Ah Valentine’s Day. How you sneak up on me every year and how you make my life so interesting. Working in a middle school, I have seen so much drama this week, all centered on Valentine’s Day. Will he send her a flower? Will her ex- come back with a grand gesture? Will the boys and girls actually dance at the Valentine’s Dance tomorrow, or stand by gender against the walls? I just can’t wait to find out.
In elementary schools, I so enjoy the art projects that come around this time of year. I think there is nothing more precious than a giant glittery slightly deformed (and thus more anatomically accurate) heart valentine made out of construction paper. Priceless.
My favorite though, is a comment that was made by one of my students at a high school for students with emotional disturbances. This young man has come so far in his behavior and controlling his emotions, that our team was thinking he might be ready for “mainstreaming,” which is a chance to learn with non-disabled peers. The teacher was asking him when he thought he might be ready to join a sports team and work together with the team appropriately (turns out, kids with emotional disturbances aren’t the best sportsmen sometimes. Who knew?). So teacher asks him when he would be ready and he said, definitively, “I will be ready to be a good sportsman on February 14th.” She asked, “why the 14th?” and he said, “So I can be my own Valentine!” His logic wasn’t so bad, actually. Why not be your own Valentine and love yourself enough to do something great for yourself?
I wonder if it’s too California-hippy-love-fest to make my counseling students make Valentines for themselves tomorrow…It could be really cool or really super lame. Discuss.