New months are a big deal in my classroom. We have a few routines when it comes time to turn the calendar page. We have to, of course, take the numbers off the interactive calendar, so the calendar monitor has the honor of taking them off one-by-one as everyone counts backwards. When the calendar is clean, we switch the card that says the month’s name and use the pictures on the card as conversation points about what the month ahead holds. We talk about birthdays in the class, trips we’re taking, and of course, holidays.
Well, February turned into March yesterday, and we were going through the regular routines. To inject some new flavor into the morning meeting, which has become kind of stale, I wrote the famous line about March on the board: “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” We spent some time talking about what this means in terms of weather – “What kind of weather roars like a lion?” – and then I tried to transition to the next part of the day.
But the kids, bless their little holiday-loving hearts, would have none of it. They demanded we go over the March holidays. Oops, I forgot about that! So I pulled out the holiday cards and we went through them. As it turned out, the only March holiday in our calendar set was St. Patrick’s Day.
They weren’t sure what that was. So, keeping it secular, I told them St. Patrick’s Day is the day everyone wears green and we see shamrocks (which I drew, of course). But they didn’t seem to care. And this was because the ever obstreperous Alvin was clamoring for everyone’s attention as he called out from his spot in back of the meeting area, “PATRICK’S DAY!”
And once they heard that, there was no turning back. I said, “Not Patrick’s Day, SAINT Patrick’s Day,” only to the insistence of the entire class that, indeed, the holiday is “Patrick’s Day.” Finally, I figured out what they were talking about. Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? (Other than Spongebob, of course…)
Well, I had a good chuckle over it and thought nothing more of it the rest of the day. But today, Tessa just had to know, “When is Patrick’s Day again? March 17th?” I fought only a slight resistance to sarcastically remark, “You know, this isn’t Bikini Bottom!” and instead answered, “Yes, March 17th.”
And now I’m thinking about Patrick’s Day and wondering, what could be so bad about that? While everyone else is “celebrating” a holiday that has practically zero relevance to the students, I wonder what ways I can make it a special day for our class where we celebrate the animated greatness of Patrick Star. Will we wear salmon colored clothing? Will we eat Krabby patties and pineapple? (Or would Spongebob begrudge us eating pieces of his house?)
I don’t know what to do.
I’ve never been to a Patrick’s Day party before.