Thursday, March 16, 2023

Trapped Like Rats

 I'll say this for drought: No indoor recess. 

Over the past several weeks, my fellow teachers have met ever-so-briefly in the halls to discuss this matter. I say "ever-so-briefly" because our young charges are in a near constant need of supervision. Left to their own devices out on the asphalt plain that serves as our playground, they can go several minutes without intervention. This is not true with indoor recess.

Close quarters have been the theme of this year's rain-soaked winter. Growing things need water and while I am certain that the trees and plants in my purvey are content and grateful, the short people who I oversee are clearly struggling with the daily announcement of yet another day inside.

As with any experience, the first few iterations are a novelty. Finally! A chance to dust off chestnuts like Heads-up, Seven-up and Four Corners is a welcome change. That is the way things stay fresh. No matter that this same group of children can play soccer five days a week both morning and lunch recess for months at a time, if it's indoor recess, there had better be something new and different to try. 

Yes, there are those teachers who are just as happy to turn their kids loose on the computers in their room during most any break, creating a race to YouTube and many much less educational sites. Or in rare cases, you'll find a teacher who will be happy to share their Netflix account with the whole class, showing them something from the Family Section rather than risk losing their credential. 

Meanwhile, the atmospheric river that we have heard so much about continues to play havoc with the schedules of five to eleven year olds, and the strain is starting to show. When the announcement comes over the PA system that we will once again be sharing close quarters inside, the cheers have been replaced with moans, from young and old alike. Lately when we look outside, we wonder how a little water might hurt the little darlings, but then we remember that at least a few of us would have to sacrifice their warmth and safety to be outside to supervise the puddle stomping. 

So we wait. For that first part in the clouds. For that ray of sunshine. For that whole day of tearing around the playground without having to consult Doppler Radar. We're happy for the moisture, but for the love of all that is holy, please no more Heads-up, Seven-up. 

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