Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dear School Administrator:

I do not know what posessed you to rearrange the lunch schedule this year so that first graders eat lunch at 12:55 pm. If I thought you even HAD a reason other than the crazy control thing you seem to have going on. And we know lots about control games at our house. Just sayin.

You couldn't have designed a day more difficult for my child. If you had been purposely making scheduling decisions to make her life more difficult, I don't think you could have done it. And I have it on good authority, it is exceedingly difficult for MOST first graders to live this schedule. Not just mine.

You expect my six year old to function in a classroom setting between 8:20 and 12:30. Do you know how LONG that is to a first grader? To focus on work most of that time? The kids are fried way before recess hits.

Recess. Recess is before lunch. This does not work. Jupiter finally gets to run about freely, but by then she needs it so badly she can't control it. And by then she is also hungry. Hunger is not something that ecourages in any way Jupiter making a good decision. She can't. She's spinning and can't stop to make a decision period. Good or bad. Impulse takes over.

So next week, your new plan is to have Jupiter STOP playing twice during the recess time, to check in with the recess teacher to make sure she's making good choices. This is not a good plan. First of all, Jupiter will have no concept of how much time is passing. She won't know how much of recess has passed until the whistle blows to end it. So I don't see her being able to think "Well, 10 minutes of recess have gone by. I should go check with the teacher now." And furthermore, you want her to transition from playing to not playing to playing to not playing to playing. HAHAHA. If she were that able to handle transitions, I would spend a lot less time trying to MINIMIZE transitions.

So after recess, you want her to transition to lunch. See above about transitions. She is supposed to stop playing, walk calmly into the lunch room, sit down calmly and eat. In a big, noisy smelly room which has already been decimated by three previous grades having lunch. Jupiter says she chose her lunchroom seat at the table by the fact that she could put her feet on the bar part of the table leg so she won't have to put her feet on the dirty floor. She can't eat then. She's still mentally at recess. Please note, last year she had lunch at 10:55 and recess after lunch. She didn't have as many problems at lunch OR recess all of last year as she has had so far this year.

So, after completing 16 days of school, my child has actually EATEN lunch three times. One time was last week, after her punishment for fooling around at lunch was eating in the classroom alone with her teacher. One other time, she actually ate her lunch at snack time. So, I guess she's eaten lunch once this whole year.

Then after lunch. An hour and a half left of school, and the kids are so drained from the first three quarters of it that they have no interest being back in the classroom. At all.

So, Mr. Control Freak Administrator, was that what you were going for?