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Author Topic: An Unusual Teaching Challenge  (Read 13053 times)
Sine Silvering
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« Reply #1: September 18, 2007, 07:05:54 am »

      My first little own post.......yeesh people duck and cover!  At any rate I'm as some of you know over here in Japan, and I'm in fact teaching!  Now as part of my nifty-difty lesson plan structure (passed down upon the ages from Master ALT to Apprentice ALT  Roll Eyes ) I have been asked to teach about both Christmas and Halloween.  Which I'm completely happy to do!

      My challenge comes in that my supervisor's would like me to present the topics in a way that is personally and culturally relevant to me.  They feel that the students will have a stronger connection, and greater interest in Western culture if they can make it through personal knowledge of me.  I am all for sharing cultural information, but I tend to go a wee bit over board (  Grin ) on Yule and Samhain, they are for me very important days of the year.

      So the usual tom-foolery of baking, sewing, flower arranging, altar building, godly and ancestorly offerings gets done, on top of doing fun kitchy stuff that people enjoy around those times of year!  I've already decided to share some of the activities and gifts I do every year with my friends and co-workers here, but I am trying to think of ways to approach these topics in such a way as to make it interesting and not preachy to children.  I want them to enjoy Halloween and Christmas, not necessarily know their every scrap and scope of history!

     Therefore, what would you suggest and/or do in my position?   Huh I'm interested to hear your thoughts!

Ducky



I'll gently suggest that, unless you are completely out of the closet and your supervisors are aware that you are a pagan and thus a member of a VERY small minority subset of western religious tradition, that you discard all your actual current personal associations and that you teach the mainstream American popular/secular versions of both, with the religious basis included, of course.

Depending on how old your students are, of course, it sounds as if they want your students to get a taste of what they'd experience if they were visiting the US at those times of year, with a bit of the cultural and religious origins of what they'll see.

Certainly there's a certain amount of pagan history you can include, with the personal connection... but if you're teaching general cultural familiarization, then the mainstream  culture's stuff is what they want.  A lot more about trick-or-treating than about Dumb Suppers, for example, and about caroling, Christmas trees and Charlies Dickens and  Brown rather than Modrasnicht.

JMHO; YMMV, of course.  You know your situation.

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