Saturday, February 2, 2013

Celebrating Valentine's in my Classroom

Happily, we had a pretty relaxed Saturday.  I had time to fulfill my February Quests for the day and enjoy some time with my two guys as home.   This morning I walked on the treadmill, lifted weights, and flossed my teeth.  Flossing Every Day is turning out to be the hardest of my three Quests, that is for sure. 

Anyway, later Hubby and I enjoyed catching up on some shows we had on our DVR and we watched a movie as well.   Later, I sat down to write this blog and Share Love with y'all.
 
Share Love
For five fun-filled years I had the privilege of teaching 1st - 6th (and even a few 7th & 8th) graders at two Christian schools out west.  I was blessed to teach a home school enrichment/support program and I loved it!  I also loved each and every student I taught. 
 
I delight in celebrating all the holidays.  For most holidays I decorate our home and when I began teaching in a classroom, I also enjoyed decorating my classroom.   I spent a good deal of my day each day in that room and I wanted it to be homey and festive.  The students seemed to like it as well. 
 
Valentine's Day ranks pretty high on my list of holidays.  I know for some it can be a not-so-favorite day.  I understand that, but for me Valentine's Day isn't just about romance, it's also a special day to show love to all those you care about in your life. 
 
So every year when it was time for Valentine's Day, I hung hearts around the classroom, sat a dish of candy hearts on my desk, and brought in some favorite Valentine's Day books. 

Then I talked to the students about focusing the holiday on showing kindness and friendship to each other.  I also encouraged them to find ways to show their love to their families at home. 
 
Sometimes I had them write papers about such ideas or maybe make a card to take home to their loved ones.  I showed them how to cut a heart of out construction paper and had them write a poem on it which we hung on the bulletin boards in the classroom.
 
One very special tradition I did with my students was during Bible time on Valentine's Day.  We would read the Love Chapter from the Bible: I Corinthians 13 together.
 
1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)
"If I speak in the tongues[of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
                                                                                    
 The part the students really enjoyed was that we would read it twice.  First we would read it through just as it is, but the second time, I would insert each child's name in the passage as I read it.  I would replace I, we, or even love with their names.  It was such a delight to watch their faces as I said their name.  Their eyes would light up, they would smile or sometimes even giggle. 

But the best part was that they could connect to that chapter.  They could think about themselves as being the person seeking to live with love in their hearts.  At least that was my prayer for them.  It really added such a sweet touch to a special fun-filled day. 

At the end of the day we would have a little Valentine's Day party.  Each student would bring their own decorated box or bag to collect their Valentine's from their classmates.  I would give out a funny "award" for each box or bag.  They would chow down on the treats they brought to share while we watched the Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown video. 
 
Writing this just brings back such wonderful memories with those kids. Thinking about it now makes me smile. Working with those students was such a joy.

It's so true what 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, "But the greatest of these is love."

4 comments:

  1. I remember doing this! Do you remember when we acted out your wedding with the Legos?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh yes I do remember that! It was a fun Valentine's Day party, wasn't it? I have pictures of it too! Good memories!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was our reading at church last Sunday- feb 3!
    Tea queen

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's one of my favorites. We had it on our programs at our wedding. I miss you Tea Queen!

    ReplyDelete

Here's your chance to say something!