Last night was our first Fun Night of the year, sponsored by my 7th grade. It did not go off as smoothly as I would have liked, but I know that is because of our own lack of preparation with the kids.
We had students sign up to work in the concession, 20 minute shifts with 3 kids working at a time. Some would have done this last year as 6th graders. It really is not complicated - pop, baked goods, and last night we had hot dogs and chips, which I handled.
The problem? First off, some of the kids have NO customer service finesse at all. One of the first crew kept yelling when someone walked up, "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" They gave out cups filled halfway with soda, didn't wash their hands or wear gloves.
However, those things were easily overcome. The biggest thing was showing up for their 20 minute time slot and actually staying and working the entire time. Not one single group showed up in its entirety, less than 10 minutes late for their shift. Of course, the group there from the earlier shift wanted to leave the second the clock said their shift was over.
I had one little girl want to leave her 20 minutes early because she was too tired. When she did get to leave, she raced immediately to the dance floor.
Others were ecstatic because, "THIS IS MY FAVORITE SONG! CAN I PLEEEEEASE GO DANCE JUST THIS ONE SONG?" and of course, looked devastasted when I refused their request.
One child actually suggested we should have 10 minute shifts!!
The workers were for the most part, not the popular kids, but the 'uncool' kids of the group, those peripheral students. I was upset that the "cool" kids were not a part of the work crew, and will make sure next time THEY are the ones filling the work schedule.
The proceeds of these is a big part of how we fund 7th grade camp, so it should be a group responsibility to make sure things come off without a hitch. THere will be other Fun Nights sponsored by the other grades where our 7th graders do not have to work and help out, but this one is THEIR responsibility.
Even cleanup was a battle. One of the 4 workers on the schedule for cleanup showed up. I sent her to find the others, but they never came back, so alas, most of the cleanup fell to me, another teacher, her daughter, and a couple of parents. As I was hauling bags of garbage out, taking leftover junk up the stairs trip after trip, I realized how unjust the evening was.
Monday... class meeting about working and responsibility!