SOLC22 – day 11, playground foray

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.
“Show me.”
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.

4 thoughts on “SOLC22 – day 11, playground foray

  1. I love your last sentence! It’s hard to keep up with all the social issues happening in the classroom in the midst of all the academics that have to be taught. I received an email from a parent yesterday after school that said 3 children were being unkind to her son. I felt awful that it was happening and I didn’t know. Conversations will be had today. Your post reminded me of how we have to navigate the friendships and social strain that exists in our classrooms.

  2. I sometimes walk the track at recess and I get to eavesdrop on different play groups. Teacher proximity is sometimes all that is needed to keep the kids in check.

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