I have not been on here lately because I have been teaching in a new school and because they will not give teachers their Wi-fi password I cannot log on with my personal electronics of any type. I take my cell phone to school, I always put it on silent, but I always have it in case there is an emergency outside of school where people may want to get in touch with me instead of waiting for the end of the school day. I even wonder what would it be like if someone did come into our school and we had an emergency. Our in-class phones do not dial out and our cell phones are spotty because of not being on their internet wi-fi. I try not to let this bother me while I am teaching.
So it was just Valentines Day. A day that I do not really celebrate but now that I am teaching 4th grade I wondered if this holiday was celebrated in my new school like I celebrated it in my school when I was in grade school. We would all make our Valentine boxes out of the shoe box that we could find, we would go out and have our parents let us choose what Valentines we would need to show our “like” and “love” to our fellow classmates. I would wisely pick which Scooby Doo Valentine I would choose for my friends, for the students that were nice but not my best friends, for the kids in the class that were “bad”, and then for that one student that you never talked to who you thought would one day in high school be your “boyfriend”. Of course the Valentine with Daphney in a pose by the Dream Machine van surrounded by hearts would be the one that you would choose for your Valentine dream card receiver.
I asked my team if we did have a Valentine party and the answer was yes! We would have about an hour at the end of February 14 to trade cards and candy and to eat the cupcakes brought in by the room parents. YAY!!!!
We decided as a team to have them deliver all 51 Valentines to all of their friends in 4th grade. We are a private school and they have been together as a group now for 5 and 6 years. They know each other well , have recess together, play sports together, and eat lunch together and they want to spread their good Valentine greetings to all of their friends. We thought that we were being nice in allowing the kids to receive 51 Valentines from all of their friends. Once agin, we were wrong.
We received emails from parents arguing with us that they did not have the time to go out to buy these Valentines, they cost about $2.50 for a pack of 28. The marketers are the winner in this one since most classes in the U.S. have around 21-30 kids in a class. Go over 28 and that parent has to buy another packet anyway! We gave the parents and students a good week to prepare. The parents were arguing with us that they did not have time to do all 51 Valentines. Our response? You are not “doing” the Valentines your child is. I even had a parent in the car pick-up line stop the movement of cars to yell out her window nicely at me that she didn’t agree with what we chose to do. With my hand out in the proper keep the car progression going , I yelled back, “Sorry, we are moving on with our plan, you are allowed not to participate, it’s your choice. BYE! have a great evening!” I should have added, “the stores are open now with Valentines for sale!”
Valentines day arrived and the kids started to bring in their boxes and bags. We told them that if they couldn’t find a box to decorate just bring in a bag for their Valentines to be dropped into. Kids do not care, they just want the Valentines and any candy that my be given with them!
Boxes were coming in decorated with hearts, flowers, pink stripes, red dots, arrows, and the boy decorated boxes with Fort Nite and Spiderman on them. They decorated in the way that they enjoyed for what should be just a fun day of celebrating friendship and love of one another.
The best Valentine box that arrived was from a boy who made a toilet that when you lifted the lid the kids could deposit the Valentines right into the toilet bowl. His mom came in with him and his 2nd grade brother and asked me if is was ok. OK? I said that it was the most creative box and that I loved that she and her son took the time together to make something that he chose. The Valentine toilet box had an aluminum foil handle and was made perfectly. When you open the lid and looked inside he had also placed a little poop emoji! The emoji is everywhere these days, kids love it. Its not my favorite but 4th grade kids think a lot of stuff is funny that sadly I have outgrown:(
We went on with our morning in school , we went over a test and then played a color Scattergories game. We had a fun morning in our first class. This class also voted for the Valentine toilet as the best box in that 4th grade section. I was to take this class on to their outclass next so they packed up and we were on our way to what we thought was the continuation of a fun school day of love.
I came back to my classroom and a representative of the school was looking at all of the creative boxes in the hallway. She was taking pictures of them for the schools online news write up. I showed her the Valentine toilet box and that is when we can say literally that this was when the “shit hit the fan”.
Another person who thinks that they rule the school saw us laughing and thinking how creative the VT box was. This person immediately said that it was inappropriate for school and “luckily” the Vice Principal was just walking by. She turned her head in disgust! Now the pot was stirred and the first person ran up the steps to the headmasters office faster than any person that ever needed toilet space ever ran. The next thing I know I have my lead teacher, the headmaster, the pot stirrer and the Vice Principal all staring at and discussing the most creative Valentine box in that hallway. We all go to the bathroom, everyone has seen a toilet. What is the big deal?
The headmaster then tells me that it is a big deal. That box is offensive and has to be removed. So, what to do? You can tell the boy that he is not in trouble but it has to go into the room so that no one can see it. My VP moves it into my room, I just nod in disgust in my head and I go to get the kids to return to the room from their outclass. The problem is that I was also told that the parents would be told and that we, the 4th grade teachers had to tell the student that his box was not acceptable but do not tell him that this decision came from the administration! OK, so then who do I tell him that it came from because all of the 4th grade teachers thought that it was creative and fine.
The box got to stay without the poop emoji, I gave that to the boy to put in his pocket. Our main principal said to put it back out in the hall behind other boxes, don’
t make a big deal about it. Hmm, WE DIDN’T!
What really gets me on this whole ordeal is that the student who made this is a great student, he loves sports but also loves to be creative. Also his mom took the time to allow both her boys to choose a design to make for their boxes and then she allowed them to be creative for a fun day. This boy has a great sense of humor and will always correct himself in the classroom if asked by the teacher. He gets good grades and is very respectful. He is in 4th grade, he wanted to have fun on Valentines Day in the way that most 4th grade boys would also choose. Adults once again could not see through the eyes of a child. They were once children, would they have once thought that the Valentine Toilet Box was offensive in their school days? I would bet high stakes in Vegas that they would not!
Hope that you all had a great Valentines Day. Mine was kind of poopy!