Saturday 23 December 2023

School Christmas Programs

    During the mid-1970’s I taught for three years in a very isolated one-room school at a lumber mill in the middle of British Columbia.  There were no roads into the place, so to get there you had to travel either by plane or a very slow train.  

    I found teaching in a one-room school a very labor-intensive and time consuming job.  I was the teacher, the principal, the maintenance man, and even the bus driver (I had to pick up the kids of the Indian family that lived down by Takla Lake every day).  Because I had students in many grades, preparing lessons that would keep the most grades working on their own, while I taught the other grade, took a lot of coordination.  

    I had to create all of the worksheets for the kids on a typewriter,  because this was before computers or photocopiers.  I did finally get a mimeograph machine, which did then enable me to run off copies, once I typed out a “stencil” of the worksheet to run through the machine.  Anyway, the point I am trying to make was that the teaching job kept me extremely busy, I was just able to keep my head above water.

    While drowning in all of this teaching work, I began being pressured to put on a Christmas Program for the parents.   I was not thrilled with the prospect of yet another chore, and I didn’t know what to do for a Christmas Program.  I am not at all a religious person, but all I could think up for a program was to act out the nativity.  I figured the kids could somehow dress up as the characters, and I would just read the story from a Bible.

    Once I had the idea, I explained it to the kids right before their lunch break one day.  I told them they should each think about which characters they might like to play.  I said we would need someone to be Mary, Joseph, three Wise Men, and some shepherds.  

    As the kids filtered out the door for lunch, one of my little first graders came up to me and said, “I want to be a German Shepherd.”

    The photo above was taken at the Christmas Program the following year.  Generously, that year some of the parents mercifully took over the responsibility for putting on the Christmas Program.

Take a look at my paintings:


No comments:

Post a Comment