Get Thee To A Playground.
Why in all that is sensible would I want to do that? you ask. Playgrounds are stages for shouting, racing around, shoving, injuries and the ubiquitous Did Not, Did Too! mocking. Yes, yes, all true, However, the plusses to playground pursuits (can't pass up an opportunity to alliterate) surpass the negatives. Not just for children, but for everyone. Last week I was reminded of this, that there are no age limitations or restrictions on a playground. In the role of substitute teacher I spent Monday with public school kindergartners and Thursday with second-graders. Kindergarten day I did not have "recess duty." Second-graders day, I did.
The hallway, post recess release. The yellow tape is where the class lined up to go outside, or anywhere beyond the classroom.
I watched them hop, skip, run, cartwheel – children never simply walk to a destination - to their favorite playground equipment or area. I’d already smiled a lot that day, but witnessing these young people’s effortless energy and the joy of being in the untethered outdoors brought on the biggest smile on this sunny, cool day. I watched for a while, my eyes drawn to the two sets of five swings. Bright orange seats anchored to thick chains and a metal frame. I wanted so badly to get on one but was concerned that it was against school regs for a teacher, especially a substitute teacher, to do that. When I saw one of the other second grade teachers, the real deal, plunk down on one, attention on her cell phone, I took that as a green light to ride out playground duty on a swing.