Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Party Time!

Next Friday is Halloween party day at school. For the uninitiated, Halloween party day is when students stuff their cheap Wal-mart costumes into their backpacks, spend the morning learning absolutely nothing because all they can think about is changing into said costumes, and then, after donning their Iron Man or Darth Vader or fireman (how quaint) get-up, proceed to growl at me under the mistaken impression that I am somehow confused about their true identity.

Holy shit. The Hulk is in my classroom.

We have a parade first. Here's how it works: Everyone gets in their costumes (including the teachers. If you don't, you have to endure an hour's worth of "What are you supposed to be?" and "Nice costume" and "Party pooper". And that's just the other teachers.). We line up. We walk through the halls and around the building, then back through classrooms so that all the little kids can see us. Kids I don't know wave at me. Three of my future delinquents will try their damndest to terrify the five-year-olds. I will pray that the line moves slowly so we can delay the start of the party and that no one gets lost.

Then we'll go back to our room. In the room I will try to stretch out any quiet activities for as long as I reasonably can. So we'll eat first. And I'll do the whole, "I'll call your group as soon as you're quiet." Except even when they are quiet I won't call on them right away because I want the eating to take as long as possible. Kids are quieter with their mouths full.

However, there will come a time when most of them are done eating and they'll start talking. It will get progressively louder. Some of them will leave their seats and cause trouble. A couple of boys will take their temporary personas too far and wrestle or sword fight or kick each other in the 'nads. Someone will cry. There will be parents in the room and I'll attempt to win them over by offering them food that I did not provide. Then I'll get on some kid (probably the nad kicker) to show the parents how stern I am. Eventually, we'll play a game to kill more time. I like quiet ones, like 7-Up. If I'm lucky, the clock will move fast. And if I'm really lucky, some of the parents will ask to check their kids out early.

This is what happens when you become an old fuddy-duddy. Halloween is no longer about the costumes or the candy or frightening little kids or even getting kicked in the 'nads. It's about getting through it as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Posts from the Past:

Want to know what not to pass out this Halloween? Click here.
Want to read about a terrifying Halloween tradition? Click here.
Want to participate in the Great Chocolate Milk Debate? Click here and vote in the comments!


Anita said...

At our school, the parents take over and the teachers just chill. I try to avoid this day at school and endure field trips, instead. The field trips are usually okay, except I have to wear an exercise bra the whole time.

Kelly Polark said...

Anita, what is up with the exercise bra on field trips?
And I have to agree that the Halloween party was always the most exhausting day of the year as a teacher. But I did love dressing up!
Of course now that I have my own kids, I still endure them for volunteering in their classrooms. But luckily I have to go to multiple rooms for my three kids, so I have an excuse to leave when I want!

Anita said...

Have you ever ridden on the back of an old school shocks?

word verification: rembra

Mike Winchell said...

I teach in 7-12 building and all costumes are frowned upon, as opposed to having a frown upon a costume, which is also frowned upon, given the fact that it would be a costume that the frown would be upon, and like I said those are frowned upon.

Yeah, the reason for banning costumes is as confusing as the sentence above. Sorry, I like to supply a perplexing metaphor for things that befuddle me. I do that sometimes.

Ray Veen said...

I'm glad I didn't get into teaching. I'd have to bring a flask to school and then I'd get fired. And then I'd be happy because I could drink more.

What up on the writing front, Mr. Murphy?