Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cafeteria Duty ~ blech


I have cafeteria duty this week and I dread it. This group of sixth graders make it such a miserable experience. I have never disliked cafeteria duty before this group. They just do not care. We have tried all our tricks and still their behavior is awful. I don't mind talking, laughing, even a little playing is ok by me. I mean, it is their lunch. But this group has no self-control. 

Some of our teachers are really strict and I have duty with one of those teachers. Our styles conflict. But she is my senior and outranks me. She wants quiet. She wants complete obedience. She has and will never get that from this group. 

Help me? Do you have ideas? Tricks? How can I turn that 25 minutes into a respite for nearly 300 kids and not lose my mind?

14 comments:

tutor gal said...

Ugh, cafeteria duty. I feel your pain.

Is there a way you can start and incentive plan similar to the one that I read from your Athens/Sparta blog? To make it easier, perhaps set up groups by the tables the kids sit at. At the beginning of lunch set up 3 rules, and if the table does not break the rules, they each get a jolly rancher.

You may even have them compete with each other, in that only one table will get a treat at the end. Or, it could be an all or nothing deal, where the entire cafteria gets something if they all behave, but if one table (read: one student) is out of line, then no one gets a treat.

This may be too lofty. I am just trying to shed some ideas....

tutor gal.
tutor-gal.com

Theresa Milstein said...

It may be too late to help you this time, but some schools do recess first and lunch afterwards. They burn off some steam, and some in quieter and are more interested in eating. This has been very successful in my children's school and some of the schools that I've subbed at.

Good luck!

Betty said...

I am reading this late at night and thought it read "belch" instead of "blech". It's really hard when you are partnered with someone who has a different style. Maybe you could plan something special for them if they earn a certain amount of points for good behavior by putting a token in a jar when you return to the classroom for a good day.

Kathy said...

Not being a teacher I have no idea, but I can certainly sympathize with you. A room fun of middle schoolers has to be pretty wild!

Rewards are great, but for kids in these days, I would think it has to be a pretty worthwhile reward.

I would love to hear how things work out. I would be more apt to let them have their fun unless it comes down to serious rule breaking. Good luck!!

Cathryn said...

I don't have any ideas to share with you that others haven't already mentioned...but I'm sending you my thoughts that this week will go smoother than before for you!

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Kelly L said...

Good luck with that... my sixth grader was telling me when kids act up - they have to pick up 20 pieces of trash, write a page of the dictionary, or walk lines during lunch....

Love to you
Kelly

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veterankindergartenteacher said...

Tell that veteran teacher that this veteran teacher said to go buy some ear plugs! You can't get blood out of a turnip. Bless your heart. Kindergarten lunch duty is a challenge but I can't imagine what its like for sixth graders....ack!

Joan said...

Thanks everyone! I survived another week of duty and now have two weeks off. Woohoo!

Urban School Teacher said...

Let them be kids and eat with lots of noise, as long as it doesn't cross the line into chaos and abuse. They need time to unwind and unload. Noise in the canteen is surely better than noise in the classroom?

Gypsy said...

AAARGH! This is the age group my long-suffering Bandmaster/Teacher Hubby will get next year..my sympathies. Some years are harder than others, and endurance is all you have to work with. At least the person 'in charge' is not you, and your superior will be the one that ultimately suffers more.
Next year will be better.
Wonder if these kids will be as bad as the group that graduated in 1998? They singlehandedly caused the early retirement of their principal and superintendent, and they both stated that at the graduation!

Intense Guy said...

I'm glad you survived!!

So... how did you do it? :)

Cheeseboy said...

I fear you're fighting a losing battle on this one. Between the kids and the other teacher, this cafeteria duty might just be the end of you.

Perhaps you could just distract them by hiring a magician to perform while they eat? Or bribe them with food... oh wait.

Great blog, btw.