During the elementary lunch break it is somewhat depressing at times to see a long row of kids playing on their cell phones and tablets. Yes, there are just as many kids playing table tennis. And there is also an equal number playing soccer outside. I recognize that not every kid wants to spend their off time being athletic too. It is sad that some of the kids tapping away on their touchscreens have a few inches of bare belly showing as they sit on those benches. I don’t remember what I did with lunch time during elementary school but I know that in high school it was spent kicking a hackey sack or with a hand full of cards playing euchre.
I have a fundamental problem with punishing kids that are bad with exercise (“You’re late! Take a lap!”) and rewarding people with junk food. (“Let’s have a class party! Cake! Cookies! Soda!”) The subconscious message is that bad people exercise and good people eat junk food. But I had to do something…
Today, in the middle of the row of boys gaming away, there was one girl sitting and reading a book! I did a double-take. I shuffled into Pepper’s classroom, just 50 feet away, and asked her for candy. She always has candy. I told her that I needed to reward the one kid that was reading a book amid all the gaming. She found me a bag of odd candies and I went out and offered the girl a piece of candy “For being the only one reading a book during lunch around all these other students just playing video games.”
The first thing she asked was if her friend next to her – but not gaming on any device – could have one too. This kid is full of surprises! I told her that she could have two and if she wanted to give one to a friend that I was fine with it.
Faith in the future restored. Thank you little girl!
- Posted in: Teaching