Breakfast is served!
by John Pearson
I work at a Title I school. This is the classification for a school where most or all of the students fall under the poverty level. As a result, most of my students qualify for a free lunch and breakfast.
Up until recently, breakfast was served in the school cafeteria. From 7:15 until 7:45, the kids could enjoy their steak and eggs while perusing the Wall Street Journal and discussing politics with their peers. I'm kidding, of course. To be more accurate, replace "steak and eggs" with "cereal," replace "Wall Street Journal" with "Pokemon cards" and replace "discussing politics" with "fighting and arguing."
After Thanksgiving break, my school switched to a new format. Now breakfasts are served in the classroom. Two insulated bags are delivered to my door (and every door) each morning. One contains milk and juice cartons, the other holds the daily foodstuff. I get to be the maitre d'.
Now the first 15 minutes of every day are spent on breakfast. Notice I don't say they are spent on eating. I am amazed at how much gets thrown away. It's a constant struggle for me to get my kids to actually eat. They pick up their food and drink, take them to their desks, and then leisurely nibble and sip while talking and laughing.
I wind up coming across as a mix between an Italian mother -- "Mange! Mange!” -- and the announcer from Mortal Kombat -- "FINISH IT!!!”
There are a few good things about having the breakfasts in class. All of the kids (at least the kids who aren't tardy) do get a chance to eat breakfast, which they might not get at home. Also, teachers can partake of the feast as well, and I haven't had this much chocolate milk since I was in third grade myself.