As long as it doesn't flood, hail, storm, snow, whatever. Heavens, last year we spent most of field day in a hallway while tornado warning after tornado warning was issued. Such fun. So we shall see if the weather holds and we do indeed have field day. (We have a frost warning tonight, of all things. In May.)
In any case, many of the Seventh Grade teachers have said all along this year that this bunch of kids really, really don't like each other and really, really don't have any team or school spirit. They are a cantankerous group. I've often said that individually, most of the kids are pretty good kids, but put them in groups (or classrooms) and you fell like you're on mile 1,999 of a 2,000 mile car trip with six kids who can't stand each other and who've fought the whole way.
It's been that kind of year.
So on Monday I had The Team talk to their homerooms and get kids signed up for Field Day events. The idea was that I'd take all the names, do a spread sheet in Excel and then make sure that each kid got to do at least one of the events they wanted to do. (It actually works out pretty well this way.) Our kids responded pretty well and we ended up fielding pretty full teams for all the events, including some of the new ones the kids were unfamiliar with. (For the record, everyone wants volleyball, kickball and tug-of-war).
Mrs. Eagle's team, however, had a different response. They pulled all the kids together during seventh period on Tuesday and they couldn't get kids to sign up for anything, even the three most popular events. They were rude, the didn't want to participate, they wouldn't listen, they didn't care. According to Mrs. Eagle, all they want to do on field day is run around and talk with their friends. Participating in the actual events wasn't on their agenda.
So, she went and talked with Coach Cool, who pretty much organizes the whole thing, and told him that we might have a problem. (The fact that we only have two seventh grade teams this year is making it even more difficult, especially since so many of our kids are cross-teamed. There's not a lot of team identity or spirit like their used to be.) Mrs. Eagle pretty much said that unless something dramatic happened, they'd probably end up forfeiting all the events because she couldn't get kids to sign up.
So, The Principal, who we also talked to, suggested that on Field Day, Mrs. Eagle's team dismisses the few kids that did sign up to go to the gym and begin the volleyball tournament, whole the teachers keep the rest of the kids back in class and put them to work on something. She figured that after about an hour of seat work they may actually want to sign up for kickball.
Coach Cool decided to announce that little gem to the PE classes and lo and behold, we had kids crawling out of the woodwork wanting to sign up for events. I needed only a few kids to fill a few empty spots, and managed to get those filled without any effort. Mrs. Eagle said kids were practically running to her room to volunteer to sign up.
So I guess, when the alternative is sitting in a classroom doing worksheets all day, or getting out in the sun and maybe actually participating in a little game of tug-of-war, being outside wins.