Nativity: What I miss about the classroom at Christmas

I’m a little late to the Christmas party this year – my tree went up weeks into December and even a colleague who’s only known me a few months was astounded…I’ve not got a six-foot tree, it’s actually shorter than me this year. So over the next few days I’m going to share a few Christmas film reflections, now I’ve finally got time to watch them – I hope you enjoy!

This year, classroomless, I subjected my colleagues to my Christmas vision. It involved Photoshopping, a lot of tinsel and lights, and resulted in two Christmas trees. I was ill on the day of decoration but the vision was beautifully humoured and realised. 

Watching the Nativity has reminded me of the classroom at Christmas, and the things I miss most about not being in the classroom in December.

1. The build up

When there’s a play to perform, services to attend and a classroom to decorate, it begins to feel a lot like Christmas. Finding new Christmas crafts to make, getting glitter all over the carpet and having to apologise profusely to the cleaners has long been a part of my Christmas build up.

It is combined with trying to maintain marking, teaching and learning, but there’s a Christmas warmth that permeates December. I’ve missed the build up more this year, now the work of combining festive cheer with fraction calculations is a more hazy memory.

2. The wind down

I have definitely missed this…this year the workshops have continued up to the very end of term. A little Christmas card creation or a watch of said film is a very lovely way to end the term in amongst the Christmas craziness. Subjecting my class to my Christmas favourites, meant I could watch them, sort of, while we wound down.

3. Truly bizarre Christmas plays

Nativity gives us: Herod – the musical. Yes..the blood, the screaming and the very real but very dark side of Christmas. 

But then, one of my brothers once played a polo in the Christmas play, we see a lobster in Love Actually. Aliens, space, sea creatures – there are truly no lengths to which a Christmas nativity cannot reach. 

4. Pretending I can really sing

There’s no other way to teach Silent Night in German than to sing it yourself…singing in front of children has gone a tiny way to give me more vocal confidence. What I absolutely cannot do though, is sing in French. But it’s fun to belt out a few songs in the spirit of Christmas. I’ve not missed Away in a Manger though. School can hold onto that one.

5. Christmas rehearsals

 Yes, it’s no surprise, I was the teacher at the back of the hall, dancing like crazy. I miss that process of creating, inspiring and realising a performance that can warm the heart and cheer the soul. I miss that chance to dance, not care if you look a little bit stupid, and encourage children to give their all to performing. 

But with all of those things I miss, it’s safe to say that Nativity will remain my foray into classroom teaching at Christmas… – Mr Maddens, Mr Poppy, me…troupes of frustrated dancers (teachers) all over the world.

2 thoughts on “Nativity: What I miss about the classroom at Christmas

  1. Ah you had a school where you could put on plays! Very lucky! At my school we held Polar Express Day this year which was a lot of fun. You’re right, that week before Christmas is a lot of fun for the kids, but when I leave I DEFINITELY will not miss the crafting! I am currently looking at a huge, blistered burn on my hand from hot glue. Crafting is not my thing, yet the kids definitely expect it that week! Take care!


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