December 27, 2005 > Santa's new job
Santa's new job
by Arathi Satish
Christmas celebrations are over; gifts have been given and received. New Year is around the corner and poor Santa is feeling very upset. He is feeling unappreciated because he didn't receive many thank-you notes and has decided that his job is too hard, and wants to change professions. It is difficult to believe, but the third graders in Mrs. Anderson's class at John Gomes Elementary School actually worked on a project trying to find Santa an appropriate alternate job.
What job should Santa try? Each child wrote a five paragraph essay explaining why Santa would be qualified for the new profession that he/she chose for him. They gave three reasons why Santa would be good at the new job. Reasons why Santa would perform well in his new vocation included job responsibilities as well.
The children enthusiastically designed Santa's uniform or business clothes appropriate for his new job. They used construction paper, fabric, wrapping paper, felt, buttons, cotton, etc to give Santa his new look. Students were given a traced Santa and an outline of his face and asked to be as creative as possible. Essays were glued to Santa's back. All shared their respective Santa's new look, displaying it in the classroom.
It was an interesting project since it helps children reflect on the importance of showing appreciation. Mrs. Anderson pointed out the salient features of the assignment when she said, "Of all the several projects that I assign each year, this is a favorite of mine and the children's. They enthusiastically embrace the challenge of selecting a new occupation for Santa. This project allows for creativity, yet also requires consideration of the qualities that Santa possesses. To ensure success in a new vocation, Santa's new title (teacher, postmaster, robber, football player, etc) must reflect certain character traits."
One child deemed that Santa would do well as a burglar because Santa is never seen and he can slip easily in and out of houses. Another thought he would make a good teacher as he loves children, has wide traveling experience and knowledge, whereas another child thought he would be a good teacher as he is clean. He was selected as a mailman because he knew how to deliver gifts, a football player because he will not get upset at losing a game and is a jolly person. It was amazing to read the positive characteristic features the children found in Santa and how they backed up their selection, says Mrs. Anderson. They learned an important lesson about how to appreciate and thank a person for a good deed or a gift in a very effective way.
Each year, the project can be repeated since Santa always seems regain his good humor and return to his senses, spending another Christmas Eve delivering gifts to deserving girls and boys throughout the world. Thank You Santa Claus!