Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Field Day Fiasco

Field Day for the Seventh grade is this Friday.

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.



Linda Fox said...

That was the Stick part of the Carrot and a Stick.

Fern said...

Hm. I left school last year (I'm 17) and skived off every sports day (the only time I ever, ever did that). I hated it. In primary school, when I did go, I would have LOVED to be given the choice to do worksheets or something. There was absolutely nothing I hated more than being made to go sit on the field with no water and no shade in the heat and do nothing all day and be forced to be enthusiastic about the whole thing. Guess I'm a bit different to your kids!

Mrs. Bluebird said...

Fern, no water? Seriously? Our kids spend a fortune on bottled water, snow cones, candy, they get pizza, and a juice, and all sorts of goodies. For some of them it's an all day food fest. And then they get in water fights.

Katie said...

I just wanted to say I love your blog! It provides a lot of laughs to this 7th grade teacher when I've had one of those days at work!

Fern said...

Ok, that sounds pretty different to our sports days! At the 3 schools I went to (infant, junior, secondary), it was always sitting on the field in the sun with no shade and no water. The regular breaktimes were cancelled so we just stayed there. You had to sit with your class, so you didn't get to go with your friends, nor could you actually see what was going on. I assume we must have had lunch at some point but I can't remember ever doing it. Certainly nothing other than what we would have had anyway (packed lunches normally). Water fights obviously impossible as there was no water. The events were compulsory (hence why I just didn't go) which made them a complete waste of time as the people who actually cared were let down by those who didn't want to be doing it anyway. The whole thing was horrendous from start to finish; I never hated anything at school more.