Wednesday, August 29, 2012

They took away recess and they brought it back? has an article about how schools in Chicago-and elsewhere-are bringing back recess for kids in school.  I was surprised to learn that recess was making a comeback in public schools.  Mostly because I had no idea that recess had ever left.   It turns out that Chicago public schools have not had recess for quite a while.  The article says "three decades" which I assume is different than 30 years.  As a result of this three decade gap, nearly 100 schools in Chicago don't have playgrounds on which the kids can have recess.  Moreover, as the the Chicago Tribune notes, after three decades, school officials do not know who recess is supposed to be run and the kids do not know how to play outside during recess.  All of which is ineffably sad.  Most of my good memories of school occurred on the recess playgrounds.  I suspect that is true for a lot of people my age.

In addition to being sad, the disappearance and re-emergence of recess is an interesting reminder of how things can happen when one is not paying attention.  Recess existed when I left elementary school.  Since it was a very important part of the school day, it never occurred to me that anyone would try to take recess away.  Once out of school,.I did not pay any attention to whether or not schoolkids had recess.  It turns out a lot of them did not.  I feel bad for those kids that missed out.  I really feel bad for the kids that had recess one year and then lost it when the schools took it away.  That must have really stunk.  I am glad that recess is returning to schools.  It was  misguided to have ever taken it away.  Kids are not little adults.  You have to give them time to be a kid.

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