So, I’ve been thinking about Hallowe’en. It is not one of my favorite days at school.
Now, I have quite a sweet-tooth. It’s not the candy I have a problem with; although, I see no excuse for candy corns. What I don’t like is dressing up and marching in the parade. Or, to be more specific, I don’t like being dressed up in some goofy costume, like the students, and marching past their parents, who are not in costumes. I would have no problem being in costume if it were just the students. I will do all manner or ridiculous things in the classroom or beyond for my students. I will dress in costume, admit to all sorts of faults and flaws, and generally do what it takes to be as effective as I can be.
I know, I don’t HAVE to dress up. For the past couple of years more and more teachers have been opting out. It’s not officially required. I do it because the kids get a brief kick out of it and I think many would be disappointed if I didn’t. (One of my students, a boy, dressed up as me as a student: school uniform, purple hair, suede boots. Fantastic!)
The thing about it is that it just makes me feel very unprofessional, and I find it uncomfortable to parade in front of the parents in costume. It’s like those silly dress-down/spirit days. I will wear the pj’s, clashing clothes, funny hats every time for the kids. But, one year one of the days coincided with an all school assembly where parents were in attendance. So, here I come in my pajamas (they were perfectly fine-looking by the way) walking my class into the gym.
As I think about it more. I think the issue is that when I am in costume and the parents are not, I don’t like the divide I feel. No one has ever done or said anything to make me feel this way. But it’s sometimes hard enough to be taken seriously as a professional when you teach elementary school. Being in a Hallowe’en costume doesn’t help me.
Does this bother anyone else?
(photo by Kwbridge used under creative commons license)