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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!

CarlingBlackMabel Wed 09-Jan-13 18:11:27

SALT = speech and language therapist

kim147 Wed 09-Jan-13 18:11:52

On supply my class complained when I made them make sure the floor was tidy and they'd picked the mess up.

Comment from one child "We've got a cleaner to do that".

Responsibility for your own mess is a good thing to learn.

Sirzy Wed 09-Jan-13 18:12:08

I think its a great thing.

It doesn't matter that someone is paid to do it, it does children no harm to realise that when they drop litter someone needs to pick it up. Anything that encourages children to care for the school environment, and the wider environment, has to be a good thing.

Have you ever sat in on a reception class OP? Last year I did parent reading at my dcs school. If you got a chance to see it you'd realise why you are over worrying.

Euphemia Wed 09-Jan-13 18:16:20

Bloody hell kim either they were trying it on with you, or their class teacher was soft on them!

I always tell pupils it's not the cleaner's job to pick up after them! It's his/her job to clean i.e. vacuum, clean tables, empty bins.

Chancers! grin

noblegiraffe Wed 09-Jan-13 18:17:59

I asked a class of kids at secondary how we could tackle the dreadful litter problem. They said 'sack the caretakers and hire better ones' and genuinely couldn't see why that was an outrageous thing to say, nor that better solutions would be to stop people dropping litter, or take responsibility for their own space.

Anything that can potentially stop your DD growing into an entitled brat is a good thing.

hazeyjane Wed 09-Jan-13 18:21:24

I think maybe you should have mentioned the SALT issue in your op, because I do think that changes things a bit.

I think it is a great idea that they involve them in taking pride for their environment and do the litter picking (they do the same at my dds school), but I think maybe something needs to be worked out so she doesn't miss any of her SALT sessions.

IgnoringTheChildren Wed 09-Jan-13 18:27:55

I agree with most other posters that the positives of this far outweigh the "lesson time" missed.

I also feel the need to point out that the idea that picking up litter is something that the janitor is being paid to do is the reason that pupils at my school give to excuse the fact that they can't be arsed to bin their rubbish.

School janitors and cleaners would still have plenty to keep them employed even if pupils took responsibility for their rubbish, in fact school buildings would be much nicer if they didn't have to spend so much time clearing up after entitled brats. Involving children in taking care of their environment early is a great way to try to prevent these problems later. I really wish my school had a similar policy.

IgnoringTheChildren Wed 09-Jan-13 18:31:33

X posted with lots of people! Slowest typer ever.

Ephiny Wed 09-Jan-13 18:31:58

That attitude reminds me a bit of the husbands you read about on here who leave dirty clothes etc on the floor for their SAH wives to pick up 'because it's their job'. It's lazy and disrespectful in both cases IMO.

At home we have a cleaner, but we still pick up after ourselves and make sure the place is reasonably tidy for her, we don't just leave crap strewn all over the place and say 'oh it's her job'.

3smellysocks Wed 09-Jan-13 18:49:59

it's the kids rubbish, why shouldn't they pick it up and take care of their play ground. School is more then maths and english. Learning to care for each other and the environment are just as important.

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 09-Jan-13 18:52:34

Children love litterpicking. Seriously. My Eco group are always asking when they can go litter picking next.

3smellysocks Wed 09-Jan-13 18:52:41

Shes only 5 - not doing her PHD, does it matter if 50 mins in one week is used to learn the value of caring for their environment? It's great she doesn't drop litter but there is still a lesson in there for her.

3smellysocks Wed 09-Jan-13 18:59:39

Just read your last post. Again wanted to highlight that your DD is only 5 and in fact maths, reading, letter etc are only one part of the curriculum - they don't spend all their time doing these academic subjects and I'm positive that litter picking doesn't effect the termly balance. Children aged 5 (in either year 1 or R) should be still playing lots and being creative, not having their nose to the grind stone every moment. Your DD obviously really enjoyed it, felt proud and like she had achieved something - isn't that just wonderful in itself? Especially for a child with learning difficulties where confidence can be lower.

3smellysocks Wed 09-Jan-13 19:02:12

The fact she missed 10 mins of her SALT lesson with make not a jot of difference when you look back in a years time.

M25Meltdown Wed 09-Jan-13 19:04:09

We had litter patrols at our school back in the day, when it was all green fields around here. Anyhoo, I loved doing it and it has given me a life long abhorrence of litter. I am getting a reputation at my sons rugby training for loathing litter, I always have a roll of black sacks in the kit bag and now the other year groups approach me for a bag to tidy up coffee cups etc.,

I understand your concerns re the cumlative time missed, but education is only a part of the sum of the person.

lljkk At the secondary school where DS is, they have community service to pay back a misdemeanour that could not be ignored but did not merit detention.

extracrunchy Wed 09-Jan-13 19:09:03

I'd be concerned it's happening during class. I bet some kids enjoy doing it just because they can skip out!
It is a valid lesson, and I don't think there's anything wrong with doing it per se, but missing learning time to do it doesn't seem right.

MamaBear17 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:14:10

We do this in our school. Each form is responsible for an area of the school grounds and a couple of pupils are sent out during afternoon registration for 15 minutes to pick the rubbish up. It teaches them to take a pride in their surroundings and their school. It also highlights that if they drop litter, sooner or later they will be picking it up. It isn't punishment because we want the pupils to take responsibility for their environment in a positive way. They enjoy 'doing their bit' because when they do, they are rewarded.

stargirl1701 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:16:11

It's part of the Eco Schools project. Speak to your MSP or MP. The Scottish government aim to have every school achieve Green Flag status.

If you think litter picking is bad wait till you see what else Eco Schools involves. Check out their website for more info.

starfishmummy Wed 09-Jan-13 19:18:02

If this is supposed to help teach children not to drop litter it doesn't seem to be working if it is an ongoing thing. To me, it seems to teach the opposite - that if you drop litter someone else will come and clear it up for you.

CaptChaos Wed 09-Jan-13 19:21:46

I find that difficult to believe Starfish. Surely if every child in the school does it on a rota basis, then it would teach collective responsibility.

Absoluteeightiesgirl Wed 09-Jan-13 19:22:31

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

I think she may well fail her GCSE's. Complain immediately

Whathaveiforgottentoday Wed 09-Jan-13 19:22:46

my secondary does it. each form does it for a week each year. They enjoy it and fight over the picker upper thingy.

I think its good for them to realise just how much rubbish is dumped, plus the cleaners and caretakers jobs are to keep the school in good clean condition ... not to pick up rubbish thrown down by lazy children. They work hard enough as it is.

VirtuallyHere Wed 09-Jan-13 19:22:49

YABU. I think it's a great idea and wish all schools would start doing it. The problem of litter is just getting worse and being taught about it at a young age sets behaviour later on

hazeyjane Wed 09-Jan-13 19:31:39

I think it teaches them that everyone has responsibilty forr their environment, rather than someone else will alwawtys pick it up.

To people being snarky with comments about missing Mandarin and failing her gcses, the op has pointed out that her dd is missing SALT sessions, which are especially scheduled for her, so I think (knowing how important SALT is), it would be good if the school organised it so the litter picking and SALT didn't coincide.

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