Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Laddies Who Lunch: Social Scene At The Preschool Table

At Izzy's school, the children eat lunch at tables for two. I don't know if there is some hidden Montessori logic to this but to me it spells exclusion. I hear daily tales of Izzy and his seating arrangements. Thoughts of who his lunch companion will be seem to occupy far too much of his time. Why is this such a big issue for I. and his classmates? Should it really be?

On most days, he dines with his pal C. and some days with C. and J., supposedly sneaking a third chair over to the table. Other times he dines with I. or simply J. But I heard that on those days, C. feels left out and doesn't eat his lunch. On a few occasions in the beginning of the year, I. was excluded and ended up sitting with a teacher. These stories leave me saddened and thinking there MUST be a better way.

Why can't the tables be put together so that several children can eat together? Wouldn't that be more conducive to a lively lunch camaraderie? I had been mulling that over lately and this morning Izzy suggested it to me. I told him to take it up with his teachers but I imagine he forgot.

How do the children lunch elsewhere?


Joseph Bayot said...

At the schools where I teach, I almost always see rectangular tables that seat 8-12 children.

I think that there will always be a feeling of exclusion, as long as it's up to the students to determine the arrangements. But, I don't see the logic behind the two-person tables.

Izzy's Mama said...

In elementary school I imagine there would be that element of exclusivity at the lunch table. I just never envisioned it happening this young. Tables of 8-12 sound more sensible to me.