The funniest thing happened to me when I got to my Reading Part 1 course tonight. I was a few minutes early, and sat down at one of the tables with some other teachers talking around me. The instructor came up to join us, and people were chatting about their busy day on the day before Halloween. Oh my goodness! I took out my iPad and quickly texted my teaching partner, Paula. I can’t believe what we forgot as we planned ahead for tomorrow: we totally forgot about Halloween.
There’s a little “interesting” in this forgetful moment.
- Very few students today discussed Halloween. We didn’t prohibit the topic of conversation. We just didn’t start it. A couple of children spoke quietly to their friends about costumes and a few children brought some special Halloween treats in their lunches today. That was it though. Nobody painted pumpkins, drew bats, made scary costumes, or wrote Halloween stories. It kind of makes me wonder, how much of an interest do they really have around this holiday?
- As others discussed the “craziness” of today, I had to admit that our class was actually quite calm. In fact, it was one of our best Mondays yet! It was a very routine day, and seemed to possess the right combination of sensory options, problem solving possibilities, and choice, to make the day pretty close to perfect!
Reflecting now though, I can’t help but wonder about Halloween (and really holidays in general). Is it sometimes our mentioning of the holiday that produces the dysregulation? If children indicate a limited interest in the celebration, why do we push it? I know that tomorrow, all of the students will show up in costumes, and many are eager to partake in the parade. But what happens after that? Maybe the students will be just as eager to settle into routine, or maybe the conversations will change to Halloween, and the play will also change. As Paula mentioned in her follow-up text to me tonight, “I guess we just need to go with the flow.” There’s something to be said for that. With a little luck and a few deep breaths (likely my own), maybe Halloween won’t be so crazy after all!