One of the pillars of the Eatiquette program is for school administration and teachers to have a presence in the cafeteria during lunch. We find that when teachers share Eatiquette meals with their students, they are able to demonstrate healthy eating habits and connect with their students outside of the classroom. We spoke to Kate Lerner, a second-grade teacher at Julia De Burgos Elementary School to learn how the Eatiquette has impacted her school.
How has Eatiquette changed the culture and climate of your school?
I feel that culture and climate has been changed for the positive. On Eatiquette days, one of my grade partners eats with her class, and I’ve even seen a few specialists join us. Best of all, the students are engaged in the experience, and actually sit and enjoy a nice, family dining atmosphere.
Do you eat lunch with students on Eatiquette days? Did you eat with students before Eatiquette? How has this change been for you?
I do eat lunch with my students, and I absolutely enjoy it! Previously, I did often stop by the cafeteria, just to check in with my class, but I never sat and had lunch and conversation with them. The change has been wonderful; I’ve learned more about many of my students, and I really enjoy seeing them try new dishes and talk about their experiences with their families.
To her surprise, and my delight, she tasted it, and told me with wide eyes that she really liked it, and asked for more!
What’s been the most popular Eatiquette dishes among teachers and students?
I really don’t know what has been the most popular. I know that at the most recent meal, a student asked me to only serve her three or four pieces of broccoli because she doesn’t like it, but she’d try it. To her surprise, and my delight, she tasted it, and told me with wide eyes that she really liked it, and asked for more!
Are there any students whose eating habits, health, academic success, behavior, etc. you’ve seen changed by this program?
I’ve seen a number of students, who usually elope from the lunchroom or are running around inside the lunchroom, sitting, talking with classmates and teachers, and showing more respectful behavior.
Anything else you’d like to add about the program and your experience?
I’m a very enthusiastic diner and supporter of the Vetri Eatiquette program. I wish we could do it in every school, every day!
– Danielle Zimmerman