Opinion
Education Opinion

Party Over Here

By Roslyn Johnson Smith, Ph.D. — December 21, 2007 1 min read

After a very rough week that started out with a media frenzy around our teacher sick out, we are getting dressed for the first faculty Holiday Party. It’s being held at a lovely reception hall not too far from the school. It’s a catered affair in a beautifully decorated place. In New Orleans, everything revolves around food and music. We’ll have both. The only drawback may be the cash bar.

Our new principal is escorting his wife and introducing her to the staff tonight. They will also meet the spouses of some of our Board members. It’s our first party. I hope everyone has their dancing shoes ready. We’ve even invited most of our vendors to celebrate with us.

Today at the school, they distributed about $1,000 in toys and games to the students in a Yule Lottery. Every child who was present for class received a ticket. After the students wrote their names on the tickets, one name was drawn from the pile. That child had first-choice of all of the gifts. There was a Holiday Barbie, Transformers, Tea sets, footballs, scooters, skateboard, musical instruments, dump truck, board games, bubble bath, toy make-up kits, even a cat that moved when you passed your hand before its eyes. The teachers continued to draw names until all of the gifts were distributed. Each lucky child picked a gift from the display, based upon the order of his or her name being selected. I always love to watch the toy selection. Most children will have their eyes on a special gift, hoping that no one picks it before it’s their turn. Older boys and girls frequently select something for a younger sibling. The lottery is a great way to encourage attendance on the last day before a long holiday. I wonder what the attendance was like today.

We tried to order personally engraved pencil sets for each child in the school, but the order never went out. We’ll have them for New Year’s. The students received only the peppermint candy canes that were supposed to adorn their pencil cases. All teachers and staff members received a beautiful silk poinsettia. Their gift certificates had not arrived when I finished signing checks at 3:30 this afternoon. We’ll have them for New Year’s too, I guess.

I have to stop blogging early now because I need to find my dancing shoes. What are you doing to celebrate the holiday, now that school is out?

The opinions expressed in Starting Over: A Post-Katrina Education are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.