Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day at an elementary school is always replete with drama.  As teachers, we don’t always know who’s dating whom and who just broke up with whom.  We get snippets and hear some of it but simply don’t have enough time to truly keep up with it.  Furthermore, I personally can say that I don’t really care.  Some of it is noteworthy so we know that Boy A can’t sit next to Boy B anymore because Boy B is now dating Boy A’s ex so they’ll fight.  Or we know that we can’t let Boy A go to the bathroom when Girl A is out of the room etc.  But most of it is just tertiary drama that really doesn’t affect us day to day.  However, on Valentine’s Day, we usually get doused with it.  Here are some funny anecdotes from the past couple years from Valentine’s Day.

The Manipulator

This is a pretty simple story really.  I was in first grade one year and saw one little girl get up in the middle of instructional time, waltz up to a young boy’s desk, and blatantly drop a note on his desk and hug him.  The boy, obviously taken aback at this unexpected amorous display looked helplessly up at me.  I just rolled my eyes and held out my hand.  The boy handed me note and I opened it up to read, “Dear Finky (Badly misspelled name), I love you.  I really do Finky. Love, (Girl’s name).”  Obviously I ribbed the boy to no end about it and to this day call him Finky.

However, the real punchline of the story comes later while I was at lunch duty.  As I was walking around the cafeteria helping the first and second graders open ketchup packets, (a task that is seemingly impossible for them to complete independently) the girl walked up to me and said, “Mr. Steidl, I have a secret.”  “Ok” I said. “I don’t really love (boy’s name). I just gave him that note to make you jealous.” She whispered.  “Ok.” I said, as I felt that any other response would be somehow inappropriate.  She then skipped away as if we’d never talked.

Cool Points for Mr. Steidl

Two of the teachers were sitting in the lounge on their planning period on one Valentine’s Day just discussing some of the drama.  “Oh gosh and then the whole thing with Bob and Jane (real names redacted to protect the somewhat innocent).” I heard them talking about how he forgot to get her a card for Valentine’s Day and how she loves Hershey’s Kisses and he came in eating Hershey’s Kisses but didn’t give her any for Valentine’s Day so she’s so mad at him.  Now Bob is an idiot.  I love the kid, but he’s an idiot, especially when it comes to girls.  However, we were making Valentine’s Day cards in my first grade group when he was on his lunch.  So I went to the cafeteria and called him out to the hallway. “Am I in trouble?” He asked as he walked up to me. “Well not with me.” I replied “But I hear that Jane isn’t too happy with you.” “Oh man. I know!” he said, and proceeded to give me the whole sob story about how he forgot.

I decided to help the young man out and asked him if he would like to bring his lunch to first grade and make a valentine for Jane there.  One of my students had also given me a giant Hershey Kiss that I was in no way going to eat so I offered it to him if he wanted it.  He said that yes he wanted to come up and make a valentine for Jane.  He worked diligently for about 15 minutes and then got up to leave.  “You want me to proof-read it?” I asked. “Yea that’d be good.” He replied and handed me the note.  I opened it up…

“Dear Jane,

HAHAHAHA Gotcha!  You thought I forgot for real didn’t you? Best joke ever right?  You know I would never actually forget about you.  I just wanted to make it better because it would be more of a surprise.  You know I love you.  I would say more than that but I think Mr. Steidl gonna read this.

Bob.”

It was just epic.  I never told Jane anything about how he actually did forget or that the huge Hershey Kiss she got was actually from a little girl named Adrianna.  That would be some major violation of bro code.  I’m pretty sure she knows anyways.  However, every time “Bob” sees me in the hall now, he kind of just gives me a nod and grins.  Cool points for Mr. Steidl.

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