From the Heart

Happy Valentine’s Day!   Not much is known about St. Valentine, but it doesn’t matter, because this really isn’t a saint’s day.  Reason fades into the shadows as the heart has its day. City corners may be occupied by vendors with roses, balloons, and burgundy bears, but the heart holds its own in the marketing world’s swirl of lace and silk. The heart keeps it simple: “You are my friend.” This day is for everyone; it is the high holy day of love and friendship.  In the classroom, this is our most inclusive holiday.  The heart finds a way.

A high holy day (in any tradition) has rituals.  This is true in the classroom too.  In a red and white flurry of doilies and construction paper, hearts and stickers, tulle and ribbon, friendship is sweetened with heart shaped cookies and conversation hearts; Hershey’s kisses and Hugs; red lollipops and chocolates wrapped in pink foil.  White bags are decorated and then stand on the corner of each desk waiting.  The passing out of valentines is an old dance where there are no wallflowers.  Everybody is invited and everybody is included.

Everybody goes home with a bag that is overflowing with friendship.  It is an act of hope for our world.

We did all of this on Friday.  But we did something else too. And I already know this will find a place among the cherished traditions and rituals in this classroom culture. Every child wrote their name on a slip of paper and put it in a red box.  I passed out stationery and pink envelopes to be decorated.   Each child drew a name.  Letters were written and exchanged. Envelopes were ripped open.  As the letters were read, smiles grew.  The room seemed brighter in a silence filled with written words.

Tell someone you love them today.  Or better yet… write them a note.  Thank them for their friendship. The heart finds a way.  Today the heart has its day.

xoxo

About Annie Campbell

Annie Campbell is a National Board Certified third grade teacher and loves her work. She especially enjoys teaching children how to be enthusiastic readers, writers, and problem solvers. Every year, she hopes to inspire her students to be committed citizens who know they can make a difference in the world around them. When she is not teaching, Annie enjoys cooking for family and friends; she likes to lose herself in a good book; she loves discovering new ideas, restaurants, perfect picnic places, and movies with her husband, Ben.
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5 Responses to From the Heart

  1. Del says:

    Beautiful!

  2. Diane Harris says:

    Priceless! I look forward to reading your blog each week. It’s a great way to start my week on such a positive note. Thanks Annie for being my friend for such a long time and being a part of so many special times in my life! Love ya and Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Ben!

  3. Gerry Nathanson says:

    Bella’s mom e-mailed me all the recent entries. Your classroom takes my breath away. Third grade isn’t what it used to be! Bella is so fortunate to be growing in the environment you provide.
    Bella’s grandma

  4. Abbie Radcliffe says:

    vibrant piece!! you were inspired, huh?!

  5. Abeer says:

    This was just beautiful.. as all your stories are.. Amazing! xoxo

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