Hobby Day.


We have an event at our school called “Hobby Day.” Presumably, its inception is under the auspices of “school climate” in an attempt to make students connect with the teachers on a more personal level, to see us (teacher) as real human beings with lives outside of school.

Not a darn thing wrong with that.

The logistics of Hobby Day run similar to a complicated military mission: one of the very important, gracious, and awesome lead secretaries in the building organizes a choice ranking of over 800 students to go to 40 teachers’ rooms for two sessions of “hobbiness.” It cuts into our school day and instructional time, and in the past has put the onus of buying supplies, planning, and preparation on teachers to share their hobbies. (The PTSA is more active this year and last, and has helped out.)

Because of this, many teachers create a single entertaining lesson and share it. Many share their love of “walking outside” and take the kids on a walk around the track. Fresh air, movement – again, not a darn thing wrong with that.

We have two hobby days per school year.

The first year I shared all of my handmade-card making supplies and ended up with shrapnel of glitter and glue all over my floor. It looked like Tinkerbell exploded.

The second “Hobby Day” I planned was “etiquette lessons.” I sneakingly thought that if I planned something kids would hate, I would have a few kids and it wouldn’t cost me so much money. (I use snacks, juice, and plastic place settings.) Kids actually liked my etiquette lessons, so that one backfired. Darn you, Emily Post!

This year, I’m trying to share my love of blogging. It’s relatively inexpensive, it’s relatively easy, and relatively painless.

I have a love/hate relationship with Hobby Day. This year, the timing couldn’t be worse. I’m toward the end of a unit and a deadline, but that’s the reality of my job. We only find out about scheduling issues about a week in advance, it seems.

And although blogging is a ‘hobby’ of mine, it doesn’t feel like a hobby. To me, the word hobby implies something that is kind of a time waster, an afterthought. Maybe Epimetheus created hobbies. But the bigger issue is I think what we as teachers do and feel passionately about needs to be woven in our daily instruction. I read, I think, I create. I love to make jewelry, draw, write, read, try a new recipe occasionally, go to my writers’ group, enjoy talking about movies with my husband, listen to This American Life, and when my allergies aren’t trying to kill me, go outside. I guess in some ways I wish there wasn’t a separate “Hobby Day,” because it feels a little inauthentic.

Well, time to lead the nation with a microphone (nod to the Flobots). One blog at a time.

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