Principals must now monitor lunch periods in the cafeteria

jimmurphy

Is this really how we want our Principals to be spending their time??


cubby

Why is this bad? In the district where I work, the principals are usually in the lunchroom. Kids get to know them and they get to know the kids. Principals should be visible and approachable in my opinion.


jmitw

depending on the school, lunch periods could be 2 hours of the day.  I can't see the principal there the entire time every day.


conandrob240

I’d see it as a positive also. Maybe not everyday for the entire time but spending time with the kids, letting them get to know him/her and seeing first hand the challenges the kids face would be awesome. Management by being present. They’d probably learn more in an hour in the cafeteria than sitting in the office for the whole week.


Klinker

Sounds good to me.  The lunch aides at my kids school are disasters.

Is this really going to happen?


jimmurphy

Very surprised by this reaction.  

The requirement is for the entirety of all lunch periods, each and every day. Seems to me our children would be better served if the principals were doing other things such as mentoring and leading the teaching staff so as to provide the best education possible as well as dealing with other school managerial issues.

Call me crazy.


bklyngirl

I think it's a great idea, too.


GoSlugs
jimmurphy said:
Very surprised by this reaction.  
The requirement is for the entirety of all lunch periods, each and every day. Seems to me our children would be better served if the principals were doing other things such as mentoring and leading the teaching staff so as to provide the best education possible as well as dealing with other school managerial issues.
Call me crazy.

  At my child's school there is a serious problem with lunch periods.  Children are exposed to daily bullying and the lunch supervisors at best are useless and, at worst, facilitate the behavior. My daughter who once loved going to school now dreads lunch time.

Getting on top of this needs to be the Principal's number one priority.


susan1014

Until and unless we find a better way to manage our lunchrooms, I'm OK with putting our principals in charge of the problems.  For many years we've seen that the lunch aides are not fully able to manage the situations that come up at lunch.  When children spend their days worrying about lunch or recess, it has a large impact on the rest of their day, and we need someone who is a trained educator overseeing the situation.

My least favorite lunch memory (from a decade or so ago, but not much has changed, based on what my younger children see) was when my special needs eldest was having a very bad day, was very upset in the lunchroom, and the aides didn't really know what to do about it.  So one of them got the attention of the room, and yelled out to ask if anyone here was my child's friend. 

I will always honor the one girl who stood up in friendship for my daughter when she was disruptive, and gave the support that the lunch aid didn't know how to give.  But I remain upset that a lunch aid could be so poorly trained/irresponsible as to put children on the spot like that...can you imagine the blow to a fragile child if no friend had been brave enough to answer that call and take responsibility for a friend's tantrum?

I don't exaggerate when I say that the sorts of things that go wrong in the lunchroom can contribute to the development of anxiety or school-avoidance issues that can lead to expensive out-of-district placements.  If we want to educate the "whole child", the lunchroom and playground are part of that education, and need well-trained oversight.  Maybe we need to create a different way to provide that, but until we do, I'm fine with taking up a big chunk of leadership time, since no one else is available.


Klinker

Does anyone know when the decision was made to outsource supervision of lunch and recess?  It seems to me that correcting this mistake might be a better use of whatever funds are available than the extravagant plans being proposed by the district.


spontaneous
GoSlugs said:


jimmurphy said:
Very surprised by this reaction.  
The requirement is for the entirety of all lunch periods, each and every day. Seems to me our children would be better served if the principals were doing other things such as mentoring and leading the teaching staff so as to provide the best education possible as well as dealing with other school managerial issues.
Call me crazy.
  At my child's school there is a serious problem with lunch periods.  Children are exposed to daily bullying and the lunch supervisors at best are useless and, at worst, facilitate the behavior. My daughter who once loved going to school now dreads lunch time.
Getting on top of this needs to be the Principal's number one priority.

 My son comes home and tells me that the lunch aids are mean and yell a lot.  My son is very easy going and eager to please, not a trouble maker at all, he's actually a rule follower.  And this isn't just a naive mom talking, his teacher always tells me what a help he is, they love him at Sunday school and tell me he is the best behaved in the class, he even gets gushing praise from other parents at play dates, so I know he isn't doing anything to set off the aids.  I don't know if it is insufficient training, or if they're overwhelmed.  I'm not sure that making the principal sit there every day is the answer though.


annielou

This is a great opportunity for the principal to circulate, supervise, and interact with the students in a more informal setting. It’s so important to see children in different contexts when you are charged with leading their educational experiences. 


ElizMcCord

Perhaps it will take a Principal “wasting” hours of their day supervising lunch to give them the push they need to rally and find a workable solution. Making it the Principal’s problem is a good idea. 


yahooyahoo

Based on the stories I've heard from my kids about some of the lunch aides (some are good, some are not so good) I have no problem with this. 

I agree with ElizMcCord that it's probably a wake up call for the principals.


conandrob240
jimmurphy said:
Very surprised by this reaction.  
The requirement is for the entirety of all lunch periods, each and every day. Seems to me our children would be better served if the principals were doing other things such as mentoring and leading the teaching staff so as to provide the best education possible as well as dealing with other school managerial issues.
Call me crazy.

How exactly would they be “leading the teaching staff”during the day when the teachers are in class?

Time with the kids to me is much more important than administrative tasks.



cubby

Teachers eat lunch when the kids go to lunch. The majority of school problems occur during lunch, recess, on the bus, and other less structured times. Great that principals will be present.


jimmurphy

OK, Reading the consensus, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree that allocating 1/3 of the time in the school day for the senior administrator in the building to policing duty is the most productive and impactful use of their time.


Susan’s comments are the most thoughtful as usual.  I understand that in past years the lunch aids were overseen by classroom teachers who gave up part of their lunch hours for a small stipend. This seems like a much more productive solution.


annielou

The mere presence of the principal in the cafeteria has the potential to alleviate the need for “policing”. 


jimmurphy

Mere presence is policing.


And at what cost to the administration of other priorities?


conandrob240

2 hour lunch is 1/3 if a principal’s day?!? Maybe THIS is part of the problem!


yahooyahoo
conandrob240 said:
2 hour lunch is 1/3 if a principal’s day?!? Maybe THIS is part of the problem!

 Principals only work 6 hours a day?  Where do I apply?


annielou

Being with the children is a priority. Greeting them in the morning, sitting with them at lunch, and seeing them off at the end of the day shows care. Other than observing classes, which is the most important priority, what else should the principal be doing?


EBennett

Agree with annielou and others above.  How can a principal know what is going on in her/his school unless they are out of their office?  Lunch is the ideal time to observe students.

I no longer have lunch duty (for which I am very grateful) but I do miss the random exchanges with students and discovering which students were friends (often unexpected combinations).  It provided me with some useful insights into their lives outside of my classroom.

At the high school where I teach all the administrators are moving around during lunch.  Most of the students appreciate the opportunity to have a casual conversation.  You should not only see your principal at graduation and when you are in trouble.


jimmurphy

Principals observe teachers’ lessons, provide feedback to the teachers on those lessons, review and comment on lesson plans, attend and provide input to IEP meetings and meetings with social workers, coordinate the curriculum, coordinate testing, manage staff and student assignments, oversee the custodial and building maintenance staff, provide status reports to their district superiors, interact with students on a daily basis and have myriad other responsibilities.


Physically taking over lunch police duty for roughly 1/3 of the 8-3 school day (excluding time after hours) won’t impact any of that at all? Hmmm.


Ask yourselves if your boss suddenly gave you two more hours of work each day and expected you continue to do everything else you already do if the “everything else” would suffer.


Guess I’m “wrong” on this one. I’m out. 


ctrzaska

Well, for whatever it’s worth, I agree with you.  May as well have them oversee four square disputes.  


There are issues with the aides.  Always have been.  That said, on the other topics of principals engaging, our elementary years were blessed with one who was omnipresent in the halls and within students.  Clearly not all are like this, then. 


Regardless, there are no assistant principals to do this?  That’s who I would expect this to fall on. 


annielou

Obviously time management is essential and there is a way to triage duties. Not everything listed above is done every day or during the school day. The most important part of the job is interacting with students and the adults who are entrusted to teach them.


max_weisenfeld

This is a knee-jerk reaction to a problem designed to appease an outcry, not solve the problem.  If the principals do not have the proper resources to supervise the lunchrooms, putting each school's top administrator in there instead of in their proper position is not going to be a long-term solution, either.  It is a waste of resources. Not saying that using resources to solve the lunch room is the wrong answer, but that this is the wrong resource.


annielou

Simple. Unless you’ve done this you will not see the value. End of story.


conandrob240

not really. I haven’t done it and I can see the value 


Klinker
max_weisenfeld said:
This is a knee-jerk reaction to a problem designed to appease an outcry, not solve the problem.  If the principals do not have the proper resources to supervise the lunchrooms, putting each school's top administrator in there instead of in their proper position is not going to be a long-term solution, either.  It is a waste of resources. Not saying that using resources to solve the lunch room is the wrong answer, but that this is the wrong resource.

This problem has been going unaddressed for years.  I suspect putting the school's top administrators in the lunch room will, at the very least, motivate administration to come up with a viable long term solution.



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