For more years than I
It all started with Sue Anderson, my first grade teacher forever friend. When she retired, she passed the pattern to me. Before that, her husband Jerry had helped her create one per student every year. I was extremely jealous of those adorable red mailboxes lined up on that counter top.
Until the passing of the pattern, I busied myself dreaming up new sacks, bags, paper covered tissue boxes, every year.
Nothing came close.
So now the mailboxes are my responsibility, but making them happen takes a team. Meridith Taylor, the most fantastic teacher assistant forever friend ever, helps by cutting out the poster board and paper parts. Vaughn and his guys at the shop cut out and paint the wood bases and craft sticks, then assemble each mailbox before delivering them to my classroom.
I'm sure I have a part or two in the preparation. But I can't for the life of me think of them at this moment.
The boxes are lined up in alphabetical order by first name. (Oh! That's what I do!) As my students pass out their valentines, their job will be easier as they think, "beginning, middle or end of the alphabet".
Some of my prior students, even 9th and 10th graders, have told me they still have their mailboxes.