Yesterday, I followed my students to recess. Just curious. There had been some tension between a few kiddos, and I wondered who and what they would gravitate toward.
One group of girls walked toward the handball court, the source of most playground drama. Most of the 3rd and 4th graders were clustered in this corner of the field.
Sitting on the ground alone was L. “Are you ok?” I ask.
He nods his head. “I just don’t really like to play,” he says.
Methodical, sensitive L. has friends but wants alone time. His choice fits him. He’s a thoughtful kiddo. Still worries me. He’s been pulling his hood up in class more.
I walk around the corner on the way back to the staff room. The girls and boys bathroom is located here. I hear, “Teacher!”
The group of 4th grade girls look at me.
I look back. “Are you suppose to be here?” I ask.
I get a shrug.
“Shall I find out for you?”
“Oh no. We know where to go,” K responds.
And off they go. Anyone who hangs out in the bathrooms is probably hiding something like a phone. They all know it, hence the alarm that was set off when they saw me.
I continue to the break room, thinking how a teacher’s presence creates such a stir. I had unintentionally caught them at something.
Walking on the yard during recess from time to time is a good practice. To disrupt the expected. To notice who is up to what. But, walking into their time and space felt invasive.
Both students and teachers need a break from the expectations of their respective roles.