All posts tagged: Holidays

Non Western Holidays

I have discussed holidays a few times on this blog, mostly in relation to how our American holidays and celebrations can have negative effects on non-practicing students, families, and community members. This time, things are a little different. The Muslim holy month of Ramadan began on Monday, May 6th of this year. That means that practicing students around the world have been fasting from food during the day (if they choose) and fasting from music, song, and dance (also a choice which is up to the family). From my own observations and stories from across the country, I can see that our school systems were ill prepared for this holiday. Leadership, at many levels, failed to prepare spaces for fasting students to go during lunch as an alternate to sitting in the lunchroom. Prayer spaces, which normally facilitate a small number of students, suddenly became too small for students who observe a stricter schedule during the holy month. Worst yet, Eid al-Fitr, commonly known as Eid, falls on finals for many schools and universities, according …

Can we talk about holidays? Again

Every year, starting around Halloween it never fails that some teachers get their long underwear in a bunch over not being able to celebrate their holidays like the “good ole’ days.” Ladies and gents, I have seen every flipping argument in the book. From it’s my culture┬áto it’s a free country, it never fails that we have teachers still fighting for them to flaunt their beliefs into the faces of their students. Let’s get real here, you typically don’t decorate your classroom for yourself. Everything you do is in some way connected to sending a message to your students. When you put words up on a word wall, you’re saying that these words are important. When you decorate with fall leaves, you’re setting the theme to seasonal. When you are putting up images of a Christmas tree, you’re saying that Christmas is important. What does this tell our students who don’t celebrate Christmas? What is the real outcome? Recently, I was in a discussion where the now few years old argument against saying happy holidays …

Holidays & Culture

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we are well into the holiday season for the majority of teachers in the United States. One thing that I frequently hear from people year after year is that they don’t know how to talk about their values and holiday culture while in the classroom. There is a mass of confusion brought about from school districts having different, open ended policies, Supreme Court cases involving the first amendment, and a large collection of rumors. I am not an authority figure in the world of education. But I can share some insights I have learned over the past couple of years through 3 rules to follow when considering sharing personal values in the classroom. Rule #1: Know yourself This may seem a bit off key, but let me explain. We are teachers. We are in a position of great influence. Know that students model their behaviors after us, even when we don’t think so. If what we are about to share about a holiday or tradition could possibly be coming from …