Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday we celebrate at school (since we can't really celebrate Christmas). Why though? Is it the candy? No. Is it the cheesy valentines cards? No. It is something much deeper. Valentines seems to bring out the kindness in kids. Students who sometimes like to just receive suddenly find so much pleasure in giving. They are kind to each other, bringing valentines for every student in the class-not just their friends. They give away pop-up cards, notes, candy grams and crafts. They give smiles and kind words.
I'm always surprised by the gifts I'm given. Sometimes I will get something from the store, like this cute singing teddy bear (brought by a student I had 3 years ago). But most of the time, I get hand-made gifts. Guess which kind I treasure! :) Although these students cannot afford to buy their teacher gifts from the store, they go out of their way to WOW me every time! Their creativity and sincerity is amazing. Check out this box of "candy hearts" next to the bear. One students assembled a box out of construction paper and cut out many colorful hearts. He secretly went around the room and had each student sign a heart and then surprised me with it on Valentine's day. It now sits on my bookshelf to remind me of the precious hearts I touch each day, and how each of their hearts has somehow grown mine a little bigger.