Should school recess be eliminated in favor of more teaching time?” What do you think?
I was still half asleep this morning, as my dogs were trying to make me get out of bed and into the cold of the outside, when the above question on NBC’s “Today’s Show,” made me wake up and wonder if I was still dreaming… I pinched myself (gently) and since the news was repeated and detailed throughout the morning news I concluded it was for real.
Details were provided and apparently, 20 schools in Orlando were cited as having already taken this measure. Is this good for children or bad? A poll was taken by NBC and 99% of respondends said NO –BAD IDEA and 1% answered YES–GOOD IDEA!!!???
My first thought was that the ones who answered good idea were the ones trying to implement this change.
Let’s try to be unemotional and try to understand the real motivation behind this idea.
Traditionally, recess is a time when children socialize, hopefully go outside and breathe fresh air (if the pollution levels are okay) and most importantly, take a break from focusing on learning abstract concepts. Even in college, a 15 minute break is taken after one and a half hour of attending a lecture or a class. If we, as adults need a break, how is it right to take it away from children?
That brings me to another question:
When I was growing up recess was mostly fun. We played ball, told one another little secrets mostly about our latest crushes on a boys or girls, and even “observed” guys and gals from upper classes, which was totally innocent but fun. What else were we doing? Some times, we finished in a rush homework for the class that was to follow.
The above paragraph is perhaps an idealized description, as bulling or other potential or illegal acts were not mentioned. Did they exist? Sure, some people were going in the bathrooms to smoke. In those times the biggest problem!
Times have changed, the world has changed and in today’s reality our children are attached to a smart phone and texting. They already eat dinner with one hand as the other one is texting: “How r u?” “IDK!!!” comes back the response, may be.
The young generation’s social skills are already impaired, so while I understand that it might be difficult for teachers to supervise children during recess and monitor the potential bulling incidences, but research shows the brain needs a BREAK. There is a point when the maturing brain of a child must REST in order to continue to be efficient.
There must be a better alternative, to avoid the downfalls of recess, for example having organized fun activities.
Some children are more physical. Provide them with an opportunity to kick ball. Some love art. Provide them with play dough and coloring pencils and paper. Others might love to sing. Give them instruments. Whatever you, as teachers do, please encourage true socialization and communication among our children!!! By taking away recess, and the opportunity to socialize, so essential to integration and success in life, the younger generation’s chances to be successful people is being cut short. I see this decision as having bad long term consequences. Here’s a story…
When my children were in elementary school, somehow, it was decided at high levels, to experiment on our children “invented spelling.” What did it mean? In K and 1st grade, they WROTE as they HEARD words, however, after their brain was already conditioned to spell a word wrong, it was hard to UNLEARN and switch to the correct spelling. As a result of the “invented spelling experiment,” one of my, now adult daughters, still mixes “there” and “their.”
If our schools teach invented spelling, please expect invented spelling on college papers and resumes. By the same rule, if you take away school recess, expect generations of poorly socialized people.
There is a good reason why 99% of those asked responded RECESS MUST BE KEPT. It really is a matter of common sense and the pros far out weight the cons.