We all remember it. Playing on the monkey bars or just having a good time outside in Michigan’s great weather. Everyone remembers their own special moments from recess, from playing football to meeting lifelong friends, to teaching us life lessons. So why would they get rid of it in high school?
Looking back on the early days of recess, I could see why. Only being five or six years old, we didn’t have a care in the world. We ran around, played on swings, collected acorns for some odd reason and even chanted how we wanted a hot tub. Other then getting us outside and driving the teachers up a wall with 25 little kids screaming at them, it was a completely productive experience.
Fifth grade, however, was the apex of recess. We could often be found going outside up to three times a day to enjoy the weather and everything that it had to offer us. Everything from playing football to building snow forts to sitting on the monkey bars. Who could have a better time then that?
So we thought. As we started sixth grade, we realized that recess was a thing of the past. Gone were the days of having breaks throughout the day and relaxing out on the lawn. Instead, we had contious school throughout the day. I remember coming home at night with loads of homework and always being stressed out. Sure we could take gym classes to help fill this void, but we still couldn’t do what we really wanted to.
The same is to be said with high school, except there is more work throughout the day. A brief 20 minute break in the middle of the day could help us all so much. It could even just even be added onto lunch. Students would be able to focus so much better, making classes more efficient. Not having any stoppage of class is partly why so many people skip all the time, me included. We just need to get away from the day.
High school should be something you look forward, not something you have to be forced to do. Recess is just one small part in this delicate equation. Just look at the number of happy students at the elementry level compared to boring Dow High School. Adding recess would change those numbers for the better, and actually create a more effective institution in the process.