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Squeezing All the Fun Out of School

My daughter, Ellen, age 9, brought home a 2-sided flyer from school the other day. Here it is:

Also coupled with a “no cupcake” school policy, my daughter’s costume actually made it through the above check-point-standards.

Ellen is going to be a genie for Halloween, but she has to put on her costume in the school lavatory sometime around "noonish," tomorrow, anyway, because she isn’t allowed to wear it to school. OK. Not a big deal.

While Halloween certainly shouldn’t be the focus of school, it still will be the focus of school for many of our children. And, some may argue that Halloween is a celebration of Satan or something like that, but I scratch my head and wonder where all the fun has gone in school. But, getting ultra-particular and hyper-sensitive about Halloween isn’t what this blog post is really about. Halloween is just one of the many casualties of educators who might squeeze the fun out of school.

Which leads me to think: As we tell students “No” about a lot of things each day, are we missing all of the “Yes” opportunities that engage learning and socialization, make school fun, and create memories for years to come? Do we want to let kids be kids and enjoy their schools as centers that drive fun socialization or do we pinch them with so many rules, policies, and standards that squeeze not only the fun out of school, but also squeeze the excitement out of getting up for school each day?

School should be fun, Halloween aside. In what ways are you preparing a culture of fun that meets the children where they are, humanizes the school as a center of fun learning and socialization, and promotes more “Yes” opportunities versus “No” disappointments?

I hope that Flag Day doesn’t cause many headaches next spring.

Brought to you by Pushing Boundaries and Rick Jetter, Ph.D..

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