Lunches - What to do?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by gumbita, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. gumbita

    gumbita Rookie

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    Jun 12, 2007

    I will be starting teaching in the fall at a new school. If I go on the other high schools webpages in the district, I noticed they only give 20 minutes for lunch. My question is how in the world students can sit through an entire day of school from 7:15am to 2:25pm and have only a 20 min. break for lunch??? What about the kids who need to buy their lunch - by the time they get through the line they will have maybe 5 minutes to eat! Does anyone else's school do this, and with the school being new, do you think the school will necessarily go along with the district or is it up to the individual school to decide?

    It's frustrating because this school says it is all about the students and they are trying all these new initiatives to increase student success, but then they give only a 20 min lunch break and make school start so early (most likely to allow time for athletics!).

    P.S. Being a new teacher, I know they probably wouldn't listen to me, but I wonder if it would do any good to bring this up.
     
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  3. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I teach in an elementary school and we get maybe 15-20 minutes to eat after going through the lunch line up. Most of my students only need 15 minutes max. to eat. I do eat with my students to make sure that they do more eating than conversating.

    I am sure that high school students will be snacking between classes throughout the day so they won't be starving. Once they get used to short time to eat, they will learn to pick the shortest food line or bring lunch from home.
     
  4. ~~Pam~~

    ~~Pam~~ Companion

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    Jun 12, 2007

    In my MS we have a 30 minute lunch period that covers getting there and back and includes the standing in line. I'd agree that students have about 15-20 minutes to eat. Personally, I eat slow so I take my lunch and something that I can munch while on the move...carrots, apple slices, cheese stick, sandwich, etc. It has taken some adjusting for me!
     
  5. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    That seems about right for most of the high schools around here. I think we maybe had 25 minutes when I was in high school.
     
  6. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    I would NOT rock the boat if you're new. I'm sure there's been consultation, research, etc... involved.

    I know in my HS there were other little weird breaks in the day (10 minutes between certain classes).

    They will be fine. Plus, most kids don't really eat a "meal" anyways. They graze all day.

    Kelly :)
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Jun 12, 2007

    That's all we've ever gotten at our schools. Technically, I think it's closer to 25 because we include getting to and from the cafeteria in that time.

    There are certain days when the lunch line goes more slowly than others, and the lunchroom monitor watches for that so the kids aren't rushed.

    I've found that they need to sit and eat and leave or they find other, not so appropriate, ways to entertain themselves.

    They have plenty of other small breaks during the day.
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 12, 2007

    Well, I've always been one to think students should have time to eat AND conversate during lunch...but it always seems I'm in the minority on that. Just five to eight more minutes...

    My little sister (fifth grade) was losing a lot of weight in first grade when she moved to a new school. I visited her at school one day and discovered why. She went through the lunch line, sat down, opened her milk, ate a couple bites (literally), and...."Line up!" Those towards the end of the line had NO time to actually eat. Ridiculous.
     
  9. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I am one of the few teachers that eat lunch with their students (I have no choice) but from my observations at my school, most of the students who do not eat lunch are those that spend all their time talking instead of eating. Most students only eat their sugary dessert and I am glad that one is not offered everyday. One of our lunchroom monitors got in trouble for making students open their milk containers (they are more likely to drink it if it is open) -- a teacher complained that she was forcing students to open their milk. I can not believe how much food is wasted everyday.
     
  10. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    This is a problem with the lunch schedule or teachers not bringing their students to the lunchroom on time and holding up the lines. Our lunchroom ladies help the students get through the line faster.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 12, 2007

    I say wait and get the lay of the land before you comment. While you are new, the administratin isn't... they're basing this 20 minute lunch on something that has been successful somewhere. Perhaps you're misreading the website. Perhaps they operate on 20 minute "mods" and lunch is 2 of them.

    Worst case scenario: you're right. It doesn't work. They realize it at some point and fix it.

    But give it-- and the administration-- a chance first.
     
  12. gumbita

    gumbita Rookie

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    I guess the reason I had wanted to bring it up is because it is a new school and it doesn't seem like everything is set in stone yet. The administration is really going in a whole new direction from the other schools within the district and even the city, and so I don't know yet if they will do the 20 minute lunches that the other schools do (the highschool I actually attended was in the neighboring district and they did lunch the same way - since the cafeteria was too small and there were too many students, they broke the lunch into A thru E lunch, each one being 22 minutes from the release bell to the tardy bell - I brought my lunch every day and had a hard time finishing - by the time you walked down to the cafeteria, found a table within a sea of hundreds of people, there was no time for "socializing", let alone eating. In comparison, before my family had moved to this area, I went to high school for a year in another part of the state. We had 50 minute lunches and an open campus. We had time to eat, talk, and walk around a bit. I agree with JustMe - kids need that time to decompress. It is unrealistic to assume that children of any age can maintain an attention span for seven hours with only a 20 minute lunch break and 5 minute passing periods (which are actually not long enough either because most of the schools around here are gigantic and overcrowded, and if you have classes on opposite ends, no time for chatting, bathroom, vending machines, whatever) So anyways, I don't know what the administration will decide to do, but I also know I don't really have the clout needed to convince anyone as a newbie teacher :) I just wish someone could give me a very convincing reason why schools have decided to do this in recent years.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 12, 2007

    Things won't be set in stone for years yet. If the adminsitration is any good, they'll never be set in stone.

    In 1987 I changed schools, to a brand new HS. I had some serious doubts about some of their policies, but trusted the order of Catholic Brothers that was opening the school-- my boyfriend was teaching in one of their other schools and they had the reputation for knowing their stuff.

    Twenty years later, and we're bursting at the seams. Did we make some mistakes in those first years? Of course. But the administrators were wise enough to re-evaluate and change things that didn't work, and to improve on those that did. (Oh, and that boyfriend and I celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary in a few weeks.)

    So I guess I'm trying to say this: trust that the adminstration has some clue. Maybe they won't and you'll decide not to stay. But it sounds as though you're already dead set against a policy when it hasn't even been explained to you yet. And, honestly, the length of the lunch period is one of the most minor concerns for any teacher (parents, on the other hand, might be concerned. If it's a real concern, they should be the ones talking to the administration.)

    Concentrate now on the material, your testing, any projects you may want to assign, finding resources and so on.
     
  14. gumbita

    gumbita Rookie

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    Jun 12, 2007

    Yeah, lunch time is probably the least of my worries, but it still gets me! But you are right, I don't know what the admin is planning yet. Our next inservice is coming up, and I actually don't really know anything about anything (I don't even know what time school starts, what I am teaching, what topics I need to teach, what textbook we have, what supplies I'll need, etc..which leads me to my next post....) so I guess it couldn't hurt to ask one of the other teachers and see if they even know.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 12, 2007

    Maybe you could look into getting onto some committee to address this issue discretely? Our school is relatively new (3 years old), so we have been facing similar issues.

    Here we have a committee called the Teacher Advisory Committee (TAC). As a first year teacher, I was super excited to be asked to serve on this committee. We addressed issues important to teachers, like

    What's with all these forms for the same thing? Can we consolidate and just have one?

    I have a problem with one of the deans. Here's what happened...

    The lunch lady is super slow and it takes us 25 minutes to get our food when we only have 30 minutes for lunch, including getting back to our room. (True story.. ugh).
     
  16. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Jun 12, 2007

    Here most elementary schools only get a 20 minute lunch. Most schools have no recess. At most schools, lunch is duty free after school lets out. Meaning at some schools, teachers leave at 1:45!
     
  17. mkirishgirlie

    mkirishgirlie Rookie

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    Jun 12, 2007

    we have 21 min mods... each class is made up of 1 mod (1\2 3\4 etc.) that is all except(sp) for lunch (and homeroom). All freshmen get a 1 mod lunch upperclassmen (soph,jr and seniors) get 2 mods (except (sp again sorry) the days they have guidance(sp) class or triple mod sci. (and\or pe for jrs.)) sorry for the spelling...
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2007

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