I LOVE Christmas. At this precise second, I’m sitting subsequent to my Christmas tree listening to “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” My home appears to be like like Frosty the Snowman threw up on a nativity scene. However in my classroom, all you’ll discover is just a few strings of fairy lights, and people have been there since August.
Vacation decorations don’t belong in a public faculty classroom. Not as a result of I hate enjoyable and pleasure however for an entire slew of reliable causes.
1. Not everybody celebrates Christmas.
Certain, I do know it gained’t harm your Muslim or Jewish or atheist children to have a look at a beautiful evergreen tree. However these children are already bombarded with Christmas decorations and promoting yearly. They’re always reminded that their beliefs will not be the culturally dominant ones on this nation. Additionally, in case you’ve bought Jehovah’s Witness children, then not celebrating Christmas is a fairly large deal of their faith. Your Christmas decorations may truly be infringing on their freedom of faith and will definitely make them really feel uncomfortable.
2. You possibly can’t rejoice all holidays in a significant approach within the classroom.
I’m all about instructing children about world religions. However sticking a menorah subsequent to an enormous inflatable Santa doesn’t present an entire lot of nuance. Until you’re truly instructing an entire curriculum about religions, you’re going to finish up with spiritual tourism at finest.
Plus, contemplate what it should appear like to show about a number of holidays however then have your class decorations stay Christmassy. You run the danger of sending the message that different holidays are unique (however inferior) options to Christmas, regardless of how a lot you stress the truth that the Jewish children get presents for EIGHT DAYS.
Children who’ve misplaced relations lately, children who are suffering from melancholy, children for whom monetary want is a continuing, children in foster care or homeless shelters … these children are all in our school rooms, they usually may want a break from the hap, happiest season of all. Incessant reminders that they’re alleged to be merry and vivid could make an already onerous time much more tough.
4. If you happen to’re actually involved about bringing some vacation cheer, there are extra significant methods to do it.
Whether or not you rejoice Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa (or all three), you’d in all probability agree that the that means of the vacation goes past its pretend snow and business trappings. This time of yr is all about serving to others, gratitude, giving, peace, and being part of one thing larger than ourselves.
Excellent news: You possibly can nonetheless do ALL of that within the classroom!
Get your college students concerned in a service undertaking serving to out of their group. My fifth interval is doing a bake sale this week and utilizing the proceeds to purchase toiletry kits for youths in a youth shelter, which they’ll ship together with encouraging notes. We gained’t want to speak about Christmas for that to be significant for my college students.
5. After which, after all, there’s the Structure.
The Structure didn’t “take God out of our faculties.” It doesn’t say that youngsters can’t pray at school, or consider in God, or rejoice Christmas with their associates. The separation of church and state signifies that we, as official representatives of a public faculty and as authority figures inside that system, can’t lead these prayers, encourage these beliefs, or host these celebrations. As a result of even when—particularly if—most of your college students rejoice the identical holidays and have the identical beliefs that you just do, there are some who don’t. And dwelling in a rustic with freedom of faith signifies that their beliefs, or lack thereof, should be protected against infringement by public establishments. Don’t fear; your children aren’t going to overlook it’s Christmas simply since you don’t have decorations. They’re nonetheless going to rejoice the best way they rejoice, however you gained’t have to fret a few lawsuit or, worse, excluding a toddler at a time when they might already really feel not noted.
So this vacation season, I hope you might have your self a merry little Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or some other vacation I’m lacking. Could your days be merry and vivid, and should your classroom be standards-focused and constitutionally applicable. Belief me: You’ll thank me once you don’t spend all of second semester vacuuming up glitter.