Teachers Share the Wildest Things That Only Happen in Their State

Homecoming “mums,” free string cheese, and other school traditions you have to be a local to understand.

Collage showing Texas homecoming mums and string cheese

Teaching is always an adventure, but depending on where you live, you may find yourself dealing with some unique situations on the job. Recently we asked our friends on our WeAreTeachers Facebook page, “Name something that only happens in the state where you teach.” From days off for deer hunting and Mardi Gras to checking the grounds for bears and gators, teachers came through with funny and unique events that give teaching a different spin across the country.


Mama bear and two baby bears in a field of flowers

Source: Bored Panda

Someone has to check the property for bears before you take your class outside. —Dee O.


In Tucson, we have Rodeo Days the last weekend in February so we get Thursday and Friday off. The parade is the biggest non-motorized parade in the country! —Emily P.

If the AC goes out for over an hour in Arizona, we call the parents for an immediate evacuation. —Katie M.



We have earthquake drills every month in addition to the fire drills and lockdown practices. —Cheryl M.

Our students get to have their music performance at Disneyland! —Paula R.



Children in their ski suits on top of the mountain

Source: Dropin Snow

Fifth and sixth graders ski free! Colorado Ski Country USA Ski Passport gives free lift tickets at ski resorts around the state. And some mountain towns have 4 day weeks so kids can ski on Fridays. —Kristin G.


We no longer celebrate Columbus Day; we now call it Italian Heritage Day and it’s still a day off from school. —Donna R.


We have fog delays. They can last an hour, 90 minutes, or 2 hours. We also get a half day off for “Returns Day” in Sussex County (Lower Delaware). Honoring the tradition when votes had to be counted by hand, we get a half-day the Thursday after election day every 2 years. A celebration is held in Georgetown (the county seat) for candidates from both parties to ceremoniously “bury the hatchet.” —Tracie D.


Scaly alligator in a field

Source: Beaumont CVB

Our 4th graders go to a local nature preserve every year. It’s the highlight of the year in regards to field trips. Every year we have students who talk super loud, then get disappointed when they don’t see anything! Then they spend the second half of the trip loudly shushing anyone so they can try to see animals. It’s a ton of fun! —Cara D.

Lizards fall from the roof when it gets cold. —Cindy D.


Spring break in Augusta, GA always happens the week of the Master’s Golf Tournament. —Cissy L.


Parents give us potatoes for presents instead of apples. #idahoproud! —Jessica H.

We get a week off during potato harvest for students to work in the potato fields! —Melissa G.


Race cars driving around the track

Source: IMS.com

Indy 500 mock cars come to schools during the month of May, with a 500 princess! —Kristin Y.


The start of the school year is entirely dependent on the dates of the state fair. —Stephanie I.


In my 13 years as a student and 9 as a teacher I’ve never had to attend school the Friday before the Kentucky Derby (the first Friday in May). —April W.



Source: New York Times

In New Orleans, we get off the entire week for Mardi Gras Break. Monday and Tuesday for Mardi Gras and Wednesday because the majority of folks in our area participate in Ash Wednesday. —Kelly R.

Alligator swamp tours are a favorite field trip! —Katie S.

I’m in Louisiana and I teach down a bayou. We never shut down but we have had to lock down for a gator on the playground. We have also had a snake or 2 slither into the school. —Samantha S.


We teach students how to pick crabs (remove the meat) in Maryland. —Maggie S.


A teen girl and her horse standing in a lane

Source: Everett Herald

If you bring a horse to school the principal has to care for it! So seniors bring their horses the last week as a prank. —Helen B.


There is no school on 10/31 (Halloween) because it’s the state’s birthday. —Camie N.

New Jersey

Jersey Hooky Week!! We get the entire week off because of Election day. —Samantha M.

LBGTQ students are recognized and respected and included in the health standards in K-12. May not be the “only” state but we’re one of them. —Jen B.

New York

At my school in NYC, we get days off for Lunar New Year, Juneteenth, Indigenous People’s Day and Eid al-Fitr. —Kimberley A.

North Carolina

Parade on flatbed trucks.

Source: Design By Sea

My NC high school has Farmer Day. We have a parade around the track on flatbed trucks pulled by trucks and tractors. —Elizabeth H.


We get a week off for fall break because it’s the start of deer hunting season. Every month we have tornado drills. Native American Heritage Month is celebrated at our schools and the Tulsa Race Massacre is also taught at our schools. And in Stilwell, they have days off for the local Strawberry Festival. —Angela G.

Elementary school students in Cleveland and Oklahoma counties participate in a “Land Run” every April, complete with prairie dress and covered wagons. —Jessica H.


We have a day off or early dismissal for fall and spring NASCAR races at the Bristol Motor Speedway due to increased traffic in the region. And if they were rained out we would get the following Monday out when they ran the race. —Allison M. and Tammy H.

Here in Paris, Tennessee we get a Friday off for the World’s Biggest Fish Fry so that kiddos can go to the parade and carnival. —Sarah W.


Studens wearing giant mums

Source: Facebook

Students wear giant mums (with cowbells clinking) down the hallway during Homecoming week. —Darby B.

Every second grader gets to go to the local pool for a week of swim lessons. —Laura B.

We get a Friday off for Fiesta in San Antonio. Also, following the Pledge to the American flag, we say the Pledge to the Texas flag. —Briana R.


Lately, we’ve had mud days because it’s rained so much the buses are up to their hubcaps in mud on the dirt roads! (This has happened only once in the past 30 years. Usually, we’re lucky to get rain only once every three months or so!) —Amy K.


Schools close or go remote due to snow during mud season. Dirt roads get very bad and frost heaves are bad. Plows can’t come through on such roads therefore…unsafe for busses. —Tamara H.


Schools in some parts of my county have yearly Lahar drills because we live in a valley below a huge, active volcano. —Jenny C.

West Virginia

West Virginia 8th graders can become Knights of the Golden Horseshoe. Students from each county who score highest on a test of West Virginia knowledge and history are knighted in a ceremony at the state capital by the governor. —Judy H.

We get the week of Thanksgiving off due to the start of gun buck season. —Melissa K.


Cheese head costume

Source: The Bobber

Kids get free string cheese once every two years to celebrate our local Cheese Festival. They also get to meet the mascot, Wedgie. —Amanda J.

Are we missing anything? What is the wildest thing that happens only in your state? Share in the comments below. Plus, 30 Things Today’s Students Will Never Understand.

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Teachers Share the Wildest Things That Only Happen in Their State