One method of managing young school children on an outing (e.g., to a museum) is to have them in a line holding on to a rope with an adult at either end. The chaperones can easily keep an eye on the kids, and it’s a pretty safe way to have the group cross streets or parking lots. The children hold on to the rope with one hand, so they’re not restrained from briefly using both hands for some purpose or from taking a bathroom break or from fleeing a burning building.
I’m not a teacher and have no stake in this issue at all, but I’ve been speculating about it after seeing a couple of groups of kids-on-a-rope recently (they sure are cute).
The easiest and fastest way to get the kids lined up would be to let them position themselves. The problem I see with this is that it would be one more trauma for the unpopular kids, who would be buffeted about the line as the more dominant and popular kids assembled their friends around them. On the other hand, most of the kids will have more fun if they’re allowed to be next to their friends.
The alternative is to assign positions in the line. How do you do this? Alphabetically (the ‘S’ through ‘Z’ kids surely get very tired of this)? By height? Put the trouble makers closest to the chaperones? Draw lots?
Once the kids are assigned a position, are we going to get all Nazi-ish if a couple of them switch positions when they think we’re not looking?
If you’re a kid, which method would you prefer? If you’re a chaperone, which method?