By: Staff Writer Didi Wu
Smoke Signal: We’ve heard that you decorate your classroom yearly for various occasions, such as for 9/11 and the Hiroshima unit as well as Halloween. How did you get this idea?
Kathy Mattingly: “I don’t know. I had this stuff, the decorations and lights, and I thought I would use them.
KM: “For the last 20 years. I’ve been [at MSJ] for 32.”
SS: Why do you decorate the classroom like this for “The Raven” at Halloween?
KM: “I want them to go into the classroom and go ‘ooh’. I turn the lights down, because it’s all about the initial impact. It’s not the expected thing; it’s fun. That’s what school’s about right?”
SS: Could you clarify what you mean by fun?
KM: “Do you remember kindergarten? And then you go to high school, and it’s not fun anymore. I would rather have it be fun than drudgery.”
SS: Is there anything else you hope the students can get out of this?
KM: “I want them to think they’re worth the time and effort it takes to [decorate the classroom]. [It took] three hours yesterday after school, with my sister’s help.”