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Teaching During the Halloween Season: As Told By David Rose


Teaching During the Halloween Season: As Told By David Rose

Congratulations teachers, you’ve almost made it through October! Of course, you know what that means: Halloween season! Yes, just as you finally got your class into a groove academically, along comes costumes, candy, and overall confusion. Teaching during Halloween leaves us not being able to express ourselves the way we truly want to, so why don’t we let David Rose from Schitt’s Creek speak for us.

1. Teachers waking up the morning of Halloween knowing what is about to happen

If you’ve ever taught before, you know that Halloween time is when this freight train of insanity we call a school year really starts wobbling off the tracks. Kids start focusing on candy and costumes and become a lot less interested in whatever you’re trying to teach.

2. When students tell you that candy won’t affect their behavior in class

Students will try just about anything to get the most coveted of all allowances: eating candy in class. Around Halloween they will come with backpacks stuffed with it, ready to send them into a sugar high. They may tell you it helps them concentrate, or that they promise to work hard… but don’t fall for it!

3. When parents drop their kids off in a wildly inappropriate costume, even though your school has a no-costume policy.

Teaching on Halloween is difficult enough, but when parents don’t make any attempt to even remotely follow school guidelines it makes it that much harder. Even though many schools now have restrictions on wearing costumes to school you can rest assured you’ll still see at least a couple way-to-young Harley Quinns wandering around a 3rd-grade classroom somewhere.

4. When you notice it’s a full moon AND Halloween week at the same time

Seriously, when it rains it pours. We’ve already discussed the horrors of teaching during a full moon, and when you combine that with the insanity of Halloween you have a recipe for disaster.

5. When the student with 5 pounds of Halloween candy gives some to every one of your students so they can all be on the same sugar rush

Candy seems to be the one supply that students always want more of. No matter how many pillow sacks they filled the night before, if a student is handing out tootsie rolls they’ll all want one. And what’s worse than a student on a sugar high? ALL of your students on a sugar high.

6. When students turn in work on Halloween that’s covered in chocolate stains

One tactic to get through Halloween week is to keep students as busy as possible with assignments and work. Which is fine, until they turn it in covered in candy and chocolate residue. Sticky worksheets are bad enough in a normal year but in 2020? You’re going to need to dip that whole paper in a vat of disinfectant.

7. When students ask if they can have a Halloween party in class

Whether you teach precocious kindergarteners or high school seniors, every student deep down inside loves a good classroom party. Punch, cookies, holiday-themed games, and fun are music to a child’s ears. To teachers, it’s more like running your fingernails down a chalkboard.

8. When someone asks how your day was after being locked in a room with 25 students full of sugar

No matter how many years you have taught, Halloween always seems to take you by surprise. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, kids manage to take it to another level. Sometimes all you can do is go along for the ride and hang on until the dismissal bell.

9. When admin asks why you fell behind in your lesson plans during Halloween week

Some days teaching is all about making connections and bonding with your students. Some days it’s about engaging them in a fascinating lesson. Some days it’s all about trying to keep them from tearing your classroom to shreds. Around Halloween, it tends to be that last option more often than not.

10. When students say you’re no fun because you won’t let them swallow 3 pounds of Pixie Stix in class

Hey, teachers can be just as fun as anybody, but you know what isn’t fun? Chasing 20 students around your room who now have the blood sugar level of your average Oompa Loompa.

11. When anyone suggests you should come to school dressed in a super fun Halloween costume.

Around October a teacher’s wardrobe tends to be more utilitarian than anything else. We are tired from start to finish so that last thing that crosses our minds when our alarm clock goes off is putting a lot of effort into our clothing options. Unless you want us to dress as “permanently exhausted” in which case we have the perfect costume for that.

12. When students say they plan to be out real late on Halloween, even though there’s school the next day.

Yes, school will still continue the day after Halloween is over, despite how exhausted your students will be the following day. If a teacher is feeling especially wicked they could schedule a quiz for that day… trick or treat indeed!

13. When students show off their costumes and ask us what we think of them

If your school does allow costumes on Halloween week, it will inevitably lead to a barrage of students coming up to you asking your opinion of their costumes. Choose your words wisely!

14. When you just need a break mid-day so you ask your teacher buddy to watch your class for a few minutes

Teachers rely on our buddies a lot during Halloween week, but it’s important to take turns. Make sure you each get the equivalent number of selfishes when you need to walk away for a minute. It’s the only way to survive.

15. When students ask why you didn’t wear a costume to school

Sure, many of us still dress up for the occasional Halloween party but to put all of that together in the morning before school? Teachers only have a tiny amount of energy by the time October rolls around, we just don’t have it in us to get THAT dolled up on a weekday.

16. When your class starts telling you all about what they did on Halloween night

Students cannot wait to share stories from their wild and crazy adventures on Halloween, but be careful opening up that particular Pandora’s Box. It may start out as an innocent brain break but it will snowball into two hours of insanely specific detail… some of which you really don’t want to know.

17. The minute your class walks in the day after Halloween hyper and full of sugar

Sometimes you just need to lay down the law, and those times usually occur after holidays like Halloween. It’s a good time to remind children that rules do exist and that they all still need to follow them.

18. When students show up with treats and party favors because you told them they could have a party on Halloween

No matter how many times you tell students there will be no Halloween party, reiterate it and stress it, there will always be at least one student who shows up with party favors and a tray of cupcakes ready to party.

19. When students finally leave at the end of the day

Never is a teacher’s smile wider than when all of your darling students make their exits out of your classroom and Halloween week is at an end. It’s finally time to relax, kick up your feet and dig into your own personal stash of candy hidden in your desk drawer.

20. How teachers feel after Halloween is over

To be honest we feel like this after most weeks, but after a week of dealing with the costumes, candy and craziness teachers need a little something extra to take the edge off. 

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Teaching During the Halloween Season As Told By David Rose

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David Rode

Dave is a middle school math teacher. He's also a musician, a community theater, dad to two amazing children, and he doesn't get a lot of sleep.

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