Thursday Lunch

This is something I have meant to do for a while. I finally got the gumption up to do it in October and have been doing it since then. I have grown tired of hearing the same types of conversation at lunch. I’m sure you’re familiar with most of it – complaints about students, the political situation, etc. While sometimes I’d like to eat alone, I still want some interaction during lunch.

So, on one Thursday towards the end of October, I decided to go to the cafeteria and sit with the kids.

Image result for teacher lunch

from Getty Images.

(No, this isn’t me or my students. But you get the idea.)

It was a little nerve-wracking at first. I didn’t know if I would find a table to sit at or students who were willing to share their lunch time with me. Fortunately, a couple of my students had an empty seat at their table and were very welcoming when I asked if I could sit at their table. We had nice conversation, some about class and some about other things going on. It was a pleasant lunch.

The next Thursday, I went back to the cafeteria and found a different table of students to sit with. This time, it was a small group of my sophomore boys. They had several seats open because a few of their friends were absent that day. While the conversation didn’t flow as easily, it was still a good way to spend lunch. So the following Thursday, I went back. This time I chose a group of my freshmen boys to sit with. One of the sophomore boys who was at the table I was at the previous week came to the table to ask why I wasn’t sitting with them. I explained I was trying to sit with different groups each time. I asked if he wanted me to come and sit with them next week, to which he said yes. It was kind of cute that the sophomore boys seemed to be a little jealous that I wasn’t sitting with them and that they wanted me to come and sit with them.

And then I heard about it most of the next week – that they were looking forward to sitting with me the following Thursday. The following Thursday, I sat with a (full) table of sophomore boys and had a very enjoyable lunch with them. We didn’t talk about classes very much and they did most of the talking, which was perfectly fine. They were behaved and gracious and I was glad I had lunch with them.

I have a new Thursday routine now. While I’m not sure who I’ll be sitting with on Thursday this week, I do know I’ll be in the lunchroom. It’s nice to see my students in a different atmosphere and to share conversation not related to math. I’m looking forward to it.

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4 thoughts on “Thursday Lunch”

  1. I **LOVE** this! What a fantastic way to widen the community!!! I especially appreciate your openness to being present with them and JUST LISTENING. Most kids find it astonishing when an adult at school doesn’t monopolize the conversational “microphone.” And what a great way of modeling school improvement for other teachers in your school.

    I look forward to hearing more about this initiative!

    – Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)

  2. Amy Zimmer says:

    You go girl! Spread the love, spread the news that teachers are caring humans, and can even be fun.

  3. I am forwarding this to my grade level team. We are always brainstorming ways to make students feel “connected” to adults and our school community. This fits so well with that goal!

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