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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!

CheCazzo Wed 09-Jan-13 17:32:45

What exactly do you think is bad about this? Apart from 'you' don't like it?

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 09-Jan-13 17:32:54


Jobs like this help children to learn (a) not to drop litter and (b) that they all have a part to play in making their school a nice place for everyone.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 09-Jan-13 17:32:56

Cause and effect. If the children didn't drop litter they wouldn't need to pick it up.

I think it's an important life lesson for your daughter. Sometimes we just need to suck it up.

Nanny0gg Wed 09-Jan-13 17:33:09

I'd be a bit more concerned about why there was that much litter that needed picking up.
Suggest that more bins are ordered and children taught how to use them!

insancerre Wed 09-Jan-13 17:34:21

A bit of responsibility is very good for children.

lljkk Wed 09-Jan-13 17:34:29

I think it sounds great! They should do that in secondaries, too. I'd like a whole term of litter picking in the skate park & town centre.

RuleBritannia Wed 09-Jan-13 17:36:18

YABU. It's another way of teaching the children something about responsibility. If they drop litter, someone has to come along behind and pick it up. If they don't drop it, it doesn't have to be picked up.

It also teaches them community spirit - helping the caretaker. I suspect that he wouldn't be able to pick it all up himself so it saves the school money if children take turns to help him.

If you get your child removed from the rota, she might feel bad at being 'different' from the others.

She came running out at hometime all excited about how she got to use the litter picker upper thingy

So why take away her pleasure? Let her help.

quirrelquarrel Wed 09-Jan-13 17:37:54

It's 10 minutes. I think you should be really pleased that they have this measure in place- like other people have said, it's not so's they can save on paying the caretaker, it's to teach the kids something!

Sorry, I think you're being uber precious!

WhistlingNun Wed 09-Jan-13 17:38:27

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

I agree about responsibility, as it fills her with so much pride. E.g. when she's asked to take the register to the office etc.

The thing is, she doesn't drop litter either, so none of it is really her mess. (she has a reusable waterbottle and her snacks don't have paper as she can't manage them).

Hulababy Wed 09-Jan-13 17:40:28

I work in an infant school and the children long to be allowed to use the litter pickers and collect rubbish into big bags. The follow the caretaker around for a chance to empty classroom bins into one big sack to go in the really big bin.

We now have a Job Squad where children volunteer to be part of it, and they get to do all this stuff and more. We have a waiting list and have to change the children every half term to try and even it out among the all! Ours is mainly done during play time or just after lunchtime - so maybe registration missed at most.

It wouldn't bother me tbh. Gives the children a sense of responsibility, shows them that is is everyone job to keep their school clean and tidy (not just the adults) and besides, they love it!

GobblersSparklyExplodingKnob Wed 09-Jan-13 17:40:56

I think it sounds fab, though I do agree it is very odd that there is enough litter for this to be needed, I have never seen any litter in the grounds of either of my kids schools.

You sound a teensy weensy bit of a nutter, sorry.

HeadfirstForHalos Wed 09-Jan-13 17:41:19

It's 10 minutes once in a blue moon, some kids spend longer than that messing about in the loo!

Dd1 is in Y5 and is now getting extra responsibilities like helping to tidy away the outdoor toys in Nursery and reception and collecting the registers. She loves it, it makes her feel so proud. That's as much an important part of education as literacy to me smile

happynewmind Wed 09-Jan-13 17:41:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hulababy Wed 09-Jan-13 17:41:35

WhistlingNun - 10 minutes after lunch? So that will be caret time, registration and tbh probably not much more once the children are sat down, settled, all the lunchtime news passed to teacher. I bet they are not missing out on much actual work, if any.

Nixea Wed 09-Jan-13 17:42:42

She might be missing out on 50 mins of class time, but she's learning an equally valuable lesson about taking pride in her responsibilities and about taking care of her environment.

I don't think it actually matters that it's not her litter. It's about realising that unless someone acts, regardless of who's responsible, situations may not improve.

Bobyan Wed 09-Jan-13 17:42:56

10 minutes after the end of lunch is more than likely spent taking the register, you sound a bit precious tbh.

CheCazzo Wed 09-Jan-13 17:43:23

It's the missing out on class time i dislike

She's 5. They probably haven't moved on to calculus and Mandarin yet.

DSM Wed 09-Jan-13 17:43:27

Yeah, you are being super precious. Sorry.

It's less than an hour of class time she is missing. It's seriously not a big deal. She will be at school for 13 years.

An hour spent picking up litter is just a different form of education.

Booyhoo Wed 09-Jan-13 17:44:34

50 minutes out of the school year OP. it's really not that much. she'll be unlikely to be picked to do it again (depending on size of school)

happynewmind Wed 09-Jan-13 17:44:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WorraLiberty Wed 09-Jan-13 17:44:59

She may not drop litter now but she's 5

How many times have you seen older kids walk out of a sweet shop or McDonalds or something and just chuck litter on the floor?

This is a good thing and instills the importance of not littering and why.

But most of all your child enjoys it so YABU.

WhistlingNun Wed 09-Jan-13 17:45:46

No idea why i'm feeling like this. I think i'm just scared of her falling behind at school if she misses out on 10 minutes each day. But like you say, it's only a week and straight after lunch is filled with faffing about with coats anyway.

She enjoyed it. I'm happy she enjoyed it. I'll try to unwind about it.

LeeCoakley Wed 09-Jan-13 17:45:55

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?

YorkshireDeb Wed 09-Jan-13 17:46:19

Teaching is not just about children sitting on chairs in classrooms. You said yourself she came running out all excited. Children love this kind of responsibility. At my school they can volunteer to do it during break times & kids fall over themselves to be picked. I'm sure your daughter gets a lot out of it. X

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