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Blog: Rain rain go away....

May 18, 2012

In this unseasonably wet spring weather we are having, pity the poor primary teacher who has to keep their class in again at playtime…

Send them out into the playground regardless, and there’s bound to be some parental ‘feedback’ on wet socks and sudden colds.
Keep them in, and there’s the problem of what to do with them… breaktimes being when most teachers will seize the opportunity to grab a cup of tea, clear away and set out the next activity, and generally take a deep breath while they refocus and recharge for the next lesson.

In these situations, do we regard the teacher as having an absolute responsibility to dispense with their usual breaktime routine and organise an activity to keep the class productively occupied and/or amused? Or do we approve of what increasing numbers of parents are reporting to be the case: that the teacher is simply switching on the television and putting their charges in front of a DVD instead?

Whilst some are understanding of the practice in certain circumstances, many are less so, and feel that it is becoming less of a rarity and more of a general practice. There are certainly parents who strictly monitor or even forbid television watching at home on weekdays, and who are horrified to discover that their children’s educators have lower standards.
Is this a reasonable means of class management within the school day, sparing the teachers from having to work throughout their own scheduled breaks? Or should they regard their working day as running from first school bell to last, adapting to the needs of the children and circumstances as is required?

Do we send our children to school to watch television under any circumstances? What did they do when this was not an option in the past?

The practice is creeping into end-of-term scenarios as well, with the last few days of term frequently occupying the teachers with packing up rather than teaching, and watching a film often being presented on these occasions also as a special treat. But a treat for whom? Is it more for the teachers’ benefit than for the children’s?

Are parents not entitled to expect that their little ones are being taught something up to the last bell of the last school day?


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