Saturday, March 18, 2006

Freaky Friday

David Gates I'm not. But to the kids at my daughter's primary school, I'm known as the "guitar man."

About once every 4 weeks or so, I stop by her school on Friday with my guitar and make the rounds through the classrooms to play kiddie songs such as Puff the Magic Dragon, On Top of Spaghetti and Hokey Pokey.

The singalong is part of a larger event known as "Friday Fun Day." This is a day when the regular curriculum is put away and the kids get to do some of the more non-traditional activities such as art, music, storytelling and games. The kids REALLY enjoy it. The teachers on the other hand, not so much.

You see there's one problem with Friday Fun Day. There's something about telling grade school kids that they can play games, eat pizza and have a singalong that puts them into such a frenzy, the guards at Alcatraz would have a hard time controlling them. I'm thinking maybe "Friday Freakout Day" may be a more accurate name.

Don't get me wrong, these kids aren't bad kids by any means. They just get a little too wound up by the idea of unstructured time at school, and they don't know how to deal with it. I think it's funny.

Now maybe I'm being ignorant, but I just don't remember ever being allowed to go nuts when I was in school. But then again, the principal of my school was Sister Victorine, who I'm pretty sure George Lucas modeled Darth Vader after.

As a matter of fact, I don't remember having any fun day - Friday or ever.

I take that back - we did have the annual St. Lawrence carnival where you got to walk around the perimeter of the church hall and play such exciting games as the duck pond, bean bag toss and fishing booth. Oh, and they had musical chairs too, but I never made it past the first round because I was too skinny to compete with the fat kid who knocked me out of the way when the music stopped - not that I'm recalling any specific event. No really. I can hardly remember that Saturday, May 25, 1968.

Anyway, my daughter's school has recognized that this specific arrangement needs some fine tuning and has already made plans to adjust it for next year. But don't underestimate these kids.

After all, you can take the "fun" out of Friday, but you can't take the "freak" out of the kids.


Suburban Turmoil said...

I think that's pretty awesome. My school district has completely eliminated recess and the teachers aren't happy with that either. Where's the balance?

Anonymous said...

The harmonic man is now the guitar man, what happened to that piano you used to carry on your back? You are getting smarter about traveling light. Enjoyed your blog!--Dad

Anonymous said...

At Nettleton, in Duluth, they would let the kids wear their costumes on Halloween, stage a huge parade through the school, and then go back to their rooms for a party. I helped monitor a few of these. By the time the bell rang the kids were so sugared up they were bouncing off the walls. And the teachers all need a drink of something strong. Not pretty.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh. I know what it's like to deal with frenzied children--I work at a place called Pump It Up, and kids have birthday parties there in large, inflatable-bouncer-filled rooms before heading into the party room to have pizza, cake, ice cream, and pop (sugar, sugar, and more sugar, basically). They're uncontrollable to the rookies before they even enter the arena (they watch a safety video that goes virtually unwatched unless you threaten playing it again before they go play if they get the questions at the end wrong). It's such an awesome job, but it's also very nice to send them back to their wonderful mommies and daddies at the end of the 2 hours. :)

Mooselet said...

Sounds like a good idea, but maybe once a term instead of once a month would be better. Like on the last day of the term - something to look forward to. Poor teachers... amok amok amok!! I knew there was a reason I didn't want to be a teacher.