One of the most overlooked parts of a school is its dining hall. But when you look closer you will discover that a school’s dining hall can play a vital role in a student’s life. Most of the moments spent in the school are usually programmed to follow a particular pattern, however, lunchtime presents an opportunity for the learners to express themselves and interact with one another without the influence of a full-grown adult.
A student’s dining hall experience can affect his or her overall academic performance. Beyond ensuring the right nutritional quantity of food is served in their dining hall, schools also need to ensure that the right portion of food is served to students at all times as not getting the portion of food can affect a students concentration during class which in turn will affect learning.
Beyond academic performance, the dining hall presents an opportunity to develop and test soft skills such as contentment, comportment, self-reliance, kindness, and patience. Children who learn to wait patiently on the queues during meal-time tend to tolerate others more and also demonstrate self-control when faced with pressures and limited options.
Schools where the students are directly involved in the process of preparing and serving foods instill a sense of leadership and accountability on the learners. The dining hall is also a place to learn teamwork and collaboration as students will be required to work in pairs to achieve a common goal,
Empathy has been reported missing among millennials. The dining hall provides an avenue to teach learners how to evaluate and appreciate the efforts of others. Schools that require students to give feedback on the meals served to them prepare learners to be better activists and less individualistic in their worldview.
When next you are visiting a school, check out their dining hall, kitchen or cafeteria. Pay attention to the pricing and quality of their foods or drinks as well as the storage, hygiene, and safety because failure to do so would result in serious health problems for staffs and students who consume the foods and drinks.