My classroom is truly spooky this month. Of course there are the grinning jack-o- lanterns, and spiders crawling along the top of the lockers. It wouldn’t be Halloween in my room without grocery sack pumpkins and lunch bag spiders. We have bats flying about, complete with accidental sound effects. The bats are suspended from the lights in the room. My husband hooked paper clips through the holes in the valances of the lights. Now when the ceiling fans are going, the bats not only flutter, but they squeak too. The ghost in my locker has been acting up. Yes, I have a ghost in my locker who oddly enough can only be put to sleep by first graders counting to 100. Tuesday we neglected to put the ghost to sleep so he opened the classroom door several times. (I’m sure it had nothing to do with the strong breeze coming through the windows and the fact that the door is swollen so I never really close it tightly.) Cue the spooky music!
Every October the younger children look forward to several field trips. This October was no exception. On October 6 the kindergartners visited the fire station. The preschoolers visited on October 17. The children got to see the firefighting equipment and learn about fire safety. Although the following is not a field trip, it does seem appropriate to mention here that the fifth grade class won the Fire Department’s poster contest for Fire Prevention month. The class will be treated to a pizza party. On the same day that the kindergartners visited the fire department, the first graders attended the Greenville High School FFA Farm and Safety Day. The children visited various stations to learn about safety on and off the farm. They particularly liked the fire safety station where they got to roast marshmallows. Another highlight of the day was the bicycle safety station. The FFA members set up a route for the children to ride bicycles. Along the routes were various signs like stop signs and railroad crossings. The children practiced riding the bikes safely while observing the signs. The best part for my class was that it was a double session. Most of the schools visiting the event have larger classes than ours. This year I have seven first graders so everyone got to ride the bikes for a long time. Life is good! Whenever I take a class to the Farm and Safety Days, I usually meet a former student or two which always makes the day pleasant. On October 12 the preschool through second grade visited Brumbaugh’s Fruit Farm. If you took a poll among primary students, I am sure the Brumbaugh field trip would be voted the best trip of the year. The children learned about apples and bees. They went on a hayride and picked out pumpkins. The final treat was playing in the playground. I have to admit that this is also my favorite field trip. However it’s not the hayride nor the playground that attracts me. It’s the bakery. Nothing like a couple of sweet treats to make this girl’s day!
On October 26 the first through fourth graders will visit Heartland and Rest Haven retirement communities to entertain the residents with Halloween songs. The children are excited for two reasons. First they get to wear costumes and we have some new songs. OK, I just thought of a third reason, we get out of school for the afternoon. Anyway, we do have some new songs. We have sung the same songs every year for as long as I can remember. It was definitely time for some new music! This year we have a different schedule and I actually got an honest to goodness music period! So starting in September we began learning some
new music. Before you say, “Gee isn’t that a little early?” let me tell you that in October I began teaching the music for Christmas.
This year, we are celebrating Halloween on Friday, October 28. Usually we are purists and celebrate Halloween on October 31. However this year, Halloween falls on a Monday and the staff decided that a party with candy, costumes and a haunted classroom might be a little too much for a Monday. Talk about horror! Mondays are scary enough as it is. Speaking of horror, the quarter ends on October 28. I haven’t figured out whether it’s my advancing years or just my schedule, but something sure is making the time fly. Maybe it’s simply I am having too much fun. I have to admit that I can’t think of any other career that would have given me as much pure joy as teaching.
I hope that you have a happy Halloween. Boo!
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.