No responses to “Why Do Our Children Need a Recess Coach?”

  1. Coach V

    There are pros and cons to both sides of the debate, but each school is different, and not just the inner cities. It really has a lot to do with the community and the families. If there are students that come from an affluent background that have many things provided, then they may not know the simple games that kids play all the time. More often than not, it is usually the limiting factors like household income that determine experiences, but what if the kids just didn’t know how to to play?
    On the other hand, some states have outlawed certain games like dodgeball because kids were getting injured too badly. This same high level of “concern” may now be carried over to the playground.
    Be it students getting bullied or hurt, or that they just dont know how to play, depending on the school it is a good idea for those that need it.
    Like some of the other posts stated, I would venture to guess that it would be great if the students were eventually able to manage themselves or that the coaching would not be as necessary. Whatever the case may be- invention usually comes from need and I doubt that there is this need in every school in every school in the country- but if there is, i’m glad that the program is available.

  2. Paula

    I’m glad to see this is sparking a discussion about recess and playtime. “Mimi68826″ is right, recess is different for our kids now than it was when we were all kids. Back then, older kids taught the younger kids the rules, like how to pick teams or settle arguments, and so on. But kids don’t get to go outside and be unsupervised the way they used to, especially in inner-city neighborhoods. So when they come to school, they don’t bring the same skills. Sadly, in too many schools kids *are* getting hurt at recess.

    At Playworks, I work with parents and I hear the same thing you’re saying: that there’s not enough playtime for kids in the day. Schools all over are cutting recess because they say it impinges on instructional time or feels unsafe. But schools that want to do the right thing have found that we can help make it possible for kids to play together safely AND have fun, giving them an alternative to cutting recess. We’re not organizing the playground to control kids (we don’t force kids to play so they can opt in or choose to do whatever they like). We’re organizing the playground so kids can ultimately take playtime into their own hands and believe me-they do! – Paula, Playworks

  3. mimi68826

    I am all for free play for kids during recess. However, I have read about these recess coordinators/coaches/etc on other blogs and newsites. It sounds like, in some cases, they may be necessary just to teach kids the rules and how to play the games we always “just knew” how to play when we were growing up. There’s been a generational divide and a lot of younger kids don’t know how to play Red Rover; Pump, Pump Pullaway; Anni, Anni, Over; and all those other games I learned from my older cousins and friends. (I had to teach my Cub Scout den how to play Red Rover – now they love it.) But once the games are taught, the recess coach should step back, let the kids choose what they’re going to play, and just be there as a monitor and a resource for rule disputes, etc.

  4. mommieknowsbest

    Oh for heaven’s sake! I think this is ridiculous! Let the kids play! I am all about structure, and in fact I love organization. (I was voted most organized in my high school class back in the day.) BUT, when it comes to play, I say let the structure and the organization go out the window. Being a kid is the one time in our lives where we can run free and be silly. Plus, I think free play builds our children’s imaginations. I totally agree with you and ask the same question, why?

  5. bestmommy

    I totally agree with you. Last year my daughter had a teacher who was very athletic and loved to play soccer, basketball, baseball etc. She was in her 20’s and had lots of energy and tried to organize rotating sports stations at recess so the kids could take turns playing different sports. The first few weeks my daughter loved it, but then one day she said to me, “Mom, I just wish we could play what we wanted to or just act silly and talk with our friends at recess.” Apparently, some other kids felt the same way and after I talked to her teacher about it she dropped the whole routine and let them do what they wanted during their time off. She was an awesome teacher all-around and didn’t realize that the kids weren’t enjoying this structured play time and quickly changed things when the parents voiced their concerns. Luckily this was not a school wide mandatory program or else we probably wouldn’t have had much success changing it.

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