Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter and New Beginnings

This week we are celebrating Easter. Religious celebrations have lost their soul in many public institutions. Schools are off for Spring Break and they no longer even fall within Easter Week. Easter is all about chocolate bunnies and chocolate eggs. Oh alright, I'm the one obsessed with chocolate but you get where I'm going. It can be tricky to do a curriculum around Easter even if all the students are Christian because there are so many different denominations and while the story is the same, the meaning varies from person to person. I remember being quite young and already being immersed in Catholic doctrine. Christ died for our sins. As a teacher, I don't feel comfortable discussing this particular topic with children that come from so many varied backgrounds. I tend to get very philosophical about Christ's death and about "our sins". I do however want to remain true to the celebration and meet children where they are.

We celebrate Easter and we talk about rebirth and new life. When the children bring up that Jesus died and resurrected, I let them do the talking. It's wonderful to listen to them make sense of such complex concepts. Children sometimes have an innate understanding of things. I do always include some Bible stories from a book called Bible Stories for Children. It was given to my husband when he was a boy by his grandfather. It's a cherished book around here. We talk about what makes the book so special and how the memory of those who have died lives within us.

Of course we will have chocolate bunnies and Easter baskets. The kids are growing real grass for their baskets. There will be an Easter Egg hunt and we will be baking Madeline's, a favorite cookie any time of the year. We will hold this time of renewal and new life sacred. Starting on Easter Sunday we will be closed for two weeks. It will be a time of renewal for me. It will be a time to purchase and get all the things we need for the wonderful summer program.

I do hope you all enjoy your Easter Sunday. I hope the sun shines upon your celebration. I hope you take the time to renew yourself and your goals.