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Planning Christmas with a Jehovah's Witness in your class

Discussion in 'Primary' started by lillipad, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    Hi guys,

    I am just sitting here thinking about Christmas in my classroom this year, usually i'd have an advent calendar and each day let a different child have a chocolate, and i'd put up Xmas decs and let the kids make them, plus we'd make decs for them to take home, cards and calendars... Just wondering how to approach it this year? Child is not taking part in the Xmas play so is already spending time away from the class, I don't want to put any one out, but I also want to mark Crimbo for the other kids in my class and make it special for them. What would you do? Family are reasonably easy going, but she doesn't sit in for RE or anything... any thoughts?
     
  2. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    Hi guys,

    I am just sitting here thinking about Christmas in my classroom this year, usually i'd have an advent calendar and each day let a different child have a chocolate, and i'd put up Xmas decs and let the kids make them, plus we'd make decs for them to take home, cards and calendars... Just wondering how to approach it this year? Child is not taking part in the Xmas play so is already spending time away from the class, I don't want to put any one out, but I also want to mark Crimbo for the other kids in my class and make it special for them. What would you do? Family are reasonably easy going, but she doesn't sit in for RE or anything... any thoughts?
     
  3. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Do as you'd usually do.
    Do shops take down their decorations every time a JW walks past?
    It's her parents' choice to exclude her from Christmas activities, let them deal with any issues or questions that arise. They can't expect you to modify your practice, and in my experience, most don't. I expect it can be arranged for the child to either go home or sit in another room and read when you make decs etc. Or just tell her to close her eyes.
    As for the advent calendar; there's only 24 days on most anyway - makes it a bit easier to decide who's going to miss out.
     
  4. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Occasional commenter Community helper

    I have experience of having Plymouth Brethren children in my class, which is similar. I have always carried on with the usual stuff but been mindful of checking with parents if I'm not sure of anything.
    Any activity that the children are involved in can usually be adapted so there is no link to Christmas for that child. Where this is not possible, they will have to sit out.
    As the children got older they were able to take more responsibility for themselves and could make their own decisions about whether they would join in or remove themselves from the classroom.

    Carrie
     

  5. Hey, I have the same issue and I guess I'd agree with Nick - do everything as normal. I know what you mean though - I do feel bad at her being excluded and made to sit in the corridor or whatever but it is her parents' decision not mine so I shouldn't really!
     
  6. when doing calendar cant child do job eg register
    making cards- make a card for someone you love
    making decorations, draw pictures or decorations to make room look nice with different theme
     
  7. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    So could I go with a 'winter' theme instead of Christmas with the cards for example? Like say we are making a winter card for someone we love rather than an Xmas card?
     
  8. I have had this before and the rest of the children did their Christmas cards and decorations as usual but the Jehovah Witness child did a a holiday card for their family. Anyway, in many cases, the child is kept off school for the most part of the week especially on the party days.
    My advice would be to keep as much as possible normal for the rest fo the classs but adapt for the individual child.
     
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Last year I just did as always. Definitely didn't say it was 'winter' for everyone else or anything like that. Our class did christmas.
    We made christmas cards, he made a silly cartoon turkey card for his mum.
    We made christmas decorations, he took down a wall display so we could put them up.
    We wrote letters back to year 1s as if we were Santa, he wrote a letter to me about what the class thought was good and bad so far that year.
    We practised for the Christmas play, he watched and helped me direct. (It wasn't a religious play though.)
    And so on.

    Definitely don't deprive the whole class for one child.
     
  10. missied

    missied New commenter

    I had a JW in my class a couple of years ago and wondered what to do. In the end I decided not to change a thing and did Christmas as usual. We make boxes for Christmas presents so changed this to making a box for a gift. Still did the Advent calendar etc. I gave him the choice of staying in the room and doing something of his own or to go to the library (which is what he did during assembly etc).
    His family were easy going to but allowed him to stay in for RE as long as we only teaching facts. I told them what plans I had re: Christmas and they chose not to send him to school for the final week and told him to do as I'd suggested. It really wasn't a problem - in fact he started to just stay in the room for the advent calendar and didn't even bother to do his own stuff.
     
  11. Yes, I have a JW in my class this year. Now, with the creative curriculum our whole topic this term is festivals, So, pretty much every afternoon and a lot of Literacy work has been linked to diff festivals. I am constantly having to think of different things to do and send her out of class to do work. They can't go anywhere else as it's a whole school topic. I feel really sorry for them but as previous post said, it is their parents' wishes.
     
  12. ref

    ref

    I have the same problem. I feel really bad for the child but it wouldn't be fair to penalise all the other children because of one parent's views. It make me mad though. These children are too young to have made their own decisions and I can't see why the Muslim children in my class can take part in a (non religious0 Christmas play but JWs can't.
     
  13. Hi I'm a teacher, governor parent and Jehovah's Witness. We don't expect any special treatment. Our children are taught about the beliefs of others at home, they are taught to respect and interect with others from all races and religions. We just don't want to share in there celebrations.
    However I have realised that though schools are more likely to have a Jehovah's Witness than say a Hindu or Muslim in many parts of the country, while diwali or ramadan is widely taught the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses are not. Which is strange as this leaves there friends and school mates confused as to there beliefs.
    Why not ask this child to make a little presentation to the rest of the class about there thoughts on the Christmas story. This would include them while still recognising there differences.
    More importantly we know we are different, we are proud to be different and teach our children the same. Being different isn't bad, though it is sometimes hard.
     
  14. This seems to suggest that Jehovah's witness parents are not interested in their child's education. Nothing could be further from the truth. The beliefs of this particular childs family are irrelevant to her being 'behind'.
    In my experience it is easier for the school if the child stays off on the day of the party. I have often asked the school what they would rather I do and they have said it is up to me, but favour the child being off. Personally I think my children should be in school party or no party and am sending them all of this week.
    Incidentally they are all very much in 'front'.

     

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