Every Halloween there are all sorts of kids (and adults) who decide to put on a work or career related costume. Firemen, doctors, police officers, pilots and members of the military are among the most common.
The Halloween Debate
Every Halloween there are schools that struggle with the holiday celebration at school. While some schools dive into the secular celebration with full community support and have a wonderful time playing with costumes, passing out the annual list of trick-or-treat safety tips, hosting small parties in classrooms and putting on a school dance (or fundraiser or…?). Other schools have a harder time due to community concerns about everything from the possibility of children (and others) playing with evil spirits to inappropriate and disrespectful representation of an actual religious holiday celebrated by large numbers of people in the United States.
For the purposes of this and other posts, I use the word ‘Halloween‘ in reference to the annual secular celebration and the word ‘Samhain‘ (pronounced SAH-win) in reference to the religious holiday celebrated during the same time period.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, the secular holiday can be an excellent time to connect with your local community while having some fun. It can also be an opportunity for career exploration.
School Project Ideas
If you are struggling with a school debate over the holiday or a personal conflict over how best to respect your own beliefs (and fears) while participating in the secular aspects of the holiday, then working with the younger members of your family/community to identify and create career-based costumes might help to establish some reasonable (and comfortable) common ground for everyone involved.
School teachers are both welcome and encouraged to take this basic idea and fully expand on it in way that I am not capable. In fact, I would love to see your comments (and links) added below.
That said, the basic idea is to lay out a career-exploration school project that culminates in a holiday event (e.g.: classroom party) where all students present their work while wearing costumes based on the careers they researched. Of course, there will be students who will research a common career (e.g.: businessman) and then show up in a Halloween modified version of their career costume (e.g.: Wall Street Zombie) – schools, teachers and parents will have to decide for themselves whether or not this is acceptable.
Worker and Career Costumes
The following costumes are examples of the kinds of things kids (and adults) can put together for a job, career and/or worker (unionized or not) theme. Additional ideas can be found in my previous posts about astronauts and profiling.