Rock Paper Scissors BANNED at school?
One of the things I love to do is play “Rock, Paper, Scissors” with the kids at my school. Being an adult and a figure of “authority” - I try to find ways to make the kids feel like they can relate to me. In most cases, it helps the school children feel like I can relate to them.
But rock paper scissors is such an innocent game and trust me – my kids love it. In fact not only did the group of children that I monitored during lunch duty love to play the game with me – but soon I had children in other class groups wanting to play. The first graders and second graders were starting to get the other monitors and even the assistant principal to play the game with them.
I was fun, I would walk into the lunch room and from a distance the children would start to wave at me, trying to flag me down, desperately wanting to play rock paper scissors with me. Many of the fourth graders and even fifth graders would play against me and since its such a simple game – its hard to cheat at it – so it wasn’t like I won every game. Personally I think that is what they liked the most – they were able to beat and win against an adult.
But apparently, it seems that my days of playing rock, paper, scissors with the students has come to an abrupt end. Yes, I have been asked to halt any and all rock, paper, scissor games with the students. Not, not because we were being disruptive – because we were not. Many of the students quietly played against each other during lunch time and never once did we have an argument or any outburst of any kind. No, neither was it due to any child not doing his or her work – after all, it was lunch time. Neither was it due to anything that could be considered any type of disturbance, bad behavior or anything of the sort.
The ban was brought about because; (as I was told) some of the children could not handle the level of energy.
What? Are you kidding me?
Is this a joke? Has the world gone mad?
First of all – I thought schools wanted children to have energy? Don’t you want your children excited, energized and motivated to learn? And how in the world can playing a round of rock, paper, scissors be so energizing that it would affect the students ability to learn or to control themselves?
I have a sneaky suspicion that the people who work with me during my lunch duty – the ones the children dislike, the ones the children even hate; you know the type. The ones who even though it’s lunch time, they don’t want the children to talk, to laugh, to even move because that would be outrageous. I think these wonderful mean spirited cold hearted people find it difficult to believe that an adult can keep order and still have fun with the students. After all, they themselves have become so ridged in their lifestyles that to crack a smile might cause their faces to go into an uncontrollable spasm.
I could see the heart break, the hurt and it filled me with sorrow. I could see how she treated them, her harshness, her over bearing ways, her desire to create an atmosphere that was more like eating at a military base – God forbid if you spoke to loud. But what was to loud because depending on her mood, a whisper was too loud for her.
So here I am. I have spent the last three days discouraging children from playing “rock, paper, scissors” with me. They ask me visibly disappointed “Why can’t we play ‘rock, paper, scissors’?” And I tell them, because someone complained that we were being too noisy. They look at me with that – “What the?” kind of look at me and it pains me, to which my response to them: I know, it makes no sense to me either.