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Songs to portray the journey to Bethlehem - Please help!!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by daybyday, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Can you try to understand that some teachers aren't parents for very sad reasons and that saying these sort of things is very painful? Perhaps some empathy on your part, robyn, would be nice at Christmastime.
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I didn't mean to upset anyone. It should be possible to say some people aren't parents without having to qualify that about those children who can't have children.
    At my little boy's school, no teachers are parents. They give short notice for parent's evenings, clothes required for school plays. expect 7 year old children to go on a 2 hr coach trip, get back late at night and still be in school the next day - in short they don't really understand what it is to be a parent.
    I can tell that maybe you don't have children for reasons that you may not want to discuss. If you knew anything about me, you would know that empathy is one of my strong points. Like I said, it's a comment on a thread and not meant as a personal attack on those people who can't have children.
  3. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

  4. It doesn't matter what the reason is! I am sick of hearing that I can't understand something because I am not a parent. It hurts. That is all you need to know. You think you are a caring person so please listen to me and stop saying this. I have had a parent ask me directly how many children I have as I 'must' be a parent as I am so patient with the class. When I said none, she said, "oh, I don't like you any more." That is one example of this sort of thoughtless remark that I hear all the time.
  5. How about 'How far is it to Bethlehem?' I recently rediscovered this one, which I used to sing at primary school myself. Lovely song, to tune of knight won his spurs. Brings tears to my eyes. :)

    How far is it to Bethlehem? ?
    Not very far. ?
    Shall we find the stable room ?
    Lit by a star?
    Can we see the little Child? ?
    Is He within? ?
    If we lift the wooden latch ?
    May we go in?

    May we stroke the creatures there ?
    Ox, ass, or sheep? ?
    May we peep like them and see ?
    Jesus asleep?
    If we touch His tiny hand ?
    Will He awake? ?
    Will He know we've come so far ?
    Just for His sake?

    Great kings have precious gifts ?
    And we have naught ?
    Little smiles and little tears ?
    Are all we brought.
    For all weary children ?
    Mary must weep ?
    Here, on His bed of straw ?
    Sleep, children, sleep.

    1st half of tune, alone, I presume, for this ending:
    God in His mother's arms ?
    Babes in the byre
    Sleep, as they sleep who find ?
    Their heart's desire.

    When I laid this out, it was in verse form, but when entered it comes out as one long text. Sorry! Hope you can fathom!
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I said "SOME TEACHERS" - not all - so please don't take it as a personal attack on all teachers without children.
    However some teachers do not understand how what they expect at school can cause real problems at home. When we get 2 days notice that schools are doing spotty theme (again) for Children in Need - how do teachers think a working parent is going to find the time to get an outfit? When school says the choir is going to Manchester and will be back at 10.30 pm but the head still expects all the children to be in school by 9am - are they thinking about how tired a child gets? Some - and I say it again - some teachers do not emphasise with what it is like to be a parent. Through NO fault of their own, I might add and some teachers are really good and realise that it might actually be difficult to hear a child read everynight or to get their homework done despite best efforts. When you've got a tired 6 yr old, sometimes getting anything done can be impossible.
    And some teachers are really good. All I can say is that having a child has made me understand the problems parents have a whole lot more.
  7. Thank you for saying all this.
    We went through years of infertility and miscarriages to get the baby I'm pregnant with now. Throughout it all - one of the few things that would make me sob and sob and sob and sob - was people thinking it was OK to judge my ability as a teacher - based purely on the fact my uterus, fallopian tubes and other bits of plumbing wouldn't work. It annoyed me doubly because the people doing it were the same ones who would complain loudly to all who would hear it that it was unfair if they were ever judged negatively in terms of their professional ability based on the fact they had children... yet they would constantly take potshots at me and do exactly the thing they so publicly condemned - judge a woman's professional ability on their reproductive status.
    Know how you're using the "you can't understand unless you're a parent" line... well you can't understand how utterly distressing it is to have your ability to do a job you take immense pride in doing well hammered into the ground and judged - not on your results, not on your relationship with the class or their parents, not on the atmosphere in the classroom - but on the fact that your body is broken and doesn't work properly.
    Like I say... it's one of the few times through the hellish journey we've been through (well you wanted journey related songs!) that I've sat and sobbed in the car as though my heart was breaking - it's like pouring acid on an open wound.
    Thank you for challenging it.

    Returning to the matter in hand - we decided one year to move away from the bought-in plays with their songs written for the production in question and went back to traditional carols - it was an incredibly popular move with the parents - so yeah I'd Little Donkey it up... they've stuck around so long as stalwarts because they work!
  8. portugirl

    portugirl New commenter

    Pousada Song: Welcome Mary, welcome Joseph, come and rest with us a while. We are tired and la di da da... comes from Sounds of Music scheme from yonks ago.

    PM message me with your e-mail and I'll send you the lyrics and mp3. Nice little number....
  9. Oh but that's EXACTLY what you were doing... can you imagine the uproar if people said "oh teachers with children are selfish and don't devote themselves to the job" (or some other equally naive and offensive comment)... then hurriedly started backpedalling that they meant SOME teachers - they'd rightly be hung out to slaughter.
    But it's perfectly ok to do it to those with no kids.
    What you said was basically that teachers with no kids are uncooperative to parents, unappreciative that kids get tired, and basically that we're clueless idiots really really offensive stuff to be honest.
    I'm glad someone called you out on it.
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Can't you understand the difference between SOME and ALL? I can tell you that when a headteacher writes a letter to all year 3 parents that even though they have been to a concert 2 hours away and will be getting back at 11pm, he still expects them to be in school at 9am the next day? I used to be a teacher who did not have children and I was full of it - practise counting with your child, count out change, read every night (why don't they do it?), get them to bed early. I did not have a clue about the reality of being a parent. I know that many childless teachers do - a point I have made quite clearly - but some teachers (me included) do not. That's what the word SOME means.
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    That's what I said. I would fully acknowledge that in my child free teaching life, I would not have got the feelings of seeing my child performing in a nativity. I've seen so many that I kind of get immune to them. I did not appreciate the joy of seeing my child performing. That was just me as a teacher who put a lot of effort into plays but just saw them as routine and not from a parent's perspective. I'm sure many childless teachers appreciate the joy of a Nativity from a parent's perspective but I just saw it as a part of being at school.
    The OP was talking about not doing Little Donkey because they thought parents had seen it before. Well many parents will not have been to see a nativity before and Little Donkey is just a tradition. I then get picked up on this and it gets blown out off all proportion as an attack on all childless teachers and their teaching abilities and empathy skills. When I was a KS1 teacher - we didn't do Little Donkey. We did a story based on Christmas and we got a lot of stick from parents expecting a Nativity.
    I did not mean to offend those teachers who cannot have children and I did not mean to attack the teaching abilities of those teachers who do not have children. If anyone is offended, then I apologise. And believe me, having a child does not make you a perfect teacher. I've just spent half an hour on the phone to my ex discussing the behaviour of my son which has been really awful after a night out at the cinema with Beavers.
  12. Let's be honest - it doesn't matter if you have kids, don't have kids, are young, are old, are fat, or thin, something about you is going to be criticised (either on purpose or by an accidentally harsh comment) by another member or staff or by a parent to make you think you aren't doing your job right. Robyn clearly didn't mean anything by the comment. Let's not turn against each other, it's nearly Christmas!

    Back to the original subject matter, Out of The Ark Christmas music ROCKS. End of!
  13. Your original post didn't distinguish - just went straight into a rant about childless teachers - not only that, but all the examples it included... the spotty day, the late school concert... weren't even things the class teacher would be responsible for anyway! They would have been whole-school decisions or things falling on the head and then the office staff to get the letters out about... so you bashed childless teachers for their "not having a clue"... when it wouldn't have even been their fault!
    Yet still, you seem to regard this as perfectly acceptable - because they're childless, they're somehow "OK" to lay into based on the functioning and activity of their internal plumbing. And now you're trying to make out that you're the wronged person that more than one person has pointed out to you how incredibly, utterly hurtful it is to be constantly judged on the basis of what your uterus hasn't done... it's even MORE hurtful if you've tried for a child for years and aren't able to concieve - not only do you have to live with the pain of that - you have to live with people thinking it's perfectly OK to pre-judge you as being crud at your job based on it.
    Would you like it if people automatically made assumptions you weren't good at your job because you had kids? Nope - so don't do it to others.
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Well - technically that was my second post and I have apologised if I upset anyone. And I also said that I did not mean to have a go at those teachers who cannot have children.
    However - I will say that the particular school my son attends is very school orientated and often does not think about the effect of their decisions on families. I have many examples of how school decisions have affected us - those were just two of them. Is is because they don't have children so sometimes they don't understand the issues? Let's be honest - I never knew truly knew the lives families lead until I had a son. You think you know but there are so many things you don't know. It does not make you a better teacher - I will make that point - but it does make you think about things a bit more from a parent's perspective.
    I should be allowed to say such things without fear of offending people who can't / don't have children. I know there are many childless teachers who do do their best to think about things from a parent's perspective - I was NOT one of them. I can tell you that as a parent it is incredibly frustrating to get a letter about workshops at school they are running for parents but it's only in the afternoon and you get 2 days notice so forget it if you are a busy working parent (of course - should the school have done one in the evening for working parents?) Being a parent at parent's evening has made me understand what parents want to know more. I know understand the sheer difficulty of getting a child to do homework (or in the case of our school a ridiculously month long homework project) and in hearing a child read every night.
    This is not a dig at teachers who do not have children. Maybe I'm digging a hole for myself but I feel I should be allowed to say that being a parent has made me see schools from a parent's perspective without fear of upsetting or offending people without children. I will say again that I know many teachers without children do try to think about how parents might react and what they expect.
    Sorry to the OP - this thread has been hijacked and it does warrant its own thread.
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    And whilst I'm digging a hole for myself, I may as well keep on digging but try to make a point.
    I work in a predominantly Muslim school. I know a bit about Islam and a bit about the lives of children at home. But not much. It's hard seeing things from their perspective since I am not Muslim and do not live in their community. It does not make me a worse teacher for not knowing. It just means that I can't see things from their perspective so I and the school have to think about decisions we take from their perspective. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we get it wrong. I have spoken to some Muslim colleagues and learnt a lot more about Islam in their daily life and I know a bit more about my pupils' lives but there is a lot I don't know especially about madrasas. It does not make me a worse teacher - it just means that I have to try and think about things from a different perspective.
    It's about empathy and seeing things from a different perspective. A colleague is currently off because they are supporting a sick spouse. I can really see things from her perspective because my Dad did the same thing with the same kind of condition. Even I don't truly know what it must be like but at least I have an understanding.
    I have only one child - I have no idea what it must be like with a family with lots of children in. Not my fault. I can only imagine what it is like.
    The point I am trying to make is perspective and seeing things from a different point of view.
    "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his
    point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
    spoken by Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    As a teacher without children, I did not truly understand a parent's perspective. It did not make me a bad teacher nor has having children made me a better teacher. Far from it. It's just helped me see things from a different perspective and I think that's been a good thing for me.
  16. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    I don't think this is just your son's school. I think that tis is the issue at heart - it is very difficult to see beyond the school agenda when you are slap bang in the middle of it. The debate around homework is a case in point. From a school perspective/discipline perspective I can see the point, from a parental perspactive I can see the point too - I can almost believe that there are some children who like to do homework (strange little creatures, if you ask me!!).
    But back to the OP - Robyn makes a very good point - these songs and plays are old hat to those of us who do this year in, year out, but to the children, and to their various friends and relations who have gathered to celebrate their little ones, and give them a first taste of performance, they are not. I'd go traditional (retro even!) - of all the times in the year, Christmas is (I think) the time when people want to tradtitional comfort of the familiar.
    Let us know what you chose!

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