The Things We’ve Always Done
We are creatures of habit. Our days are structured around routines. Our years follow a cycle of curriculum and events. By nature, much of life as an educator is set to: repeat.
With all that repeats year after year, it’s important to check in and reflect, Does this fit with who we are?
My colleagues and I reflected upon a repeated tradition — birthday celebrations. A few years back, we decided to replace individual treat celebrations with monthly, shared birthday celebrations. This meant less time was taken from learning. However, it still didn’t quite feel right.
Before making any decisions, we centered our thinking: Who Are We?
Celebrators of culture, nurturers of identity, partners with families, inviters of conversation, welcomers to all, curators of inclusive libraries, readers and writers, advocates of mental and physical health, weavers of community.
The focus of birthdays had become sugary treats, goodie bags, all of the “stuff” — none of which aligned with our beliefs about school.
We agreed to stop celebrating birthdays this way. Instead, each classroom community would create special rituals for birthdays.