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Deb Peterson

Costumes in the Classroom - Distraction or Energizer?

By October 31, 2008

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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Through the years, I've always been game to join the gang in dressing up, whether it was in the office or the classroom. Tim, on the other hand, can't remember wearing a costume since he was a child. He didn't have time for the silliness. Too bad for him, I say.

In my experience, dressing up, the sillier the better, one day out of the year, is a terrific energizer. Throw in a potluck lunch, even better, a potluck with a small charge for charity, and you've got one of the cheapest ways to inject enthusiasm into your group.

Share your Halloween stories in the Continuing Education forum. And your pics, too!



October 31, 2008 at 8:58 am
(1) Connie G. Thomas says:

I don’t like to dress up too much, but I think it is fun when other people do. I helped get my niece and nephew ready this morning. Their school only has half days on Friday, and I am sure that they won’t be getting too much done in the academic realm, but still they were so excited and I am sure they will have a fun day – oh and she was a clown and he was a polar bear!

October 31, 2008 at 9:01 am
(2) Bob Strauss says:

Huge, huge, huge distraction. I’d be too busy checking out the cleavage of the Cinderella sitting next to me than concentrating on any serious work…

October 31, 2008 at 11:04 am
(3) Elaine Lemm says:

Any chance to dress up YEAH!!! I love it. We don’t do Halloween so much here in the UK ‘cept the kids and am already waiting for the knocking on the door but I am always blown away by their costumes, wish we’d had halloween when I was a kid.

October 31, 2008 at 11:56 am
(4) Rain says:

It’s a great motivator for kids. My son made a graph this year about funny/scary/character costumes in school, so it can be educational, too! Not only do kids learn academics at school, they also learn important social skills. What gets kids talking more than a giant dress-up game?

October 31, 2008 at 12:49 pm
(5) Susan says:

My feeling is that people are paid to work, not play. If I were the boss, I’d be pissed off that employees were screwing around on my time.

October 31, 2008 at 4:05 pm
(6) Nancy says:

I just got home from the mall and it was fun to see store employees dressed up. Quite a few shoppers were in costume, too. I think it’s fine to allow costumes on Halloween as long as 1)it’s optional and 2)everyone sticks to the task at hand, learning or working.

October 31, 2008 at 4:31 pm
(7) Sukhmandir Kaur says:

I’m sure it’s fun for some people but it seems rather senseless, then again I can dress up anytime I like, and it’s authentic, not some cheezy polyester knockoff. I did see some cute fairy wings for toddlers at Costco. but my experience is kids don’t really like all the bother. Give them the party/candy without all the fuss, and they’ probably be just as happy.

October 31, 2008 at 8:39 pm
(8) Susan Adcox says:

When I taught in high school, we had a dress-up day every week during football season. I made an effort to dress up, although my costumes were pretty tame. I always found that dress-up days caused some lost instruction time, but once we spent a few minutes acknowledging and appreciating the costumes, students were willing to get to work. I think activities that build camaraderie are worth the small sacrifice of instructional time as students are more willing to work for you if they see you as a person too. I have taught some at the community college level, and I think it is true at that level also.

November 1, 2008 at 8:14 am
(9) Deb Peterson says:

What an interesting array of responses. I dressed up for a party yesterday at work, and it was really fun, but I have to say it impaired my ability to get my job done. I had witch hair in my eyes, my mouth, my keyboard…and of course we had to take time for the obligatory group photo. Still, I think one day a year it’s good, healthy fun.

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