Why Some Schools Want Students to Eat Breakfast in Class
Kathleen Carroll

I’m a school Assistant Principal and I experienced the breakfast in the classroom program for three years in Providence, Rhode Island’s public schools.

I understand the positives: build community, reduce tardiness etc.

However, there was a fundamental issue with this , I felt; and I publicly voiced it at a district meeting, and was met with scorn by my peers. The issue is that it is disrespectful to teachers. I remember how my teachers had to clean up maple syrup and spilled milk, navigate food allergies, manage trash , leftovers, and yes, rodents!

It always seemed strange for me to require teachers to serve food. The teachers who were opposed were labeled as heartless. I guess I was labeled that too.

The notion that since “ the kids are all in one place ( classroom) , so let’s just serve them there” makes sense. However, the teacher was hired to teach, not to manage the diet of 22–32 children.

I’m all for a universal breakfast program, available free, no paperwork required, and no questions asked, but in the cafeteria!

This allows the kids to have a controlled and predictable place to eat. It allows the custodian to assist in one location, not in 25 classrooms. It also encourages kids to meet students from other classrooms. Additionally, it allows the teacher to do quick homework checks, talk to a parent, etc. In the end , it makes more sense to keep it out of the classroom.


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