You can tell by the title how this post is going to go.
I love my job. I really do and it is that fact alone that gets me through my least favorite hour of the day-11:30 to 12:30. Lunchroom duty (oh joy). My two comrades and I join forces to guide a room full of elementary school children successfully through a meal. It can get a little crazy. Let me break it down for you…
11:30-11:40-Grades 1, 2 and half of fifth enter the lunchroom (approximately 90 students). Main Focus: getting those student buying lunch safely to table without spilling said lunch on themselves or others; insuring that first graders don’t try to squeeze 8 students on to a bench meant for 4 (“Everybody scooch down! Joey’s elbow is in Eric’s Mac and cheese!”)
11:40-11:45- Open various packs of ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, etc. Clean up spills. (“Sit back down. Don’t touch his food. Please don’t play with your food!”) Open milk cartons, spread cream cheese, peel hard boiled eggs..you get the idea. And on a side note, if I ever get a hold of the guys who invented yogurt in a tube and juice in a bag, we are going to have some words!
11:45- Hold up the quiet sign to get students attention. Flash lights to get students attention. Say “BOYS AND GIRLS” really loud to finally get students attention. Allow those purchasing ice cream that day to form an orderly line. Quickly move. Clean up more spills. Open more packages. (“Finish up your food before you eat your ice cream. No blowing bubbles in your milk! Sit down.”)
11:55-12:00-Hold up the quiet sign again (see above). Call students by tables to throw away trash and line up. (“No running! Face front! Pay attention!”) Accept hugs from happy first graders as they head for the playground. Check each others’ backsides for sticky hand prints.
12:00-12:05– Bask in the peace and quiet while our saint of a janitor cleans up the rest of the spills and empties the trash.
12:05-12:30- Do the whole thing all over with the 3rd, 4th and the other half of the fifth grade. Basically the same routine but with less spills and more drama.
Lucky for me, the next hour of the day is my own lunchtime. I go home to my nice quite house with my nice quiet cats and read a book….quietly. After that I can face the afternoon. I really can’t complain though. On top of all those hugs, I get to hear some pretty cute stories and now and then someone offers to share their cookies. How can you not love a job like that?!