There is only one reason that I absolutely hate teaching 5th grade. It's not the transformation of kids from a sweet child to a witchy pre-teen. It's not even the period of time when they should start wearing deodorant but don't. It's this time every year-a few days before Christmas.
Every year I have to intervene in a very uncomfortable argument about the existence of Santa. There is always the insistent brat who can't let it go that he's not real, and then there's always one brave soul who has the courage to try to prove him wrong. Then the rest of the class sits watching and listening, while their childhood literally balances on a thread- do they believe, or don't they?
5th graders are at a precarious age. They are caught between childhood and adolescence and their beliefs are caught there, too. I remember being about this age and being asked what I wanted for Christmas. I was too old for dolls, but that Caboodle I really wanted seemed silly to ask for considering the fact I wasn't old enough to wear makeup. I totally understand where these kids are coming form-even if they do think I'm old. So when one smarty-pants is moving someone to tears about the prospect of Santa not being real, it breaks my heart. One less believer, it seems, means a little less Christmas cheer in the world. And less Christmas cheer means a world full of Bah Humbugs.
I have noticed a definite decrease in holiday decorations this year. perhaps there aren't enough believers to keep the spirit going. I hope this isn't the beginning of the end of childhood magic. It certainly could be the screenplay for a fantastic made for TV Christmas special. Maybe it could spread a little happiness around for the season.