report the [serious] problem?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Bored of Ed, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Dec 12, 2008

    At one elementary school I observed in, the indoor recess when the weather was nasty was completely inappropriate, in my opinion.

    First of all, it was in the auditorium. Recess, which is usually outdoors, should be an opportunity for kids to run around a little. There is no way for that to happen safely in an auditorium. The gym would be more appropriate. I understand that there are logistical difficulties with the schedule, but I personally think it could probably be worked out somehow and is certainly worth it. Also, it is diffucult to manage a recess situation in the auditorium.

    Secondly, a movie was playing (on a huge projection screen) and the lights were off. I don't consider that a wholesome recess activity. This is the kids' time for socializing and playing. They can hardly do that with the lights off, and don't even have an interest in doing it when there's a movie on. Furthermore, if it's hard to manage recess in an auditorium, it's absolutely impossible to do so with all the lights off! You wouldn't even see trouble brewing!

    Third, the movie was playing at a dangerously loud level. This raises several more concerns. First, it is really dangerous to kids' hearing. The thing was so loud that I couldn't hear my own raised voice. Second, if darkness discourages socialization, such loud noise completely precludes it. Third, and probably most important, if supervision was difficult with the lights out, now you can't even HEAR trouble brewing! Kids could be in a screaming match a few rows away and you would never know!

    I am told that this is the routine arrangement for every time it is too wet or cold to go outdoors for recess. With winter weather starting already, I anticipate this will be happening quite frequently.

    I'm only a student teacher. What can I do?!
     
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  3. elizak83

    elizak83 Companion

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    I'm not sure what to do....but I find that rather odd too. Does 1 grade level have recess together? Whenever it's wet and nasty out we have recess in our classrooms. Yes, it does get to a rather loud "indoor recess" talking level but we deal with it. The kids have board games and art supplies to use during that time.
     
  4. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Have you ever had to amuse 150-350 elementary school students for 15 minutes in the gym? THAT is dangerous. In fact, its so ridiculously dangerous that its not allowed - at least not in the division in which I work, or in any of the previous division I have worked in.

    Next - you try finding an activity for all of those students to do outside of the gym, where the teachers who do not have supervision duty can get their 15 minute break -- which in my division they are contractually intitled to. So you only have two to four people on supervision.

    You've got kids from Kindergarten to Grade 5, 6, or 8 at many schools. How on earth do you find an activity for all of them to do?

    We do indoor recess in the hallways. Kids have books, and are supposed to read or do homework. As for the noise level, that's something I might ask about, but as for the rest, I'm sorry, but until you have a solution to offer that falls in line with policy, supervision numbers, and student numbers, oh and you're a member of the staff - its not your place.
     
  5. sk8enscars311

    sk8enscars311 Companion

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    Dec 12, 2008

    I would like to think a student teacher has plenty of say when it comes to safety. I think you'll want to avoid completely bashing something only because you don't want your student teaching experience to be tense and stressful, but I don't think making a few suggestions would hurt. Like, telling them you're concerned about the noise level of the movie and maybe they could dim the lights instead of turning them completely off. What a nightmare to think of a dark auditorium filled with elementary aged children with noise so loud you can't even hear yourself. I'd excuse myself and go sit somewhere else. Maybe even talk to a few of the students and ask how they feel about it. They may tell you the same thing... maybe it's giving them headaches.. or they're getting bullied physically during that time.

    In my old school, if recess was indoors, the classroom teachers would take their own class back to the room and have engaging activities for the kids to do. Like puzzles, blocks, board games, art activities etc. Or two teachers would take turns covering each others classes. Both classes would watch an educational movie with Teacher A for the first indoor recess then with Teacher B for the second and so on.

    I think you have every right to be concerned. Half of your title is indeed "student" but the other half is teacher and you are expected to do every other thing and take on every other responsibility that a regular teacher does. So why not? They'd be fools not to at least hear you out and turn down the movie and turn up the lights.
     
  6. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Dec 12, 2008

    I think this was something the staff deciding on in order for teachers to get their break/prep. I agree, it will be dangerous to have all those students in the gym at the same time. In some of my old schools, we would blast music through the intercom system and have the students walk around the school hallways(in the same direction:D). That way the students could walk at their own pace and chat with their friends as they got some physical activity. The teachers on recess supervision just placed themselves throughout the hallways.
     
  7. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Hm. I see how the gym could be an equally rotten idea... though it didn't seem to me that so many kids had recess in each shift, the gym does pose its own problems.

    But still -- what about the auditorium without the movie?! Kids could still socialize, play games, read, or just chill out. It is their only half hour free out of the whole school day. (The movies are not even educational in the least. This is pure entertainment. I don't think I'd be happy about it even if it were educational, but this is even worse)

    sk8 -- A student teacher, from what I understand, has no say in anything. I do feel that I have a responsibility to do something, but on the other hand I'm afraid that raising issues would affect the likelihood of getting hired. I wonder if there's a way to do it anonymously...
     
  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I don't see the actual "serious" part of it. I can see a lot more issues in a gym full of kids than in a room full of kids sitting down.

    If it's their recess time, then a "fun" movie is perfectly fine.


    I teach middle school, and our kids get "recess"--although we call it "break"--every day for 15-20 minutes. In warm weather they go outside--all 200 of them at once. (Each grade goes out at a different time.) In rainy/cold weather we have it in the classrooms or hallways. We play movies, turn out the lights, and the kids still socialize just fine. Some sit in the hall and talk, read, or play games if they don't like the movie. We have no options to use the gym because it's being used for PE classes.

    You might could mention something about the lighting or the volume, but other than that I'm not seeing an issue.
     
  9. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Dec 12, 2008

    When we have indoor recess, we always go to the gym, and it is complete and utter chaos. I hate it. I loathe the days I have noon duty on indoor recess. My suggestion, which is what we did at my student teaching school, was to have 3 rooms-convenient since we have 3 grades at recess at a time-be used. One room is the work room, for homework/reading. One room is board games and quiet group games, and the last room is a movie. Granted, the movie isn't exactly "moving activities", but sometimes you have to work with what you got.

    We tried it once, and the kids loved it. My fellow teachers, however, didn't like to change-so we're back to chaos in the gym. :dizzy:
     
  10. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Ima -- My problem is a) the safety concerns within the movie room, and b) the kids do not have an option of being out in the hall to talk, read, or play games.

    KCJO -- That does sound like a good system, but space is probably an issue. I don't know if there are three rooms available, but it is definitely a great suggestion. Perhaps two areas could be established, one for the movie and one for other activities. Either way, the lights have to go up and the volume has to go down whenever movies are shown! The lighting and the volume are my two biggest concerns because of the safety and management problems they pose.
     
  11. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Dec 12, 2008

    I was so afraid as I read your post that something actually had happened! Whew, sounds like the potential for a castrophe. Surely your P is aware of what's going on.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    As I mentioned earlier, fix the light and the volume. Those are easy. I don't see any "safety" issues other than those.

    As far as location . . . as another poster said, sometimes you've just got to work with what you've got.
     
  13. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    OK, so we are all basically agreed that the volume and lighting needs to be adjusted. So now I'm back to my original question: How can I help that happen without jeopardizing my reputation?

    (btw, I already feel like I'm a bit in the way. They didn't ask for student teachers, just agreed to let me come in. So I really don't want to look like an issue-monger... even if I may be one ;))
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Maybe you could say something like, "Does that seem loud to you?" Or even, "I don't see how you all see in here."
     
  15. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    Well...I personally would not say anything to any of other staff members and admin of the school you're student teaching in. Don't create a potentially career damaging situation for yourself. I would figure out some way to anonymously send an e-mail or letter to the district-level admin and let them know that you observed in the school (don't tell you were a student teacher, just say you observed) and you have concerns regarding indoor recess.
     
  16. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Dec 13, 2008

    I would say with the position you are of student teacher you should be very cautious about saying anything about it. For all you know the teachers have been fighting the administration for years to allow a personal break during recess and this was the solution they all came up with. The staff will be really mad if suddenly their break is gone because some student teacher freaked the administration out and caused the admin to pull the solution. Basically a student teacher does not have the job of interfering in school wide agreements. A student teacher who does that would limit her/his opportunity to get hired at the school at which he/she did that.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    To be honest, I'm not sure just to whom you would report it. I'm assuming that the procedure is one that the other teachers and the principal are already aware of; the principal or his predecessor probably set it up.

    Realistically, what are the altermatives?

    They can't go outside.

    The can't all be in the gym. Aside from the number of kids, isn't the gym already in use for gym classes?

    Being in the hall to hang out will quickly become tag, which will probably get someone hurt.

    I agree: what you have isn't ideal. But I think that, volume aside, it's probably the best from a set of not-so-great alternatives.

    It's also what I remember from my own elementary school days. If it was too cold or rainy to go out, we watched a movie. No, it wasn't exercise. But it was a break from the school day, and no one got hurt.
     
  18. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I think that something simple like mentioning to someone that you think the volume might be a little loud is all that you can do, and may be effective without making anyone mad... as for the other things, I wouldn't call them serious either.
     
  19. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    MOST high level admins I know, will not do a THING about annonymous emails or calls as they have no way to really file any kind of report with that - they need specific information.

    Second of all, to me, that's sneaky, underhanded and just plain wrong. According to my union's Professional Code of Conduct, a student teacher (who is bound by the Code) could lose their chance to beceome a certified teacher if they were caught. We have to bring up concerned first with individual teachers before we take it to the next level.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I've said it before here and here it comes again:

    If you have a legitimate complaint, sign your name to it. Anonymous complaints lose all credibility.
     
  21. 1stesl

    1stesl Rookie

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    Dec 13, 2008

    When the weather is too bad outside, we keep our students in our rooms. We either let them play games or watch a movie. Often times I turn off one set of lights and keep the other set on so that students that want to can either read or draw.
     
  22. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Dec 13, 2008

    When I taught in NYC they would do that EXACT same thing during bad weather... maybe you are at the school I taught at!

    Of course, a lot of schools probably do that. Maybe the volume is so loud so the kids won't talk through the movie... problem of course being is someone NEEDS to talk.

    I can see a movie being a brain break for the students. Just letting them do nothing for awhile. Last year I had 10 minutes for my class where I dimmed the lights and they could read or draw. They did that after recess. I called it "downtime."
     
  23. Sheba

    Sheba Companion

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    Dec 14, 2008

    Sounds difficult.
     

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