Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Good Morning, Boys and Girls

I have a beef with morning announcements. They are tedious, repetitive, rarely informative, and waste valuable instructional time. You may as well cut your 45-minute first period lesson plan down to 40 minutes or less because of morning announcements. I pride myself on starting first period precisely on time, and it irks me that I'm usually well into my lesson when I have to stop myself and the kids to listen to a bunch of prattle.

Principal X runs a reasonably tight ship when s/he does the announcements and usually keeps them under 5 minutes, but Miss AP is another story. My first-period class, a great group of kids possessed of strong senses of both humor and discretion, clocked her at ten minutes once. Ten minutes is 22% of a 45-minute period.

The administration does not seem to realize that when the same exhortations about lunch and recess behavior, sharing, reading, etc. are repeated ad nauseam and verbatim, kids quickly tune out. I have students who can recite the morning announcements from memory. Such are the morning announcements that when something truly noteworthy is announced, hardly anyone hears it because no one is paying attention anymore.

Have a great day!