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To not want my child litter-picking during school time?

(152 Posts)
WhistlingNun Wed 09-Jan-13 17:31:10

I probably am being a bit U and precious about this, but right now i'm feeling like i'm in the right. i'm sure you lot will sort that out though... wink

One class in the school is chosen each week (and two children from that class are chosen for the week) to stay in the yard 10 minutes after the lunch bell and help the janitor pick up rubbish. One of the children get a litter picker while the other gets a bin bag.

My 5yo dd was one of the lucky two today. She came running out at hometime all excited about how she got to use the litter picker upper thingy. One of the mums beside me overheard and laughed saying it was her son's turn last month. i was confused (hadn't heard of it before) so the mum explained the class a week (as i've explained above) etc.

I just don't really like the idea of my dd missing out on class time (albeit ten minutes) to assist with something that the lovely janitor is being paid to do. The children don't get rewarded or anything. After it's done, they're sent back to class again.

When i was at school, we only had to help with the litterpicking if caught littering.

I'm sure if a child is set against it and refuses, the teacher would just pick another child. So i don't know why I'm feeling like this since DD enjoyed it. And i make her do small chores at home (tidy up toys etc).

So... AIBU? Would you be happy about this? She's got to do it all week!

pingu2209 Wed 09-Jan-13 17:48:21

I work in a secondary school and the children are dreadful at littering. It is not just the dinner hall covered in lunch wrappers etc. it is the whole school.

The children are asked to help clean the litter up as a punishment every now and again.

However, the children very much see it as the cleaners and janitors jobs and are increadulous that they are asked to clean up their own mess.

It is a cleaner and janitor's job to clean the school of mess that is 'reasonable'. However, if there is a lot of litter because children have poor behaviour, then they children should be made to clean it up.

HugoDarling Wed 09-Jan-13 17:49:34

YAB very U.

CheCazzo Wed 09-Jan-13 17:51:37

Have you read the OP pingu? The litter picking in this instance is not a punishment.

WhistlingNun Wed 09-Jan-13 17:52:03

You sound like someone I know who complained that her dd had had to make beds and assist with the cooking at guide camp! I feel sad when I see threads like this. What's wrong with all the children helping to keep their school tidy?

I'd definitely not object to this (except the cooking part - she's 5).

She makes her own bed at home.

It's just the missing out on class i don't like. She already struggles in class and i just think that these 50 minutes are really important, and should be spent on her reading/writing/numbers instead.

But it's just a week. I'm sure i can manage to put my feelings of unease aside.

And i would never dream of complaining to the school about this or telling them dd is not to be included. I'm not that nutty.

KobayashiMaru Wed 09-Jan-13 17:53:49

She's 5. What do you think she is going to miss out on in class in those ten minutes? Trigonometry? The special theory of relativity?

You're being daft.

I'm Quite Old Now - but we had Wombles in primary school...a whole week of picking up litter. To be a womble was the besht thing evah.

...underground, overground, wombling free, the wombles of wimbledon common are we, making good use of the things htat we find, the things that the everyday folks leave behind...

I still have a crush on Tomsk. And, don't litter.

HugoDarling Wed 09-Jan-13 17:54:47

But look how proud and happy she was to be picked, and have that little bit of responsibility. Let her enjoy school just now and when she's older you can worry about her actual lessons.

HawthornLantern Wed 09-Jan-13 17:55:32

It sounds as if your daughter is really enjoying her responsibility - taking pride in it even - and it actually reinforces the sense of responsibility you seem to be trying to instill in her at home.

So in the first place it looks as if she's learning something good - and something that gives her (hopefully) a sense of her place in a wider society. And in the second place - in the gentlest possible way - she's missing only 10 minutes a day. Not an entire afternoon or even a full hour all at once - her teachers will ensure she's not missing any vital instruction or excluded from, or confused by any afternoon project. If she had an illness that kept her off school for a week, she'd miss a lot more but her educational success wouldn't be in jeopardy because of it - her teachers would help her catch up then too.

somewheresomehow Wed 09-Jan-13 17:55:38

YABU how is she going to fall behind if she misses out on ten whole minutes of class time. precious muchly im afraid

she doesn't drop litter either, so none of it is really her mess

But isn't that quite a selfish way of looking at it....I mean, we all need to pitch in and sometimes that means picking up after other people. My dad always told me to leave a place cleaner or tidier than it had been, even if I hadn't made any mess myself....and it's no bother.

We used to be pulled out of lessons to do steel pan lessons (blardy useless!), inc. Maths which has always been my weak point, much more so in primary school.....didn't hurt me in the long term though. If your DD is still struggling by the end of the year it won't be because of this week.

WhistlingNun Wed 09-Jan-13 17:58:31

Well today is the day her SALT teacher visits, so she would have missed ten minutes of that. The SALT teacher comes 1pm (straight after lunch)-2pm.

I'm just a bit uneasy about her missing anything during class time. Whether that be from a song to her 'Mandarin' lesson.

I appreciate them wanting to teach the children responsibility, but i wish the litter-picking was done during luch time instead of after it. DD hates lunchtime and just wandering around the yard, so this would have given her something to do this week.

Bakingtins Wed 09-Jan-13 17:59:07

YABU - it's only once in a blue moon and it's good for the kids to take some responsibility for keeping their environment tidy.
I help at the school gardening club and am usually on litter picking duty as I have 2 yr old in tow and it's where he can do least damage. It's the first thing all the kids want to volunteer for.

HawthornLantern Wed 09-Jan-13 18:00:54

Ah, I crossed posts. I see you are already worried that your daughter is struggling - I can see that might make you a bit anxious.

I still think the litter thing is a good idea - it can still gives her a sense of being successful and good and maybe that why she was picked just now - to give her a little stimulous with a change and a boost?

But if you are worried about her development, why not have a quiet chat with the teachers to see if there are any suggestions that you might not already know about on non-stressful and ideally fun ways (for you and her!) of supporting her at home with all the reading, writing and 'rithmatic?

CarlingBlackMabel Wed 09-Jan-13 18:02:37

"to assist with something that the lovely janitor is being paid to do."

5 year olds in school are learning through all sorts of methods, how to be part of a class, a school, wider socialisation lessons, how to take responsibility for themselves away from their own homes. They are not just there to learn to read and write.

I think being part of a system for joint responsibility for litter and the playground environment is an EXCELLENT education, a good lesson that others should not have to clear up after them, and that they can't be dropping litter under the impression that the janitor is paid to clear up after them.

Would you rather your child grew up into one of those people who shrugs and says 'who cares, someone else is being paid to clean up after me'?

I also think it is good that litter picking is seen as a positive part of being in a community, and not a punishment.

C0smos Wed 09-Jan-13 18:02:39

They have a litter picky up thingy?? In my day we used our hands, sorry YABU.

I'm not sure it is the janitors job to pick up litter, the kids should put it in the bin where it belongs.

CarlingBlackMabel Wed 09-Jan-13 18:03:48

It's obviously ridiculous if she misses a special targetted support session with the SALT, but that is called 'drip feeding'.

HugoDarling Wed 09-Jan-13 18:03:52

Litter picking could not possibly be done when they're all in the yard, come on grin

Maybe the teacher has recognised your DD on her own and paired her up with someone to help her make a few more friends?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 18:05:07

It's the missing out on class time i dislike. It'll amount to 50 minutes this week.

She's five. She spends some of her time in class playing and listening to other children talk about their weekends anyway.

Doing litter picking she is learning about how to use the litter picker upper thingy, turn taking with the litter picker upper thingy, and that it's important not to drop litter. She is being helpful, and contributing to the good of her school community. It's ten minutes a day for one week, and you got the short week.

In the nicest possible way, you need to unclench.

Euphemia Wed 09-Jan-13 18:07:01

Little responsibilities like this lead to other things:

Pupil Council
Eco Committee
Reading buddy
Monitor
Prefect
House Captain
Head Boy/Girl

Etc.

The children love it! It teaches them to be responsible citizens.

You are being very very silly. smile

LaCiccolina Wed 09-Jan-13 18:07:58

Ur point is invalid, it might not be her mess but she should still be encouraged to clean up.

I think it's a great lesson and worth 50 measily mins across one week out of 52.

Yabu.

Ephiny Wed 09-Jan-13 18:08:16

If you feel so strongly about it, you could speak to the teacher and ask for her to be excused. I'm not sure what a SALT teacher is, but if it's something important, maybe she could swap with another child for that day?

But generally I can't see the harm in it, it's only 10 minutes a day, and just for this week.

She's not missing out though, just engaging in a different type of learning. Also, most of the children will have a turn at some point so it all averages out. The first 10 minutes after lunch consist of getting the children to sit down, quieten down, do the register and that's about it.

It's unlikely to consist of reading/writing/numbers.

At age 5 being happy in school is far more important than these things anyway.

Bobyan Wed 09-Jan-13 18:10:49

Well that's convenient op that you have another reason for your DD to be treated differently to everyone else hmm

Squeegle Wed 09-Jan-13 18:11:01

You must be mad- why would she fall behind if everyone is doing it?
And what kind of lessons will they be doing at the age of five that could be any more valuable than a sense of civic responsibility.

The SALT overlap was probably an oversight. You could mention it, but for 10 minutes I wouldn't bother.

My youngest has SALT too, 10 minutes as a one off wouldn't have any detrimental effect.

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