Re: I feel like I'm losing them!

    I think the post about "toning it down" this time of year was
    spot on. I taught multi age including 2 through K years of
    age in the same classroom for over 25 years. The children are
    bombarded with commercialism, late nights, busy days, and I
    always made the classroom a protected time and place from all
    that. The classroom was a sanctuary where learning was the
    focus, not the holiday season. Other then perhaps red and
    green materials scattered about, I had no actual actual
    holiday themed out in the room. I started that out for
    respect for other cultures and the effect overall set a tone
    that was condusive to being kind and bonded. This time
    actually grew to be a wonderful time of year instead of a
    hyped up, overly tired bunch of children who bickered due to
    what was going on outside of class. There still would be the
    occasional child who simply was out of sorts but it would be
    an isolated case rather then the entire class being that way.

    I remember years ago, when some parents who were visiting our
    classroom/school during this time telling me how refreshing
    it was to not see all these santa clauses and Christmas trees
    scattered all over in the classrooms. Seeing all the children
    working purposefully and peacefully were a reflection of that
    approach. They get enough of that stuff out in the world and
    really don't need more.

    I know my approach is not the norm, but it worked for me and
    I actually enjoyed this special time of year with the
    students. I liked having this sanctuary from all the
    craziness myself!