When I became a teacher, I made a promise to myself and to all my future students that I will never celebrate Mother's Day or Father's Day in my classroom because we truly don't know what is going on inside our students' homes or what wounds they may carry with them about family members. Each year, I have students who may have experienced: a parent leaving, a parent passing away, a parent losing parental rights, a parent who chooses not to be a part of their life, and many other situations that I may not even be aware of. In my eyes, we don't have to remind students of these wounds and cause greater pain for them. For people who have had the honor of having both parents actively supportive in their lives, this perspective may not have even crossed your minds about Mother's Day or Father's Day in the classroom. But for someone who lived it, I know what it personally feels like.
Each year, I teach my students that the best gift to give is a piece of writing so throughout the year they know that they can choose to give a piece of writing to a family member for a holiday, birthday, or just because they love them. I show my students my box of letters, cards, and writing pieces I wrote for and about my Papa Joe that he saved. This also helps show them the power writing can have on others and how they can give the gift of writing to anyone at any time.
As Father's Day approaches this month, please consider this personal perspective as you plan your classroom lessons this year and in the future around these holidays.
|Thank you Papa Joe for always being there for me!