OK, so I like dressing up in smart clothes, and I like dressing up when I have to pull off a particular role in my real, serious life. But dressing up for fun or to obscure my identity really causes me to feel nauseous! I spent a couple of days in self-torment, then I heard that the rest of the teachers were dressing up too, so I realised I didn't really want to be the only straight-faced, no-fun teacher that always keeps up appearances. I overcame myself and thought I'd dress up as something fun. I rented a rabbit costume, it was a very cute job with its pink nose, wide eyes and its wire-supported sticky ears. I knew it was going to be a hit with the younger children.
Having sorted out my outfit really didn't make me feel any better - I could feel my stomach tied in a knot, all day until the moment I walked into the party. After that it was quite easy, I danced a bit with the kids but then took off the mask and sat with the older students. I was quite satisfied to see the reaction of some of my students when I emerged from the rabbit costume, who really hadn't realised or expected that was me :D
In general, it was funny to see the younger children's reactions. Most of them couldn't stop staring, they'd come near and stand there looking as if they were mesmerised! Of course, there was at least one child that couldn't stop pulling my little tail, which was fairly annoying as I was worried it'd fall off completely! I knew I'd have tail-tagging problems as it's almost instinctive, but my sister had assured me that the pupils wouldn't have the familiarity required to reach for my rump. Obviously we didn't allow for some kids's audacity - it was the same ones that couldn't stop throwing balls of paper serpantines onto our faces, just because we were teachers. But these were the exceptions, the rest of the children were under the spell. On the way back I had handed the mask over to a boy to wear, and a little child approached him and kissed him! I thought it strange and asked the boy why he did that, it was only the boy underneath (dressed as a ninja fighter, too), but the child said that he had kissed the rabbit, hahaha. It was so sweet.
Innocence aside, I had a tough moment when a fourteen-year-old student of mine came over and sat on my lap, throwing an arm around my neck. It must be my filthy mind, but I couldn't help remembering how she had suggested that I should dress up as something male so that I would be her escort for the night. I really must be careful at all times with the older students in particular, because our roles get blurred on certain occassions. One of my students' friends that had come along to the party commented on how "I don't look like a teacher", when we were introduced. My natural reaction is to get flattered when I hear things like that, but when I think it over I get dissatisfied. Students have friends of their own, they really don't need to turn a friend out of their teachers too!
In fact, I dislike myself for wanting to be friends with these teenagers, I think it is very unprofessional! But I do find it quite hard to strike a balance, and I always find myself torn. My boss herself is older and quite concervative, and the rest of the teachers seem more removed - I don't know how they manage, maybe it's just that the accumulating years of teaching make you get less and less enthusiastic about your students.
This issue perplexes me quite a bit. Last night some of the boys in the class requested that I would attend a football match for support. He and a few others of my students are in my old high school's team. I arranged to meet with some of the girls from class so that we could go together. I must feel I am doing something wrong, because I had a dream about it when I slept - I saw that I was asking my boss (the ultimate figure of authority!) whether it was ok that I had told the kids I was going to attend the match. And her response was that it was ok, but that I'd have to behave myself and that we needed to go together, haha. Which spoiled it for me, in my dream, because I wanted to go and mix with the students instead :)
In any case, me going to the football match might make it up for the time I didn't go to see them parade on a national celebration day ;) I'll see how it goes.