Christmas – 25 th & 26 th December bank holidays. One route is to be honest but brief about your own religious identity. 1. Religious Holidays in Islam. We’ve burned sweetgrass, displayed traditional costumes from various cultures, danced to traditional holiday songs from many areas of the world—and of course cooked and tried many holiday dishes. Do not focus on holidays solely in December. The Board of Education for the Montgomery County Public Schools, in a vote of 7 to 1, chose to remove all religious named holidays from the calendar. Often, students have no idea about the origins of the holidays or traditions they celebrate. When I get more diverse classrooms, I do my best to celebrate more prominent holidays, learn about ones that would be new to most of my students, and at least share a quick video or do a small activity to acknowledge them. The celebration, commotion, and commercialism surrounding Christmas can normally preoccupy many during the holiday season. It does make a difference which Christian holidays we keep if obeying God is important to us. Can Employees Take Time Off from Work for Religious Holidays? Holidays that create a 3-day weekend because of Monday school and office closings are often good opportunities for short trips and other events. Edutopia® and Lucas Education Research™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of the George Lucas Educational Foundation in the U.S. and other countries. Public schools may not teach religion, although teaching about religion in a secular context is permitted. Although it's desirable to examine secular traditions that relate to holidays, students should understand the difference between secular and religious meanings. A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center ©1991-2020. Religious holidays. Films are not the only mechanism for fostering better understanding. There is, however, the potential for problems when you discuss religious themes in a public school, like a parent complaining that you are preaching. Why do we celebrate or acknowledge holidays and traditions? Offer pre-service and in-service workshops to assist teachers and administrators in understanding the appropriate place of religious holidays in the schools. Some observers say it makes more sense for public schools to not honor any religious holidays altogether, instead of choosing certain days off. Below is a list of religious holidays for the world’s major religions. The school could also place requirements on students’ religious dress in terms of colour and fit with the existing uniform. I grew up in a home that wasn't kosher and only went to shul on the high holidays and special occasions. I find that they are short and engaging, and often come with activities and resources for teachers. Students are allowed to miss school for religious holidays; but, the Muslim community felt this was not enough. And in New York, officials prohibit the scheduling of standardized tests on religious holidays, after protest over a statewide exam held on a Muslim holy day. Hanukkah, for example, receives much attention in schools because usually it falls in December, yet Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are actually "higher holidays" of the Jewish faith. Religious holidays occur throughout the year. Check the box for each country whose holidays you want to add to your calendar, and then click OK.. My favorite way to expand our focus is to start with a History Channel video about holidays and traditions from a variety of cultures and religions. If a country's or region's holidays are already added to your calendar, the box for the country is checked in the Add Holidays to Calendar dialog box. Group discussions about the content can also be a good starting point for understanding different holidays and faiths. If you’re learning about a variety of holidays and traditions around the world that have specific celebration dates, they should be celebrated in your classroom the same way you would celebrate traditional North American holidays and traditions. Also, find links to calendars of celebrations to keep on top of when you might see absence requests. For example, after viewing, I will ask students to write a paragraph about an element of the film. Holidays are stressful enough, but if you’re a non-believer—or even a liberal Christian—with right-wing Christian relatives, things can be even harder. In an effort to be affirming, reflective, and critical about how we approach and celebrate holidays as school communities, we offer a list of resources for educators and families that aims to provide inclusive understanding of religious holidays celebrations and strategies for supporting all students. Then ask students questions such as “Who has a sibling?” or “Who has lived in another country?” and have any students with that experience stand on the line. Furthermore, “The topic of this [holidays… To continue, log into your Teaching Tolerance account. He usually also burns sweetgrass as part of this activity, and my students have always been interested and engaged in this experience that is foreign to most of them. Expand the focus beyond North American holidays and traditions. avoid penalizing students for religious observance, school calendars should be prepared, to the greatest extent feasible, so as not to conflict with religious holidays of all faiths. September 16, 2002. Holidays teach us history and the foundations of our society, deepening our understanding of ourselves and others. Students can ask questions, and the teacher can participate as well. How to Handle the Holidays in a Public School Classroom This blog post will help you plan for a holiday season in your classroom that is both inclusive and educational. Also remember, encouraging or compelling students to participate in religious activities like prayer is never OK. There are many religious holidays that man has set up in his desire to worship. Whatever method of celebration you choose, the fact that you are stopping your regular classroom activities to show respect to all holidays and traditions celebrated by your students creates an environment of acceptance and inclusivity. Become familiar with the nature and needs of the religious groups But while over 90% of people in the U.S. celebrate Christmas, with over two-thirds having somewhat or strongly religious observances, it’s important to recognize—especially in the workplace—that there are non-Christian festivities also taking place at … While some religious holidays always fall on the same day every year, many others depend on lunar calendar. by Eric Buehrer. Strategies in classrooms and schools allow teachers to navigate any holiday or special event respectfully with academic benefits as well. Employees may request to observe such religious holidays without pay. Often, students will require example questions to get them started. Here are some ideas to help you highlight multicultural and religious holidays appropriately, and select the right activities and materials: Recognize various talents and accomplishments when focusing on people. (n.d.). Focusing study on such themes and then employing holidays as a vehicle to explore how people of diverse faiths and cultures understand and practice shared values can be useful. School diversity. I became more religious on my own when I was a teenager. Select holidays and religious celebrations based on your classroom representation. Each pair of students then introduces their partner to the class. How to handle the holidays is a tricky topic for many schools. To avoid penalizing students for religious observance, school calendars should be prepared, to the greatest extent feasible, so as not to conflict with religious holidays of all faiths. I teach in a public school that’s about 70% Jewish, by the way, and being Christian puts me in the far minority.” When inquiry is restricted in this way, it's often done to disguise that Christian Christmas is being favored. How did these holidays and traditions develop? A sincere attempt should be made to avoid scheduling graduation, assemblies, and other special school and student events on religious holidays. Clinton directed his education secretary, Richard W. Reilly, to provide every public school district in America with a statement of principles addressing the extent to which religious expression and activity are permitted. A sincere attempt should be made to avoid scheduling graduation, assemblies, and other special school and student events on religious holidays. 1 The Bible may be taught in a school, but only for its historical, cultural or literary value and never in a devotional, celebratory or doctrinal manner, or in such a way that encourages acceptance of the Bible as a religious document. You know your students learn best when they are engaged and motivated. Employers who discriminate against their employees on the basis of religious beliefs may have to face serious legal consequences. These guidelines are intended to reflect current law in this area, though on some questions there may be no controlling Supreme Court opinion and the lower courts may be divided. “In odd numbered years, Wife shall have the first half of the Christmas break from school and Husband shall have the second half of the break from school. 10 Questions: Ask students to create a list of 10 get-to-know-you questions, and then allow students to interact with each other. about holidays in school can broaden children’s awareness of their own and other’s cultural experiences, if they are thoughtfully used as part of a more inclu-sive curriculum about cultural diversity (Derman-Sparks, et al., ABC Task Force, 1989, p. 86). Public school teachers have the power to tear down these walls and to use religious topics to help us better understand ourselves and each other. Academic study and discussion about why they exist i invite a local leader mechanism fostering! 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