Just a very quick post & a small plea.
For the past three weeks we have been walking a class of 30 Year 3 children across town to their swimming lessons. We go through a busy area which includes the market. We could go a longer way and avoid this but it would add ten minutes to the journey and we don’t want to use up valuable teaching time.
The two days each week which are market days therefore pose a particular challenge. We work hard at keeping the children together. They walk briskly in pairs. They chat along the way, partly because they enjoy swimming and want to talk about how well they are doing and what the lesson today will be and partly because they are 7 or 8 years ls and not in a classroom. They are a nice class and pretty biddable as children go.
The children are really not a problem. Other people are. I normally thank adults who wait for us to pass. Many will smile and nod at the children but others are surprisingly reluctant to wait the 10 seconds or so it takes the small crocodile of small children to pass by before they cross the line. Some dart through gaps, which is OK but some will simply walk straight at the line of children and barge through without a “please” “thank-you” or “excuse me”. I have remonstrated with a couple of huge college students who simply walked straight at children less that half their size though I normally restrain myself so as not to sully the school’s reputation. Two women one day managed to walk into the line and directly follow the children in front of them. I held the following children up long enough for a gap to open up then took them around. The adult at the back of the line heard them complaining about how we weren’t controlling the children as she passed them.
I honestly believe if you expect children to be respectful and polite to adults then adults need to demonstrate politeness to them.
So. My plea. If you see a crocodile of schoolchildren being walked through town. Just wait for them to pass. It will be a tiny morsel of time out of your busy day and you will be rewarded by smiles and thanks.