I am not sure to which authorities I report this, but someone has made off with the majority of November. I am positive I was making jack-o-lanterns with my class just last week. According to my calendar, next week is Thanksgiving! However looking over the calendar I see that November has just been a very eventful month.
Catholics celebrate the Feast of All Saints on November 1. This day we honor not only those saints on the Church’s calendar, but all those grandmas and grandpas and our loved ones in Heaven who do not have a special day. We began the day with Mass and there were some special saintly guests present. As is our tradition, the junior high students dressed up as saints and told a bit about their saints. I found St. Michael most impressive. He was about six feet tall, with an impressive wing span. Hard to believe, he was once one of my little cherubs. After Mass, everyone enjoyed donuts and beverages.
On November 2, the junior high students went to Memorial Hall to enjoy a performance by the Acapella Singers. The next day the kindergarten through fourth grades traveled to the Victoria Theater to see a performance of “How I Became a Pirate”. I know the children as well as the teachers and chaperones thoroughly enjoyed the play. Our school was seated in the balcony. If you have never sat in the balcony at Victoria Theater, let me tell you it is definitely not for anyone who suffers from acrophobia. Talk about being close to Heaven!
Parent teacher conferences were held on November 9. This was a first for me. Every one of my students had a least one parent come to the conferences. The funny part was I hadn’t asked for any conferences on the report car because being unfamiliar with the new gradebook program, I overlooked it. Good thing my students’ parents are on the ball!
Our students not only go to performances, they also give performances. On November 11 students sang Christmas carols at the Rosary Altar Society Bazaar. The group consisted of kindergarteners through fourth graders plus one very nice fifth grader. Along with some of our standard favorites the children sang “Dona Nobis Pacem” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”. I was very proud of the group especially since they only had two practices, three if you count the warm-up before the performance. If you are wondering why we had only two practices, the reason was two weeks ago we were singing Halloween songs at some of the local nursing homes.
On November 16 was Muffins with Mom. Mothers and their children enjoyed muffins before school. This was the second year for the gathering. What is nicer than eating muffins before school with Mom? Well I don’t know if it is nicer, but after Christmas we will have our second Donuts with Dad. I wonder if we could have Tacos with Teachers sometime. I may need to mention that to someone.
On November 17 Senator Matt Huffman came to visit our school. He spent time with the seventh and eighth graders talking about our government and answering their questions. Perhaps some of those students are our future government leaders.
Loaves of bread and canned goods are appearing in my room. That can only mean one thing. It is time for the St. Mary’s School Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon. And what would that luncheon be without the first graders’ extra special homemade, handmade stuffing? Or for that matter, it wouldn’t be the same without the second graders’ fruit salad. Monday is “bread tearing” day. Yup, it is just what it sounds like. Sixteen children, ten loaves of bread and mayhem. Well, really not too much mayhem.
This year I have a medical procedure scheduled that day and will miss bread tearing day, and thus begins a tale of revenge! About 20 years ago, I was a substitute teacher and the teacher who taught second grade that year became ill during Thanksgiving week. So I got to make fruit salad with a class of second graders. Guess who is a sub now and will be taking my class on Monday? They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but in this case it is frozen solid! Bwa-ha-ha! I will be back for the gooey part on Tuesday. The children get to add the soup, broth and eggs to the bread and mix thoroughly…with their hands. I always enjoy the reaction of the kids. Some years I have kids who really get into it. In fact we have the most highly processed stuffing those years. Other years I have children who look at me as if I have lost my mind. “You want me to put my hands in THERE!”
Kathy Ayette is a teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic School. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.