Friday, October 21, 2011

Tales From The Locker Room (And Other Stalk-Worthy Places)

Okay, so I really don’t stalk the locker room, but I do pick up on some interesting things in my classroom and in the hallways.

And this month the hallways

Smell Like Teen Spirit

In October, many schools celebrate Homecoming and with that, Spirit Week. So coupled with the (ahem) spirit of Halloween, I’m devoting this month’s Locker Room Post to dressing up. And do teens really still do that?

With the help of my awesome writer friend Jessica Love who teaches on the West Coast and my fabulous husband (yep—he’s a teacher too!), I surveyed over 200 high school students about spirit week—the dressing up, the whys, their favorite part. Here’s what I found out.

Do you dress up during spirit week?

Sometimes. I like to be pretty and I like to be noticed by everyone.

Yes, because you only get to do it four times and you get to look crazy and break dress code and not get in trouble.

Yes. Shows that I care about my school.

I love to dress up, especially during spirit week since I get to wear my wigs to school and not get looked at funny.

Yes. I have an excuse to dress like an idiot.

Yes. Because I like to show spirit.

Because it makes the high school experience more fun if you go all out.

I wanted to show my school pride.

YES because its fun and you get to go wild and show your support and dress differently than usual and just feel FREE

It’s fun to dress up and be crazy for a week. People can’t judge you for dressing crazy.

About a fifth of those surveyed said they didn’t dress up at all, saying it was a waste of money or they just didn’t see the point or they didn’t want to put that much thought into a funny costume or they didn’t have the materials or costumes or money. But an overwhelming majority said they dressed up at least one time during Spirit Week.

And just what are some of those crazy dress up days?

Here were some of the faves:

School Colors Day: I like seeing the creative shirts and everyone in a sea of school colors. That’s what spirit week is about.

Wacky Hair Day: I love being outrageous.

Decade Day: I can look crazy and it’s okay.

Trash Bag/Duct Tape Day: People get so creative and my outfit was so cute!

Sports Day, Dress-Like-A-Kid-In-Elementary-School Day, etc. Those are fun and since it's more broad, what people choose is more unique/personal.

Gender Bender: ‘cause I make a sexy guy
It’s funny to see your friends’ reactions.
When the guys dress up like girls, it’s hilarious and they act stupid.

Pajama Day: because it’s comfy and bummed out
Because it's a day where you don't have to look pretty, you have an excuse to look like you just rolled out of bed

Celebrity, Whacky-Tacky, and Nerd Day: These days you can get the most creative.

Costume Day: because of all the fun costumes

Workout Wednesday: I liked it the best because it’s nice to not have to worry about how nice you look in an outfit or if the clothes match. Sometimes it's nice just to be able to go to school in clothes that are more for comfort than cuteness.

What’s your favorite part of spirit week?

Seeing the end product of everyone dressed up.

Seeing what everybody wears. And how the school is decorated.

We get away with wearing hats all week.

Pep rally. Football game.

The whole school does fun stuff during Spirit Week

Seeing everybody having fun. Everyone is happy and cheery.

Sharing and taking pictures with my friends.

As for Halloween

I asked the same students if they still dressed up for Halloween and why. The results were a little more fifty-fifty. And if teens did dress up for Halloween, most cited getting candy, parties, and siblings as the reason.

Some of the responses…

Yes. Every year I do and it’s to keep the spirit. And I enjoy scaring my younger brothers.

Yes. Because it is just really fun and I like being a kid at heart.

Yes. It’s fun. And I like to walk around my neighborhood with my friends.

I did, and it's for younger siblings and having fun. I think that the spirit of Halloween comes from participation, meaning trick or treating, and just having fun.

Sometimes I dress up for my younger siblings so I can take them trick-or-treating.

No. I feel that I am too old and I grew out of it. (Agent A note: More than one person said this. It made me sad.)

So, to answer the question: YES teens do still dress up. During Spirit Week. On Halloween. And probably whenever offered the opportunity.

Shoot. Even we teachers get into it.

So, did (do) YOU have Spirit Week at your high school? Did you dress up? What was YOUR favorite part? And do you still dress up for Halloween?!


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