Thursday, October 28, 2004

Chaotic Bliss

One of the things that drive me crazy is chaos. Nothing is more chaotic that an elementary school Halloween Party!!! You may recall these from your childhood. Parades of school through the school building. Costumes, popcorn balls, loads of candy, and lots of sugar. Today, we had our party and it was utter chaos, but I have seen worse.

Last year, I had a mother who was so kind and helpful to plan our entire Halloween party. She made cute BINGO cards, had great treats, and wanted to do a craft...make slime. I am not sure when slime became a craft, but that is what we did. It was so messy, such a disaster that I lost all composure as a teacher and sent the children home in their costumes. My classroom was a total pit. I spent an hour picking up and cleaning up. The mother left the mess for me. All the love and appreciation that I felt was gone when she decided that she had helped enough and left me with the slimy mess to clean.

So, this year, I decided that since I was now teaching fourth grade, it was the year to cut the classroom mom helper cord. When parents asked me if they could help, I said, "Well, it is going to be a small party with only an hour of partying. You can sure send a treat though." The parents were sad.

I have to think that the parents were sadder than the student, that is, if the student cared at all if his/her mom was there. It is the mom that wants to see it all. They want to take pictures and kiss all over their costume-covered kid. I am a teacher who believes that there comes a time when parents need to let go of certain childhood traditions. No, I don't think they should let go of trick-or-treat or enjoying the costumed fun, but enjoy it at their house. It only makes more work for me and that is my number one pet peeve right now in my life.

So, the Halloween party without parent help was a big, chaotic success. We ate two different kinds of cookies, ate tons of miniture candy bars, drank juice, played some "Heads Up Seven Up" (the silliest game ever invented), and took lots of pictures...silly ones, of course. I was a witch with a black cape and purple and black pointed hat. I have the same students from last year and they all thought I would be a cow-girl again...oh, no. I am very festive. I thought the witch costume was appropriate this year.

In closing, let me say how lucky I am. How many jobs do you get to dress up and have a costume party? How many jobs let you pig on miniture candy bars? For one hour, I was not a teacher, but a kid at a costume party with parades and treats. Awesome.

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