Saturday, 13 July 2013

DIY: Costumes

Some of my students most memorable days are the ones when routine is broken, or better yet - dress code is altered. These favourite days would be the dress-up days. I know that students love it even more when their business-casual dressed teacher walks in wearing something awesome.
Here are some of the costumes I made myself - usually the night before our dress-up day:

Costume 1: Captian Primary
Description - This made-up superhero changes the colour of anything she touches to a brillant primary shade. With that said, she also protects the primary grades. 

- white t-shirt
- blue sports shorts
- red tights
- yellow soccer socks
- yellow Toms
- random pieces of primary coloured fabric from your scrap fabric basket
- safety pins

Costume 2: Snail
Our dress-up theme on Halloween was 'Favourite Animal'. I can't say that a snail is my favourite animal, but it was my favourite animal costume. I did borrow this idea from pinterest and it turned out spendidly.

- string
- thick gold-coloured headband
- wooden dowels
- pom-poms
- cardboard
- roll of brown paper 
- a lot of packing tape

- visit this blog to get all the visuals and a look at who deserves credit for this amazing costume: 

Costume 3: Birthday Outft
Description - this outfit was lovingly made for me by some of my student' parents. You can read about it in my previous blog post called The Year of The Moms .

- yards of colourful crinoline
- elastic
- birthday sash
- tiara
- a positive attitude

I'd love to see or hear about your school costumes. I know that these are also some of my favourite memories as a kid and I can't wait until next year to make a few new costumes.

The Year of The Moms

This past school year I dubbed 'The Year of the Moms.' It was one of those exceptional years where I had outstanding parent support. Rarely, if ever, did I have a negative experience with one of my student's parents. There was a small group of moms that stopped by every once in a while to see how they could help in the classroom. They consistently volunteered to take down my bulletin boards, organize new books in my library and even take home my laminating! One mother came in every week to organize my take-home reading program. When preparing for field trips, I always knew I could count on The Moms to help out.
These dedicated mothers came into the classroom to support their child when he/she was presenting a project. They cheered on their child during in-line skating and sat in the bleachers when we had swimming lessons.
Occasionally they would shower me with starbucks drinks or flowers. The biggest surprise happened in March, for my birthday.
Let me explain: On March 8, I took the day off. I had never had a personal day in my 5 years of teaching. I have also always been under the notion that people should not have to work on their birthday. I am also not a big fan of all the 'birthday attention'. You know, when someone mentions over the intercom that it is your birthday and you can't walk down the hall without hundreds of kids saying, "Happy birthday, Mrs. Ward!" "Happy birthday, Mrs. Ward!" "Happy birthday, Mrs. Ward!" "Mrs. Ward! (run hug) Happy birthday!" Most people love this. It just makes me uncomfortable. I know - I'm being ridiculous.
On March 8th, I booked a sub and enjoyed a quiet morning, brunch with friends, a massage in the afternoon, followed by dinner with my husband. It was fantastic day! My kind of day.
Monday morning I went into school a bit early. To my astonishment, my entire classroom was littered with birthday decorations. I did what any attention-phobic person would do...I panicked. I took down the decorations around my door and 'rearranged' the ones in my classroom. I had no idea who was responsible for this, but I assumed it was one of my teaching colleages since we had just had a conversation about how I didn't like the 'birthday attention'. I assumed it was a joke - I was wrong.
As the kids were arriving, so were The Moms. They came into the classroom carrying flowers, balloons and cupcakes. As they entered, they too looked around with astonishment and said, "Where are all the decorations we worked so hard to put up?"
Again, I panicked! I had no idea what to say. I felt so horrible. I found out later that The Moms had arranged with the principal to come into the school on Sunday afternoon to decorate my classroom. The principal had even e-mailed my husband to ask him to make sure I didn't go into school during the weekend.
Throughout the day, The Moms brought me more gifts and continued to spoil me. I was able to explain what happened and let them know that I thought it was my colleagues playing a joke on me. In the end, it all worked out.
I didn't mention the birthday suit - or should I say outfit, that was specially made for me. I wore it during lunch and modeled it during our after school staff meeting.

Besides the birthday surprise, one more special day really stands out. The last day of school my main route to school was shut down due to flooding. It took me an entire hour and 40 minutes to get to school. When I finally arrived, the students had already been in class for 10 minutes. I rushed into my classroom to find one mom standing in the front asking students to get a book to read. The rest of The Moms were standing at the side of the room. My students were just sitting there, reading quietly. What can I say - The Moms are amazing.

Needless to say, The Moms have taught me a lot about what it means to be a supportive parent. They knew when to approach me, continued to encourage me and seemed to know just the right time to bring a chai latte.

I am so thankful to have had them as teaching partners this year. I will miss them dearly.