Am I the only one...

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by mrgrinch09, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Mar 12, 2012

    ....that tries to stay away from anything related to Holidays?


    I see all the threads that ask "What do you do for Easter?", "What activities should I do for Valentines Day?", etc......

    I read these threads, and the only thing that comes to my mind is: I really dislike Holidays.

    I don't want to do any Holiday related activities. I don't want to read any Holiday stories. I don't even want to discuss them with my kids.

    Anyone else here Anti-Holiday like me?

    :eek:
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 12, 2012

    Is this because you are keeping religious holidays out of the curriculum to respect students' diverse backgrounds or some other reason?
     
  4. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Mar 12, 2012

    Its seems odd that a pre-k teacher would not like holidays.
    They are great teaching opportunities. V for Valentines Day.
    Green for St Patrick's Day. Many of the holiday stories have good lessons for small children. I am guessing holidays have a negative meaning for you for some reason.
     
  5. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Mar 12, 2012

    I avoid Holidays or must be careful about what we do. In my case, it's a school thing. We can't do anything for Halloween, harvest is even iffy. We do celebrate Thanksgiving. I can't do Santa for Christmas, so we do nothing, unless it's school-wide. Last year we did Christmas Around the World & included areas that don't celebrate Christmas. Valentine's day we can pass out cards & that's it. Easter is another one that's iffy. No bunnies.
     
  6. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Mar 12, 2012

    I teach first grade at a public school where the culture is nonetheless such that we can pretty much do whatever we want with holidays short of building a manger scene in our room or reenacting the Crucifixion.

    With that said, I tell parents straight off that I do not go all out for holidays. Not that I'm against any of them for any religious or philosophical reasons, it's just that to me school is for academics and not parties every other month.

    I do not go out of my way to plan parties for Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines, or St. Patricks day. I might include some activities or show a video, but that's about it. The last week before Christmas or Easter break is just like any other week as far as I'm concerned.

    On the last day before Christmas break, I do let students bring treats, and I give each student a small gift - usually some sort of school supply.

    I just don't feel I can justify using instructional time for "holiday parties" when they have made our language arts and math programs so huge that they have squeezed out virtually every other subject including science and PE.
     
  7. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Mar 12, 2012

    I don't much care for holidays.
     
  8. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Mar 12, 2012

    It doesn't have anything to do with religion, or diversity. I just don't like Holidays.
     
  9. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Mar 12, 2012

    :spitwater: LOL!

    I'm not a big holiday person, either, but I do think it's all part of our shared culture and traditions and should be taught or recognized in elementary schools. I'm not a Christian, but living in an area that is predominately so makes it important for me to at least have a passing understanding of what's happening around me so that I can better understand my community. Of course, ideally, we'd recognize holidays from a variety of faiths, and that may be the case in other parts of the country, but it's not true here.
     
  10. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Mar 12, 2012

    I can see mrgrinch's point.....holidays are for the most part an "at home activity". The children all riled up due to a change in the setting and the activity level at home make me slightly crazy. I have two children with birthdays this week in my room and two more with birthdays within the next 4 weeks. These children are all begining to act up....regress slightly to see if they can stay young a little longer.

    It will pass, but until it does I find myself saying.....children and holidays should never go together.

    That said.....I can not ever make a clean break from the holidays. I usually end up reading a few low key stories and having a small activity for the holiday. For St. Pat's we will paint with green a bit, have a leprechaun trap to build together. The leprechaun will spring the trap and pee in potty (it will be green) and then we will sort the Lucky Charms for snack....and that will pretty much be it. One day....and calm-ish at that.

    I hear you mrgrinch....you aren't alone.

    I do work with the holidays of a few faiths....so that I can help the children understand that there are more holidays than only theirs.
     
  11. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Mar 13, 2012

    Easter= oviparous day (celebrate animals that hatch from eggs)

    Christmas season= culture/family (one year I had my kids study their family tree, their heritage, all of that. Then on the last day before our break, they brought in food that represented their culture. That was when I taught fifth. When I taught Kinder, we focused on gingerbread mean, changing of the seasons, penguins, north versus south pole, etc.

    Valentines Day= teeth and health day. We made teeth puppets, learned a song about brushing our teeth, etc.

    And so on. Personally, I'm not religious, but I do like to celebrate holidays. In the classroom, though, I make it more appropriate for ALL kids to participate and feel comfortable doing.

    Today, someone on my team asked if we are going to have our kids do an Easter hunt. Of course, I had to pipe up and say that's fine, but let's call it oviparous day. Much more educational. :p
     
  12. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Mar 13, 2012

    I don't object to holiday activities at school...we are just so busy with normal stuff that I tend to forget about the holiday!
     
  13. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    This is brilliant! I'm going to write this down. :)
     
  14. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

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    Mar 13, 2012

    Sounds like i may be the odd man out here. For the most part we do holidays. My school does a big thing for halloween -- whole school costume parade and trunk or treat in the parking lot. We carve a pumpkin in the room and light the jack o lantern many times.

    Given all that, I do keep it mostly low key. The children generate their own holiday joy, so I do keep it simple - especially around Christmas. We sing Christmas songs, read Christmas books, decorate a small tree in our room and one whole school tree. This year we made cookies for everyone in the school - we have a small school. We also use it as a time to get together with other classes and invite them to our room to share in art projects and read alouds.

    I know this sounds like a lot - but it feels relaxed and in keeping with what my students are interested in. I'm lucky to teach in a school that gives me lots of flexibility and independence.
     
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Mar 13, 2012

    I think there is a difference between learning about the holidays in your classroom and celebrating them in your classroom (parties, making cards, etc.). Holidays are actually a part of our social studies curriculum so we read books about them and a few activites just to learn where they originated, who celebrates them and how people celebrate them. Before you skip them entirely make sure they aren't in your curriculum.
     
  16. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Mar 13, 2012

    You have the most appropriate username ever.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 13, 2012

    Hence your username?:D
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 13, 2012

    That was so beautifully said!
     
  19. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    May 4, 2012

    So that I don't hijack anyone's thread about Graduation, I thought this would be a good thread to also state:


    I HATE PRESCHOOL GRADUATIONS!!!!

    I despise that I'm forced to do a graduation ceremony every year.

    In my opinion, having the children get up and do a performance for a bunch of adults holding cameras is completely inappropriate for preschool children, and not in any way developmentally appropriate.

    Just had to get that off my chest.

    :dizzy:
     
  20. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    MEEEEE TOOOOOOOOO! Our local neighborhood preschool is having a "spring concert" in addition to graduation....I had to giggle when my children were all insulted at the idea they would want to sing on command when others were watching.

    I love watching older children preform. I have an acting child myself, as well as two dances and am married to a wonderful symphony musician....I just don't think that it is age appropriate at this level.

    I feel better now....do you?
     
  21. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    May 4, 2012

    AHHHHHH ME TOO!! I love holidays in general, but I strongly dislike doing holidays in school because let's face it- I don't have enough time to teach my CURRICULUM properly, let alone stop every month for a holiday. I also don't like the dicey quality of religious holidays and things like Mother's Day/Father's Day when many of my children don't have a mother or father.

    I also despise graduation at this age. I am always so aggravated when I have to plan it. It's clearly for the parents, not for the kids, and it's too much work to be worth it for just the parents! I try to make my moving up ceremony as painless and fast as possible.. and I definitely disappoint some parents each year because of it!
     
  22. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 4, 2012

    Bah humbug holidays.
    Boo graduation.
    Your PreK babies must think you are just a ton of fun.:dizzy:
     
  23. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    I realize this wasn't directed at me, and I do celebrate holidays and put together a moving-up (although admittedly, both are extremely low key in my classroom), but as I share the same opinions, I'd like to respond.

    Personally, I think my Pre-K babies DO think I am a ton of fun. We do lots of exciting things in school. We play outside, we plant flowers, we watch animals grow in our classroom. We sing, we read, we get messy. We paint, we laugh, we do yoga. We watch live webcams of animals, we research, we act. We play games, we build, we talk. We have fun.

    And in all my years teaching, I have never had a single child ask about graduation- only parents.
     
  24. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 4, 2012

    I wasn't referring to you.
     
  25. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    May 4, 2012

    I don't have any babies in my classroom.

    My preschoolers do think I'm a ton of fun. We have a blast in our classroom. Except for the month of May when we're getting ready for Graduation.
     
  26. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I celebrate holidays with my students because I think it's great community building. However, I don't send things home for kids to give to family members as gifts. I think families should be in charge of how they celebrate at home, and I will choose how/if we celebrate at school based on the make up of my class.
     
  27. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    If I was teaching elementary grades, I think I would really enjoy holiday themes, as you can make them into something fun and - or educational.

    But where I am now, I really don't like holidays and i stopped doing anything with them. For example it's Mother's day. A while ago I thought about getting the kids some nice stationary to write letters home, or make cards, but this could just stir up emotions. My students' family backgrounds are less than ideal, most of them are in gangs / locked up partially because they had no parents as positive role models. Some of the kids have no parents, others are in jail, or just the type of parents you wouldn't write a letter to. Other students could just really start missing home or their mom, so that's not good either.

    For Thanksgiving and Christmas I got them a little treat, but we didn't do any themes (they're high school age). We actually had an interdisciplinary unit school-wide called "Holidays around the world", and it turned out so-so.
    So I'm not a fan either in general for holidays for age 12 and up.
    In the lock up, I feel that a reminder of any holiday is just another reminder that they're still locked up, time is going slow, but the holidays are coming and going, and they just get homesick even more.
     
  28. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    May 5, 2012

    One of the best jobs I had was one that did not celebrate holidays. It can be difficult to make parent gifts, decorate trees, and put on plays. The year is so much better without all the fuss.
     
  29. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Mr. Grinch. I was almost stoned for eliminating graduation, but I did it.
     
  30. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    May 5, 2012

    Interesting. Well, as teachers, we should be encouraging the learning of holidays because they are a huge part of one's culture. Activities based around holidays can help enrich the understanding of one's own culture, and/or the culture of others.
     
  31. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    May 5, 2012

    But all of those things help to create a strong community among staff, students, and parents.
     
  32. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    That's really sad. The students have such a sense of accomplishment when they go through their graduation ceremony, however much of a hassle it might seem to those involved. Our kids graduate from one grade to the next every year and it's wonderful that they can end the year feeling so successful.
     
  33. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

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    May 9, 2012

    We don't have a ceremony we call graduation - but we do have a whole school event that we call Passing of the Light. For my Prek kids I do the planning, talking, and choose a gift they make as a group to go on to their next class. The older kids have more of a roll with the planning aspects. The ceremony focuses on the gifts each student brings to his/her classroom and school community and how this gift enriches the whole class and school. Then each class presents the gift they have made that represents something about them as a class. The PreK children love to come up on the stage and share in this event.

    We only get up and sing in front of the whole school at the talent show. They would hate to miss out on this.

    I seem to often have a different take on these kinds of things than many of you guys. Viva la difference! ; ) (hope that's spelled right)
     
  34. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I think that graduation ceremonies should be reserved for great accomplishments. Finishing the second grade should be expected. Finishing high school represents, to me, 13+ years of work and a certain level of mastery of core subjects. I think if you celebrate every little success with a big celebration, it cheapens the big celebrations when they come around. Bah, humbug!
     
  35. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    May 9, 2012

    I have to do a Preschool graduation with my kids going into Kindergarten. It's a hassle and a lot of extra work. I don't like it. It involves white gowns and white caps with red tassels (which have to be ordered and attached to their wiggly heads and slippery hair, learning a bunch of songs and half the time someone is missing from the group so they don't learn the songs very well, making punch, getting a cake or cookies/napkins/cups ready, hauling in adult chairs, cleaning the playground well because it's held outside, worrying about rain (we've been lucky,) getting their diplomas ready, getting their portfolios ready for the event, taking group photos (a nightmare this year because the someone was always screwing up the photo (naughty faces, etc,) me growling and repeating, carrying the picnic tables out to the back of the playground and covering with table cloths and getting flowers to decorate. I really don't like it at all and no one would know the difference if we didn't do it anymore.
     
  36. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    May 9, 2012

    Yep.
     
  37. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    May 9, 2012

    Well said!!
     
  38. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 9, 2012

    I agree as well.
     
  39. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    May 10, 2012

    :yeahthat:

    I brought this thread up with the other Pre-K teachers at my school today, and they all agreed with this exact statement.
     
  40. msconni

    msconni Rookie

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    May 14, 2012

    I work with very young toddlers. Not only do they not "get" the holidays, but it really throws our schedule off when we're required to have parties for them. And when we invite the parents, it's even worse. Most of the kids aren't comfortable with people they're not familiar with around them. So the party usually ends up in one big crying fest.

    I never disliked holidays before doing child care. Now I dread them.
     
  41. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    May 14, 2012

    Oooh the parents. I love them all, but their children's behavior changes so much when they are in the classroom. Plus there just is not enough room for 38 people in a classroom that usually holds 2 grown ups and 18 small children, and it's so HOT!
     

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