"Santa's not real!" "Yes he is!"

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by lilmisses1014, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    Dec 2, 2009

    My first graders are, understandably, VERY excited for Christmas. Now, though, anytime Santa is brought up by a student, I have at least one or two other students who loudly claim that Santa isn't real. I immediately put a stop to it by saying something like, "Okay, this has absolutely nothing to do with our lesson today." and quickly move on.

    Yesterday I had a student try to argue that Santa isn't real after another one said that her mom knows Santa.

    What are other successful ways of handling this? I have a feeling this is just going to get worse the closer we get to our break....
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I teach the children that different families have different traditions but that we must respect what others believe and not tell others what they believe is wrong...
     
  4. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    I read the Polar Express to my kids and tell them to decide for themselves. My mom also used to say to me "If you don't believe you don't receive" which also seems to quiet them down about it a bit. They don't want to take their chances with Christmas presents.
     
  5. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    There's only one real Santa, but lots of fake ones hanging out at malls.
     
  6. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    One of my kids asked me today if I believed in Santa and I said if you don't believe then you don't get any presents. That seemed to satisfy her.
     
  7. jday129

    jday129 Comrade

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    Some families that celebrate Christmas don't want their kids to believe in Santa. I agree czacza that its important to teach kids that families can have different traditions.
     
  8. SpecSub

    SpecSub Comrade

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    The parents of kids who don't believe should be warning their kids not to tell anyone else there is no Santa, especially in first grade. But I digress. I agree to tell the kids to respect each others' beliefs.
     
  9. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    I agree with czacza! I've even said, "Well, that's why Santa doesn't come to your house! You must do your hoidays differently! I guess he comes those houses who believe!" (Is that terrible?!) :blush:
     
  10. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    I really don't think teachers should be exalting belief for the sake of belief. Or even for the sake of presents.

    As a general principle, it simply doesn't work. Applied evenly, it would mean that we could not tell racists they are wrong. It would mean kids couldn't tell each other abortion was wrong (you'd get lots of Santa-believers fighting tooth and nail on that one). While teachers can't step in, I would like to think that if a child of the Fred Phelps clan went to public school they would at least be allowed to refrain from silencing the objections of other students to those ideas.

    It it's during a lesson, you can shut down the entire conversation as irrelevant to the lesson, and should do so. If it's on the playground, you can interfere if it's harassment or bullying, but not if it's just disagreement.

    And you should be able to teach polite disagreement, and the ability to simply walk away from an argument.
     
  11. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    I told my class that Santa will be checking with me about each of them... WOW, did they behave! They think I'm a rock star, so naturally I'd know the big man. :D
     
  12. cateste

    cateste Companion

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    Yes

    My constant reply to my 3rd graders is a simple "In my heart he is real." I repeat until they lose interest in asking.
     
  13. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    My son is 4. We celebrate Christmas but don't do Santa. He knows he isn't real. It has been really touchy this year as I DON'T want him to tell a child who believes he is real that he isn't. We've been talking about appropriate responses if someone talks about Santa. The thing is, I can't guarantee that he won't slip up. And neither can the parent of a 1st grader.

    It was cute, though, when I was picking up a Rx at the pharmacy, the lady who waited on him asked what Santa was bringing him for Christmas. He looked around carefully to make sure no other children were around before he whispered, "Santa isn't real."
     
  14. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    I overheard a couple of kids working today and discussing Jesus. "Why don't you believe Jesus is real? I do." "Because ... " Very respectful conversation. I wish I could have heard more.

    People believe all different things.
     
  15. lilmisses1014

    lilmisses1014 Comrade

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    Thanks for the advice!! So far, it's been brought up by students interrupting my lessons (rare for them, really), so it's easy to shut down the discussion. However, I do worry about any down time they have and Santa is brought up.

    Thanks again!! Santa will treat all of you very well this Christmas for helping out a fellow teacher! ;)
     
  16. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Dec 4, 2009

    I tell the children that each religion has different beliefs and feeligs about Santa and that their parents should tell them what they believe is true for their personnel religion.I also tell them that whoever brings them gifts is thei real SAnta Claus. I don't know if that helps any.
    Our Christmas gift from our administrators to the teachers is we do not have to stay the extra half hour for tutoring,but can dismiss everyone at 3 PM. Now isn't that a real Santa Claus. HO Ho Ho And A Merry Christmas.
     
  17. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Dec 4, 2009

    My mom shared with me (after I said I was having similar issues with my 3rd graders) that she read that as soon as you stop believing in Santa, that's when you start getting underwear for Christmas. I'm thinking that telling them that might work ;)
     

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