The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.


Today was another first for my class. Not the first birthday. No, that happened a couple of weeks ago, and then has already been repeated a few times. This first was related, though. It was the first day that treats were brought in for the express purpose of sharing and celebrating during class. You see, the first few birthdays we’ve had have been celebrated by a student bringing in a bag of treats, typically small candies, to send home. As a teacher who somewhat dreads the surge of sugar that usually accompanies birthday treats, I must admit that the take-home bag is very appealing!

However, I would never tell a student (or that student’s parents) that he or she cannot bring in treats for his or her birthday. As much as I dread the sugar rush, I have become very adept at timing the distribution of said treats near the end of the day in order to limit the immediate impact of sugary confections in the classroom. To put it another way, my bus riders are picked up at 2:50 so that they can be ready for when the buses arrive at between 2:55 and 3:00. The rest of the students are dismissed at 3:00. So I try to time treats to be distributed as close to 2:40 as I can. This allows enough time for the treats to be passed out, the students to sing to the birthday boy or girl, and then eat the treats.

Today, being the first, was not as perfectly timed as I hope to have it, so we were delayed a couple of minutes. However, cupcakes were delivered to our room over lunch, put in one of my closets for the afternoon, and passed out just before the end of the day. The boys and girls enjoyed the treats and remembered to thank the girl whose birthday we were celebrating.

There were a few cupcakes left over, and she asked me to share them with other teachers who have worked with our class. She was particularly adamant about making sure the aide who works in our room each afternoon got one. I told him about it and he explained to me that he has known her for years. I was able to share the other cupcakes with the Title I teacher who works with many students in my class, and one of the third grade teachers who happened to be walking by at the moment.

Incidentally, my dread of distributing vast quantities of sugar was mostly misplaced. My class didn’t bounce of the walls or do anything crazy after having cupcakes. So maybe I don’t have to fear them this year. Hopefully.


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