I teach 5th grade in an elementary school. Recess is sacred at our school. We don’t use it for students to catch up on missing work or as a restorative consequence for misbehavior. We recognize how vital it is for our kids to be outside and to be active several times a day. You all know the drill, you open the door and the kids pour out onto the playground, most with a significant change in energy from the classroom. I love how the kids will often just run with wild abandon. Their bodies need that.
Today, I had a meeting at our feeder middle school. I arrived around 11am and surmised from the size of most of the kids who were sitting outside that it was 6th grade lunch. There were pods of students scattered on the grass outside – a group of girls with one who was clearly holding court, several students talking with the security officer, and a few shooting baskets lackadaisically. As I walked toward the building, I saw two smallish boys run by and squeal (yes, they squealed) as they hid behind the big flagstone ‘Casey’ sign. It took me a moment to figure out that they were playing chase. They were playing a good old fashioned game of tag and they were loving it. They laughed and ran and squealed and ran.
I hope my 5th graders don’t forget how a solid game of tag can do the soul good – even if you are in middle school.