Wednesday, February 4, 2009
100th Day Celebration and Other New Holidays
Today is the 100th day celebration for my kids (who attend the Johnston school district) and my wife (who teaches kindergarten in the Johnston district). And, this won't be the most profound or earth-shattering post, although it does allow me to use my "100" stock photo again.
Still, it has me thinking. There was no 100th day celebration when I was growing up. Either we failed to see the significance of the 100th day, or we were under strict guidance not to celebrate... I'm not sure which. But let me reiterate from an outside observation: This is a significant day for elementary students.
My son had to build a creation with 100 items in it (he went with the lego pyramid). My wife was busy counting out 100 beads and 100 pieces of macaroni, and getting her 100-piece puzzles for school. I found out that there are actual children's books devoted to this day... and we have 2 of them! The Biscuit series of books apparently has a 100th day book for Biscuit.
So here are the deep questions: why is this day significant? Why 100 and not 106? Just roundness of numbers I suppose. And, are we celebrating that we have 100 days down, or that we are just on day 100? And what are the various messages our young students can extrapolate from this celebration.
In all seriousness, I've discovered that I missed out on a lot of celebrations as a kid (and I'm not that old). We didn't celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday. Or Earth Day. Or Mole Day. Or Pi Day. So, why the more celebration? Does our need to celebrate reflect on how we have changed as a society, or maybe how drab and depressing our day-to-day lives have become?
Okay, now I mean it... in all seriousness, as a principal I liked the celebrations in school, as long as it A) helped the school climate and B) remained an instructional endeavor. Which is, perhaps, the problem "Back to Basics" people have with celebrations of any kind; they feel it takes up time that can be used on drilling.
The things to take from this is celebrations of this type help a building be organic, to ebb and flow as life does, instead of being a sterile regimented schedule. Which, is exactly the benefit of flexible scheduling and students networking with other students through social media.
I suggested to my son that he could dress up as some one who is 100, but he told me he doesn't fit into my clothes.