Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day to each of you!

Being a middle school teacher on Valentine’s day is always fun!  Students hopped up on sugar and emotions are high!  My 8th graders were mainly upset that they didn’t get gifts from their significant others.  My 5th graders, on the other hand, just like to celebrate the gift of candy and each had a 2lb bag in their possession, quickly handing a piece of candy to every random person they met in the hallway.  I, of course, had to feed into the sugar binge and provided an oldie but goodie…. fun dip!  Ahh yes, pure sugar in powder form with an edible sugar ‘spoon’ – LIFE is GOOD!

My kiddos have gotten really good at telling me thank – you.  It’s a pet peeve of mine to 1) ask for a treat and 2) not say thank you.  This year we’ve worked hard on both.  My general rule is, if you ask for a treat, you will not get one today or for the rest of the week… that means every one in the class.  I LOVE bringing in goodies but being selfish and greedy and always expecting goodies does not work for me and it shouldn’t work for them. (There have been many times this year when I’ve made goodies and someone asked for a treat – without knowing I had made something – and we went through the whole spiel and no one got a treat…. but my teacher friends did get to enjoy the wealth so I guess it was a pseudo – win.  Anyway, I digress,  today not one student asked if they were getting a valentine or if we were having candy or anything of the kind.  When I handed them their candy at the end of the class as they were collecting their Sweet Reward stickers, to my surprise, every one of them said thank you and many of them gave me a hug.  It  was a very, very welcome surprise.  Finally…. finally, we’re having a break through with manners! 

Ahhh….. I’m going to go bask in the moment while I can.  Tomorrow will be *super* fun as they come down off their sugar high and crash!  Thankfully, it’s Friday annnnnd the beginning of a 3 day weekend as soon as the day ends!  Awesome!

Categories: holiday.


    • Amber, it’s sooo hard to do! I read about the idea in a book (which one escapes me at the moment). Basically if the students ask for a reward they don’t get it. At the beginning of the year I make sure they know my policy. I tell them I bring in snacks and fun rewards all the time but they can’t ask for them. If they ask, I only respond “what is the rule about rewards?” Usually the class chimes in, and then they don’t get a reward that day, or the rest of the week. It happened 3 times and then it stuck in my class. One day I had brought in cupcakes. One of the students saw them on my desk and said “when do we get cupcakes?” I responded and they were very upset, but they have become more grateful about getting rewards and they don’t expect them all the time. It’s really hard to stick to it – but I have all year and it’s finally, finally sticking!

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