The fourth graders bustled into
their homeroom after returning from across the hallway at math. I whispered softly as they entered, ” It is blacktop only, but we get outside recess!” I had never witnessed our class go as quickly and quietly as I did in the next few minutes. As soon as I slipped on the recess backpack and turned around in the doorway, we had a quiet straight line with anxious faces.
It was one of those times you can feel the excitement, much like a party day, upcoming field trip or the announcement of a contest winner. We stepped out the school exit door to a beautiful sight, it was the school playground. It felt like a strange magical land that we had never visited. I think it has been almost three weeks since we have enjoyed a recess break outside.
Yes, there were a few glimpses of ice on the northern part next to the building, but it seemed to fade away as the children ran toward the blacktop in the glow of the sunshine. The next fifteen minutes were golden. There was not one injury, or fight, or problem. Every single student was playing… I looked across from the jungle gym to the swings to the basketball court to the four square game. Everyone was playing and having geniune fun. We really didn’t want it to end, teachers included.
As the whistle blew four loud rings, the kids quickly lined up with their classes. I heard one boy say, “Wow, that was an awesome recess!” Another student replied, “It is so beautiful, it is like springtime.” The boy next to her said, “We did move our clocks forward.” As the students settled into their line, it felt good to be a grown-up and still feel the pleasure of a true recess break. “What a wonderful recess,” I thought to myself as we wiped our feet and made it back to our classrooms.