Christmas??

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by AdamnJakesMommy, Nov 25, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Messages:
    807
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 26, 2013

    I don't think a lot of kids even relate it to a religion, and I don't know of any teachers who talk about it in a religious way.
     
  2. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    166

    Nov 26, 2013

    So put up snowmen and you can stop wondering if you're going to alienate children whose families don't share your beliefs. If there is any chance, you shouldn't do it. I'm wondering why you're still asking for approval to do it.

    Just because the office puts up a tree doesn't give everyone carte blanche to impose the Christian religion on their students.

    Snowmen and penguins are secular, so stick to those.
     
  3. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 26, 2013

    The PC police get you no matter what :(
     
  4. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    40

    Nov 26, 2013

    Works for me.
     
  5. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    166

    Nov 26, 2013

    Sorry if I sound heated.

    There are so many people (obviously, not you) who want to bring religion back to the schools. As long as it's THEIR religion, that is.
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Nov 26, 2013

    I don't even see Christmas as a religious holiday anymore (whether I like that or not). It is for many families, but for many others it is not religious whatsoever. A Christmas tree doesn't scream or even whisper Christian or the birth of Jesus to me.
     
  7. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,224
    Likes Received:
    147

    Nov 26, 2013

    I agree, JustMe. I have a large tree and though I'm catholic, I don't have a single religious ornament on it. I have a lot of penguin and horse ornaments. I know non-Christians who celebrate Christmas.

    Our choir sang Christmas carols today at an assembly. They did an excellent job and were filmed for a tv commercial. It made me think of this thread though!

    A funny note-my kids (high school) told me that Santa didn't have anything to do with religion.
     
  8. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    40

    Nov 26, 2013

    Ya, we put up a tree at my house--which I hate because it's messy---but mainly to put cute decorations on: like baby's first Christmas, Jacob's 3rd Christmas, yada yada yada.

    It doesn't have any religious significance to me. But I can see how for some people it does.
     
  9. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    38

    Nov 26, 2013

    Easiest way to brush off anyone else's opinion and culture, right? :) Hey, why bother trying to be inclusive? If people don't want to be excluded, they need to straighten up and be part of the majority or just shut up about it already. If they wanted to be included, they'd be normal.
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Nov 26, 2013

    I disagree. The poster didn't indicate he or she was brushing off anything...just expressing that you can't please everyone. If you DON'T have a Christmas tree, plenty of parents are ticked off that you're caving.
     
  11. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    38

    Nov 26, 2013

    Anytime someone refers to people not wanting to exclude anyone as the "PC Police," they really don't come off like someone whose trying to please people. It's dismissive.
     
  12. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 26, 2013

    Exactly.

    I hate, hate, hate it when people complain about having to be PC.
     
  13. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 26, 2013

    Here is where I am coming from:

    It just seems like if you don't do anything holiday related at all, you're a grinch and it upsets the kids. If you try to respect and include everyone, somehow it's cultural appropriation or someone doesn't like one of the cultures represented. No one in my class feels excluded.We are representing everyone this year. We are not cracking open our bibles and singing silent night; we are watching Rudolph.

    We live in such a PC, Me Me Me! society. I can't base decorating decisions on whether or not someone might get their feelings hurt. I'm not sorry if our Christmas tree mural bothers you; I suggest you look somewhere else, like our big wall of colored snowman pictures or our Dreidel stickers we put on the glass of our door. :love:

    I'm just a jewish kid that grew up coloring pictures of Easter bunnies. My parents (thank God!) taught me the importance of festive cheer, that it's okay to decorate a Christmas tree and that the world is not all about me.

    I do the holiday stuff because my kids want to. If they didn't, I wouldn't do it.
     
  14. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 26, 2013

    If you don't want to exclude your students, make an effort to learn about their cultures. Find literature that focuses on their culture but challenges stereotypes. Recognize the diversity that lies within cultures. Don't use costumes or teach stereotypes about cultures. It CAN be done without being appropriating cultures.

    I disagree that being PC is the same as having a ME mentality. Ideally, All students should find that their experiences relate to some of what they're learning in school. I do not think it's ok for a student to feel othered in any way--especially by a teacher. And yes--a religious symbol that you do not believe in can make you feel othered. Students who are Christian can celebrate at home, just like non-Christians celebrate their religious holidays at home. In addition, religious diversity extends far beyond Christianity and Judaism in the US, which is why we need to be inclusive. These are kids we're talking about and we are their teachers. We should make them feel included, safe, respected, and valued.
     
  15. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 26, 2013

    I apologize--when I read your post, I read it as though he said no but you talked to him to convince him.
     
  16. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 26, 2013

    I have. I have met most of my students' parents and have spoken with all of them about our upcoming activities.

    My students are young; the topic of race and culture is oh so important, but I can really only explain it to them right now as simply as I can. I feel a lot of it is just too heavy for their age. Right now that information should be shared and taught only by their parents.

    We read picture books about other kids from different cultures, as well as reading material where the lesson can best be summed up as "We are all different, but unique. We all come from different places" etc. That's as deep as it gets.

    That is tough at the grade level I am teaching. We are learning to tie shoes.

    There is a fine line. You can't blame me for not trying to tiptoe around it.I've taken culture focused classes, but I'm not comfortable with teaching its history, nor am I qualified. I can only encourage my students to share their experiences and to explore.


    We do holiday themed activities that the whole class enjoys. The also celebrate at home. I've heard no objections from parents or students.
     
  17. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    233

    Nov 27, 2013

    I've been thinking along these lines through this whole thread....

    Santa Claus and Christmas trees really have nothing to do with any religion whatsoever. They are just as "religious" as the Easter Bunny is. (Not at all.) A lot of Christians don't incorporate Santa Claus in their celebration of Christmas at all.

    I don't do decorations, but some teachers at my school do.
     
  18. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 27, 2013

    Seriously. People who complain about being "PC" are generally complaining about having to be considerate of others.

    "I can't say whatever terribly offensive thing I want to say without other people judging me for it?! Well, **** the PC police!"
     
  19. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Nov 27, 2013

    So what is your ideal? Zero recognition or studying of any religious holiday (or holiday that can be both religious and secular) and zero inclusion of any symbol that may have religious connections? How do you feel the standards about cultures should be handled in the lower grades?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  20. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,396
    Likes Received:
    4

    Nov 27, 2013

    This.
     
  21. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,224
    Likes Received:
    147

    Nov 27, 2013

    No, I should have explained it better! I'm really close to him and his brother (who loves christmas lol), so I had a pretty good feeling I knew where he was coming from. He is very laid back.
     
  22. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 27, 2013

    Check with other teachers and the administration.

    It depends on the culture of your school district! My district has Christmas trees in EVERY classroom. This year we are having a 9 foot Christmas tree in our lunchroom. We are a small district in rural Iowa with very little diversity. We do have Jehovah Witness families, but we still do it...I had a big problem with that my first year (and still do). I had a JW student and asked to not put up the Christmas tree and my principal got offended and said "Well, that's not fair to the rest of the students!" I ended up asking the family and they said it was okay to have the tree, but as with any other holidays we celebrated, she couldn't participate.
     
  23. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 27, 2013

    We study Christmas just like we study other holidays. We learn about our students and include their religion/culture into the curriculum. We encourage our students who speak another language to take pride in it. Our curriculum should actively challenge stereotypes and view cultures as internally diverse and not static. If we have a student who is a minority in any way, we model diversity through the books we read, topics we discuss, etc. so that student sharing about his/her culture doesn't become a freak show.

    All of this can be done without celebrating Christmas in the classroom.
     
  24. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    38

    Nov 27, 2013

    Personally, I see a difference between TEACHING about holidays/cultures in accordance with standards and the teacher's choice in what decorations to put up for holidays. Unless every single holiday for each culture that is in the standards is decorated for and recognized, the "standards" argument isn't applicable. Choosing to put up Christmas trees is not a teaching activity.
     
  25. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,426
    Likes Received:
    601

    Nov 27, 2013

    I agree with this. Teaching about and celebrating are two different things. I choose to do WI ten decorations: penguins, snow flakes, snowmen, etc. Many Christians in the area don't do Santa or the secular parts of the holiday. Many people don't do the religious parts. I have a handful of students who are some other religion entirely, and I don't decorate for those, either. We learn about a variety of religious practices and celebrate diversity, but we don't need to decorate or celebrate any particular holiday to do so.
     
  26. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    4

    Nov 27, 2013

    I agree there is a difference. For sure. But I feel some people would avoid all things related to Christmas yet include various other perspectives. In fact, I know some do. That's not doing much in the way of being inclusive.
     
  27. Ted

    Ted Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 27, 2013

    Santa didn't visit the new Savior, nor did Joseph or Mary hang little glass baubles on a nearby pine after she gave birth. No animal with glowing red nose, nor talking snowman made an appearance, either.

    We have three weeks between our Thanksgiving vacation and our "Winter" vacation. I spend the first of the three weeks inviting families who celebrate a culture other than Judaism or Christianity to come in and talk about their traditions/songs/etc. The second of the three weeks I dedicate to Hanukkah and this year I'm fortunate to have a couple of Jewish moms come in and do arts crafts, light a Menorah, and share the history of their holiday. And the final week (right before vacation), we discuss and celebrate those of our community who partake in the Christmas tradition. I've had parents come in and share what they do, and I've also had parents come and read from the New Testament (specifically the book of John) that discusses the Baby's birth. I have a tradition where I read "The Legend of the Candy Cane" and I share candy canes with the students as I read it (yes, it's a Christian-based book).

    I've yet to have any complaints, although this year I have had one request that a mom's daughter be excluded from any non-Christmas discussion/celebration. While it saddens me (even as a Christian, I feel that our kids need to be educated in all cultural traditions), I will very much respect that family's wishes.
     
  28. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,328
    Likes Received:
    570

    Nov 27, 2013

    well, you'd hate our dinner conversations, then!

    I hate, hate, hate how PC everything has to be now. Just because a handful of people are offended by XYZ, the whole country must do ABC. It is stupid and half the time the supposed demographic finds it stupid too.

    For example, I've never once had a black student get offended when I've referred to race as "black." But every semester some white student pipes up that I'm being racist for not saying African-American. And every time that happens, a black student in the room sets the white kid straight. Then the white student usually says "I'm just trying to be PC." @@ Insisting on a term that has no relevance to the topic at hand (genetics) simply to be politically correct. Totally ridiculous.
     
  29. Ted

    Ted Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 27, 2013

    I just remembered that one year a group of parents approached me, wanting to put up a full-height Christmas tree in the class. At first, I was nervous, but I said sure...go for it.

    A colleague got in a huff about it, baring her PC claws: "What about your Jewish families?!"

    I calmly retorted: "If/When a Jewish family comes and asks me to put up a Menorah, I'll happily allow that, too."

    I truthfully believe that some --- not all, but some --- people play their PC card not because they want everybody to feel included, but because it's a reason to cause dissension.

    I pretty much allow any holiday/culture to be represented in my classroom, with the exception of Satanism. Yeah...that won't happen. :)
     
  30. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,426
    Likes Received:
    601

    Nov 27, 2013

    Why not? It's just as valid as any other religion. You can't just choose to allow religions of which you approve. Also, do you know anything about Satanism? If not, it's likely that it is not what you think it is.
     
  31. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 27, 2013

    I completely agree with you. Luckily, I encounter the attitude more online than I do in everyday life. Actually, very seldom in everyday life.
     
  32. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 27, 2013

    No, I just don't like others dictating what I can or cannot say. I'm respectful of people and I feel like in general, I'm not an offensive person. I try to think before I speak.

    Social Justice Warriors are the worst. Period. Yes, there are legitimate issues and situations to get offended over but I'm talking about the people that grasp at straws and find anything to get worked up over. :yawn:

    If you get worked up over me saying the world "lame" or criticize our classroom holiday parties, then yeah, I'm calling PC police.
     
  33. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 27, 2013

    Just curious, how many of your students aren't Christian or Jewish?

    If you spend 3 weeks each on Christianity and Judaism, shouldn't you do the same for other cultures and faiths?
     
  34. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 27, 2013

    Some issues may not matter to you, especially if you are in a privileged position, but they may matter to others.
     
  35. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 27, 2013

    Privileged position? May I ask you to elaborate?
     
  36. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 27, 2013

    I think there's a difference between teaching a class about Christmas, versus Eid for example. For the most part, most students will be familiar with Christmas even if they are not Christian, and even then, most students will be Christian. So when you teach about Christmas/Christianity, you are essentially teaching about the dominant culture. I think it's important to learn about the dominant culture, especially for students who are not part of it because they need to learn it in order to succeed in the world. But I think it's extremely important that schools make an effort to include cultures that aren't dominant, and I think this would be beneficial for every student.
     
  37. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 27, 2013

    I guess I'm not sure about what type of political correctness you don't like.

    I remember, I was taking a stats class and my professor was trying to teach us probability. He used the example that you either have to be a boy or a girl, you can't be both, in order to solve the problem. Because I identify as fully female, it didn't hit me that that statement could be offensive. However, one of my classmates was talking to me about how offensive that statement was because this classmate identified as gender fluid. Because I was in a privileged position, I wasn't able to understand why that statement could be hurtful. But because of that, I never address my class as "Ladies and Gentlemen." Some people think that's too over the top and PC, but I'm just trying to be inclusive. Some people may legitimately get worked up over things that we may not see as a big deal. You can PM me if you would like to discuss more. :)
     
  38. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,426
    Likes Received:
    601

    Nov 27, 2013

    I can see both sides of this. I see the need to be sensitive to diverse populations, particularly in the classroom. I also have a friend who seems to want to find ways to be offended about everything. Everything is an example of how middle class, white heterosexual Christian men are trying to keep her down. It goes beyond where I would be comfortable, though it does make me think sometimes.
     
  39. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,396
    Likes Received:
    4

    Nov 27, 2013

    I'm sorry, but when I have to think THIS hard about what comes out of my mouth every single moment of the day, I find THAT offensive.
    This discussion has COMPLETELY gone off the subject the original poster posed. I'm out.
     
  40. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,600
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 27, 2013

    Why?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 492 (members: 0, guests: 354, robots: 138)
test