More back-to-school advice

I’d like to tag along with the topic I started yesterday. It was inspired by this article that I had read recently.

The back to school advice teachers want all parents to know

One of the really important things it seems to me is the advice that parents should “Provide nutritious breakfasts and snacks” for students. It seems such simple advice and you may wonder how it rises to this level of importance.

In elementary school, we had a full hour for lunch and I was able to walk home for the break where my mother would have lunch waiting. At secondary school, I started by taking my own lunch and eventually moved to taking some money and buying lunch at school or we’d take the lunch hour and go downtown for our quick breaks. In our current community, it’s not uncommon to see groups of students out on the streets walking to local restaurants or fast food eating places. There has to be something comforting for potato farmers that French Fries are as popular today as they’ve always been.

At school, it never seemed to be a big deal. In elementary school, my mother who worked in the house ensured that there was always something nutritional. At secondary school, we had more independence and that resulted in lunches that were more peer-driven than driven by a desire for the best nutrition. Many of us had our own vehicles and it was a short drive downtown to the pool hall to dine with friends.

It wasn’t actually until I was a teacher at a secondary school that there was another whole aspect to this.

I was fortunate enough to have parents that recognized the importance of a good breakfast and lunch. We always had cereal for breakfast and the ability to go home for lunch in elementary school and had a lunch allowance for secondary.

It just seemed so natural. That’s why I did and what my friends did.

As a teacher, I learned that wasn’t so. We had shorter lunch periods so most students ate at school. In my school, we had Junior Lunch (Grades 9, 10) and Senior Lunch (Grades 11, 12, OAC) and we shuffled through supervision in what we fondly called “pig pen duty”.

It was here while walking around the cafeteria that I realized that not everyone brought or purchased lunches that would sustain them for the afternoon. We would meet periodically as a staff to make observations about dining habits and what students we had observed might have challenges getting that mid-day meal. Our Guidance Department was very helpful in providing assistance or other chances for students to get a good meal at lunch.

Some families were able to openly discuss this with the school but others didn’t. It was a priority from our principal that no student passed unnoticed. There were some families where a little extra help was needed and we had a whole range of tactics to try to help.

Sometimes, it does take some extra assistance and we all know of the challenges and dangers of students going hungry. It gives us an appreciation of all that we had received from our own families.

For most of us, it’s just something that we take for granted. For others, a solid meal may make all the difference in success at school.


OTR Links 09/07/2022

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.