This is my first year teaching middle school and today was the last day of classes. Teacher Christmas comes early!!!

In the midst of opening all the kind gifts from my students, I came across a note signed “Santa,” so I have no clue who it’s actually from. The gist of the note was that I shouldn’t have told the sixth graders I didn’t believe in Santa. It was written much more whimsically than I put it, but that was the basic message.

I feel so bad! When a couple of kids asked me, I told them I believed in the spirit of Santa and that I loved Christmas. I thought that would be ok! Then they asked me about Santa the person and I said I wished he was real, just like I wished all magic was real because that would be awesome.

I don’t know. I honestly thought they were asking as a joke because I’ve never known anyone in middle school who believed in Santa. I’m slightly annoyed that whoever I offended couldn’t just talk to me like an adult, so I could apologize and move on, instead of stewing about which parents are mad at me.

So I guess I have two questions.

1) When do you think most kids stop believing in Santa and

2) At what age can adult safely stop pretending to believe?

I’m assuming this wouldn’t be an issue in high school, but I can see how 11/12 maybe there are a few hold outs, which I should have considered. Also, not believing in Santa is the plot of basically every Christmas movie involving Santa (see: Miracle on 34th St. Elf, and countless Hallmark Originals.

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Oof. Not something I expected to deal with as a middle school science teacher!