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Monday, May 6, 2013

#SLice of Life 2013 Recess: Duty or Benefit?

At my school, "recess" is one teacher "duty"!  When this "duty" was instituted, I was not jumping for joy.  I thought that "ship had sailed" and that we were supposed to be focusing on CCSS!  Yet, on this duty, I've had a change of heart.

Ostensibly, we're out there to make sure kids are safe and play fair.  They kick  balls, toss balls, jump rope, twirl hula hoops, seriously swing, eagerly climb, and run as if they had been caged for hours in what many would say is an important 20 minutes of their day. 

I do not like recess duty one bit when the kids are stuck inside on cold winter days.  There are too many disagreements to settle and too mnay halls to walk.  I really shouldn't admit it, but I sort of like recess duty  on those nice warm sunshiny days when everyone plays nice and no one gets hurt! 

I really like recess duty on warm spring days when the sun shining through the magnificently blooming trees mixes with the lush green grass of spring.  It's a sort of magical setting that contributes to mind-wandering and day-dreaming so strong that you are a little sad when the whistle blows!

As I stood watching the promise of the future run in circles under trees that have stood the test of time the other day, I was not thinking about the lesson plans, professional portfolios, definitions and reports that awaited me inside.  Like the children, I left those tasks inside, as my mind and spirit wandered to the magic of nature, the wonder of youth, the resiliency of our earth, and the promise of our future. 

I could have stayed outside for hours; however, as the whistle sounded, my reverie was interrupted and we returned inside - all of us - a bit happier, healthier, rosier, peppier and better for what some might call a "duty" but is more like a "benefit."  

PS Please note, if you happen to be an administrator finding my blog by some chance and thinking that all teachers need to have more duties, duties, take away lunch and planning moments.  Indeed, I am a bit hungrier on afternoons when duty interferes with my lunch; however, on days like the one above, I really do see the benefit to "being" with nature and watching the future blossom!

6 comments:

elle1955 said...

I have often felt the same way about lunch duty, for different reasons, and now so does my daughter. We like seeing the kids out of the classroom element. We like having the chance to chat informally with students we don't have in class. I am glad you are feeling some of the benefits of your duty, too.

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Bravo and good for you - kids need to get out of the building! My sixth graders sometimes get taken outdoors after lunch, but often not. So, when the weather is nice, especially at this time of year, I take them out to read and write poetry. We all benefit from the change of scene.

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

Bravo and good for you - kids need to get out of the building! My sixth graders sometimes get taken outdoors after lunch, but often not. So, when the weather is nice, especially at this time of year, I take them out to read and write poetry. We all benefit from the change of scene.

Stacey said...

I love that you left "those tasks" inside. That's how it should be!

Amy Rudd said...

Anita,
I was outside informally with the kids last Friday since there were no kinders out...they were on their field trip. I was shooting baskets with the boys and I tried a backwards shot toward the hoop and it sailed in! All the kids were so excited! Now this week I am officially on duty and the boys were asking me to play ball with them. I told them I couldn't. Since I was out on duty, I felt nervous about just playing...great post !

Julie Johnson said...

I'm like you. I don't mind recess duty on these nice warm spring days, however, inside duty is not that fun. :) I laughed when I read your last few lines to administrators. We wouldn't want them to get the idea that we need more duties to take up our time. :) Happy Spring!