Saturday, January 31, 2009

100th Day and Culture


100th Day Celebration!

Wow, it's here, and so quickly! I've really got to get in to my office and clear a spot for our little ones to come marching through! This is a cherished event, and I just love seeing the whole 1st grade parading into the office.

I was speaking to a couple of middle and high school people in my Tuesday night class, and they had no idea what the significance of 100th Day was! I just thought, "Aaahh, to be in elementary school." They really have no idea what they are missing - the traditions, the culture, the little things that make our elementary school life special.

To be fair, of course, all schools are made up of rituals and celebrations, those things that make up the culture of our schools. For some, it is easy to see. Visitors can sense something special the moment they walk through the front door. It may not be in the rituals that a school has. It certainly should not be relegated to strictly rituals and traditions, for some of these, such as the old, "That's just the way we do things around here," may not be as healthy as you would like.

But for others, such as 100th Day, where all 1st graders decorate a t-shirt with 100 of something - Cheerios, stickers, buttons, macaroni - and come parading through the office to show off their 100 Day Pride, culture comes shining through in a significant way. Because it's not about 100th Day (really, are we celebrating that we made it through 100 days?), not really. It's about the cultural aspect of 100th Day, the anticipation of 100th Day, the looking back on school days and remembering the fun little breaks we took in the middle of a hectic, busy year filled with learning CVC words and how to blend and chunk, and how to go to the neighbor's house to borrow a cup of sugar (subrtraction with borrowing).

These are the things that make up our school days, the memories we are giving to children, the culture we are intentionally and purposefully creating.

100th Day. I can't wait.