One Teacher's Voice


An important consideration

[Original date posted: 12/13/2011]

Rethinking Poverty and Casual Conversations | Teaching Tolerance

“I recently overheard a lot of talk in the hallways about holiday gifts that students want or deals they had found during the Black Friday mad rush of sales. It made me think about how oftentimes, on returning from winter break, I would discuss with other students the laundry list of things they received as gifts. I’ve always been careful to not assume that every student celebrates Christmas or Hanukkah and the gift giving that comes with that. But it dawned on me, just that morning, that my informal discussions with students about gifts and presents has the potential to quickly marginalize our students in poverty, regardless of the time and traditions of their gift giving.”

My sister and her family have a great method for gift giving on Christmas.  They each get 4 presents and a set of new Christmas jammies.  The 4 presents are:

  • something you want
  • something you need
  • something to wear
  • something to read
I’ve always thought this was a brilliant idea and cuts down on the excessiveness that is so easy to take part in over the holidays–especially when buying for children.  This article opened my eyes to bringing this conversation into a classroom as well.  An important part of the holidays (in my opinion) is giving to the community and I hope that will be the focus for my classroom.

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This entry was posted on May 1, 2012 by in Uncategorized and tagged .
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