“And please, boys and girls, PLEASE remember to follow the rules or you will be in trouble these last few days of school and you don’t want that to happen.”
I listened to the principal of my school talk over the PA system this morning and I knew what she was talking about. I call it Spring Fever. In all my years of working with children, I have seen Spring Fever hit every year at this time, even when I worked with preschoolers. Kids are ready for a break, they are tired of school, they are looking forward to their vacation plans. They are ready to move on to the next grade or the next school. They are done.
Of course, the silly, happy-go-lucky behavior that comes with this end of the year phenomenon means trouble for kids. Detention is handed out, field trips and other fun activities are taken away. As I head to the playground to do my time there, I stop by the table where kids are writing standards: “I will not (fill in the infraction)” over and over. And over.
(Aside: What IS the benefit of writing standards anyway? Do not get it.)
There are a few more kids writing standards each day with the numbers rising as the days dwindle. I tell the kids to focus on getting their work done because I cannot stand to see them at the table missing their recess ONE MORE DAY. They sigh. And keep writing.
Now, here are my thoughts on Spring Fever (because I just KNOW you’re dying to hear them): Can’t we just give the kids a small break here? ALL teachers and aides know about this end of the year behavior. Why are they surprised when they see it? Teachers are (supposedly) trained to, you know, WORK WITH KIDS. Isn’t part of working with kids finding ways to help them be successful? Ways that don’t include mindless sentence writing? As adults, we are given all kinds of breaks at the end of the year because we too are tired and ready to be done. Can’t we do the same for the kids?
Just a suggestion.