Dressing Up at School

So yesterday was Hat Day to celebrate Dr. Seuss and Read Across America Day at our school.

Did you celebrate?  Did you dress up?  I wore my giant red and white striped ‘Cat in the Hat’ hat, and it was very successful.  I was noticed all day by kids  who said, “I like your hat” to me as we passed by each other in the hallway.  Never before had they spoken a word to me.  But it opened up a dialogue, a smile, a “Thanks!”  Colleagues who usually grunt at me each day, said “Nice hat!”  Refreshing, I tell ya.

I think dressing up along with the kids is a really important way to connect with them, to show allegiance, community, humor, lightness, joy. My first grade daughter was so excited to dress up this morning, she could hardly sleep last night.

“Mama!  I don’t have a tail or black tights!” she declared upon waking.  Miraculously I was supposed to wave my wand and bippedy -boppidy boo- poof! Create a cat costume at 6:30? Instead we compromised.  I got out some markers from her art jar, and I drew whiskers and a black nose on her perfect little face.  She grabbed a pink marker, (“It’s actually MAGENTA, Mom!”) and made her lips pop with a burst of color.  I glanced back at my little cat in the rear view mirror on the way to school. You would have thought it was her birthday.  She was SO excited to see her little cat friends on the playground.  Adorable.  Contagious.  Hopeful.

My point is, dressing up at school makes a difference.  I always dread it and feel silly when I participate, but then I run into that one kid who acknowledges that I’m cool for dressing up, and I’ve got a spring in my step, just like my first grader.  Dr. Seuss was like that too, right?  He was always reconnecting grumpy grown-ups to their lighter, more childish side. Anyway, I’m glad I put on the hat yesterday.





9 thoughts on “Dressing Up at School

  1. Yes, it’s true. Dressing up and participating actively in special events makes such a difference in our school communities. As you say, when we dress up beside students, it’s a “way to connect with them, to show allegiance, community, humor, lightness, joy.” Thanks for sharing your slice, and your hat today!

  2. What fun! I often dread dressing up in school, but I teach 5th graders & I feel the pressure so I do. They love it when adults join in. What’s nice is we have a school assembly in the gym so we all come together as a community.

  3. I love your words- and I have to confess that I don’t like dressing up at all, but you make some good points… I will be thinking about this slice for a while.

  4. I came from a school that had a Purple Pumpkin Parade for Halloween, a Dr. Seuss Day, a Dress-As-Your-Favorite-Book-Character Day, and a Literacy Fair where the students dressed as book characters from the door mural they had created. To add to that, I had Famous People Speak Day. I agree with you. It is joyful to dress up and celebrate, and important that the teacher dresses up, too, and is part of the community. Hope your Hat Day goes well! Thanks for sharing. You brought back many fond memories for me!

  5. I LOVE THIS POST! I might share it with my coworkers! We had hat day yesterday as well and we all rocked it in so totally different ways. We were just discussing at lunch recently how silly we feel going to the store after work when it is something like crazy sock day or mismatch day. But you are so right, the comraderie that it creates in the school is one of a kind. I love that you used the word allegiance to describe the feeling throughout the building – so much stronger than unity. And you are so right, that was Dr. Seuss’ point: enjoy the joy in life!

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