Holiday time is a very exciting time for students attending school! Whether they are infants and toddler, preschools, or school-age children, the holiday time is filled with anticipations and tradition. Through my years of teaching, I have had to be conscious and sensitive to cultures and beliefs and ensure that my teachings did not cause anyone to feel uncomfortable.
When I taught in a public school, I had to make sure that I did not bring religious beliefs into the room. When I was a Director of a religious-based program, we shied away from the commercialization of the holiday season. I can recall being very cautious and particular when it came to book and music choices for my lesson plans. I wanted to be sure that I would not offend anyone. I know many teachers who sometimes struggle with the holiday season because there are, in fact, so many beliefs and cultures; no teacher wants any family to feel left out.
How can a teacher effectively celebrate all holiday traditions at an age appropriate level?
At the end of the day though, regardless of culture and religion, I believe that holiday time is a wonderful opportunity to simply teach our children about how to love others. No matter what the culture or religious belief may be they all originate from a place of love and respect. Teaching children to be kind, respectful, and giving are lessons that are not only celebrated this time of year, but are reinforced and modeled all the time.
The holiday time of year definitely creates a stage for early educators to review and highlight ways in which we can show love towards others. So don’t stress this holiday season, bring it back to basics, and simply teach your students how to give the greatest gift of all to each other…..LOVE!
Here are a few ways to teach children how to show love and kindness for others.
- Draw a picture for a friend.
- Make cards for those in nursing homes or hospitals
- Have a food, clothing or toy drive
- Teach children how to give compliments and build each other up
- Have families share their holiday traditions, through pictures, food, visits
- Listing things you like about each student in the class.
- Listing things your class is thankful for
- Sing songs about friends and love to other classrooms and parents
- Work on full classroom projects that involve everyone’s contribution
- Teach your students how to tell friends and family members “thank you” and “I love you“
Share some ways you teach your preschoolers about love and kindess below!