By Nina, our supply teacher from Plymouth
“How long is it til…?”
Yes. You’ve guessed right. The kids are talking Christmas already. Never mind the fact that you are still enjoying looking at the Halloween artwork and the Guy Fawkes’ Night poetry on your displays which now starts to look so passé. Christmas? Surely not yet? Eeek! Your heart lurches as you wonder how exactly your personal life will cope with being even busier for a few weeks – no one can escape all the extra invites that come at this time of year. If you are splashing out this Christmas then you are left with a small sense of panic as you wonder how on Earth you are going to fit in the food shopping, present wrapping and finding something suitable for your nearest and dearest. That is before I start to worry about how best to cook the Christmas turkey; will it be Delia Smith’s recipe this year or Jamie Oliver’s?
You could try the avoidance tactic – it is still early days, right- it’s late when we break up so it seems sensible to not let the hype enter the classroom at this stage. This is an acceptable solution until the next playground duty when Joshua runs up to you and gabbles away about the toy he has asked for from Santa.
A few more days pass on and the fever now is tangible and cannot escape your attention. The Christmas production chorus song is getting under your skin now as you realise you were humming it in the shower. You spy a colleague’s collection of jam jars and tinsel and realise it is time to embrace it. You head for your box marked X-mas and look inside. You sift through the wordsearches and number puzzles to find a squashed stocking and some flattened paper chains.
You find a moment to open the craft book and realise you can modify the Easter Bunny basket to a beautiful Christmas tree and perhaps you could fill them with delicious hand crafted chocolates using metric measures. Decorating the classroom should take on a different air with an amazing snow scene using a range of materials which will link in perfectly with the science topic. How else can you turn this annual event into a rich learning experience – and then you begin to realise you have got excited yourself.
The month will unfold however, give or take, like many years. Christmas dinner in the canteen will struggle to match the Ritz, Mrs Battle will still have a melt down before the dress rehearsal and there will still be a tired squabble over a cracker. But the best thing of all is how schools really enjoy uniting together, with the families and the wider community by their side. Ofsted really should come in at Christmas.
How are you planning for the impending holiday?