Answer at the bottom of this post.
My son posted this on his Twitter feed and it gave me a good laugh. I could be wrong, but I believe the comment originated with Jim Gaffigan, a comedian.
It's humorous and not-so-humorous at the same time. While most people are starting to look forward to the holidays with all the good food, cheer, family time, and personal wonderment, some people are getting a little stressed out. Every year in schools across the nation, teachers are beginning to assess their new group of students and figure out how to appropriately handle the holidays.
For me, because I taught elementary students for 22 years, there were 22 varieties of how I handled the holidays. Within those 22, there were other variances for individual students based on students' sensitivities, parental wishes, etc.
Every year brought new surprises but one thing was consistent; every year brought lots of stress. Not the stress of planning parties (which as we all know is stressful enough), but the stress of keeping things generic enough for everyone without offending anyone. I've come to realize it's an impossible task.
I've recently been asked to be a regular on-air commentator for BAM Radio, the largest education radio network in the world offering programming from the nation's top education organizations and thought leaders and reaching a wide audience of people passionately commited to quality education. The segment we recently recorded is called Balancing Act: Celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza in School hosted by Rae Pica with Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D., Julie Bisson (and me!)
I hope you'll take some time to listen and enjoy. I'd love to know what you think of the radio show and if you have tips for a stress-free (or less-stressful) holiday in school, please leave your thoughts in the comment section.
Answer to the title of this post:
Can we avoid offending everyone? I don't think so, but you can minimize the risk. If you listened to the radio segment, you now have some ideas for moving forward. What are your thoughts?