Want to Improve Schools? Get Rid of Recess!

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posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:35 PM
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I'm so angry I just hit the enter button and posted only the title. Sorry, ATS.

So most of you know I'm a teacher. I teach first grade in a very rural, poor area.

Well, my principal just informed us all that on the week we have PE (physical education), our students will not get recess time.

WHAT THE HELL??!!!!!

There is a TON of research that shows children NEED unstructured time to play. They're learning, while playing...and relieving stress from the day.

We already demand so much from our little ones. If I follow my principal's instructions, it will mean my kids have no break from 9:00-2:15, except for lunch. And the principal insists the first ten minutes of lunch must be silent.

This is a disaster, and it angers me. Unfortunately, I'm in a tricky situation at the moment. This is a new principal, and I've made waves ever since he started here last year. I've been very vocal about some of the dumber changes, tried to make a difference in certain areas, and all it has gotten me is trouble. I can't rock the boat. I can't. I can't.

Oh, what the hell. Yes I will. Someone has to say it, might as well be me.

So here's what I've found.

From the NC Department of Curriculum and Instruction (our Boss):



Section 3. RECESS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Structured/unstructured recess and other physical activity (such as, but not limited to, physical activity time, physical education or intramurals) shall not be taken away from students as a form of punishment. In addition, severe and/or inappropriate exercise may not be used as a form of punishment for students.

A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity shall be provided by schools for all K-8 students daily. This requirement can be achieved through a regular physical education class and/or through activities such as recess, dance, classroom energizers, or other curriculum based physical education activity programs. However, such use of this time should complement and not substitute for the physical education program.


You can find that here if you are interested.

Just emailed the principal and the state about this.

I"m so going to get fired. When that happens, I'm going to sue for unlawful dismissal and take the state for millions. Then I'll open up my own elementary school and get away from all this stupid government mandated NONSENSE and actually TEACH my kids!

Sorry, this just really really p*sses me off.

Off to research the legalities of denying children recess.
edit on 8-1-2013 by smyleegrl because: (no reason given)
edit on 8-1-2013 by smyleegrl because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:44 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


I would think you would be more mad at 10 min. of silence! WTF? Nevertheless, I guess that is our educational systems ass backwards way of fighting obesity eh?

This world sucks! Up is down and down is up, and hypocracy has become the new religion of the braindead masses..........



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by seeker1963
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


I would think you would be more mad at 10 min. of silence! WTF? Nevertheless, I guess that is our educational systems ass backwards way of fighting obesity eh?

This world sucks! Up is down and down is up, and hypocracy has become the new religion of the braindead masses..........


No, the ten minutes of silence is actually a good thing. We put it in place when we noticed the kids were so busy talking that they didn't eat, and ran out of time. So they are silent the first ten minutes so they can eat. Then they have the last ten minutes to talk while they eat. Most of them are finished eating by then, so we don't have kids going hungry in the afternoon.

But still....too much structure is a bad thing.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:48 PM
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I say keep recess and get rid of summer break.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:50 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


My girlfriend teaches at a pre-school, and was an elementary education major. The worst classes with kids not learning anything are from when the kids don't move around enough.. The say with PE you don't need recess.

In third grade we moved to eastern North Carolina for my dad to teach some statistics courses. We had PE every day so we didn't get any recess. There was a run down playground, but we weren't ever allowed to go on it. My teacher would stick her head into the hall and then say Go! and us and the assistant teacher had to run out the room and down the hall to sneak outside for "snack time/recess" that was about 15 minutes long...

I hated that year, and often just starred out the _. Wishing I was outside..

My girl is teaching 3 year olds now.. Lucky for her they get a Long recess, and then nap time.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:51 PM
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Wait... can he do that?

I dont think he can. I know in the state I live in children are required to have a certain amount of hours in P.E class. If thats the case then tell him he is braking the law, he cant fire you for watching out for him.
If I wear you I would make free time apart of the curriculum, you know just give them a really easy simple task such as playing with learning toys. I remember when I was a kid we had these cube blocks that connected to each other, I loved those things,you could turn it into a light math curriculum.

By the way, does the principle make your curriculum, dose the state? How does that work?
edit on 8-1-2013 by Infi8nity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:52 PM
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Is there any way you could overrule him? I mean, he's not going to be watching your class specifically, is he? Just choose a small portion of the day, maybe fifteen to twenty minutes to play a game with your class or have time for play where they may congregate together and do whatever they want. Just be sure to keep things quiet and not too rowdy and you should be able to get away with it. Taking away the children's recess is just ridiculous.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:53 PM
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Wow, you should invite the principle to your class after no recess at about..... 1:30 and let him take over.

Another brilliant idea by those in charge, that have no clue.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:54 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Ahhh, ok. Being the ole fart I am it reminded me of my days in basic training, when if you were caught talking instead of eating, it meant you were done eating.......
I would think that the approach of ten minutes of silence, so that the child can eat, is teaching them obedience and control! After all, shouldn't they be able to learn on their own, that if I talk instead of eat, they will spend the day hungry? Hmmmm, I don't know, maybe our children really are stupid , and they need to be told that if they talk, they won't have time to eat? Is that really teaching them?



No wonder critical thinking skills are becoming extinct.......
edit on 8-1-2013 by seeker1963 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:56 PM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl

Originally posted by seeker1963
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


I would think you would be more mad at 10 min. of silence! WTF? Nevertheless, I guess that is our educational systems ass backwards way of fighting obesity eh?

This world sucks! Up is down and down is up, and hypocracy has become the new religion of the braindead masses..........


No, the ten minutes of silence is actually a good thing. We put it in place when we noticed the kids were so busy talking that they didn't eat, and ran out of time. So they are silent the first ten minutes so they can eat. Then they have the last ten minutes to talk while they eat. Most of them are finished eating by then, so we don't have kids going hungry in the afternoon.

But still....too much structure is a bad thing.


I remember them doing this at my school. I am guess that most principals dont really come up with there own ideas and are getting this information from workshops but where are the workshops getting there information. It just seems crewel to me. So what if they dont eat, they will learn their lesson over time. Like you said to much structure is a bad thing, I really think they are missing out on a learning opportunity.
I understand it can be a annoying(Im huuungry) but its expected when your a 1st grade teacher.
edit on 8-1-2013 by Infi8nity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:58 PM
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Kids have short attention spans so they do need recess to break up the hours of learning.
There are probably ways to get around the recess ban without actually breaking the rules.
on the days they have phys ed have a trip to the playground to "look for bugs" for a science lesson.
Make sure they check the sliding board really good for bugs

Or have indoor recess where they can just do nothing and talk for awhile as part of a lesson plan of course

edit on 8-1-2013 by Tardacus because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by Infi8nity

Originally posted by smyleegrl

Originally posted by seeker1963
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


I would think you would be more mad at 10 min. of silence! WTF? Nevertheless, I guess that is our educational systems ass backwards way of fighting obesity eh?

This world sucks! Up is down and down is up, and hypocracy has become the new religion of the braindead masses..........


No, the ten minutes of silence is actually a good thing. We put it in place when we noticed the kids were so busy talking that they didn't eat, and ran out of time. So they are silent the first ten minutes so they can eat. Then they have the last ten minutes to talk while they eat. Most of them are finished eating by then, so we don't have kids going hungry in the afternoon.

But still....too much structure is a bad thing.


I remember them doing this at my school. I am guess that most principals dont really come up with there own ideas and are getting this information from workshops but where are the workshops getting there information. It just seems crewel to me. So what if they dont eat, they will their lesson over time. Like you said to much structure is a bad thing, I really think they are missing out on a learning opportunity.


They did that at my elementary school... But for the ENTIRE lunch period. Quiet or else. If we spoke, they would send out warnings. The more we spoke, the less recess we would get. They'd keep us inside and make us sit with our heads down instead of going outside and playing with the other kids. They've been taking away recess for a good long time now.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:03 PM
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I admire your stance because i feel you are right. I would not be happy as a parent if the school took my sons recess away. Whats his reasons for this?. Hope you dont rock the boat to much and get into trouble



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by Myomistress
Is there any way you could overrule him? I mean, he's not going to be watching your class specifically, is he? Just choose a small portion of the day, maybe fifteen to twenty minutes to play a game with your class or have time for play where they may congregate together and do whatever they want. Just be sure to keep things quiet and not too rowdy and you should be able to get away with it. Taking away the children's recess is just ridiculous.


I can't overrule him, but I can outwit him.

I already do a lot of "energizers" in class. Basically these are brain games that require the kids to jump, run in place, lots of gross motor movements.

But what's important about recess is the unstructured play. Its how kids learn and develop social skills. They NEED it.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by chiefsmom
Wow, you should invite the principle to your class after no recess at about..... 1:30 and let him take over.

Another brilliant idea by those in charge, that have no clue.


I'm going to do this.

He taught in middle school before becoming a principal. This is his second year as principal.

There is a HUGE difference between how children behave in elementary and middle school. I truly don't think he understands this.

So I'll just ask him to come and demonstrate how he wants this to work.

I've done this before....and he couldn't do it. Then I got called on the carpet for the request.

There's been so much crap this year and last year. I'm fed up. I've contacted my union rep. Its time to get legal representation in this school, for the sake of the kids and the teachers.

See, folks. This is why teacher unions are a good thing!



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:13 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


If you're to make wave make big ones. I would go over his head and present is action plan...well, "no-action" plan to the superintendent. That way it might help secure you job since someone else other than the principal knows about your discontent. Talk to other teachers as well, see if they can back you up. Kids need to move. I thought that was a simple concept to grasp but I guess some people forget what it's like to be a child. I'd swear some were born grown ups.
edit on 8-1-2013 by XLR8R because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:18 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Why not have your Structured recess structured as a unstructured recess.



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:20 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


S+F!

My mother teaches 4th grade...has for nearly 25 years. She'd absolutley agree with you. Elementary kids are already hyper enough, they can barley sit through a 2 1/2 hour movie! I don't know why anyone would expect them to sit at their desks all day.

Besides, without recess I would have never seen my first dirty magazine. We found it in the dugouts when I was like 12


Edit to add: Why are principals such idiots? Through all the years my mother has taught, I'd say about 60-70% of them have been worthless. One was even a raging alcoholic that would drink at work and be drunk durring assemblies. She eventually was pressured to quit.
edit on 8-1-2013 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)
edit on 8-1-2013 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:24 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Well, my principal just informed us all that on the week we have PE (physical education), our students will not get recess time.

What does this mean, that they wont have recess and physical education during the same week? It doesnt sound permanent, just an attempt to reduce some redundancy?

Sounds like they would still have recess just not on those particular weeks where they also have PE..

edit on 8-1-2013 by gladtobehere because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 03:26 PM
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reply to post by Myomistress
 


We had quiet time too. I'm not really sure what the purpose of it was for.

Question for everyone...in your grade schools did you guys have the "share table" or the "free table" at lunch time? You know, the table that anyone can put stuff they don't want on it? It just seems like such a weird concept to me now 20 years later.
edit on 8-1-2013 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)





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