Caroling Over Classwork
AP literature students sing Christmas songs in classes every year
January 23, 2017
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During the holiday season, many traditions are reawakened; Christmas trees go up, and the holiday cheer comes out. English teacher Laurie Marek is no stranger to tradition. Every December before Christmas break, her AP literature students have the opportunity to carol classroom to classroom.
Marek came up with the idea of caroling as a way for students to unwind from the pressures of taking the AP class.
“I wanted to do something that brought out the holiday spirit and gave a work-life balance in AP literature,” Marek said. “The kids work so hard, and I wanted to do something that was fun and had camaraderie.”
Many students, including senior Jorge Martinez, are looking forward to caroling for their first time this year.
“I am extremely excited to go door-to-door and sing to complete strangers,” Martinez said. “It may be awkward, but it will be great.”
Senior James French feels that the caroling is a good way to let loose and have fun.
“We have such rigorous class work,” French said. “I think that taking some time off to carol is a nice way for us to remember to have fun.”
Marek has made sure that the tradition can be enjoyed by all students, whether they celebrate Christmas or not.
“I picked non-religious carols so that everyone feels included,” Marek said. “[We are going to sing] fun songs like ‘Frosty the Snowman’ and ‘Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer.’”
When Marek established the tradition, the carolers would only perform for other advanced classes. As time progressed, the students began to sing to other classes as well, including the special education department.
“Two years ago, the speech teacher asked me if we could sing carols for her special education class,” Marek said. “Once we got the approval, I took my sixth and seventh periods [to carol for them], and it was the most wonderful experience.”
Marek expressed the joy that comes with caroling for the students in special education.
“It was very heartfelt,” Marek said. “When you see kids who really appreciate [us] and have a memorable experience, it just changes the ballgame.”
What started as simple fun evolved into a way to spread holiday cheer and give back, according to Marek.
“It just snowballed into something bigger,” Marek said. “That is what it is all about: leading with kindness and sharing kindness with others.”