…is a great way to get to know your students. It’s also a great way to make a better connection with them.
I’ve been doing this since I started teaching. It’s been something the students could earn. I’ve got four groups of 4-6 students in the classroom. The groups can earn points for good teamwork each day. At the end of the month, I count up the points and the team with the most points gets to have lunch with me in the classroom. I get them a drink and let them choose a piece of candy. We sit together at desks, chat, and have a nice time. We talk about things at school, their home life and family, and things they did or will do over the weekend.
Last year, our school store started selling ‘Lunch with Teacher’ passes. The students could buy these with the school money they had earned. They sold well and I’d have at least one student from my class that would use it to have lunch with me each week.
This year, it is wildly popular with students in my class, and even some of the other 3rd grade classes. A couple of times this year, I’ve had at least 10 students at one time who have used the ‘Lunch with Teacher’ pass to eat lunch with me. Today, it was five students who ate lunch with me, all from another 3rd grade teacher’s class.
I let them have lunch with me three times a week on the days I don’t have recess duty. A couple of the things they say they love about it, aside from the couple of pieces of candy I let them pick out, is it’s quieter and they get to talk with me.
One of my students said that at his old school they only ate with their teacher if they were in trouble. I told him how I thought that was sad, and he agreed. He said he enjoyed lunch with teacher at this school so much better. Who wouldn’t?
I enjoy it because I get to know students better. I learn things about what home life is like, what they like and dislike about school, what they like to do in their free time, etc. It’s a lot more relaxed than it is in the classroom setting. My quieter students usually feel more comfortable talking in this smaller setting.
So find some time to sit and eat with your kiddos. I know as teachers we tend to shovel our food in as quickly as possible to get work done while students are out of the room. However, taking this short amount of time whenever we can manage it, can help us make connections with our students that is well worth the time and effort. You don’t have to do it every week, but whenever you can have lunch with your students, they will definitely appreciate the extra time you take with them.