Last year, during my first year of in-person teaching, I was very surprised to discover what a big deal Valentine's Day is at my high school. Walking to my classroom that morning, I saw countless students with flowers, candy, little bears, etc. I thought, "Wow, so cute," and carried on with my morning, but it wasn't long before I realized how hard this was for some students. Throughout the day, I had multiple students upset and distracted in my classroom, one student even breaking down after class and sobbing, "I just feel so left out. I didn't get anything today." This broke my heart!!
This year, I'd like to host a little Valentine's Day party in my classroom to give students a sense of community and support that transcends the "romantic" angle of this day.
Students will focus on the social-emotional themes of community support and self-love. They'll be asked to write three affirming Valentine's — one to themself and two to their classmates. After that, they'll work on other self-love and community-building activities while eating little snacks and listening to music. The goal is to make this a really positive and affirming day for everyone! I've picked out some cute teddy bear keychains to gift each student and a big box of candy. Please help me make Valentine's Day this year super sweet for all my students!
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