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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy, Merry, Joyful, Cheers...

Teachers know all of the holidays.  Especially early childhood teachers. Each holiday, and there are many, I prepared worksheets, poems, and an art project or two, or twelve... and sometimes we cooked a traditional dish. Eating projects were always a favorite.  For years my curriculum revolved around ground hogs, black cats, eggs, and  revisiting dead Presidents.  Our family vacations were decided by Dr. King and Good Friday.  Retired now, I have to admit I miss it all.

Some years it was not so simple. One memorable parent thought my Halloween projects were spreading the devil's word.  I was careful not too wear  too much black eyeliner, or dark capes. I was the "Nightmare On  Elm Street" and I was part of the plot. Scary stuff.

The other event caused by the  holidays,  was the annual assembly programs. These are minor Broadway productions involving 50-75 five year olds.  I found myself turning into Gypsy's stage mother Rose, as I screamed " Sing Out Louise , Jamel,  Shemeca".   With Mr Zigfield in the audience casting for his next show... We had scripts, stage decorations, and after parties. I wonder if any of my budding singers and dancers ever made it to show biz? I wonder of they even remember?

I no longer celebrate the holidays in school. This year, I did read the precious baby "P" some cute Chanukah  books.  We celebrated with the BIG family, lite candles, and ate potato pancakes, opened presents, admired babies, congratulated our newest couple, and cried with cousins still feeling the effects and wrath of "Sandy". We all survived another year, and holiday season.

I want to wish you all a "HAPPY HAPPY", whatever holiday you may celebrate.  As I  told the  kindergatners holiday is about family, food, gifts and lights.

                                                                              Feel Well
                                                                              Look  Good
                                                                              Be Healthy
                                                                              Be Happy                
                              Love  Judy


  1. Merry and Happy to you to...apropos your latest blog. I used to buy an annual holiday book to inform me of the Hindu, Moslem, Greek Orthodox,holidays, as well as the Jewish and Christian ones, to post these days on my chalk board, with the date. Come December, I hung my holiday poster that wished Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year in every language that I could hunt down, from Hebrew, Russian, Greek, the European languages, Arabic, Morse Code, the manual alphabet, and Braille. It was the culmination of my entire 33 years in teaching....The next teacher in the room chucked it.

    I fear that the new generation may not feel the same as we did about the special quality of holidays and traditions. Much of that seems to have been lost, at least in our area. I suspect other areas may still cling to their holidays. ...But do they respect the holidays of others?

    I fear the answer to my last question.


  2. I too am a retired early childhood educator. I find that I can no longer keep track of the holidays. I have enough trouble trying to figure out the day of the week. I miss all of the excitement of celebrating with the kids in school. I don't miss trying to cook big holiday meals while working full time. I am most definitely looking forward to celebrating holidays with my granddaughters, admiring their holiday projects, and attending all of their holiday concerts. Before I know it, they will be in nursery school.


  3. Thanks for the happy memories of celebrating holidays with my students. I loved covering all of them and the kids were so excited. Sometimes, too much! I loved being the class parent for all the holidays at my kids' schools too when I was I was a "stay at home" Mom and PTA Mom. Now that they are teenagers it is different. I still decorate my house for every holiday! I tell my friends; it is because I am a former first grade teacher. Somethings just stay with you.
    P.S. The only memories that I didn't enjoy was those of the assemblies. P.S. 134 teachers will know what I mean.