Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Today I was thinking to myself about my future classroom, and I was wondering how many people still think it's OK to decorate their classroom for the holidays? I know when I was younger we had Christmas and Halloween parties but then in second grade or sometime they were changed to Fall and Winter celebrations. We had religious neutral celebrations, which I'm sure most public schools do today. Of course that means Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc. But today I began thinking what about other holidays such as Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day? Isn't Valentine's Day named after a Christian saint after all? I remember having full out Valentine's parties in elementary school and some might think this is more of a topic for elementary teachers but I would like to decorate my classroom someday and I'm just not sure if it's appropriate to go around hanging up window cling conversation hearts or if I should stick with something neutral like snowflakes. Even a simple bulletin board like THIS could that be considered inappropriate? St. Patrick's Day is considered a religious holiday to some as well yet I remember teachers decorating for that holiday when I was in school. Or another idea- not merely decorating for the holidays but even planning a lesson around a holiday.

Anyone have any thoughts on this subject, is it appropriate or should we leave the construction paper conversation hearts at home?



  1. I have this issue currently, being a CA. I have many different types of religions present on my floor, just as you will in a classroom. What I do, instead of focusing on "Christmas" or "Halloween" is to put up decorations that go with the holiday, but are not IN YOUR FACE. For example, for Valentine's Day I did pick-up lines. I even made them Harry Potter Pick-Up Lines, because its more fun, but you see my point. For Christmas time I had snowflakes, a snowman, and lessons you learn at this time of year: "don't stick your tongue on a flag pole." It still is fun, don't be discouraged, and for sure do not leave your paper conversation hearts at home!

  2. There are way too many religious celebrations to be able to cover them all, especially if you're not versed in every religion in the world. For all we know, Scientology could have a special day and we just don't recognize it. However, St. Patrick is also the patron saint of the plague, so it's not totally a happy go lucky holiday for everyone. Decorating with either as much representation or as neutral as possible is about the best you can ask for, as decorations are always fun, but can also land you in some trouble if students or parents complain.