Fun Sports Day / by Alan Strathman

During the first school term, when someone referred to the following term (which is now the current term) they did so dismissively, saying something about it being sports term.  Now, I am discovering what sports term is. For the last few weeks, groups of students have been let out of class to head to the field and train for sports. Then last week, many students missed school several times to train.  And then finally, this week, there has been almost no real school work because it is sports week.

That is, Monday and Tuesday, there were enough students absent often enough that the teachers decided not to plan or have regular class. Then yesterday it was Fun Sports Day, and tomorrow is Sports Day. Tomorrow, then, there is no school at all as we spend the entire day at the field.  The school is divided into three houses and the boys in each house play against each other. The three houses are named after trees, Caribbean Pine, Blue Mahoe, and Leucaena (pronounced "Lucina"), and students and teachers are members of one.  I have become a member of Leucaena house, the yellow house.

As I said, yesterday was Fun Sports Day. Fun sports are activities like three-legged races, sack races, inflating a balloon and then sitting on it to pop it.  It was fun seeing the kids have fun.

My problem with events like this is the same one I have with any event that takes students out of class. These students, as a rule, read well behind their grade level and need as much time on task as possible. While I understand that boys this age need activity and like fun sports, it feels like the schools do not prioritize, and guard, time in class. 

Teacher Irma helping Dave-v (Grade 1) blow up a balloon.  The boy behind, another first grader named Ethan is also trying to help.

Teacher Irma helping Dave-v (Grade 1) blow up a balloon.  The boy behind, another first grader named Ethan is also trying to help.

Teacher Amanda trying to help Dave-v sit and pop the balloon.  He is so tiny he hardly has enough weight to do the job.

Teacher Amanda trying to help Dave-v sit and pop the balloon.  He is so tiny he hardly has enough weight to do the job.