Traditions I love as an Educator

Having traditions is fun and a place that can often ground you when things feel scattered. Whether they are holiday traditions or something you do on a particular day every year, traditions are a fun way to find joy in life. Here are a few of my favorite traditions:

Taking senior ditch day off: If my students get to ditch, so do I! Since it was always close to my sister’s birthday, I would spend the day with her. Plus, I didn’t need to leave extensive lesson plans. I never assigned a quiz or homework that day because kids deserve their traditions too.

Day after Thanksgiving Football Game: After every Thanksgiving Thursday, Nebraska plays Iowa. We get together with family and friends to eat leftovers and watch the game that pits my best friend and me against each other. I used this to teach my students that people can disagree and still be friends. It’s silly, but it made sense to them.

Day after Halloween off: When my child started kindergarten, Halloween was on a Monday, and I wanted her to have fun. So, we took the next day off. It has become one of our favorite traditions. She gets to have fun, and I didn’t have to deal with students who had sugar hangovers.

Scheduling days off: Do you see a theme here? Knowing what days I had off allowed me to schedule appointments, take a break, or plan something fun! I took days that didn’t feel like it would be too much for me to make lesson plans.

Moot Court Final Exam: Students loved it, and so did I. I cannot tell you how much I think common, multiple-choice finals worth 20% of a final grade make me furious. Assessments should allow students to show what they know, not get tricked into what they don’t. I loved ending semesters with Moot Court because it kept students engaged and was a great way to spend the last day in class together.

What are your favorite traditions?

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