Samstag, 31. Dezember 2011

thought a week - Pre-Christmas Lessons

It started around two weeks before Christmas. You could find it through Facebook (British Council - Teaching English Page, also different Blog-Suggestions) and of course also on Twitter: there were a ton of Christmas Lesson Plans. After a while it became kind of overwhelming to read about all the cool stuff you could do before Christmas, over and over again. 
I’m not saying it’s bad to get so much input on Christmas lessons, but somehow it felt like it’s the most important thing to do the week before. It almost seemed like it's mandatory to have a Christmas lesson.
I believe there are more points to this story, and we should think about them a bit more, although I’m pretty sure most teachers are doing it like this anyway, but who knows.
On one hand, a lot of students do enjoy Christmas lessons. But I think there are a few teachers, who overdo the whole Pre-Christmas week. They decorate the classroom, play Christmas songs the whole time and always seem to mention Christmas in some way.
But there are also students in probably every class, who maybe don’t celebrate Christmas like some of us, it may depend on their religious background or it’s just not a big family tradition for them. Now what are those kids supposed to do during those special Christmas-themed lessons? It’s all about keeping the Christmas theme moderate. Nobody wants to put the kids in an uncomfortable situation.
I would make sure to talk to my colleagues before anybody starts the lesson plans for the Pre-Christmas week.
Because on the other hand, I think that too many Christmas lessons can be annoying to the kids too, so the easiest solution is to talk with each other and make sure that there are only one or two Christmas ‘specialists’ for certain classes.
This way, there’s a good chance all the important points get covered:

- do something for Christmas, because it’s fun and the kids enjoy it
- but don’t overdo it, because you can easily frustrate the kids too

- work as a team and make sure everybody is on the same page

- be tolerant and accept cultural differences

Of course it’s not a big issue, but the constant information overflow in the weeks prior to Christmas made me think about it. Turns out it’s really not that bad, you just have to make sure you think about it before you start to plan anything.

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