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Saturday, December 08, 2007

The most important meal of the day

This past Monday, we began serving our students breakfast in the classroom. Before this, kids had gone to the cafeteria to eat before school, so that when they arrived at our rooms at 7:45, we could begin the instructional day.

Now, when the kids get to school, they go to the gym and wait until 7:45. At that point, we pick them up, take them to our rooms, and begin serving the grub. The idea is that this is supposed to curb or terminate tardiness issues. I mean, who doesn't want to eat in the classroom???

After a week of trying it out, I have to say it's not as horrible as I had anticipated. At the very least, I haven't noticed any bugs in my room as a result. I am, however, losing at least 15 minutes of instructional time every day. I used to get the kids started on their opening word problem the instant they walked in the door. Now, we don't begin our day until around 8:05.

One perk is that teachers get to eat what the kids are eating. So I have enjoyed eating the yogurt/Pop Tart/honey roll/fruit loops along with a milk and juice.

I do feel like we're throwing away a lot of good food, though. Every kid has to take a breakfast, because that's how we get our Title I funding, but a lot of them don't finish it, and some of them don't even start it! It's the same way with lunch, though, so I guess that's par the course.

Also, since I have crosswalk duty every morning until 7:45, and then I have to go into the front office to use the usually-functioning biometric clock, I am frequently one of the last teachers to pick his kids up from the gym. Add to this the fact that I am unwilling to spend any more time than I have to on breakfast. So my kids have to eat pretty darn fast!

The most annoying thing about it is that I have one student who always makes a mess at his desk. His napkin always remains neatly folded inside the plastic package, while a puddle of chocolate milk and/or enough graham cracker crumbs to choke a zebra sit on his desk. When it's time to throw the trash away, he just throws it all away and makes no attempt whatsoever to clean up his mess. I always have to get on his case about it. Maybe I should start bringing in a rubber baby mat with the Teletubbies' picture on it until he gets the point.

Anybody else going through the breakfast in the room program? My understanding is that all of Dallas ISD is going to be trying it. Share your comments if you can.


IMC Guy said...

Wow, I can't believe that's going on simply for the mess. I've seen our lunchroom in the morning after the kids eat breakfast and it's a disaster.

How does this impact instructional time? There are requirements by the state and it seems that instructional time is now replaced by breakfast.

Have fun with this, I wonder how long it will last.

Mrs. T said...

Could you do some opener stuff WHILE they are eating breakfast?
My daughters' school doesn't have a cafeteria (it's a private school). The kids eat lunch in the rooms- I have to say it works out pretty well in terms of their behavior. I think having so many kids in the cafeteria just asks them to act like lunatics. The teachers have them trained pretty early on to clean up after themselves. Some of them have plastic placemats they use, others have them use paper towels, a couple of classes have the kids bring a dish towel that they take home at the end of the week to wash.
Do the teachers have to pick up the breakfast? Couldn't that be a kid's job?

Mister Teacher said...

Absolutely, I make it a kid's job to pick up the trash after breakfast. I'm usually too busy filling out the forms that go along with the breakfasts.
And I'm very thankful that I don't have to eat lunch with the kids in the room, except for on test days. I desperately need a break from these kids around lunchtime!!