Crazy hair day and other school spirit days

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by alabama, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Mar 12, 2016

    But that's a personal issue. You want all students to stop getting to participate in spirit week because you don't have time? As a teacher, I don't care which one you put your time into supporting. That's your family and your call.
     
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  2. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Mar 12, 2016

    OP...I agree that perhaps you are spending too much time helping with homework? Your children should be able to complete homework independently, with just minor comments from you. I want to check my student's homework to see what errors they are making. If the parents help too much or correct the answers, I have no way of knowing what support I need to give the students until they fail the test.

    As far as spirit week, go ahead and make the suggestion to leave out twins day or trade for something else. And again, spirit week is for the children, so let them come up with their own goofy ways to get involved. They can do everything without lots of money or help from you.

    Our school has crazy sock day, mixed up uniform day, sports day, etc. These are all activities that the children can dress themselves as without much help from the parents.

    Are your children excited about participating...or are they picking up your vibes that it is too much of a hassle to do fun activities that may not necessarily be educated related?
     
  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 12, 2016

    Twin day can be as cheap and easy as a pair of jeans and a white tee. In my school they encourage those without a twin partner to all wear their school shirts.
     
  4. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Mar 12, 2016

    School is a busy, busy place. I can't imagine that your daughter doesn't have ONE friend she can be twins with. If so, you may need to organize some playdates so she doesn't feel so left out. If you do not participate in these events, honestly no one cares except maybe your daughter. And if she doesn't care then you shouldn't care.
    Another idea, is you could get involved with your schools PTA to make necessary changes to things you find annoying. Most of the meetings are in the evening to accommodate working families.
     
  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Mar 13, 2016

    Alabama, you mentioned that homework is impeding on your family time, and I'm wondering if that might be the more serious issue to address. Different teachers have different views about parental involvement in homework; personally, I think it's wonderful that parents discuss homework with the children. School is an important part of a child's life and a parent should be there for the child. I have concern when homework requires too much time or too much parental assistance; that might be something to discuss with the teacher. S/he can offer suggestions or alternative ideas to help. I have much concern when homework is frustrating for the child, too; ideally, learning and practice should be calm and hopefully should provide a sense of fulfillment. I have some quick tips for when a child finds homework difficult. Arrange a quick break after 10-15 minutes to stand up, stretch, and drink some water. This increases brain activity and ensuring enough hydration aids in problem solving in the brain. When I assist a frustrated or discouraged student in the classroom, I look for ways to relieve the tension, often with humor, and always with a smile, and most importantly, I encourage the student. For example, in math, usually the student is "almost correct", and after we discuss what was done correctly, we work on completing the rest of the problem properly. In other work, I start with what the student is understanding correctly, and go from there. (I don't mean to sound accusatory or to imply that this is your situation, I'm just sharing some tips that I've found helpful for parents and students. Your child's teacher would have more specific insights to help better than I can over the Internet, of course). I would also check with the teacher if homework is impeding upon the child's opportunity for active play outside or free time. The brain needs both to properly encode what is learned during the day; without play and free time, (and while mentioning this, especially sleep time), the brain becomes sluggish in its learning. (The brain is like an elaborate filing cabinet. During school and homework, the brain begins filing things into the file folders, but it completes this filing during other times such as active play, free time, and again, especially during sleep time).
     
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  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Mar 13, 2016

    Granted, this comes from a teacher who doesn't believe in homework. Philosophically I'd say spend time on the spirit day.

    But, as has been said, your family can't possibly be so busy you can't do both if both are important to you.
     
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  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Mar 13, 2016

    I've never heard of Twin Day...

    My school rotates a few in and out each year. We have cowboy day, superhero/villain day, crazy sock/tie day, time warp day, pajama day...

    In my view, they're fun. No one cares if someone doesn't participate. They make a nice bridge between academia and the school community.

    A day or even a week of spirit stuff will not destroy academics for your kid. In fact, fun can be rejuvenating.

    My suggestion: let your daughter take main control of her spirit day stuff AND her homework and move back the helicopter. She will be just fine.
     
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  8. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Mar 13, 2016

    I am sorry to hear that this is causing you anxiety. For me, it's about camaraderie, building morale, making school fun, and building responsibility. Is it hectic...OH YES! And it's all the time, every day! It's frustrating when my son tells me at 9:20 that he needs cotton balls for a science project.

    You do not have to keep up with the Jones with these fun events. But those who want to, should. Your child should be able to do most, if not all, of the prep work. If they're not, it's time for them to take on the responsibility. Ditto with homework. You should only need to assist with homework...at the most.
     
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  9. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Mar 15, 2016

    From what the OP described, I feel like part of the pressure comes from social media, where parents show off their craftiness and cuteness on Facebook and Pinterest. It's a whole new level of competition. I don't have kids, but I am seeing some of the stuff parents are doing for kids' birthday parties these days, for example, and it is out of control! What happened to good old confetti cupcakes and balloons? If the same pressure is being applied to Spirit Day in her community, I can understand feeling overwhelmed.

    I also think the concern for students who are already socially isolated or who can't afford to participate on the same level as other kids is valid. I see this happen at our high school, where the same kids are always left out of the fun, supposedly by their own choice, but perhaps it goes back to elementary and feeling left out as a young student.
     
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  10. alabama

    alabama Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2016

    Thanks, Ms. Irene.

    You phrased it well. Yes, I feel there is a lot of pressure in my school district for parents to put a lot of effort into make our special snowflakes succeed. We have a lot of stay-at-home moms that have an incredible amount of time to put into things like this and make them more than a little competitive.

    In the example of twin day, the "winning" (i.e., cutest) picture on Facebook was a group of six, three girls and three boys. All of the boys wore matching bright pink shirts, matching hats, matching pants. The girls all wore matching shirts, pants, and bracelets. While it looked cute, it was clearly the creation of parents rather than my kids. Not just any parents, but parents with time, money to spend, and a good sense of style.

    My school also does a yearbook, and a parent volunteer comes to take pictures during the school day for spirit days, and then the best ones are chosen for the school yearbook. My daughter doesn't look cute on spirit days so her picture is never chosen for the yearbook.

    Anyways, that's my thoughts.
     
  11. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Mar 15, 2016

    I always say that I don't have a twin, and invite any of my students who don't have a twin to be my twin. I choose something everyone should have access to: jeans and a shirt in a neutral color: black, white, school color, etc. That way no one feels left out. One year my whole class decided to all be twins together.
     
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  12. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Mar 15, 2016

    I know the type...I had to unfollow a friend on Pinterest because her pins for her child's first birthday party were stressing.me.out! Just the amount of time and $$ being spent to turn something the child won't even remember into a professional-level event, with themed everything, painstakingly handmade everything, down to the last detail...She is also a stay-at-home mom, and I understand wanting to make everything picture perfect, but to me, it's over the top. If I ever have a child, it will be confetti cupcakes and last-minute hairdos for sure!
     
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Mar 15, 2016

    What would be a good alternative to spirit events you could suggest if it bothers you?

    I better understand where you are coming from, but still don't agree these things should be all out banned.
     
  14. alabama

    alabama Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2016

    I never said they should be banned. I wondered what people's thoughts were on them.

    One comment was that less than half of the students participated (on average) and teachers could care less which students participated. Those thoughts indicate that I shouldn't care about it either way either, if half of the class doesn't participate.
     
  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Mar 15, 2016

    Think of them as a fun extra--great if you are interested and able to participate, but no problem if you don't.
     
  16. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Mar 16, 2016

    Coming from a school who has given up most "fun" things I truly miss it! We do Halloween and I always dress up. Kindergarten does hibernation Day and we wear PJ's. That't it! We used to do lots more. We would wear college shirts on Friday or mascot shirts during football season. We don't do any of that anymore because our admin thinks it's tacky. She doesn't wear t-shirts at anytime so we shouldn't either. We are strictly academic no fun at all campus. BTW none of this has improved out scores whatsoever! So I say put a little fun back into school what is it going to hurt. As for your daughters participation- always optional.
     
  17. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Mar 16, 2016

    We had wear school colors. Most of the "fun" days were during month of March as part of reading month.
     
  18. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Mar 16, 2016

    Ditto mine has become like this over the past few years too :(
     

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