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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!

TroublesomeEx Thu 10-Jan-13 10:37:36

diddl grin I know exactly what you mean. It just doesn't work like that unfortunately!

diddl Thu 10-Jan-13 10:07:20

Sorry, yes, got a little side tracked there.

Was sort of thinking along the lines that the litter was a problem & that if everyone felt a consequence, they might be more careful iyswim.blushgrin

Ours are expected to put all litter back in snack box & bring home.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 09:44:30

I can't imagine there's much of a litter problem anyway. I've worked in a number of schools in different types of area and haven't ever really noticed a massive problem.

^ ^ this it is just the odd crisp packet or whatever it isn't as if they are down the tip going through landfill, and then they get to use the litter picker thingy grin

TroublesomeEx Thu 10-Jan-13 09:42:56

I can't imagine there's much of a litter problem anyway. I've worked in a number of schools in different types of area and haven't ever really noticed a massive problem.

And if the teachers spot individual children dropping litter, I presume they'd tell them to go and pick it up themselves. I always do.

TroublesomeEx Thu 10-Jan-13 09:41:54

Nice idea diddl but it would be absolutely chaotic to try and get the whole school to do it.

1 or 2 children take the role seriously and want to do a good job to get the recognition of having done so.

The more people there are involved the less effective this would be. Diffusion of responsibility means that the children wouldn't feel an individual responsibility and you'd still only get a few kids actually doing it. There will always be those who mess around and refuse to and under those circumstances the children who would ordinarily feel proud that they were doing a good job would start to feel resentful of those who weren't joining in.

If they give the job to individual children, even those who'd normally try and get out of it would still have to do it.

diddl Thu 10-Jan-13 09:27:06

Maybe they should cut lunch by 5mins everyday & the whole school do it?

Can´t help thinking that whilst a couple of children are doing it each day, some will keep thinking that ´s OK to keep dropping litter as there is always someone being made to pick it up.

TroublesomeEx Thu 10-Jan-13 09:05:53

But why can't she be taught responsibility during playtime? Why does it have to cut in to class time for 5 days?

The clue is in your question. She is being taught about responsibility. Education, learning and school are about so much more than learning the 3 Rs. Playtime is her time for socialising and making friends and working out how to navigate social relationships and to get some exercise. Playtime is equally important to lesson time to children. It's just important in a different way.

Funny you're right, they should be taught not to drop litter in the first place, but some parents don't bother and so children arrive at school thinking it's acceptable. The school will teach the children not to drop litter but some will still do it. Or they drop it by accident.

mrsjay Thu 10-Jan-13 08:58:47

ne of my friend's school sent the kids out to catch snakes in the school grounds which I thought was going a bit far TBH.

erm snake wrangling is taking it a wee bit far grin

GirlOutNumbered Thu 10-Jan-13 08:58:14

YABU we do it at secondary, each tutor group gets a turn. They drop less litter when they have to pick it up. Quite frankly, it's attitudes like "oh but someone else is being paid to do it", that breed litter droppers!

Fakebook Thu 10-Jan-13 08:54:28

YABU because of what everyone else has said. Your FIVE year old isn't going to miss the part about Quantam physics just because she misses 5 mins of class time.

FunnyLittleFrog Thu 10-Jan-13 06:18:57

Bit late to this but I think it's not actually a great idea. The children should be taught not to drop litter in the first place, surely?

This is very different to other 'jobs' like being a book monitor.

Pennybubbly Thu 10-Jan-13 06:09:25


My DD goes to a Japanese elementary school. Towards the end of each term, she has to take a pair of white gloves into school (the kind that manual workers wear here) and a plastic bag and the whole year group go out into the playground/park opposite her school to collect litter. The session is for about one hour.

Each term, we also have to provide her with two white cloths, marked "desk" and "floor" for cleaning. The last day before the New Year holiday (ironically Christmas morning) she was told to wear old clothes into school and they spent the entire morning cleaning the classroom. She came home positively filthy [guess the classroom was sparkly tho grin ]

exoticfruits Thu 10-Jan-13 05:49:14

Sounds a great idea to me and gets away from the idea that you seem to have that 'it someone's job' and it negates all personal responsibility because someone is paid. There shouldn't be any litter in the first place so if there is it should certainly be picked up by those that caused it- since no one knows, the fair way is to take turns.

FellatioNels0n Thu 10-Jan-13 03:00:58

I think missing ten minutes of formal lesson time once in a while is a very small price to pay for the valuable lesson they are learning by being made to litter-pick. In other word, you don't just get to drop your litter and have some other poor unseen, unthanked person pick it up for you - it's a collective responsibility and if you shirk it there are repercussions.

I live in a rich Arab country where the local people are used to having staff to do every little thing for them, and they think nothing of rolling down their car windows and chucking takeaway packaging out onto the street, or leaving the remains of picnics and barbecues on the beach - because they know a team of very poorly paid Indians will be along in the morning to pick it all up for them.

This cavalier attitude of arrogance and entitlement spreads to other areas of life as well, and I'm afraid to say that many of the local children here grow up with an extremely unattractive, spoilt way about them.

MollyMurphy Thu 10-Jan-13 02:47:48

Really? You have a problem with children helping pick up school yard trash that they have contributed to, thus helping to keep their school environment clean and learning a good life-lesson in not littering and sharing the load to take care of ones community.....because there is one paid janitor- slave who be responsible for it all on his own?

That is a sad sad gripe IMO

piprabbit Thu 10-Jan-13 02:12:41

The children will be involved in all sorts of little jobs throughout the school, all designed to give them a sense of community, self-esteem and responsibility.

One or two children from each class will be picked to take the register back to the office.

One or two will be asked to help handout the milk or fruit at snack time.

Perhaps run an errand for the head to one of the other classes.

And that's before you get into student council etc.

They enjoy it, they feel really good about helping and feel proud of themselves. It is a very important lesson.

When I was at infants school, I spent many a happy hour doing the photocopying (only it wasn't a photocopier - it was a sort of barrel with a turny handle), answering the school telephone and (best of all) tidying the stationery cupboard. Didn't hamper me academically, and may just have given me a bit of extra confidence.

TraceyTrickster Thu 10-Jan-13 01:55:10

If the OP is worried about her 5 year old missing 50 mins of school, I should be chewing my nails to the elbow.
We are in backward Australia and my daughter only starts school in 3 weeks- she will be 6 shortly after.

Honestly a few minutes out of the school year mean nothing. Are you going to send her in when she is ill, in case she falls behind? They do learn to read in reception, but most of the focus is on social skills- which this task is performing beautifully

Nanny0gg Thu 10-Jan-13 00:38:21

I don't get it.
Our playground never has enough litter to require litter picking every day.

The hall floor after lunch however...

FriendlyLadybird Wed 09-Jan-13 22:31:55

I see where you're coming from re the SALT, but it's only for one week. And she gets to use a litter picker-upper! (I'm quite envious)

Kaekae Wed 09-Jan-13 22:30:12

When I was at school litter picking was a punishment, something we'd have to do after school in line with a detention. I wouldn't be too keen on my child doing it really.

TranceDaemon Wed 09-Jan-13 22:25:02

Littering is one of my pet hates, this should be done at all schools, YABVU!

coldethyl Wed 09-Jan-13 22:19:20

Sorry, Lynette, you've misunderstood me. We've never been late with 4 children over 3 schools either. I mean the generalised letters to all parents. It appears at least 3 times a term at the infants and juniors. We are not the problem. Would you like to stop patronising me now?

queenofthepirates Wed 09-Jan-13 22:17:36

I used to teach in a Japanese school. The kids had to tidy up the school after classes to teach them responsibility for their environment. Us teachers also had to tidy the staff room, must have saved a fortune on cleaners.

One of my friend's school sent the kids out to catch snakes in the school grounds which I thought was going a bit far TBH.

Chesntoots Wed 09-Jan-13 22:09:05

We did Wombling at our school too! (feels old...)

hazeyjane Wed 09-Jan-13 21:50:59

Thank you Tufty, I can only assume that people have only read the op's first post.

<by the way, tried to answer your litter in the playground query too!>

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