Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday, December 20th - Happy Hanukkah!

While we are not Jewish, Hanukkah has become important to me.  As I have done a lot of teaching in areas with anywhere between a few Jewish students and predominantly Jewish populations and as "Traditions and Celebrations" is one of the units in the Grade 2 Social Studies curriculum, it's become a traditional part of my Advent.  There's so much crossover between Judaism and Christianity, as well, it just seems like a natural overlap.

I had a lovely Jewish mother come into my classroom today and bring a menorah, dreidles for the entire class, chocolate gelt and a wonderful story.  She presented to the class and made the celebration meaningful for them.  I was beaming from ear to ear - I LOVE to see my students getting to have person experiences and form personal connections with the celebrations of their friends.  I also love to see the pride they feel in who they are.  I may not share their beliefs but I would fight tooth and nail to ensure their right to be recognized and valued.  I bring religion into the classroom and I don't apologize for it.  I also find it amazing how few parents have ever had anything to say about it.

At home tonight, Pk and I lit our menorah.  I considered putting it in the window but, as our tree is right by the window, I thought that lighting it there might give us more light than we wanted.  Pk was thrilled to be able to light a candle.

 We took photos so that she could take them into her class tomorrow.  I must drive her teacher crazy.  I believe that the principal there isn't exactly the most open guy and I expect that I push the limits - when we work on Pk's alphabet book, for C, there was church and cross, G was for God and J was for Jesus...  I will fight for the right of the Muslim and Jewish kids to have their faiths allowed and valued in the classroom but I will also fight for my child's Christianity to be allowed, too.

I'll get off my soapbox now, LOL.  I'm just trying to decide whether I can skip making latkes this year, since we are having family for Boxing Day and the oil smell tends to linger... it does feel like something is missing, though.

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