Thursday, December 15, 2011
A grinch or just a pragmatic!
Every year the local Rotary club has a Christmas party for the more needy kids in the school. They leave during lunch time and come back with a clear, plastic bag of toys. Anyone guess where I'm going with this? Today was that party. I had 3 kids go. No big deal . The other kids didn't really say much about it. The kids were sent back to my room while we were at recess and they wandered around the school looking for us. Luckily my first grade teacher neighbor grabbed them and kept them with her. I told them to put their toys by their backpacks and not to talk too much about it with the other kids. We didn't want to make them feel bad for not getting to go. Things went pretty well until there was about 20 minutes left of the day. They kids were all packed up and sitting on the carpet ready to play a game when it all went awry. One of my little boys freaked out over the other kids having presents. He didn't understand why they had presents and he didn't. He didn't understand why they got to go to a party and the whole class didn't get to go. He yelled "That's not fair." And part of me completely agreed with him. I really wasn't sure what to say. This is my fifth year going through this so you'd think I'd have something to say by now. But this is the first year, I've had a kid get so upset about it. I finally pulled him outside the room and told him that these kids didn't have a lot and one of them didn't even have a Christmas tree (That's another story.) He seemed to understand but now I think he felt bad. So to make up for it, I let all the kids that didn't get to go to the party go to the treasure box in my room. That seemed to help smooth some things over. During bus duty, I had a parent ask me if the kids carrying the white plastic bags were undreprivildege because he knew for a fact one of the kids with the bag was not. I didn't really know what to say. All I said was I had no control over who gets to go to the party and I don't. I don't even get a say in who goes from my class. So this whole experience brought up a ton of thoughts and questions for me. I couldn't help but think of confidetiality of these kids who are considered needy. Then what about the kids who don't get to go. I think what the Rotary does is wonderful. They are trying to fill a need. It is just difficult when it happens during the school day. Do you schools have any events like this? How would you have explained it to the upset kid yelling It's not fair? I couldn't help but agree with him a little. And then feel a little Grinchy for being annoyed by the whole thing.