Sunday, December 12, 2010

How do you keep holidays from hurting?

Ms. Dorothy,
When I was little, this time of year SUCKED. Our parents were very fundamental Christians, so they never let us celebrate Halloween, Christmas, or Easter because of their pagan origins. Coming to school and seeing all the kids with their Halloween candy always made me feel so left out. Also, hearing them talk about Santa and the presents they got and the celebrations with their families totally sucked. I remember being like 10 and sitting on the fireplace hearth saying to myself “Santa, I believe in you!!” because all the movies said if you believe, he’ll come, but he never came.
So anyhow, during any kind of holiday I always felt not only extremely excluded, but I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. Any time anyone asked “What are you going to be for Halloween?” or “What did you get for Christmas?” left both me and the other person feeling extremely awkward and uncomfortable. Is there a way that schools can make this less difficult for kids like me?
- Child Advocate

What a challenge this must have been! And how hard the memories, even so many years later.
If people were more aware and conscious of the impact their words have, perhaps we would remember to consider the perspective of another before we speak.

I have no answer for this one, except to say that I will be far more aware of every child in my classroom and I will endeavor to teach them to tread with caution and without assumption so that everyone feels included.

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