Monday, February 6, 2017

Spirit Day Fun In the Classroom




As head of the school council, I get full control over the school spirit days. At first this greatly intimidated me. In the past at my school, spirit days happened once a month. I was afraid that I would pick a "bad" spirit day or one that was disliked, and with only nine spirit days a year I would be crushed if they turned out badly! I quickly realized that spirit days do NOT have to be stressful. Plus, increasing the amount per year only results in more fun and surprisingly less pressure!

WHY?
I truly think Spirit Days truly make school more fun! I organize them at our school every Friday now. I truly believe that it increases student AND teacher morale. My teammates and I have an absolute blast planning a group outfit for every Friday! Kids obviously love dressing up, but I think that adults forget how much fun that it is. It creates a dynamic and light-hearted community.

With the amount of data, deadlines, meetings, IEPs, parent emails, and school stress, spirit days help lighten the mood. So many of my coworkers pass me in the halls and say things like "It's a stressful week but I can't wait until Friday - I have my neon ready!" I love this interaction that happens through something as simple as a spirit day.

Okay - we are teachers. Some people might be thinking.... doesn't buying costumes add up? It can, but it's so easy now with Amazon to create your own or find something cheap! For example, last Friday was Super Hero Day. My teammates and I found this amazing set on Amazon that includes four capes, four bracelets, and four masks for only $20! That is only $5 each - so for the price of my favorite iced hazelnut latte at Starbucks I can participate in some spirit day fun for years to come.


ADVERTISING SPIRIT DAYS
You want to make sure that you have mass participation on spirit days. Nothing is worse than coming in to school dressed up and being the only person doing it! Here's ways that I advertise:

  • My student council representatives make posters every week and tape them around the school
  • I send out email reminders to teachers to write down the Spirit Day on their school planner so that the kids write it down in their agendas.
  • A weekly PTA email is sent out with the spirit day.
  • I remind parents on the school Facebook page
  • Every day on our morning news announcement, a reminder is made.


SPIRIT DAY IDEAS
I try hard to make sure that spirit days do not exclude anyone or cause unneeded stress. I remember always being nervous as a child about spirit days like "twin day" or "multiple day" because I was afraid that no one would want to dress as me, or that my friends would choose to do it with other people instead of me.

I like to do mostly "low-key" spirit days such as the ones listed below, but once a month do the "going all out" spirit days with costumes!

LOW KEY

  • Crazy Sock Day
  • Decades Day
  • Denim Day
  • Fandom Day
  • Hat Day
  • Jersey Day
  • Mustache Day
  • Neon Day
  • Rainbow Day
  • Wacky Hair Day
  • Ugly Sweater Day

GOING ALL OUT
  • Dr. Seuss Day (for Read Across America Day)
  • Harry Potter/Disney Day
  • Influential American Day
  • Superhero Day


Do you have spirit days at your school? What do you enjoy about them? Do you see an increase in student or teacher morale?