In this year of COVID, many of the usual Christmas activities aren’t so Christmassy, especially for public schools. However, anybody who’s ever known an elementary teacher very well knows that these rock stars can create good tidings of comfort and joy out of pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, milk cartons, glue and construction paper.
This is certainly ringing true in Marietta’s primary and elementary schools this year, as teachers have plans for every school day during the month of December leading up to Christmas break.
The primary school will be having a Countdown to Christmas with a theme for each day. Each day’s theme will be accompanied by crafts, books, and other learning activities. Students will celebrate Grinch Day, Elf Day, Rudolph Day, and several others, right up through Gingerbread Day and Feliz Navidad Day.
On Polar Express Day, December 11, students can wear their pajamas to school for extreme comfort.
First grade teacher Jodi Barnes said that her students are excited about the holidays.
“We aren’t letting COVID get us down,” Barnes reported. “We celebrated Rudolph Day and even discovered that a mask makes a great place to glue a red nose.”
That’s what you call making lemonade out of lemons, a great skill to take with you throughout life.
Primary Principal Ann Rutledge said that it’s not always easy for students or teachers to keep their spirits high during these tough times.
“We have a good group of teachers who do a fantastic job and I do what I can to keep them motivated,” Rutledge said, “and our students are happy to be at school, so they are usually in good spirits. Primary students are exciting about learning, so we just run with that!”
In the elementary, teachers also have special treats planned for their students, including holiday themed activities for reading and math. They’ll also be decorating ornaments and a class tree, playing holiday music, and looking forward to a pajama party day at the semester’s end.
“We’re just doing what we can to keep up the cheer during this crazy time,” said fourth grade teacher Shari Hallum.
So despite the fact that COVID-19 may be masquerading as the Grinch Who Tried to Steal Christmas, teachers in Marietta’s lower grades are doing all they can to keep their students in a Christmas state of mind.