So, Valentine’s Day is this weekend. And if your child is part of the PK-5 set, chances are that there will be a class “celebration” on Friday.
Can I make a plea?
Skip the Valentine’s Day candy, please!
In fact, take all the food and treats out of the party while you are at it.
What? An elementary teacher who wants to SKIP the fun parts of Valentine’s Day? Why yes, yes I do. And for good reasons, too.
See, I have kids with allergies in my classroom. Like seriously bad ones. And I can’t control what candy your child is bringing into my classroom. I also can’t go with you to the grocery store or watch you whip up your signature brownies. I can’t make sure that there is absolutely zero cross contamination between the potentially deadly allergen(s) and the food you are sharing with my students.
I also have kids who don’t have the money to spend on candy for the class. And I have a few more who are super artistic and wanted to create personalized cards for each child. As these students watch their friends open the Valentine’s mailboxes, will these carefully crafted cards get passed over in favor of one that features a Tootsie Pop? I’d like to think that this won’t happen, but the call of sugar sometimes trumps all. So, to spare the feelings of these precious children, can we all agree (as adults) that we can purchase candy-less cards this year?
Now, on to the more selfish reasons for my quest to cancel candy.
Let me just paint you a picture: kids unwrapping sweet after sweet; sprinkle covered cupcakes being shoved into mouths; colorful sugar cookies crumbling onto my carpet. The desks are covered in sticky, sticky goop. Wrappers are scattered everywhere. And guess who gets to clean it up?
ME! Because I refuse to let our custodian deal with this level of disaster.
After every class party, everything is absolutely torn apart. My whole room smells like a can of Duncan Hines frosting exploded. A ton of glittery sugar crystals have magically been sprinkled over the top of everything.
Don’t expect that math test to be home until the end of next week.
Also, have you witnessed a couple dozen prepubescent children on a crazy sugar rush?
I have, and it ain’t pretty.
First, they are excited. Like REALLY excited. They dance and sing and generally annoy all the classroom beside and below us.
Then, they go NUTS. Like crazy. they want to invent new rules for old games. They want to pull out all of the construction paper, glue, and glitter to create masterpieces.
Last comes the inevitable crash. By the last 20 or so minutes, the kids are absolute grouches. They make Oscar seem like a super positive character. All I hear are arguments, petty disagreements, and general grumbling. Seriously, I am more than happy to send you these kids when the bell rings.
So, given the serious concerns (allergies, cash limitations, creativity overruled by candy) and the somewhat more personal issues teachers might experience, let’s skip the candy (and cake and cookies) this Valentine’s Day!
Instead, how about we create some artwork or read a fun story or craft something or play silly music and dance around. There are literally thousands of ideas on Pinterest, and I’ll be pinning them all this week.