‘Tis the Season to be… Thankful You’re a Teacher
December is absolutely mental. The craziest time of the year. The month where Santa is coming, teaching still has to be done, assessments need to be completed, school reports are due, wound up parents need to be met (parents evenings), Christmas fairs need to be had, winter colds come, glitter happens and this is on top of all of the other million things happening… rehearsals for Christmas shows, Christmas crafts, locating the disappearing props for the Christmas shows, the actual Christmas show, more glitter, Christmas parties and overly excited children.
It can be stressful. It is chaotic. You might feel like you haven’t stopped moving since November 30th. You are physically and emotionally exhausted by the time Christmas comes…
…but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Here are some of the reasons I’m so thankful to be a teacher at this time of year.
You are invited to be a part of the most magical time of a child’s life!
Remember that feeling you got as a kid when you knew Santa was near? This was called December. The WHOLE of December. As teachers, we see and feel that excitement literally bouncing off the classroom walls. And it’s not just one child – it’s 20-30 of them, all contained in one tiny little room, hyped up by each other! This might seem like a lot of energy to deal with, and IT IS. It’s almost impossible to calm children down in December. I often hear random squeals of excitement and it could be during something as mundane as a spelling test. But I love it. And the reason is this – we are invited to be a part of the excitement! As teachers we get to share the pure joy and elation that these children are feeling. This is our way back into the magic of childhood. We don’t ever have to grow up – we can still believe!
You might be one child’s most special memory of Christmas!
Although I have just written about the uncontrollable excitement in the classroom throughout the whole of December, there might be just one kid not feeling the Christmas joy. For whatever reason, a child might not be looking forward to this time of year. You then become that child’s Christmas magic. I always keep this in the back of my mind whenever I’m thinking about December plans. I decorate my classroom, I create an advent calendar (this year was a kindness calendar), I prepare fun craft activities and I give children (educational) Christmas presents. For some, this might be their only experience of Christmas. And I want to make it as happy a time as possible.
All of the art!
I actually love it. Call me a creative type but arts and crafts is one of my FAVOURITES. This is the time of year when I can be as creative as I want to! Bring on the lolly pop stick Christmas tree decorations and pop up Christmas cards! Oh what fun!
Knowing you’re not alone
Teaching can be quite a lonely job. Most of the time, it’s just me and the kids. However, Christmas reminds me that I am part of a team – especially when I see other teachers faces. All teachers know this time of year is a little manic. I always have a little chuckle when I see other teachers plastered on smiles, manic laughs or crazy wide eyes. That knowing look that passes between teachers at this time of year, the mental countdown you can see happening in teachers’ heads. It helps knowing that I’m not the only one feeling the pressure.
Christmas brings out the Christmas Spirit!
Christmas is the perfect opportunity to teach children about kindness and gratitude. There are many circle time activities to help reiterate that being kind is important, especially at this time of year.
And finally – The Christmas Holidays
Ours is one of the few professions where we get time off for Christmas. Once school has finished for the term, we can relax. We are luckier than most to get this time with our loved ones, we can go to the Christmas markets, Christmas shopping, watch Christmas movies, go and see Santa Clause, have a Christmas drink (or two) and do all of the things that gives us a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Christmas is a time for making special memories and I am grateful for having the time to do that.