It is that time of year again, October 31st, where all the children go door to door saying “trick or treat” and getting candy. On the day of Halloween most children come to school wearing their Halloween costumes, but are teachers going to wear their Halloween costumes, and what do they think about other teachers wearing Halloween costumes?
We talked to 4 teachers to get their views on teachers wearing Halloween costumes, Mrs. DiGirolamo, a Spanish teacher at New Providence High School, Mrs. Hatfield, a Language Arts teacher at NPHS, Mrs. Hornstein, a World Studies teacher at NPHS, and Mrs. Rembetsy, a mathematics teacher at NPHS.
⇒Are you going to be wearing a Halloween costume this year to school? Why? If so, what are you going as this year? Why did you pick that costume?
Mrs. DiGirolamo: “Yes, I’m planning to. I might be a Spanish Flamenco Dancer. I chose that costume because it is directly linked to the culture of the subject I teach.”
Mrs. Hatfield: “I will not be wearing a Halloween costume to school this year because this is just something I’ve never done. I think Halloween is great for kids and I like the focus to be on them.”
Mrs. Hornstein: “I am not wearing a Halloween costume to school. I always think about it, but never follow through. If I were to wear a costume, it would definitely be historical: Rosie the Riveter or a Suffragette protestor.”
Mrs. Rembetsy: “I have not decided for sure yet. If I do wear a costume it will be something math related or involve a math pun.”
⇒Do you think teachers should wear Halloween costumes on Halloween? Why? Are there certain Halloween costumes that you think teachers should not be allowed to wear?
Mrs. DiGirolamo: “I think it should be optional to the teachers. Many factors play a role, for example personality, time, and money. Teachers have a lot on their plates and it is difficult to do Halloween fun in the classroom sometimes.”
Mrs. Hatfield: “I think teachers should wear Halloween costumes if that is what they’d like to do. If teachers are excited and enthusiastic about Halloween, I don’t see any problem with them wearing one. I don’t think teachers should wear costumes that are offensive or that have the potential of scaring students. I also think teachers should not wear masks.”
Mrs. Hornstein: “Teachers are allowed to wear costumes & I think they should if they want to. All costumes should be appropriate for an educational environment and culturally sensitive. I would love it if each department had a department theme for costumes.”
Mrs. Rembetsy: “It is festive for those that enjoy the holiday but not all people celebrate so it should be left to the individual teacher to decide. I don’t think scary costumes should be worn by teachers and they should also follow these rules the students have for costumes.”
⇒Do you think that teachers wearing Halloween costumes affects a student’s ability to learn?
Mrs. DiGirolamo: “No, if the teacher is wearing a costume related to the subject she/he teaches, the learning gets enhanced because teacher is linking the content in a fun way. There is a connection between curriculum, teaching, and students in a fun and relaxed way.”
Mrs. Hatfield: “Teachers wearing a costume could slightly affect students’ ability to learn; however, I think the holiday itself serves as a distraction as well.”
Mrs. Hornstein: “I don’t think so. We can learn & have fun at the same time.”
Mrs. Rembetsy: “I think that if handled appropriately by the teacher it does not affect learning to wear a costume on Halloween.”
⇒Do you know if there are any rules that prevent teachers from wearing Halloween costumes? If so do you think these rules need to change?
Mrs. DiGirolamo: “Not really, the only one we have is that the costume needs to be appropriate and not distract students’ learning and not interrupt our teaching duty. I think that rule is fair.”
Mrs. Hatfield: “I don’t know of any rules preventing teachers from wearing costumes.”
Mrs. Hornstein: “I don’t believe there are any rules or limitations. Some teachers do dress up (Mr. Arnold, Mr. Paris, Mrs. T) each year.”
Mrs. Rembetsy: “I am not aware of any rules related to teachers not being able to wear costumes.”
⇒What was the best costume that you have ever worn on Halloween?
Mrs. DiGirolamo: “‘The Day Of the Dead’ Costume. I teach my class the similarities and differences between Halloween in USA and The Day of the Dead celebration in the Hispanic World.”
Mrs. Hatfield: “When I was younger I had some pretty good punk costumes.”
Mrs. Hornstein: “I wish I had some good ones, but mine are usually pretty boring.”
Mrs. Rembetsy: “I was Punky Brewster for Halloween one year and looked a lot like the TV character.”
⇒Have you previously worn a costume to school?
Mrs. DiGirolamo: “Yes, I try to every year, but it depends on my time to prepare for it.”
Mrs. Hatfield: “I have never worn a costume to school.”
Mrs. Hornstein: “Never”
Mrs. Rembetsy: “Last year I was a math rocker (think punk rock star with math influences)”