Do you let your students eat/drink during class?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by orangetea, May 16, 2013.

  1. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    My school's policy is that students can only have a water bottle during class. However, only a few teachers follow this policy while others are more relaxed about it. (Some teachers allow drinks besides water, like tea or coffee, and other teachers allow food. Some teachers even allow students to have lunch during class!) In the first year that I taught in my high school, I didn't follow school policy and I let them have snacks during class. I regretted this decision, and since then, I have been following school policy exactly. If a student brings in coffee, I have them put it up front and have them pick it up after class. I don't think many teachers in my school follow this policy so I'm wondering if it's too strict. I do drink tea during class, so I'm not sure if it's unfair for the students. What is your policy?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My school's policy is that students may only have water during class. I stick to this policy for the most part. The truth is that if a student is discreet about it and doesn't leave a mess, I probably won't say anything. I pick my battles whenever possible, and this issue just isn't at the top of my list.
     
  4. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    I feel that high schoolers should be able to get through a school day without snacks. They eat breakfast, go to class for a few hours, eat lunch, and have a few more hours before dismissal.

    I also feel the classroom is an inappropriate place for eating. Maybe that's old-fashioned.

    You are working and talking all day long. It's ok to drink tea. If you feel badly about it, put it in an opaque, reusable container.
     
  5. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    My school is a little strange since we don't have a cafeteria and the kids have to eat inside the classrooms. So I can't forbid it entirely. But, if it's not lunchtime, they're not allowed to eat inside my classroom. I usually tell them to go outside to finish or throw it away.

    I encourage water bottles in the classroom.
     
  6. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Sometimes I need a snack, to tell you the truth. Mine don't eat but I wouldn't mind if they did as long as it wasn't disruptive. Some of my students and I do bring in whole class treats though.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Many of my students get on the bus at 5 or 5:30 AM. Lunch isn't until 10:45 or 11:45. If they're eating breakfast at home before they walk to the bus stop, that's a really long time to go without a snack. Even if they eat breakfast here at school at 6:30 (first class starts at 7), that's still potentially 5 hours to go without a snack. I know that I can get grumpy if I don't eat a snack from time to time, and I'm sure my students are the same way.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I'm in elementary school so it's a little different here. We have snack and the kids are encouraged to drink non carbonated beverages all day. We live in a tropical climate and it is necessary to stay hydrated.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I have different rules for different periods. First period, I allow students to have simple breakfasts or breakfast snacks, as long as the food is quiet and stays off of the ground. Sometimes I myself am drinking my coffee or nibbling a bit of breakfast during my first period, so I feel its unfair that I allow myself to do it but keep them from eating anything. They're usually pretty good at keeping things clean anyway. Second period I may allow them sometimes to eat small snacks as well. I understand that some of them rush to school and they may not have enough time to eat breakfast before they get in right before the bell rings. One girl I know lives far away and her sister who drives her also has to drop off a lot of other kids, and she is almost always late, but is the sweetest girl in the world. I allow her to eat.

    Third period is after brunch. There are no excuses to be eating in my class at that time. They just had ten minutes to have a snack and put it away. I don't eat in third period, they shouldn't be either. Besides I've seen too many messes left from them even with that rule.

    5th period is after lunch, so again no excuse. I don't have anyone who even tries to eat in 6th period, so I'm good. I'm always fine with water though, and gatorade most times, though lately I've been seeing gatorade bottles left in my room. If I knew which period was leaving them, I would remove that privilege. But some of the kids just come in from lunch so sweaty and hot because they were just playing some really intensive sports, so I want to allow themselves to keep themselves hydrated and cool.
     
  10. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Officially it isn't allowed at my school, but most of us are relaxed about it, and I know that admin wouldn't care if they observed kids eating in my class.

    My rule is: first time I pick up a single wrapper, piece of food, can, bottle, or anything, nobody has food or drink for the rest of the quarter. If kids want this privilege, they all take responsibility for clean up. They are messy little slobs about everything else, but they are at least good about this.

    Also, food can't be a distraction to them or anybody around.

    Hungry kids don't learn. I also have a big snack box available with healthy stuff from Costco. The Annie's crackers go over well. Some of my kids don't have a lot of food at home, so I want them to have a snack if they need.

    Some kids have lunch at 10 freaking am. Of course they are hungry by 1 pm. Many or most are probably going theough growth spurts. And by the time they get to the cafeteria, they have 15-20 minutes to eat. Less if they buy food and wait in line. Classes start at 7. A lot of kids don't eat breakfast. Once in a while, I make muffins or baked donuts for my first class. They fall on those like a pack of starving hyenas. They are usually even so grateful they remember to say thank you!
     
  11. ChemTeachBHS

    ChemTeachBHS Comrade

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    I let mine eat snacks/ bring drinks for 2 reasons. 1) IEPs and 504s and 2) Some of them don't have a lunch period because they are taking an extra class for whatever reason.
     
  12. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    I let them eat snacks and have drinks in the classroom. But like a PP, if I have to pick up after them, there goes that privilege for the semester.

    If a kid's hungry, they aren't paying attention. I know because the class I have before lunch is constantly whining about how hungry they are. Plus, the cafeteria food isn't that great and while they are more than capable of making their lunch and bring it...some don't. I do have a kid who eats in my room at lunch and her mom brings her lunch every day. Her mom said she only has her for a couple of more years at home and won't be able to do it after that.

    One of my classes lost their privilege this semester and they are hurting now because snow cones are being sold outside at lunch one day a week and they never have time to finish them but they also can't bring them in my classroom. It's really killing them because the class before them is allowed to.
     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I know most teachers at my site completely disagree with my policy, but I allow my kids to snack during class. I do have three simple rules, though: 1. No Candy/Gum 2. No Corn Nuts (the smell nauseates me) 3. No Trash on the Floor!

    I always let them know that if I find any trash whatsoever, the whole class loses this privilege. So far, they haven't lost this extra freedom I give. We all take great pride in our clean/neat classroom.
     
  14. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Our kids are allowed snacks at our discretion. We have may who are out for sports after school. If they eat early lunch, they would go from 10:30 to the end of the day without anything, and that is too long.
     
  15. Linguist92021

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    I let the kids eat, and so far i haven't had issues with it. First period bell rings 5 minutes before the actual bell, the kids come in, sit down finish eating. we have 100 % free lunch for kids + breakfast. We save left over breakfast and give them out during break as a snack. Our kids are hungry.
    4th period comes in after break, which is only 10 minutes, and the get in line to get the food, go to the bathroom, so they often don't have time to eat it. Told them i don't have a problem if they finish, but I don't want trash or distraction. the look on the faces showed how much they appreciated it.

    So it's ok with me, but they know I have the right to suspend this if I have problems.
     
  16. Cicero

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    Our school policy is only for water. Where I did my student teaching, it was a completely different story. Students could have snacks and drinks as long as the teacher was okay with it. I was teaching 1st block and many students were behind on getting breakfast for the day, so I didn't mind. I only had maybe one big mess from this, and the students took care of it so it wasn't an issue for me.
     
  17. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    I allow snacks, but only in snack-sized containers and no sharing with others. As for drinks, only water. Everything else has the potential to get....sticky :unsure:
     
  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Mine often eat breakfast in the room. They have water. Sometimes they'll buy fruit snacks or juice at lunch and eat it in the afternoon.
     
  19. 2ndTimeAround

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    I assigned a detention today because a student snuck some food during class. They know better but choose to disobey sometimes. The detention is less about the food than it is about the insubordination.
     
  20. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    My students are allowed water and that is all during class. I have given a couple students lunch detention for eating during class. That is the rule for them. Do I eat during class, absofreakinlutely. If I am hungry, and I have food, I eat. Plain and simple.
     
  21. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Yes, I let them eat in class. They are not allowed to have unhealthy foods which is a school policy. Anything on the healthy list, I pretty much allow at nearly anytime. It must not interrupt instruction though. 5th graders have been good with this policy and haven't abused it.

    When I taught 3rd grade, I had a set time for snack, and I felt that was more appropriate for that grade.
     
  22. DrivingPigeon

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    I agree with with Peregrin that it depends on the period. I remember being REALLY hungry in the morning when I was in high school. I ate breakfast around 6:00, left the house by 7:00, and my lunch wasn't until 12:30. I think I had 4 periods before lunch, and 6.5 hours is a long way to go without eating! I would sometimes sneak food during 2nd or 3rd period. I was busted once and my teacher yelled at me in front of the class. I wasn't trying to break the rules-I had unbearable hunger pangs that made it very difficult to focus. I would have loved for my teachers to allow snacks.

    In my 2nd grade classroom, we have two snacks each day. School starts at 8:45, and we have a snack at 10:30. They eat lunch at 12:15, and we have another snack around 1:45 (school gets out at 3:20).
     
  23. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I strongly disagree with this. High schoolers are VERY active, and many burn off a lot of calories. A healthy snack is a good thing for many of them. I know when I take classes I do well unless I get hungry (and I am not a heavy man.) I do better at classes with a snack to hold me over and did so also in high school. I don't see any reason to not allow high schoolers to have a snack UNLESS it disrupts the class. Then, I think it is fine to draw the line as learning needs to be a high priority in any classroom.
     
  24. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    We are not allowed to let students eat or drink in class. Eating stems from not wanting ants, roaches, mice, etc in the building. Drinking stems from kids putting vodka in water bottles. But the kids are never more than 30 feet from a water fountain, so they just go whenever they need a drink.
     
  25. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Most of my students eat breakfast at 7:00 before they leave home to come to school. If they are on our last lunch shift, they don't eat again until 1:25. I don't know about you, but when I go over six hours without eating, I get cranky, and I don't do my best work.

    The official policy at my school is water only.

    I let my kids drink anything they buy at the vending machine. I let my kids in my third block eat a quiet, discreet snack during the first five or so minutes of class (11:45-11:50) to hold them over until lunch at 1:25.

    In theory, my students are also working and talking all day, and I feel like if the school sells it, why can't they drink or eat it? (I did change this policy when they added the bagged pickles to the vending machine. No way are they eating that in my class!)
     
  26. physteach

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    I absolutely let the kids eat. I get hungry when I have the longer stretches of class time and I can imagine how they feel. As long as they clean up (which they always do), they can eat whatever they want :)
     
  27. TeacherNY

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    The district I came from did not have an eating policy and it was up to the individual teachers. If the student could prove they did not have a lunch period on their schedule they were able to eat lunch in class and were not penalized if they had to go to the cafeteria to get food and were late to class. They had to clean up after themselves and I never saw it to be a problem. The students who did not have lunch periods usually had full schedules and were good students so they followed the teachers' policies pretty well.
     
  28. cynstv

    cynstv Rookie

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    I allow mine to eat or drink. My rules are simple, as long as it doesn't get in the way of my teaching or student learning, and I don't see any evidence of it after class, I am ok with it. I also make it known that they won't be getting up to go to the restroom, so drink carefully. They use the restroom during their passing periods. I have had very few problems with doing it this way.
     
  29. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Here in Costa Rica schools have snack time around 9am. Then lunch at 12pm. Then coffee time (with a snack of course) at 3pm. Thinking back, I don't know how I ever made it without a snack before!
     
  30. Ms. I

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    The activities I do with kids involves ALL talking & no writing, so it wouldn't be productive at all in their mouths were stuffed with food or drink.
     
  31. 2ndTimeAround

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    How did I ever manage to survive high school when I didn't eat breakfast, had a small salad for lunch at 12 and then stayed for sports or clubs until five or six? We weren't even allowed water bottles in classes then. And you could bet that the A/C would not be working on some of the hottest days! No one passed out, no one died.

    We have five minutes between classes. Plenty of time for a kid to eat a granola bar as he/she is walking to class.
     
  32. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    We don't do snack here which at first was odd for me because its elementary school. But when the kids do bring a snack from home for a field trip or with their lunch I can honestly say I've never seen a child bring in a healthy snack. Sometimes with a lunch they'll have fruit, but their "snack" is always chips, cookies, candy (and not usually an appropriate size.) So I can't imagine what kind of snacks they'd bring in if we did snack in the classroom.

    We have a water fountain in the classroom so they can drink during the day and have no reason to keep a drink at their seats. We always have dry cereal and granola bars in the classroom for "emergency" situations or before testing.
     
  33. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    We have a drinking fountain in our classroom as well, but I prefer them to have water at their desk so they don't have to keep getting up for it. When I did do snack time I required it to be a healthy snack. Am I the best role model of that though, not so much.
     
  34. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Has anyone suggested revisiting school policy?

    Do you check water bottles? Must they be labeled bottles or can kids bring commuter/travel cups?

    Seems there is some vagueness in your policy.


    I teach grade 3. We have a snack mid-morning every day.
     
  35. MissD59

    MissD59 Comrade

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    This isn't healthy. Sorry, but most people cannot skip breakfast, have a small salad, and stay after school for sports practice...ESPECIALLY growing teenagers. Actually, my own mother would have a hard time with this (if she doesn't eat every few hours, she fees awful).

    You could survive like that...but many people can't. To expect that others can is unrealistic. I know personally if I don't eat enough, it's difficult for me to pay attention in graduate classes at night.

    As a teacher, we don't allow kids to eat in the classroom besides snack time...but I teach second grade. Different story. We have a water fountain in the room, and the kids are allowed to drink from it during the day...provided that they aren't getting up multiple times a day to do it.

    In my high school, many of us took full course loads and didn't take lunch. If my teachers didn't let me eat, I would not have been able to eat at all during the day. One year that I did have lunch, my lunch was 4th period...which started at 10:20. That was a long afternoon without a snack. I think that at 17, most high schoolers can judge when they need to eat, and should be allowed to have a snack without teachers dictating when they can and cannot eat.

    That being said, it really depends on the students.
     
  36. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Our rule is they can only use the fountain during transitions, either to their seats from the rug, from the rug to their seats, or lining up to go to prep/lunch. Basically they can get a drink every 20 minutes or so. But rarely do more than 3-5 students get a drink at one time. Except when we're coming in from recess or gym- then everyone gets on line.
     
  37. TheBagLady

    TheBagLady Rookie

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    Hungry kiddos can't focus! My kids are definitely aloud to have their snack at the appropriate time. (No, you don't need your snack yet at 8:30...you should have eaten breakfast) I am also pretty lenient about them finishing their lunches in class (they have only 15 minutes eat!) or chew gum/snack/have candy during testing. It can be an annoyance sometimes, but I think it actually helps them stay calm/focused. I teach SpEd, so any little bit helps.

    I'm a snacker too, so it would be unfair, right?
     
  38. Ms.SLS

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    I teach 7th and high school. I let the high school kids snack, as long as it's not sun flower seeds or passing around a bag of chips. My 7th graders can't seem to so much as blink without getting distracted, so they don't get to snack. If I see a kid quietly munching something out of their backpack, I often will just let it go. It's really more a matter of them being distracted/distracting others than me minding their eating.

    Lord knows I can't make it through the day without a snack.
     
  39. Nichole906

    Nichole906 Rookie

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    I agree with other posters - It is not a battle I want to fight. As long as it isn't a distraction or mess, I don't worry about it. I have had a couple instances this year when I have had a problem with it being a distraction, but not enough to ban food completely.
     
  40. YoungTeacherGuy

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    Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I would be shaky/dizzy if I would've done this as a teen (or even as an adult).

    In all my years of teaching, I've only skipped breakfast once. That was a horrible day. I got a bad headache and I was lightheaded until lunch.
     
  41. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I don't check water bottles, so if it looks like a water bottle, then it's fine. The policy states that the water bottle must be clear, but that's difficult to enforce.

    I think students can snack between periods if they need to, just not during class.
     

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