Switching up the staff lunch schedule

Karinn Sytsma, Editor in Chief

“Fifteen years I’ve had first lunch. Never had any other lunch,” teacher Steve Darnell said.
This year, however, Darnell has second lunch. For the first time since any current teachers have been at Liberty, teacher lunches have switched. Most teachers have a new lunch this year, creating a change in the system that has been in place for years.
“We’ve been on the same lunch schedule since I’ve been here—21 years—and so the switch is probably to be more equitable, to change things up,” teacher Amy Cooke said.
Despite the change’s good intentions, many teachers are confused as to why the lunches switched without warning.
“Initially, I was shocked. I was unaware. I wondered why we didn’t all get together and ask, who wants to switch lunches?” Darnell said. “At the end of each year, admin asks teachers what classes we’d like to teach. They could throw in a question asking us which lunch we prefer. Even if we don’t get it, we still have some feeling of influence in the choice.”
Other teachers, however, don’t believe it’s feasible to request lunches.
“It’d be nice, but how would admin decide who gets that choice?” Cooke said. “I imagine that a lot of people would opt for second lunch, and then admin would have to make that difficult choice of who actually gets it and who doesn’t.”
Cooke, who has prep before lunch, loves her new lunch time, and feels that her students are more energetic right before lunch. Darnell, with three straight classes to teach before lunch, just like his students, has had a very different reaction from his students.
“Having second lunch absolutely affects my students, both days. They verbally declare they’re tired; there’s more lethargy than after lunch. It’s very different from after lunch, when students are overcharged with energy they got,” Darnell said. “In the past few days, I’m having to be a little bit more of a cheerleader, or try to maybe give more break time, but it’s even to the point where students were asking to go to first lunch sometimes instead of second lunch.”