“We’re Just Playing”

    One of the challenges I faced on a regular basis was the high level of physical contact among the students across the grades. They would be consantly touching, patting, hitting, and pushing on each other, regardless of any reprimands I’d give.

     More often than not, all that physical activity escalated into lots of lets-top-this horseplay, blurring the lines between a little harmless fun, and a write-up for non-injurious combat. When the detention write-ups were sent in, a student’s defense usually was, “We were just playing.”

      For the most part, they really didn’t think they’d done anything inappropriate, saying “He/she started it first.” It’s really sad when, in a child’s mind, payback overshadows learning. But then, these are the ones who don’t see “learning” for the lifelong gift that it is; for them, school is only a place to hang out a few hours a day.

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