People may whinge about Christmas starting earlier each year, but for those of us in primary schools, it has never been confined to December – we’re casting our nativities from mid-November at the latest.
Some of us resent this.
But of all the things in my job I love most, Christmas tops them all.
Here is why.
1. Turning Scrooge-like Year 6s into excitable Christmas lovers
As a Year 6 teacher, most of the children in my class don’t believe in Santa anymore (which I always find so disappointing – I’m sure I was still innocent and naive enough to at that age) or if they do, don’t like to talk about it at school for fear of not being cool.
They can also feign complete disinterest in Christmas.
But here’s what you do: set up a tree, give each of them a bauble with their name and the year on it (and yes, I set it up on the 1st of December) and put some tinsel around your board.
I also like to have a festive postbox in the classroom so children don’t waste time handing out their cards during lessons, but get a little delivery at the end of each day.
Now, watch those Year 6s embrace Christmas in the way that, deep down, they always wanted to. It’s a gift you have given them. And that feels great.
2. The Nativity
Is there a lovelier sight than seeing all the EYFS and key stage 1 children perform in slightly misfitting outfits at Christmas?
The concentration as they deliver their lines is adorable, as well as the one child who always likes to shout the words over everyone else.
Add in the surprising amount of encouragement and support from the older children and their joyful cheers as the production finishes – pure magic.
3. Christmas music on repeat
Yes, we listen to Christmas music. Yes, it is allowed. And yes, it makes my classroom a pure joy to be in. (Note: they still need quite a bit of encouragement to actually sing.)
4. Christmas crafts
Every Christmas, the children ask for every Christmas craft activity under the sun (environmentally friendly glitter only please) and I am there providing the educationally-appropriate challenges by the stocking load.
5. Christmas Stories
We always find time to read a Christmas-themed story during the day, and it always gets pupils listening and engaged like no other literacy activity.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s easy to get swept up in the festivity of the winter season and it is a truly magical time of year to work in school; it always makes me appreciative and grateful for the little people we get to spend our days with.