It is always the little, seemingly obscure moments, that reinforce my decision to have pursued a life of teaching and learning. The other night, while sitting at the kitchen table for hours upon hours helping my seventeen-year old daughters prepare for the upcoming SAT, an email arrived. I must admit, spending the whole day at school, then tutoring my kids all night was a bit exhausting. That is, until I read the email.
Dear Mr. Guidetti - I am Graysen, from 5th grade. We met at lunch once or twice. I am very concerned about my recent discovery of the new guideline saying that we cannot wear our Halloween costumes to school. Now, Halloween is my favorite time of year. I get to spend time with my friends, trick-or-treating, jabbering about our awesome and silly costumes, and so much more. So, even though this is on short notice, please consider changing that guideline. For the sake of me, my friends, and, heck, the whole school! I have seen that most kids enjoy it. If you are mostly concerned that kids don't like it, tell them they can choose if they wear a costume or not. And if not, is there a specific reason that you changed these rules?
Dear Graysen - Thank you for your email! I am not sure where you heard that costumes are not allowed for Halloween. Masks cannot be worn during class time. But, costumes are allowed. Of course, the costumes need to be appropriate, and we must make sure that students don’t suddenly turn into scary monsters! By the way, Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year. Also, I love that you emailed me with this concern!
A simple exchange between a fifth grader and me - I shared the dialogue with my soon-to-be college freshmen. SAT prep no longer seemed to be an arduous task. A ten-year old had just reminded us what was truly important in life! We all laughed, then continued the task at hand, reinvigorated by Graysen who also reminded me that teaching and learning is a joyous 24/7 commitment - and I wouldn’t want it to be any other way.