Dear Educator…just yesterday I learned an entirely different perspective from my 7-year-old grandson about the 100th Day of School activity of dressing up like an ‘old’ person. Please know I mean no disrespect to any of you reading this who have already done this or are planning to do this activity. Seeing Instagram or Facebook posts with you all dressed up as a centurion has given me a few giggles. So, I ask you, please read with an open mind because this lesson on perspective comes from a first grader. 🙌💙
Yesterday would have been my grandson’s 100th Day of School celebration. My daughter even bought a few items to help with making him look like a 100-year-old man. On Sunday evening, Tyus told his mom he didn’t want to dress up. She said that was okay.
Monday morning before heading to school, my grandson told his mom one more time that he did not want to dress up. She said that was fine, but she would put the items she bought for him in his backpack just in case he changed his mind when he got to school. He assured her, “I don’t want to bring it with because I don’t want to dress up. I’m sorry, Mom, that you wasted your money.”
My daughter told him he didn’t need to apologize and that she will make sure to ask him next time if he wants to participate in the class activity.
Monday evening, he shared with his mom why he didn’t want to dress up like an old person. Below is the text message I received from my daughter last night…
My grandson shared with his mom, “Mom, dressing up like old people is sad. It made me think of Great Grandpa Eddie and he died when he was old.”
Tyus has an old soul and doesn’t like teasing or causing heartache or making fun of others with jokes. He has a kind heart, and I love that about him.
And that, teachers, is why my 7-year-old grandson chose not to dress up. Isn’t this an interesting perspective on dressing up for the 100th Day Celebration? I did read an article asking for this to stop. Some comments at the end of the article bashed the authors because ‘they’ve never been in the classroom,’ or to ‘lighten up, they are just kids.’
I get it. I’m a teacher and I’m positive I would have joined all of you in this activity. Goodness, I just helped my niece find items for her daughter to dress up on February 13 for her daughter’s 100th Day of School celebration. It’s just now I have been handed a different pair of glasses and will forever see this activity differently. I told my teacher candidates today to remember not all students will want to participate in all activities and that is okay. Respect that.
This kind of makes me want to ask the elderly what they think. I’m confident most elderly won’t care one bit. They will think it is hilarious. However, maybe, just maybe others won’t find the humor in it because they do not want to be reminded of their unwanted aging. Hard to say. The only way to find out is to ask.
Tyus…thank you for teaching Grandma an important lesson, and for reminding me to listen to and respect different perspectives. Big hugs, buddy!