Before I get started I’ll announce the winner of my weekend giveaway. This weekend’s winner is….Lianna. There were so many great comments from everyone about what you were doing over the Thanksgiving holidays. I really enjoyed reading them! Thanks to everyone who participated. Now, here’s today’s story…
I decided that today I would share with you what life was like at school when I worked there. I’ve chosen to share about the time after Thanksgiving, but before Christmas, which was the most fun and busy time of the year.
Once we returned from Thanksgiving break, we had to hit the floor with our feet running. We had so much to do, and so little time. While the teacher was busy teaching, I got to do most all of the fun stuff. That was one of the advantages of being a paraprofessional!
The first order of the day was make an ornament with each child to go on the trees that were scattered throughout the school. There was a tree for each grade to decorate. Every tree was based on a book and had a theme. The ornaments had to depict things from the book. Deciding what to make and getting it made was no easy task, but all of the trees were beautiful when finished. One year I took pictures of every tree!
After decorating the grade tree for the school, we had to make ornaments for our classroom tree. My favorite tree that we decorated was a tree decorated with make-believe candy and cookies. We made pretend suckers from play dough with a small dowel rod inserted, and wrapped them in colored cling wrap. We also made gingerbread men from sandpaper, and candy canes from red white beads and pipe cleaners. It was very cute, and the children loved it!
Just imagine making 2 ornaments with 21 children in less than 2 weeks. That’s 42 hand-made ornaments–with 6 and 7 year olds. It was always a relief to finish them, although I enjoyed it immensely! When I first began working, we made the simple paper ornaments of the old days, but being the crafty, fun-loving person that I am(LOL), I soon steered the class into more original and fun projects.
We also did a few other arts/crafts, like making reindeer heads out of their shoes, and gluing Santa’s beard on his face. By the time Christmas break arrived, we’d all had our fill of glue and glitter! I used to apologize to the cleaning lady everyday for the mess on the floor. I believed in lots of glitter!
Of course I can’t forget to tell you about the school’s Santa Shop. The PTO sponsored Santa’s Secret Shop every year. They would have a room(Santa’s Shop) filled with inexpensive gift items for every age, and the children could bring money and shop for their family members. Santa’s Secret Shop usually lasted the better part of a week, and entailed taking most of the class on numerous shopping trips! I was usually sick of taking children shopping by the end of that week! Some children had long lists…
By the time we did all of these things at school, it would be the week before the Christmas holidays. During that week, the faculty and staff were always treated to a private steak (with all of the trimmings) lunch–which was heavenly! There was a room set up and decorated, with holiday music playing, where we could quietly enjoy our steak lunch. It was wonderful after all of the hustle bustle of the two previous weeks. It was also the only time we got to enjoy a quiet lunch at school. Have you ever eaten in a school cafeteria? It’s anything but quiet!
Finally, the Friday before Christmas break would arrive. It was the busiest day of the month. The school would be busy with parents bringing cupcakes, presents, etc. for party day. All trees had to be undecorated and the ornaments and other Christmas projects had to be sent home with each child. Somewhere in there we found time to have a Christmas party! I loved watching the children open their gifts from us–all at the same time! Twenty sets of hands tearing open wrapping paper at the same time, it was a sight to behold. Eventually, we got last of the children on their way home, loaded up our own gifts(I loved opening those sweet little gifts from the children), trees, ornaments, and headed straight for home–and the couch! Whew! I’m getting tired just thinking about it….I think I like retirement! Have a great day everyone!