As I lay out my clothes for the second day of Spirit Week which is Pajama Day, I remember my first teaching colleague, Mrs. Kelly, who confided in me, “I would take a pay cut, if they let us come to school in our pajamas!” I’ve never felt that way. Maybe many of you have, which makes me possibly an outlier.
Maybe I simply don’t feel comfortable when forced to blur the line between personal time and work time. And sleeping is really the most intimate and vulnerable personal time. That sounds terrible. Allow me to spell it out for you, I wear worn out Target pajama sets or yoga pants with an old tank top to bed. So . . . does anyone really need to be subjected to that?
On the flip side, what this distinction means is that I definitely do my best to give myself completely to my students while at school. When I’m working, I am constantly assessing and problem solving. I try to use every moment to prepare or grade or meet with a student who seems perplexed or request meetings with students who are secretly unsure (secret to either myself or themselves at the moment). As a result, I need my sleep!!
This is not to say that I don’t spend time in my personal life puzzling over challenges or coming up with lessons or collecting items for specific units or leading students in after school activities and service projects . . . but it does mean that I feel more comfortable in dress casual when I’m at work. When I’m the teacher.
We eased into Spirit Week with school colors day–which was interesting since no one actually knew our official school colors since our school is somewhat new. Yet, our CEO encouraged us hopefully at the beginning of the year, “After 5 years, we’re not a new school any more. We’re moving on to the next phase.”
The third day, tomorrow, is Opposites Day. I also feel uncomfortable organizing an opposites costume with someone. Growing up, this kind of spirit week day felt like a way for “best friends” to be declared. This always felt awkward. But I will speak to my colleague. It could be fun.
Actually, since this is a 4 day week with our holiday, I am looking forward to Red Carpet Day–our fourth and final theme. It will culminate in a dance, which I have volunteered to chaperone.
Ultimately, Spirit Week is not for me. It’s by the kids for the kids. When I think of how much fun students have watching their teachers be silly, you realize you’re visibly high fiving them by dressing up. Literally, showing Spirit!!
Update: I’m in my pajamas, ready to go to school and am loving it!! Once again, Mrs. Kelly’s words of wisdom live on.
What’s your favorite Spirit Week theme or story?