February 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday 2.12.15 Valentine's Day

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This post first appeared on The Teacher's Desk 6 2/14/14.

SAINT Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. Many people enjoy celebrating this fun holiday; they love the chocolates, the exchange of cards, the bright colors, the flowers, etc. However, many people don't realize the origins of this "holy day". Yes, holy day. It is actually a Catholic feast day that honors a special saint whose celebration has crossed-over into commercialized society life.

Each year my sixers are awed by the story of the simple, humble man who lived in Ancient Rome and gave his life in honor and love of Christ Jesus. This year I came across an amazing picture book about this generous, loving saint.

How did Valentine's Day, one of our most popular holidays, begin? 

It started in ancient Rome when a kind physician named Valentine took an interest in a young blind girl. With his healing skill and his deep faith he restored her sight. What we now call Valentine's Day began when he sent the little girl a secret message, which she received after the Christian martyr was executed. For this tale rich in sentiment, master illustrator Robert Sabuda has created exquisite paper mosaics to suggest early Christian art that resonates with both subtlety and power
... Amazon.com

There was a stunned silence when I finished reading the book, until my student, the most unruly of them, said: WOW! I wish I could be like that dude. He was so not self-centered.

I couldn't have said it better myself. I asked them all to personally respond with why they thought Valentine was recognized as a saint by completing this simple notebook foldable.

There were such wonderful responses! Many similar to the one that my student had voiced aloud. However, one stood out. This one was from one of my boys who struggles with written communication. He has difficulty with spelling, with the act of writing, with getting his thoughts on paper, and more. In shaky writing, missing letters, and no punctuation,  he simply wrote...

he lovd everon

With just this simple story, my kiddos GOT the meaning and true message of Valentine's Day... SAINT Valentine's Day. It isn't about the chocolates or the cards or the flowers, it's about putting others before ourselves, it's about being a light for others, it's about our call as goodly(Godly) people...



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3 comments:

  1. I will certainly be getting this book to read aloud to my class for next year.

    This year I did enlist my students to help spread Valentine's Day cheer to all the teachers and staff that work at our school. My students were assigned staff members to make cards for, and I bought each of the teachers a classroom spinner from the Dollar Tree. I bought all of the other staff members a box of brownies, and I put a note on it saying that deserved some brownie points for all their hard work. We also went to our parish office and dropped off some brownies for the office staff as well as a box of hot cocoa for our priest with a note thanking for warming our spirit and our soul. Today after school I delivered all the Valentine's, and I've already heard that some people were very touched by our gesture.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

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  2. What a warm and wonderful way to spread love throughout your school and parish! I love the "brownie points" idea, so cute and clever. I think you will enjoy the Valentine book; it really is a terrific telling of this saint's life. My kiddos are always surprised each year when they discover that Valentine's Day really is SAINT Valentine's Day. One of my non-Catholic students today made the comment, "Gee, almost all our holidays come from your Church!" Yep!

    Happy St. Valentine's Day to you and your students,
    Angela

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  3. Thank you for emphasizing the effort the young lad put in to his work with his simple line that showed you how much this story had meant to him. This is what I feel with my students with special needs and do not want to follow school policy by correcting with red pen all mistakes contained within it!! Also wanted to say what a lovely idea Mrs. Decker had in spreading a feel good around her school - every school needs that :-) Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

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