September 28, 2010

What I learned today:

No matter when I take them out for recess, or for how long, it is never enough to satisfy the kiddos.
Case in point, this afternoon:

At 1:35, we line up for a short recess.  Students are warned that it will be a SHORT recess.
We traipse out to the playground with kickball, basketball, and hw that should have been done last night in tow.  We are the only class outside, but there are two toddlers running around with their grandma.  About 2 minutes of my hooligans' "lively activity" sends them heading for the hills...We are joined by the other 5th grade classes about 5 minutes later.  Kiddos proceed to play, climb, jump, race, tumble, and generally participate in various shenanigans.

I holler at this one to get down from the top of the monkey bars, motion to that one to leave the lawn maintenance worker alone, nervously supervise back bends and hand stands, coax this one to join the group instead of laying on the bench alone, hurry over when that one frantically yells, "Miss Teacher!  He fell!," breathe a sigh of relief when I hear, "Never mind!  He's okay!," ponder why the wood chips feel suspiciously like quicksand as I walk across the playground, monitor 3 homework delinquents as they sit against the wall with clipboards, shield my eyes from blinding sun, and check my watch every 30 seconds.

15 minutes later, I raise my hand and begin to walk towards the door.  The monkeys notice 1 by 1 and race over to line up.  (Except for the handful that are always oblivious and need another student to be sent to round them up...)  I am met by a chorus of, "That was too short!" and "The other classes are still outside!" and "We never get to stay out the longest!" and "Why do WE have to go in first??"  I attempt feebly to reason with them (although by now I'm not sure why) while simultaneously doing a head count.  Darn, 2 still missing.  I say on repeat: "_____, go see if you can track down the last two" and "We are going in first because we came outside first!" and "No, we did NOT have the shortest recess, we just came outside first" and "If we come outside LAST and come inside LAST we will have the same amount of recess time as we did today!" and finally, "[sigh] Voices off 5th graders.  Feel free to walk quietly in the hall if you'd like to have recess again someday!"

Today I learned (for the 50th time, maybe someday it will stick?) that 10 year olds cannot be reasoned with and no recess is ever long enough, both for the kids and myself.  It turns out even this teacher needs 15 minutes of sunshine. :)

PS: had my post-observation meeting this afternoon and got some great feedback.  :) yay!

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