Thursday will be my third Valentine’s Day as a teacher. My first two Valentine’s Days taught me some important survival skills.
1) Don’t expect them to learn anything. Or at least not anything new. A difficult topic or a new unit will get absolutely no retention because of the combined blood sugar level and, if you teach between 5th and 12th grade, hormones level. See illustration below.
I would recommend a review day. Or a penmanship day. Or a class competition of wall-sits.
2) Have Kleenex handy. I think I average about 3 criers per VD. Helena is upset because Jessica bought candygrams for everyone BUT her! Reggie is outraged because all Esmerelda got him was a little teddy bear, but he got her a big teddy bear! Lily is devastated that her boyfriend from her anime graphic novel is, in fact, not real!
Also, let me go ahead and not abbreviate Valentine’s Day anymore.
3) If you decide to give out candy, DON’T DO IT AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS. Do it with about three minutes left. Then play dumb when their next period teacher confronts you angrily in the parking lot after school.
4) Have a clever response handy for “Miss/Mister, who’s your valentine?”/ “Are you going on a Valentine’s date?”/ “Is (insert any teacher’s name of the opposite sex) your Valentine?” I’ve come up with some responses for you to choose from. (Use discretion based on your kids’ ages and the likelihood that they will tell on you.)
Response A: “I’m asexual.”
Response B: “My parents don’t let me go on dates yet.”
Response C:“Having a valentine violates my parole.”
Response D: “I don’t know; haven’t heard back from your mom yet!” I am kidding. Please don’t use this one. Or please do and let me know what happens.
Also, the blank stare is always weird and effective.
5) Wear red or pink so that you don’t get asked 800 times why you aren’t wearing red or pink.
Good luck and may God have mercy on us all.