Every week the dreaded day arrives, playground duty day…
To prepare the teacher whose task it is to be on duty for those 20 minutes every 2 hours, I have compiled a general profile of the villains, victims and innocent bystanders that you will meet on the common primary school playground.
Profile #1: The thundering herd
Mostly boys but now and then a very brave girl would venture into this herd. The teams can vary in size from two-a-side to twenty! They will kick around anything from a soccer ball to an empty cooldrink bottle. Loud displays of joy when a goal is scored will go along with chest bumping and high-fiving. But be aware, this raucous thundering herd can morph into a rioting mob if anyone outside of the teams tried to steal their “ball”. Always keep them in your line of vision.
Profile #2: Pinky and the Brain
You will usually find Pinky and the Brain in the higher grades. They will be huddling together in the corner of the playground. They seem very docile and timid but beware! All is not as it seems. Pinky, the goofy side-kick will do anything the Brain tells him to. He would be the probable villain to steal the thundering herd’s ball and try to run away with it, while the Brain would sit back and enjoy the ensuing mob attacking Pinky to retrieve said ball.
Profile #3: The WWE- wannabes
There will always be John Cena- extreme-fans on your playground. Take special care as these young boys of all age groups will tagteam-up to body slam each other into the grassless spots. Then they will attempt 619’s, clothes-lines and try to finish each other off with tombstone pile-drivers. Those are some of the worst offenders on a playground because they think they are “just playing”.
Profile #4: The brats
These girls usually crowd around a main-brat. They discuss hair and make-up and boys in whispers and giggles. They walk around with a swagger and the typical flick of the hair. They would normally be found around the thundering herd as the jocks will be dribbling past their giggles and waves. They are the least physical group to look out for but they can become gossipy and mean to loners that are not part of their pack.
Profile #5: The Power-Puff girls
These are usually a group of leaders who are not on duty. They roam the playground showing off their power by telling other children who are dawdling in the bathrooms they will be put on detention. They are the least of your problems, dear playground-duty-teacher, but the children who are harassed by them will come and report the incident to you and then you will be distracted and not see the pile-drivers happening or the mob thundering.
Profile #6: The Dexters
These are the best children to have on a playground. They walk around alone, with books tucked under their arms. They talk to themselves about inventions and ideas and are oblivious to anything around them. Unfortunately they do not look where they are going and would wander into the way of the thundering herd or become the victim of Pinky and the Brain. They will get trampled and pushed and will end up under a pile of sweaty jocks. They also break easily so it is best to make sure that you herd them away from an oncoming stampede.
There are several other types to remember as well, dear playground – duty – teacher, but they are any teacher’s dream. The Little Bo-Beeps who sit quietly and play with their friends, having a tea party and saying kind things to each other will make you smile as you glance around warily for the approaching storm. The Drama Queens will put on a special show for whoever wants to look and listen about whatever they have seen or heard on television last night or some of them will even play school-school.
You have twenty minutes dear playground – duty – teacher. Be vigilant. Be aware. Have eyes in the back of your head and ears like satelite dishes.
Lock and load your megaphone – voice, all the patience you can muster and go, go, go!!