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..to think this is a bit cruel

(38 Posts)
badbelinda Fri 15-Mar-13 22:38:16

DD told me the other day that the teachers make them pick teams for sports still. I was very surprised, I clearly remember the abject terror of being "last picked" and the humiliation that followed, and had assumed that kind of thing went out with the belt. DD was upset because one of her friends had picked practically everyone else before she picked her. DD says she's usually one of the last picked but thinks that it's fair enough because she's "pants" at sports anyway but was upset this time because it wasn't a sports team they were picking. She says it's even worse if she has to be team captain and do the picking, if you pick the people that are best at sports they're usually older boys and then everyone says you fancy them. She's 9. I just can't believe they still subject children to this kind of torture but wonder if I'd be overreacting to have a word with the teachers. (Apparently they say it's the only way to make the teams fair but I suspect they were never the kind of children who were last to be picked). AIBU?

secretofcrickleyhall Fri 15-Mar-13 22:41:04

I don't think you are being unreasonable, it is horribly embarrassing for the poor kid who is chosen last! I wouldn't go overboard with it though, just really nicely ask if they could stop as DD is getting a bit fretful about being chosen last! Poor girl!

AgentZigzag Fri 15-Mar-13 22:43:01

I can't believe they still do it either, I mean it's a notorious place for children to be spiteful to other children, and all with the teachers consent.

Even if there was a reason behind it, like developing leadership skills or other such bollocks, making the children who might already feel they're at the bottom of the pile, feel even more pants, is pretty low.

It's not about the 'everyone's a winner and will get a prize' mentality, it's like you say - cruel.

willyoulistentome Fri 15-Mar-13 22:44:29

Oh no. I thought they stopped that crap ages ago. Not happy to hear it still goes on.

AgentZigzag Fri 15-Mar-13 22:45:22

Maybe it's to do with having to have a certificate in how to humiliate children to become a PE teacher? grin I'm joking! sort of

AgentZigzag Fri 15-Mar-13 22:45:51

DD1 still has to put up with it too.

beautyguru Fri 15-Mar-13 22:46:01

I always used to be picked last and it hurt so much sad It still upsets me now when I think about it too much. I would never want my DDs to go through it. YANBU.

My God, I'm shocked it still happens.

You never forget the rejection sad

maddening Fri 15-Mar-13 22:51:39

Surely leadership skills could be gained by the captain arranging the team. But they should be given the team by the teacher.

Loulybelle Fri 15-Mar-13 22:53:41

OMG, they still do that, i was always the last to be picked, and its so harsh and cruel.

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Fri 15-Mar-13 22:55:52

I thought the whole idea of PE at school was to upset and humiliate the pupils?

confused

Certainly the impression I always got.

Sports day in particular. Making a well-developed girl (me) try to squeeze into non-fitting, stinking lost property and calling it a dressing up race? Cruel is the only word for it.

So, in conclusion: YANBU!

grin

GraduallyGoingInsane Fri 15-Mar-13 22:56:44

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm on the fence. It is horrible for the kids picked last...but I have 4 DDs. DD2 in particular is very very good at sports. She also struggles a bit academically, particularly compared to DD1. The kids are 'set' for everything academic, and of course they compare. DD2 is used to feeling a bit rubbish when she ends up in lower sets, particularly for maths. Sport is her one chance at school to be 'top set' so whilst I feel sorry for the kids that are bottom in sport, chances are they're top somewhere else.

Poor DD has even commented that its ok to praise 'top sets' and run the gifted and talented programmes, whilst she has to attend extra classes with other 'slow' (her words) kids, but at sports day it's all about trying your best and there's no value placed on those with skill and talent.

I don't think 'picking teams' is the right way about things necessarily, but I do get sad when sport is seen as 'a bit of fun' and something where competition is bad. Life is competitive, my DD has to suck up and feel rubbish when she doesn't do so well academically. Let her have her chance to shine too say I!

Punkatheart Fri 15-Mar-13 22:58:11

That was me. Sickly little skinny-legged wheezy wretch in the wrong colour tracksuit.

Still feel it.

badbelinda Fri 15-Mar-13 23:01:30

In answer to GraduallyGoingInsane, I think the difference with this is that the children are being asked to rank each other or pick each other for what may be ulterior reasons unrelated to sporting ability. If your DD2 is good at sport this will be evident at every PE lesson or sports day, objecting to the children picking each other for teams doesn't mean I think sport is just a "bit of fun".

TheCrackFox Fri 15-Mar-13 23:02:25

Does this shit still happen?

Funny how academic children aren't allowed to pick their team when they have to do group work.

AgentZigzag Fri 15-Mar-13 23:04:11

I hadn't thought about that angle Gradually, but surely there must be a better way to make the children who are less academic feel they're valued than at the expense of the less sporty ones? (or even if they're sporty, the one's the whole class feel it's OK to isolate and exclude, it's just enabling a group/pack mentality scapegoating certain children)

If it was turned around, it'd be the same as reading out in the class what scores everyone got in every test and saying how the children with the lowest scores are thick/stupid, which you'd also have hoped they still don't do.

The answer would be for the teacher to pick the teams, I can't understand why they don't.

AgentZigzag Fri 15-Mar-13 23:06:10

'to make the children who are less academic'

That meant to say the children who are more academic.

Corygal Fri 15-Mar-13 23:09:54

At my school, this delightful activity was known as 'The Thickies' Revenge'.

Funny, no one was allowed their own choices for projects and teamwork. grin

badbelinda Fri 15-Mar-13 23:19:20

Thanks all for your comments, I feel a bit more confident that I'm not just being neurotic if I tactfully raise it at the school now.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Fri 15-Mar-13 23:34:21

Barbaric stuff, I am surprised they still do it. Hideous.

MummytoKatie Fri 15-Mar-13 23:34:37

But being academic doesn't make you bad at sport. And being good at sport doesn't make you unacademic. (My ex-junior international sportsman / Oxbridge graduate husband is currently bumbling around the kitchen making a big mess.)

What about the kids who don't shine academically or at sport?

AgentZigzag Fri 15-Mar-13 23:35:43

I did think about them MummytoKatie sad

It's worst case scenario isn't it?

whois Fri 15-Mar-13 23:55:02

You do end up with very even teams doing this tho rather than a 'random' team which could have several of the best players in.

Take the point that its not nice being picked last but, well, is it really that big a deal?

At least with sports teams if the whole class is divided up into two you have big range of ability in each and probably quite even teams. Split up into groups of 5 for academic work and its shit being with rubbish people!

MummytoKatie Fri 15-Mar-13 23:57:22

Agent - I never get why people assume that everyone fits into one box or the other. Some kids seem to be talented at everything. Some never get to shine. Let's not emphasise it any more than we have to.

Picking teams is also a huge waste of time. I can't imagine spending ten minutes at the beginning of a maths lesson discussing exactly how the class ranks on a weird combination of maths ability and popularity.

So why do it while standing in t-shirts and shorts in -2 degrees weather when the kids could be running round getting warm?

(And I was pretty sporty as a child so when this was done I was generally in the first quarter to half picked so no axe to grind here except the one of common sense!)

badbelinda Fri 15-Mar-13 23:59:48

This is a small school Whois, composite class of 23, the teacher will know exactly who's best at sports and be able to split the class accordingly to make sure the teams are fair.

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