Whatever happened to …

… skipping to school?

Part of the dog’s and my morning walk routine involves going by the elementary school that our kids went to. Typically, we buzz by around 7:30 and the only inhabitants appear to be the caretaker, a few eager teachers, and the people at the latchkey program.

When you walk the same path day after day, it’s not hard to pay attention to detail. It would be a long lonely walk if it wasn’t for looking at things and listening to music or podcasts on my headset.

The other day, we noticed a pickup truck stop in front of the school and two students emerged. It was a nice warm (for April) morning so we were a bit surprised when we saw the kids go along the sidewalk into the school. I would have had a seat in a bench somewhere and enjoy the sun! But, one of the students literally ran to the door and the other one followed skipping along. Once the mother dropping them off noticed that they were safely inside the school, she was off.

Now, my background is in the secondary panel and I don’t ever recall a student skipping to get to school. And, the only time I recall seeing any student running was when it was raining and, of course, appearances are everything!

Usually, they come to school like they’re walking the last mile.

So, there has to be a change in attitude somewhere.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

  • do you ever remember skipping your way to school?
  • have you ever seen a student skip to school? At what age?
  • what’s the oldest student you’ve ever seen do this?
  • do you have a theory as to why attitudes change?
  • if you’re reading this blog post, chances are you’re a teacher. Have you ever skipped to school?
  • what can schools do to keep the happiness (and the skipping) alive?

I’d be most interest in your thoughts on this topic. Please share them in the comments below.

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If you read it anywhere else, it’s not original.

Published by dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

5 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …

  1. Oh. Doug. This one totally choked me up. Yes, of course, I skipped to school. I lived a block and a half away, and skipping to school just seemed like the thing to do. When does it end? When someone tells you you’re too old to be doing it, or laughs at you for doing it, or doesn’t want to hold your hand and skip with you. I don’t think it has a lot to do with where you’re going – I used to skip to other places, too, including home from school – I think it has more to do with being in an age and space where the world is full of wonder.

    The other thing to remember is that some kids may run to school because it’s the safe, stable place in their life.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Doug, I loved skipping to school, and as an elementary teacher, it makes my heart happy to still see kids skipping. I wonder if the skipping stops because we’re always so concerned about how kids move around for safety. Big, open hallways are perfect for skipping. When I saw a student at my last school (Grade 3, I think), skipping down the hallway, I couldn’t stop her, as she looked so joyful. But someone else did, as we need to “walk in the hallway.” Is walking always necessary? Can kids safely move by skipping? I wonder if a reframe on this thinking might keep the joy alive for longer.


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  3. The two of you make me want to go skipping myself. Of course, I’d the sort of clod that would trip and fall on my face. But, it is an expression of joy that somehow just goes away. thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  4. Skipping is an interesting form of locomotion. Rather than both legs pushing forward, there is a forward movement that results from kicking forward. When I think about which is easier, skipping seems to require energy in a different, more-accessible form than running–perhaps an easier, more balanced movement? With running, part of the forward movement involves a significant forward lean, requiring one to keep the feet moving forward so that one doesn’t fall flat. You can stop skipping pretty quickly. Running, not so easily.

    There’s no doubt that there’s an inverse correlation between the amount of skipping done and the mental age of the skipper. I think a lot of it has to do with perceptions of who skips and who doesn’t, also factoring in a significant gender bias. While it would be very easy to get a good sample of skipping kids from a kindergarten class, it would be a real challenge once you get into the intermediate grades and beyond.


  5. Skipping requires some coordination that I never thought about until the year I taught kindergarten. I found they needed me to show them & then push them to practice. I love to skip!


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