What's the purpose of having children line up?
When I taught, I ran a fairly informal classroom. However, minimum standards were expected… lining up properly when we had to go from one area to another was one of those standards. I’d rather be a leader than a herder, anyway.
Our local primary school (4-11 yr olds) has two methods of getting the kids in after break and lunchtimes. In both cases a bell is rung to signal time to go in. For the younger ones (age 4-7yrs) the bell signals them to stand still where they are, then the supervisor calls the classes off one by one and the children walk in from wherever they are in the yard at the time. For the older ones in the Junior yard (8-11yrs) the bell signals them to stop where they are as above (the beginning of the calm-down signal), then a call has them lining up by class. The lines then go back into school one by one. From time’s I’ve been in school in the daytime the classes move around in fairly neat weaving lines (it’s an open plan school with small classrooms, and as much floor area for communal activity space as there is for classrooms, and kids must walk through the communal chairs and tables to get from one classroom to another). In fact the kids seem to enjoy the sense of order and purpose in the lines… I don’t recall either of my sons having any problem at all with this method in their years there. — Pat Winstanley Turnpike evaluation. For information, see http://www.turnpike.com/
I offer two main reasons that I do not like for them to touch the wall…
When I was in 7th grade, a classmate had one-third of her pinky ripped off because she was walking along runnning her fingers along the wall. Her finger got caught in loop that was sticking out (where a padlock would normally go) from an unoccupied locker, and as she was startled and tried to pull it free, she fell down. Ouch! – Ron Low Levity is the dearth of gravity. Brevity is the height of clarity.
When students drag their hands on the wall or scoot leaning against the wall along the hallway, … artwork on the walls is usually destroyed.
Oh, I get it. It’s a *geographic* thing. I went to elementary school in Florida, where the hallways were outside, rather than enclosed. There was no artwork on the walls. It was just plain red brick. No one ever told us not to touch the walls. Elisa Collins Mommy to Steven 5/24/95 and baby-new due 2/11/97 Opinions expressed herein are my own and may not represent those of my employer.
why does it have to be so mellow and formal?
How about to respect classes which may be in session. If every kid tries to have a conversation, the noise would disrupt the school. – Ron Low Levity is the dearth of gravity. Brevity is the height of clarity.
I have questions about both of these posts. I understand the inportance of lining up. I wish my 7th graders could line up as well as your 1st graders seem to. Whats wrong with a body part on the wall? A finger? Are they allowed to ‘march’ in the line? Drag their feet and stomp on their shins? I can unserstand the purpose of a line, and for there to be no pushing and shoving, but why does it have to be so mellow and formal?
Ordinarily, when you must take a class of students from one part of the building to another, you do this while other classes are still in session. Therefore it is important for the class in transition to be quiet and not disturb the rest of the school. When students drag their hands on the wall or scoot leaning against the wall along the hallway, several problems emerge: first, there is usually a dirty, oily track at about their shoulder/hand height along the wall that is unsightly. Second, artwork on the walls is usually destroyed. Third, if they are leaning against the walls as they pass a doorway, they’ll probably get creamed by the next person to exit a room! Although you can’t turn kids into little soldiers, it seems indicative of the problems of the day that the less formal our schools are, the more disrespectful, slovenly, and frightening our students have become. Maybe the order is actually reversed, and the schools have become less structured in response to a seeming inability to manage students. Whichever is true, formality and respect are ingredients that work together in a society that values the teacher as much as the lessons. When I taught, I ran a fairly informal classroom. However, minimum standards were expected… lining up properly when we had to go from one area to another was one of those standards. I’d rather be a leader than a herder, anyway. Karen
No disrespect, but in the midst of all this sugar-coated, tell-me-how-you-feel-about-your-misbehavior Mr.Rogers Happy Sunshine Day, is there any time left for actual school related lessons ? Gee, we’d love to learn some multiplication today but instead we’re going to have an empowerment encounter group to discuss Johnny’s feelings about pulling Sara’s hair. Am I totally off center and living in Bedrock, or is this gone too far ?
Terrific Answer!! Trinbabe "I’Fave"
I agree totally. As well, it teaches children about rules, self-discipline, etc. I work in a school, and believe me — if every line of children that went down the hall were allowed to talk at will, the din would be unbelievable!!! As well, if children all touch the walls and things on the walls, things get destroyed (including other children’s work). Children need to learn to keep their hands to themselves, to be quiet when asked to be, and to move from place to place orderly. It doesn’t mean military-precision by any means, but just a matter of self-control. In a situation that actually requires alot of self discipline (escaping a fire for example) you want the kids to be able to do what they have to do as automatically as possible, without distraction. Perhaps there isn’t anything wrong per se with touching the wall, talking a bit, etc..but in a period of high stress you want the rules of behaviour as simple & direct as possible, to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. Chris — "Don’t ever throw away your tomorrows, worrying about your yesterdays" Dr. J. Elders, quoting from her mother on As It Happens.
- Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – Whats wrong with a body part on the wall? A finger? Are they allowed to ‘march’ in the line? Drag their feet and stomp on their shins? I can unserstand the purpose of a line, and for there to be no pushing and shoving, but why does it have to be so mellow and formal? —Linda I offer two main reasons that I do not like for them to touch the wall (in fact, I like for them to be about a foot away from it). 1) I try hard to help the children respect the school and keep it clean. I used to be in an older school where the walls were FILTHY about two and a half feet up all along the length of the halls…guess why. 2) We display a lot of the childrens’ work and art in the hall and touching the walls often ends up meaning taring or maring another person’s work. Simply stated this is disrespectful. However, I do allow them to smile, even smile along with them most of the time : (I tolerate a fair amount of foot dragging and wriggling too, you would probably have fun in our class, the kids seem to)
Your reasons are understandable. I never thought of that before. (I have a habit of being critical of rules sometimes, and thats why I look for reasons behind them.) —Linda
Exactly… A lot of times we do things that seem "petty" i.e. not allowing a child to touch another child in line. However, there are times when self restraint is extremely important. We want the kids to be able to practice it when necessary.
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