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Carol Perkins: Give child time to play after school

BACK TO SCHOOL ADVICE FOR TEACHERS & PARENTS: "Students love action. I want my grandchildren to have those teachers in every class. Spontaneous and unpredictable but organized! I think of the little fellows getting off their buses and hope they are facing a kind teacher with some lively blood. (Maybe a transfusion could help those who have lost the spark.) Teaching is hard but going to school is harder. The day goes by faster if no one is watching the clock!" - CAROL PERKINS
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Growing tomatoes an adventure

By Carol Perkins

Don't ever think that your child has had an easy day just because he has been in school (doing nothing I've heard adults say) For over six hours (if you don't count the time on a bus), he (she) has been confined. When he gets home please give him some time to play or relax or do nothing. If he has a massive amount of homework (which causes fights and friction) then that needs to happen after a little down time. Think about yourself. If you bring work home from your job, you want to have a cup of coffee, watch the news, mow the yard, or sit in a chair before facing it again. You might even want to talk to your family!



School is an unusual setting for children because by nature, they are not robotic human beings. They grow antsy, tired and wiggle around (even high school kids). That is why they need to move around and stretch! Even teachers at those long and often boring in-service sessions can't sit still and pretend to be engaged too long before they are doodling on a paper, checking their phones, texting or going out of the room. Kids can't do that.

Teachers-don't be afraid to let go a little! I remember when I first started, I was worried about what other teachers thought if my students were "loud" or if I moved the desks, creating noise. Seasoned teachers were all around me who never varied; their rooms looked the same, year after year, and I assumed that I should follow their lead if I wanted to be rehired. I didn't want to be known as a teacher who couldn't control her students, so I started out with rules and regulations. The trouble was that I forgot what they were!

After I got over what I thought I should be (and it took a while), I let go a little at a time without worrying, "Oh, what will Miss So and So think next door when she hears us; she'll think I'm the worst teacher in the building." I thought I should be a robot. "Open your book, turn to page 123, read paragraph one, write what you think it said, turn it in." Oh, my goodness; I couldn't stand it! When I finally broke lose was when I had my own classroom away from the main building in a trailer! With no eyes judging me and making assumptions about my ability to discipline or control, I finally had fun teaching! (Most likely no one was judging me at all!)

Students love action. I want my grandchildren to have those teachers in every class. Spontaneous and unpredictable but organized! I think of the little fellows getting off their buses and hope they are facing a kind teacher with some lively blood. (Maybe a transfusion could help those who have lost the spark.) Teaching is hard but going to school is harder. The day goes by faster if no one is watching the clock!


This story was posted on 2018-08-09 04:29:51
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