There are programs and activities that I would classify as expendable – recess is not one of them! How a school could justify putting a stop to recess is beyond me. Even in prison there is circle work and yard time. Why on earth would a school want to deprive its students from the social and physical outlet that recess presents? Kids are forced to sit at their desks for hours without socialising with their peers. They long for the chance to get out into the fresh air with their friends. What school would deprive them of that right?
There’s not a minute to waste in the school day for Syracuse elementary students. There’s not even a minute reserved for recess.
The city’s elementary schools have master schedules for the new year and they include zero time blocked out for recess. The schedule requires every minute of a student’s day, except a half-hour lunch, to be spent on instruction.
At least one city school and more than a few teachers took the schedule to mean there could be no more recess, although district Chief Academic Officer Laura Kelley said teachers can offer recess if they want.
It is not clear how teachers could squeeze in recess and still spend the required number of minutes on instruction.
“If they are going to opt to do recess, they are going to be taking time from ELA (English language arts) and math, and that’s a choice I hope every teacher considers very carefully,” Kelley said.
This is absolutely disgraceful! I wouldn’t consider this very carefully at all. If the wellbeing of your students is your first priority, then recess is FAR more important than an extra lesson of math or English.
In fact, I would take my students outside for the day in protest. I would integrate my curriculum for the day around recess. I would have math related recess activities, language based recess activities etc.
To ban recess is tantamount to banning teachers from going home to have dinners with their families, with the reasoning that this time could be used for planning lessons.
I hate some of the trends being flagged in educational circles. They put achievement before child welfare, process before outcomes, political correctness before common sense and regulations before freedoms.
One of my non-negotiable as a teacher is – my students have the right to enjoy their school day!