Monitoring the chaos


The sound is what you notice first, well that and the cold but we’ll come back to the cold. The sound, a cacophony of noise that ebbs and flows to seemingly random rhythm. There is a din of activity and yelling that is punctuated by high pitch screams and almost constant movement. I watched a couple of kindergartener re-enact the entire dance from the Gangnam Style video, and do a pretty great job too. Some of the hip thrusting was troubling but both boys had better dance moves than I ever managed. There was also a group of girls lineup in rows like a choir singing pop songs in harmony. They had printed out lyrics and while I recognized the songs I couldn’t tell if they had changes the words or not. They sounded lovely when I could make out the tune through the screams.

Kids pulsed through the space like one big living organism with comets shooting out of the central mass. I watched, taking my new job as recess monitor very seriously. For the next two weeks I will be on the playground monitoring the situation. Mediating conflict, keeping kids safe, giving the teachers a break. That’s my job, well that and bathroom, drinking fountain and coat monitor. That is actually the job I do, answer requests for one of the those three things on a constant basis. It’s like one of those SAT questions, or the count in the Black jack. I expect the principal to come up to me and ask how many kids are in the school at any given time and I will need to give him the count.

I enjoyed my first day but quickly realized that I need a few more layers of clothes to stand out in the cold. The kids are running around like crazy but I’m manning a specific zone most of the time and the gloves and hoodie were not sufficient to keep the cold at bay. Hours later as I type this my fingers are still cold. I will bundle up and get back out there in the chaos and beauty of grade school recess, but I need to check on that taser I was promised!

  3 comments for “Monitoring the chaos

  1. 01/11/2013 at 8:32 am

    I give you credit for taking on what really is a crucial role to ensuring the safety of school children. I’m guessing you’ll be great at it too. Men are well suited to handle the role of sentry. Generally speaking, the female Playground Monitors I’ve seen too often are caught up in distracting conversations. It’s only when the kids approach them are they alerted of any problems. Looking forward to your observations. Kids can teach us so much about ourselves.
    Vincent aka @CuteMonsterDad´s last blog post ..Where Are We Now?

  2. 01/14/2013 at 6:31 pm

    I wish I had you at my kid’s school. Half the time they aren’t watching and even though I try to drop off and leave, I tend to linger and watch for a bit. It’s one of the few times you get to watch how your kids are going to do in the real world, interacting with other kids and playing. Sounds like you have a very cool and important job on your hands, but, yeah, I’d love to just hold a tazer once. You know, just to hold it ;D
    Chris´s last blog post ..The Thin Line Between Love and Hate

  3. 01/14/2013 at 6:39 pm

    Stay warm, my brother, stay safe.
    Always Home and Uncool´s last blog post ..Santa’s Hung

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