I went to my winter placement at the end of the term to meet my new teacher, and I noticed there were a lot of Christmas trees and decorations up in the school. I love Christmas as much as the next person who celebrates it, but this made me think about whether or not schools should have solely Christmas decor up on the walls. Not every child celebrates Christmas and there are many controversial, religious issues that come with having the holiday in educational institutions. I found an interesting article on Christmas in Texas schools: have a look!
We talk about involving all students’ cultures in the classroom, but it might be hard to connect all the Winter holidays – and what if a family doesn’t celebrate anything? How can you fit that student into the discussion? I remember when schools used to say “Christmas Break” instead of “Winter Break,” so there are accommodations like that setup already. However, many children like the excitement of talking about their holidays during December. It would be effective to have a morning meeting(s) in which all the students go around and discuss the holidays they celebrate. This will help the children understand other cultures and share some of their own family values. It is important to build a classroom community and helps if the teacher as well as students share personal pieces of their lives. There are many innovative ideas that make me think about all the worries to come with effectively teaching in a multicultural mindset. I love the values of my undergraduate and graduate school programs, but I can see the difficulty in this style while trying to follow the curriculum. Teaching is meant to be a fun, but challenging career choice – I am still wary to take over the class in Winter term while still excited to be a teacher when this program is done! 🙂