Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Today is Valentine's Day! Yesterday the kids had their respective Valentine parties at school. Brody gave out these Pooh Valentines and Lulu distributed the Tinker Bell ones with the pencils.

I know that Bro is a bit young to be giving out Valentines but I didn't want to be the the only parent who didn't send in the cards and I didn't know what other parents would do... so I sent them in: cards for his friends and cards for his teachers.

Lulu is in a new school this year; it is a newly-built school so it is new to all of us and we are all still trying to adjust to the new ways of doing things, both good and bad. I mention this because the first week of February a note came home saying that the 5th graders would not be exchanging Valentines this year. They would have a party, but no cards. That rule is absolutely unheard of. Again... let me reiterate... I've never heard of such a thing.

Well, just this week a different note came home. Apparently, according to the note, after "much parent input" they decided to let the 5th graders exchange cards, with a few rules:

(1) Each student will bring in one card for every other student (well DUH).
(2) The cards will be kind in nature (again, DUH).
(3) The cards will be dropped into each student's bag and the bag will be stapled shut.
(4) The students may open their bags and Valentine cards when they get home.

Okay, I understand that kids can be mean. However, it has always been stressed that (1) you have to give one card to everyone and (2) they have to be nice cards. What the heck is going on with the 5th graders at the school that there is such hysteria about these cards? It sounds to me like the problem is more than just the cards and these Valentine cards rules aren't going to solve the much bigger overall problem. It sounds to me like, instead of receiving this cryptic 10-step Valentine Code of Conduct, I should have received a letter talking about being nice to others, being nice to our friends, the bullying policy review, or something.

I know that there are some teachers who read this blog - does your school have these Valentine issues? Parents? Comments? I am dumbfounded.

Check out this picture of Bro and Lulu from last Valentine's Day. Uh - melts my heart!

Alas, I hope that you are all having a happy day. I think that we are going to have homemade heart-shaped pizzas for dinner. I'll let you know.


Katelyn said...

Hmmm....I don't put much of an emphasis in my classroom on holidays. The exception is Winter Break when we make candy houses and have a party the last day.

For Valentine's day...the kiddos decorate bags to collect cards/goodies/etc...I send a list with all their names asking that parents send a Valentine for every child. You would think this is a no brainer, but unfortunately, it's not. I actually do staple the bags mostly because if they empty them all out they inevitably get mixed up...these are first graders though. Also, it is frowned upon by the administration if we take too much instructional time for such things...In the first grade the bullying typically isn't bad. I don't know if they have such problems in the upper grades....

Nap Mom said...

Lulu had a fun Valentine party. She came home with all of her Valentine's in her stapled bag. Maybe I am reading too much into this. Maybe the teachers consider the card exchange to be too much of a hassle and that was the motivation behind stapling the bag shut and so on. Some kids did manage to give out candy, which was specifically outlawed. Lucky for me, Lulu came home with three things of fun-dip and I am anxioius to take one for myself. She won't notice - will she?

Nap Mom said...

Oh, and Bro came home with cards too so it was a good thing that I sent him in with cards as well. Who knew?

Manic Mommy said...

This is so sad. I'm still learning about the public school system and the diversity of families, some who apparently must be unaware of what their children are taking into school if we have to be worried about bullying valentines. OH NO! I agree that the message from the school should have been different. Instead of outlawying Valentines this could have been a wonderful opportunity to focus on the great benefits of friendship, how to be a friend, how to be friendly with everyone, etc. School is not just a place for academic skills. Children learn many social skills here too. Let's take a few minutes out of the year to help shape that positively. Also, don't we want our children to love school so they'll love being there to learn. What is the harm in taking an hour out of the year to let the kids have a little fun at school. If we need to extend the school year by a day to add a few parties let's do it! It's important that the kids have fun too. AND celebrations get parent involvement involvement in the schools. shows it's clear that parent involvement makes a significant impact on child performance. OK, end rant. ;)

Anonymous said...

So my 3rd grader had a party at his school, we were not instructed that we had to give everyone a card but a list was sent home with all the children's names on it. I guess we have grown used to just giving everyone in the class cards for all of the holidays, without any problems at least from my two boys. My oldest announced this year that in Middle School they don't do cards anymore. So it does end. Seems like a lot of fuss... Too bad :-(