I went to have lunch with PS today, since it is her birthday and I was conveniently not working. The way they run the cafeteria drives me batty. Actually their disciplinary procedures do in general. At least three times while I was there the cafeteria nazi turned off the lights--meaning the kids can't talk. It's their friggin' lunch (half) hour. They are supposed to talk about all the things they aren't supposed to be chatting about while in class. These kids are in school 7 hours a day. They get lunch plus one 15 minute recess. It is absolutely ridiculous not to let them talk at lunch time.
Oh, and if they get in trouble at school, they lose their recess. Even my first graders--and the same last year when they were in full-day kindergarten. If they don't complete their work or have any disciplinary issues they lose recess. Did any of the geniuses who came up with this plan ever consider that perhaps if the kids had a chance to break for a little while they might be able to focus better--eliminating both the slow-work and the disciplinary problems? I am an adult, but I have to stop and regroup (like just getting up from my desk to go to the bathroom or to get a coke) after I have worked for a couple hours. When I come back I am always better focused. And yet we are expecting 6 year old kids to work for 3 hours and lose their only break if they start to get rowdy or work too slowly.
Can they not come up with a more creative punishment than taking away free time. I don't think recess is a reward--I think it is a necessity. And kids have to be able to chat during lunch if you don't want them chatting in class.
Speaking of...over lunch PS informed me that she had to write her name on the board for talking this morning. Honestly, I could not give a flying flip--she never, ever gets in trouble. It kind of makes me happy that she was misbehaving a little bit and not being miss goody-goody. (I know that sounds weird, but PS is very into following the rules, so much so that it almost makes her sort-of socially awkward.) I was also pleased that she felt ok telling me this--and not freaked out that she was going to be in trouble. I just told her to stay out of trouble for the rest of the day so she didn't lose any recess time. (I mean, I can't tell her that I didn't care that she got in trouble at school--I had to maintain my mom face, but I didn't make a big deal out of it.)