Bygone day(s)

CC by 2.0 CC by 2.0

It’s October 31st, All Hallows Eve or Hallowe’en to most. The day is lit like the candles of a million pumpkins with anticipation and excitement in the classroom. For most of our students this day could not come at a better time because October 31st is a day that seems to be celebrated across many faith and cultural lines. It could also be that on this day students are able to express themselves in ways that they are not normally permitted. Or it could be the addition of treats or fun activities to accompany a full day of curriculum in the classroom that will happen between costume parades and crafts.

Although it might get overlooked, today also signifies that 20% of the school year has screamed past like a wizard on a Nimbus 2000.

For staff, there are a lot of reasons to get excited about days like Hallowe’en too. It is a great chance to join in the fun. Last year, our school staff dressed up as playing cards. We had fun making our costumes beforehand, enjoyed the camraderie, and took lots of photos for the yearbook. We were proud to wear them alongside of students. They are always thrilled when teachers show their school spirit at events like today. This year most of us transformed into emojis while others took the super hero route (see Wolverine Elvis -below right). It’s nice to let the inner child out in a world that needs to laugh and play more often.

photo by Cynthia Quirion

photo by Cynthia Quirion

For our students, their childhoods are incredible times of excitement and Hallowe’en tops many lists of favourite dates to celebrate being a kid. I asked my students why they wanted to dress up today and many replied that it was fun and that wearing a costume made them feel good.

On another side of our conversation came a message about how it was okay that some did not wear a costumes. It allowed us to discuss inclusion and respect even while everyone was not doing the same thing.

All of this fun and frivolity, got me thinking about how the world is constantly rushing its young through their childhoods and youth. To this end, I keep wondering for what? What’s even more frightening, is how quickly the world expects students to have it all figured out. We have students who are stressing about going to university already, and they haven’t even graduated grade 8. The horror of the future is the nightmare our youth face today. This is scary because it comes at a time when they are supposed to be enjoying, learning, and discovering their talents and life’s passions not worrying whether they will go to Med or Law or Engineering school.

So days like today are important reminders to us all that we may need to model having fun for our students too. While you’re at it, add a little time for laughter into the day too.

I hope you were able to relive some of the fun of your childhood to share with your students, but if hear any of you knocking at my door for candy, we’ll have to talk.

Updated: October 31, 2018 — 3:59 pm

The Author

Will Gourley

J/I lead learner and SERT at Adrienne Clarkson PS in the YRDSB. Focused on disruptive, and divergent modern learning. Member of the global TED-Ed(Club) movement, 1 of 110 TED Ed Innovative Educators, and Global Math Project Ambassador. Twitter @willgourley Proudly blogging here and at

1 Comment

Add a Comment
  1. Shyama says:

    Well said Mr. G. Great article.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us through this platform. : )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2019 The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario | ETFO Website | RSS Feed | Login