Keeping the Spirit of the Season Alive in My Life

Finally, I’m on vacation. Yesterday was exhausting. There are people in the world who think teachers are babysitters. Such false thinking. Too many activities and issues this past week. For the sake of everyone, nothing will be mentioned except to say that it was emotionally and physically taxing for some people more than others.

I didn’t want to give my students a full day off because that’s not my style but I didn’t want to lose the festive spirit of the holiday. I have many students who need to be reminded of the reason for the season. Instead, I offered the students extra credit if they made their own version of the 12 Days of Christmas. This would cover standards in poetry and creative writing. It came out really well.

I also gave them time to work on childhood development books that might be entered into this year’s Youth Fair competition. Even though it is due the Wednesday after we return from winter break, I wanted to give them time to work on it in class. That also came out rather well. Students had an opportunity to work on two activities to boost their academic grade.

The best part was after school. Not because it was the end of the work day, but because I had several surprise visits from former students. I enjoyed briefly catching up with them. It’s a great feeling as an educator to see the students move on in a positive direction.

As for my co workers, this holiday season wasn’t so bad. I think for it was the realization that I had to change my mindset with them. Luckily for me, I have a co worker who helped me see what I couldn’t see because I was trying too hard to be a “team player” when it’s not always in me. I’m glad it’s not always in her either!

I have a huge issue with hypocrisy. I can’t handle it on any level. It’s so irritating that I can get a headache from even seeing it a little bit. But I realized that some people don’t call it hypocrisy. They call it “getting along” or they say it’s because “it’s the right thing to do.” I guess that’s where things go awry with me. I don’t do “the right thing” or do something to “just get along” if it doesn’t agree with my moral compass.

I just don’t like being fake. It doesn’t sit well with me.

So this school year, I participated in what I enjoyed and quietly escaped anything that would seem fake in my life. It’s not easy to keep that balance but it helps keep the spirit of the season.

When I take care of me first, I find I have enough energy to care for others. This holiday season I haven’t finished my gift giving but this year I am placing myself on the list too.