t have the internet so the only way we would find out about snow days was on KDKA radio. This is how it happened every time in elementary school. In high school, my whole life on a snow day, we would be at the bus stop for an hour and then my mom would be like, ‘hey KDKA said there is no school’. They would read every school and Shaler is at the end of the alphabet. I lived by Shaler McDonald’s so when I was in high school, my whole family worked there. We could walk there so whenever there was a snow day, immediately they would call me into work so those were my snow days.”

Ms. Val Scott

“So when I was in grade school, we had a blizzard. School was closed for almost a week. I remember getting all bundled up and going outside to help my dad and mom shovel out their cars. All of the neighbors were outside doing the same. Then, my brother and I tried to make an igloo in our backyard. We weren’t successful but we tried. It was a fabulous week! No school work…we picked a new “snow” activity to do everyday. We went sled riding; played with our dog in the snow; made snow angels; etc. We didn’t have any idea what other people were doing. We just spent a lot of family time together without stress!”

Mr. Tony Sarkis

“When I was ‘extremely young,’ third or fourth grade, my mom would have her clock-radio on in her bedroom.  Me, three brothers, and my sister were all in grade/high school at the time, so when there was the potential for a snow day, we would all ‘assemble’ in Mom’s room for the reading of all the cancellations on the radio. At that time, EVERY INDIVIDUAL delay or cancellation had to be actually read. All I can think about now is how my Mom would love having us all in her room early in the morning, and how my poor father, knowing that he HAD to go to work no matter what, was just trying to get a few last minutes of sleep! I often wonder if that poor man was hoping we’d get a snow day more than we were because as soon as we heard our school read, we would celebrate, then run off back to bed or to the sleds!”