Every year I really look forward to celebrating Valentine's Day with my students. It has always been my favorite class party. This year though, after finally returning to school after a dozen snow days and trying to cram too many things back into our first full week of school in forever, most of my plans for a fabulous February 14th somehow went awry.....
Now don't get me wrong. There were a few positives amidst the flurry of fiascos that happened. Finding this delightful collection of Junie B. Jones cards at Barnes & Noble was one of them. Who doesn't like a good old knock-knock joke to express fun and friendship, right? Throw in a chocolate heart or two and you've got very happy students who are just tickled to get special mail from their beloved teacher!
Also, a chocolate dog (that reminds me of my chocolate Lab, Hershey (R.I.P.) who passed away last year) was just the sweetest gift from one of my little gals. My classroom has a "dog" theme, so this sugary token of "puppy love" was a big hit!
The mail bags that my students created were also a highlight. The faces of tigers, elephants, cats, puppies, hedgehogs, and zebras made out of different colors and sizes of hearts made our room look quite festive!
Receiving flowers on Valentine's Day is always a special treat too, although when they arrive in the midst of your spirited reading of Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentine (when you are wearing a large pink-and-purple polka dot bow in your hair), let me assure you that absolute bedlam and speculation about WHO IS MRS. REYNOLDS' SECRET ADMIRER? ensues.....
Needless to say, the focus level of my students went drastically downhill after this lovely arrangement arrived, and the following FIVE FOR A FRAZZLED FRIDAY LIST of questions and answers resulted.....
My mouth dropped open in shock as my principal escorted the delivery guy in! Utter pandemonium broke out amidst my students. My face turned as pink as the sweater I was wearing, and I tried to recover from the shock by asking the delivery guy if he was going to sing to us!
Sadly, he said he was not, so I broke into a silly version of Bobby Vinton's 1960's classic instead....
Roses are red my love,
Violets are blue!
Sugar is sweet my love,
but not as sweet as you!
My rendition of this very retro and doo-woppity song caused the group to burst into a fit of giggles and cleverly deflected their burning question of "Who are the flowers from?!?!" for a short time. Once snack time arrived, I turned the morning event into a "teachable moment" by asking the children to make predictions as to who might have sent the flowers. Here is the list they
came up with....
1. A SECRET MYSTERY MAN
2. My son, Eamonn
3. My daughter, Hayley
4. My father
5. My dogs, Brutus and Rose
6. My friends
Let's just say that guess #1 caused a whole lot of smoochy-smoochy kissing noises and snickering to rise up from the peanut gallery. Guess #5 caused hysterical snorts of laughter because "dogs don't have a credit card and can't talk on the phone," and #6 was spot on. My dear friend and fellow Basset Hound Mama, Brandi, had sent the gift to shed some sunshine on a fairly rough week. Believe me, she is going to get a talking to....as well as a big thank you.. the next time I see her!
My first inclination was to just cry. I then pulled myself together and went door-to-door in the primary hallway asking if anyone had accidentally adopted our three half-gallons of Toft's vanilla. Still empty-handed after my search, I returned to my classroom (which I had left in the care of my parent volunteers) to oversee the distribution of Valentine cards and serving of other refreshments. I then headed down to my principal's office and asked him to make an all-school announcement asking for the Mystery of the Missing Ice Cream to be solved. Ten minutes later he arrived at my door with enough ice cream in hand to make our red pop and root beer floats. Another teacher's room parent had taken our ice cream instead of getting the correct tub out of the staff lounge fridge. It was an honest mistake, but the time I'd spent playing detective and away from my party had resulted in slight chaos and way to much candy consumption. Fun Dip, Sweet Tarts, Hershey Kisses, and Twizzlers had amped up my already excited second graders and they were flying high on a sugar buzz! Listening ears and looking eyes had been replaced by loud voices and wiggly bodies!
My "go to" method of soothing the savage beast is always music, so I cued up the FROZEN movie soundtrack and encouraged the group to "Stop eating candy now and please clean up!" Some followed directions better than others, but for the most part we sang along to our favorite songs and made a joyful noise as we prepared to head home for the long weekend. When in doubt, Disney tunes always make things better!
I hope this list has made you chuckle and taught you what NOT to do at your future holiday parties! I have chalked this year up to experience and "pinned" these "piggy perfect" party ideas from Teacher to the Core for next year! A conga dance line to help pass Valentines out while moving and grooving, along with these cute mail pouches are sure to be crowd pleasers!
Until then, I will keep calm and smile on! Laughter is most certainly the best medicine!