What Does Santa Have to do With It?

One of the hardest things about being a teacher in a public school is the inability to discuss my faith when asked a specific question from my students.

Last year, while walking back from Track and Field Day, I observed two girls arguing.  When I heard the topic, I just tried to ignore it.  Catching my eye, one of the little girls came to me and asked, “Jesus is the same person as God, right?”  I wanted to tell her, “Of course He is!”  Instead, I referred her back to her parents.

On our way to the cafeteria for lunch today, a boy asked me,  “If Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus, what does Santa have to do with it?”  As a Christian, how could I not respond?  How could I not explain the connection?  As a public school teacher, I dare not!

I understand and respect the reasons why the state doesn’t want me to influence these children, sometimes it is just so difficult!

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4 thoughts on “What Does Santa Have to do With It?

  1. As I am a person that has a very tricky relationship with GOD, Jesus and the bible. I can say as a parent, I agree with the schools, Religion has a place, and that place is not school. Therefore, you have no right to discuss anything regarding religion with my children. HOWEVER, as a person that LOVES to learn (on my own terms) and try to see things as other people see them, I don’t have an issue with you telling my kids what YOUR beliefs are and WHY, as long as you can back them up with educated information.

    It sucks that in this day and age we have to be so guarded about what we say at our jobs, or for that matter, in public. Especially when the subject is so close to our hearts.

  2. hmmm…. is history not an allowed subject, either? What about world cultures? I would think you could get by with explaining the story of St. Nicholas (Sinterklaas). But you’re right. You have to be soooo careful. And it totally stinks. Kayla had a 1st grade teacher I really liked who was able to ask questions about Christmas/Holiday traditions and let the kids discuss it — said she could tell Kayla was involved in a church and loved having her in her class to say what she, the teacher, couldn’t!

  3. I love the idea of asking the kids what their traditions are and let them discuss it. Brilliant!

    What a tough position it puts you in. I think I would have felt exactly the same way you do. It definitely is an encouraging reason to raise our own children knowing Jesus and then encouraging THEM to share. I understand Sam’s point of view. I don’t want a teacher coming up to my son and talking about wiccan as a person in authority. Definitely thinking about engaging the kids in such a way so they themselves find the truth is cleaver. Remember there are many ways to show people the answer by our example of the demeanor of how we talk to people, think about people and how it affects our behavior. As merely an example we can reflect Him.

  4. Great comments, Ladies! I know that this can be a tricky situation. I would not want any teacher discussing any religious position without my express approval, so I understand why it is unacceptable at school. Sometimes I wish I were able to simply answer their questions without fear of losing my job or teaching certificate. I hesitate to have a class discussion on Holiday traditions mainly because I don’t want to be put in that position. I do, however, ask my students what they did over “Winter” Break (and yes, I have a hard time remembering NOT to call it “Christmas Break”). This opens a dialogue for us to talk about what I did over the break as well. I am very cautious, even then, to make sure I do not inadvertently influence any student. I think I will stick to my Wednesday night girls for any spiritual talk! 🙂

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