Thursday, December 29, 2016
I expected Panamanian Teacher's Day to be a lot like Teacher Appreciation Day in the U.S. We bought gifts for the girls' teachers like I would back home. I'm really not sure why I have any expectations anymore! It was completely unique and so fun. First, there was no school, because what better gift is there for teachers than a day off?! Our province holds a parade where each zone/school sends a representative teacher, a float, and a fan club. Each group had a different theme. Some had a small band while others had a car with a trunk full of speakers playing music. There were firecrackers and fireworks. Many of the floats had children throwing candy to the crowd on the street. By the end, my purse was heavy with candy the girls had picked up. The parade paused for a bit when C's school float was passing, so we got to say hi to the teachers we know. As I watched the teachers come by in their elaborate costumes, dancing and waving, I just kept trying to imagine something similar being held in the US, and it made me laugh. Sometimes I think we take ourselves too seriously. The parade ended at my school's gym, where a "queen" teacher was chosen and there was a big celebration. There was some sort of union election the next day, so C's teacher canceled class, and it was a nice long weekend for many.