There are a few things you’ll see in most American classrooms. Not every classroom will have all of these but they’re pretty much main-stays in elementary classes.
- Some sort of cute, colorful markers or pens that the teacher likes to use
- At least one spunky student who says something unexpected when a visitor comes in
- Some sort of holiday unit in December
In my room, there’s always a ton of markers that need to be put away. I’m never organized enough to have a teacher and student stash so they’re just in a big pile. And I always have at least 4-5 spunky students because they are my favorite and the kinder teachers usually load my class. We also have a holiday unit…but it looks a little different than some.
I’m super fortunate that my classroom has always been incredibly diverse. It was natural for me to build in characters of color and different holidays because that’s what my students needed. But now I understand it doesn’t matter what students we have. Our curriculum needs to mirror the world around us so that our students are prepared.
That’s why it’s not enough to just teach Christmas. It’s not even enough to just teach Christmas Around the World. Because not everyone celebrates Christmas. They celebrate Ramadan, and Kwanzaa and Diwali and Lunar New Year. Our students are excited for Rosh Hashanah and Holi. I’m not saying we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas. Lots of our students (and teachers) wait all year for December 25 so it can totally be a part of our curriculum. But we must include other holidays too.