First grade recess - that's what it's all about - as far as the kiddos are concerned, but the truth is ...
We first grade teachers have no other choice but to make it clear to our students ... FIRST, you must complete your work, and THEN, you may go out to recess. I know! I know!
But that's the way it has to be and needs to be.
For three days in a row, Gena had missed recess ...
Instead of completing her class work, she spent a great deal of time looking around at the other children. She would lean WAY OVER and watch different students near her write.
I wanted her to enjoy recess too, so I spoke with her again today.
“Gena, you are SO smart! I know you can finish this lesson. See? You’re almost finished.”
“Yeah, I know I’m smart,” she said in a deep, raspy voice, “but I got other problems.” She rubbed her little head and sighed deeply.
“Teacher, just tell me one thing ... where do them kids buy them fast pencils?"
Ema said, “Teacher, when I swing I have to do my legs like this.” She demonstrated by squatting.
I glanced over to see the only available swing. “Oh, the chains on your swing are too long,” I told her. “You’re too close to the ground.”
“Uh-huh ..." She tapped her foot impatiently because she was exhausted from having to listen to what she already knew.
“But can you HURRY OVER THERE, RIGHT NOW, and higher-up them chains?”
We were still at first grade recess when...
an old truck snorted and puttered slowly past us. Some of my kiddos jumped and screamed whenever it backfired.
Weesie squealed, “What was THAT?”
Joe Joe wasn’t worried. “Nuttin... that old truck rick-a-fired.”
Loegan craned his neck forward to see past the trail of black smoke the truck had left. “Them people better hurry up and get where they going… That truck’s ‘bout ready to EXPLODE!”
“Explode?” Joe Joe huffed. “No, it ain’t!”
“Yes, it is,” Loegan insisted. He waved a place in front of his face, trying to breathe. “The fuse is already lit!”
A poor, little ol' pitiful-looking, stray dog had wandered onto the campus during first grade recess. And Weesie was petting him.
“Stop, Weesie,” I said. “Don’t touch that dog. You don’t know him, and he doesn’t know you. Move away from him.”
“Well, if I tell him my name," she reasoned, "will he let me pet him then?”
“No,” I said, “come with me. I’ve got to ask someone to call Animal Control.”
Joe Joe, who had just arrived on the scene, had heard what I said.
He flew into a rage. “Hey, this is my dog. And ain’t NOBODY going to call Animal Shelter on him ever again! Nobody - and I mean NOBODY - is taking my dog away EVER AGAIN!”
He slowed down to catch his breath. “And if they do ..." He spit on the ground. "I TELL YOU WHAT ... it’s over my dog’s dead body!”
My kiddos are so cute! But it's amazes me what they come up with!
For example, I was sure they understood what a circle was, until today. At the end of recess, Clarissa was directing a group of first grade girls.
“Come on and line up,” she directed. “Line up RIGHT OVER HERE - in a nice straight circle!”
* * *
All of the teachers I know are dedicated to teaching, but none of us are real crazy about all of the extra duties we have, obviously. But I admit, there's one duty I actually enjoy ... It's first grade recess. And I bet you can guess why - lol!