This year I am doing lunch duty 4 days a week, by choice. I chose this because I would rather be inside with 120 second graders instead of doing recess duty outside. I am armed with my plastic gloves, wipes and hand sanitizer.
Second graders are funny. I’ve had the chance to interact with students in other classes and learn their names. I recall how much fun lunch was when I was in second grade. I had my Holly Hobby tin lunch box and matching thermos. I loved eating hot lunch as we called it. Mrs. Cusmano was always so nice to me. She would let me switch my lunch to grilled cheese when I went through the lunch line. It is funny how I still remember that.
I have a new respect for the lunch staff. From preparing the meals, managing accounts, and serving the students, they all work hard with a smile on their faces. Special shout out to the custodians too. The first day of lunch duty was loud! I admit I had a headache and wanted to go to the nurse to rest.
Now, I am a pro at opening a thermos, water bottle, gogurt without scissors and inserting the straw in a juice pouch with ease. I need a fit bit to keep track of my steps because when one hand goes up it is like a domino effect.
Every day someone drops a lunch, spills milk or makes me laugh. The kids like to show me what they have for lunch. When they find out my favorite foods, they love to show me they have it in their lunch. When I buy a lunch I ask them what I should buy and they always say ” Ms. Copher, you eat lunch?”
My arms are getting a workout because some days I am on ketchup duty. I just stand there and pump ketchup on their lunch trays and scan the cafe to make sure a food fight doesn’t start.
They really are great kids. They like to be silly, mix their foods and be my helper. The helper uses the microphone to call the classes during clean up time. Each day they try to earn a star for using the 7 habits in the cafe. I also pick the first two classes that are being leaders and give them a compliment. Then their teachers can add that to their class reward.
The worst thing about lunch duty is that I don’t get to eat lunch with my team. After lunch they all go out to recess and I have my lunch. That is usually when I make phone calls, or write. Having the quiet time is a blessing.
The first few weeks of lunch duty were rough and loud. I had to establish a routine. Lunch duty has turned into a learning opportunity for me. I have seen the shy kids come alive. I notice if any kids are lonely and make sure that lunch is stress and drama free. Best cafe rule: No screaming unless you see zombies. The kids love it!
Just call me Ms. Copher, The Lunch Whisperer.