Day 11: Recess

This March I’m “slicing” a piece of my teaching day every day11454297503_e27946e4ff_h.

Recess is the reason many kids love school. It’s time to be with friends. Time to play, run, talk, bounce a ball, share snacks.

But there are those kids who don’t love recess.

They ask, can I help you? In the office. The kindergarten. These kiddos may enjoy helping the adults or small children, but more often than not, they’re seeking refuge from recess. They aren’t comfortable. And it happens for many reasons.

Best friend drama. Hurt feelings. Exclusionary moments. Competitive instincts gone wild. This happens at recess. These issues come off the playground into the classroom. Some walk in and hunker down in their seats. Some ask to speak with me privately. Some say they feel sick and ask to call home. All of these strategies are ways of coping.

These human dramas are a part of growing up. And as their teacher, I try to help. To counsel. To guide. This is the work. Our children need so much more than what we plan.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Life March Challenge. Read more slices here.

8 thoughts on “Day 11: Recess

  1. That is so true. I have a Recess Avoider in my class who finally admitted she feels lonely at recess. (This is something that cannot be fixed while she is working the hallway, visiting kindly school adults and stalling until the bell rings.). It is hard sometimes to get to the heart of the problem–but that’s where it is–the heart!

  2. Yes. That unstructured time is important for them to get stronger physically, emotionally, and socially. It IS hard, but I think it is meant to be hard so that children can learn to be problem solvers, friends, and to learn empathy.

  3. I do not miss this part of having a self contained classroom. Recess is a difficult time for many students. And yes, we often have to do so much more than we plan.

  4. This post rips my heart! My duty is recess. 1st, 2nd, 4th, & 5th all share the playground for a 15 minute period. During this time kids walk with me, sharing about their lives outside of school, telling on friends, & just simply avoiding recess! The balance between offering a moment of respite and encouraging them to run off some energy and recharge is always a work in progress.

  5. It’s so important to recognize the struggles of unstructured and social times and to give kids the tools and strategies they need. I agree, your students are lucky that you recognize this!

  6. That is why teaching is such a difficult job. It’s not just about the content but it’s about the person navigating life. Often times I didn’t like recess, but that was because of the cold in winter in Chicago.

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