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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Everyone has heard the catchy Christmas song by Andy Williams, but it’s also the most wonderful time of the year for students across the globe. The holiday season is officially upon us. And with it brings a combination of headaches and joy for all the teachers as well. Trying to contain all the kids’ excitement and actually have them focus on learning a bit is a difficult task. Listed below are a few days that are more challenging than others around this time of year.

The Day Before Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for all that we have in our lives. The day before Thanksgiving is a day that teachers somehow just have to survive. One after another, students show up at your desk informing you on what they have planned for the next day. Did you ask for them to tell you about their itinerary for Thanksgiving? Probably not. But you are going to get it regardless.

There is very little learning happening in school on the day before Thanksgiving. A teacher might pop in a short documentary about the history of Thanksgiving to provide a bit of knowledge for the students. Or a teacher might throw in a full length movie that has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, but it will eat up some time in the classroom. Also on this day, a third of your students just do not show up to school. Parents need to start traveling and want to beat the holiday traffic. Happy Thanksgiving!

The Christmas Concert (Winter Concert)
The amount of planning that goes into creating these little school concerts is immense. There was probably less planning for the world’s first televised satellite concert Aloha From Hawaii starring Elvis Presley back in 1973. Billions of people watched that concert live. The Christmas Concert performed by the students in your school will be attended by a couple hundred parents and at least a hundred complaining siblings wondering why they have to be there.

Still, as a teacher, you smile even though this is the twentieth time you have heard them perform these songs. In addition, you cheer with the rest of them as they pull out those evil flute like instruments called recorders that have given you nothing but headaches for the last month. And in your head, you note which students are screwing around at the time because they know there is less of a chance of you disciplining them in front of hundreds of parents.

The Day Before Christmas Break
If teachers think that the day before Thanksgiving can be difficult with the students, the day before Christmas break can be much worse. Students know that they have the next two weeks off and will not have to study, read, or do any real learning during this time. The only math they will be doing is counting the number of presents they have under the Christmas tree. Still this is a much needed break for both students and teachers.

It is always very thoughtful when parents send in little gifts with their child to give to the teacher. Some of them really go above and beyond with their thoughtfulness. Other times, the present might not be so spectacular and you swear that they are just unloading items that did not sell at their last garage sale. Plus, any baked goods are always a bit questionable. It is a good idea to re-gift these to the maintenance people at the school and see if they survive.

The holiday season always seems to bring out the best in people. Everyone seems to be in a good mood. Strangers greet each other warmly while passing by on the sidewalk. We can all remember as little kids spending time with our family during this time of the year, loved ones that might not be around any longer. It is hard to fault our students that get a bit anxious during the Christmas season. These are the memories that will last a lifetime.

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Ryan Crawley is an Education/Health and Fitness writer living in Illinois. He usually looks on the humorous side of things in life. He can often be found playing with his dogs Flair and Smoosh-Face and working on his latest project.

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