I’ll make this short and sweet. As a classroom teacher for five years I have had to deal with innumerable class birthday parties. They are terrible and bring only exhaustion and sadness to everyone. Here’s why:
- Time of day. They are always at the end of the day. Your teacher is tuckered out, Billy, so no, I don’t really want to pour out 25 cups of juice.
- The treats. Will it be cake? Will it be KFC? Will it be cupcakes? What kind of cupcakes? “I like chocolate cupcakes, not vanilla!” says the student who is choosing to be ungrateful in that moment. How much of the treats will I have to clean off the floor at the end of the day?
- It makes kids feel obligated to bring something for their birthday or feel weird if they don’t. There have been plenty of times in my career where it was a student’s birthday and they were asked by another student what kind of treat they had for the class and that student didn’t bring anything. Often they would lie and say something like “Oh my mom says I can bring something on Friday!” It’s just sad and unnecessary.
- To sing happy birthday or not sing happy birthday? I always went with NOT singing. It’s WAY too loud and sometimes half the kids would do the “cha-cha-cha” part and the other half wouldn’t and it would just end up being an auditory shit show. Also, when and why did kids start doing the “Are you 1?! Are you two?! Are you three?!” thing? You know damn well approximately how old your classmate is. So stop that.
- I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up and only two people came to my 9th birthday party so if I have birthday baggage, so should everybody else.