By Justin Cahill
I am a HUGE advocate for unstructured recess.
I firmly believe a 30-minute recess should be a mandatory part of every child’s day, in addition to a supplemental fifteen-minute brain break either earlier or later in the school day.
As a teacher, I have a unique opportunity while on recess duty to witness the emotional, physical, and social growth of children in an unstructured environment. This is a time when plan books are stowed away and learning is piloted by children’s imaginations and creativity.
Recess is a necessity
Olga Jarrett, professor of Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Georgia State, states when children have recess they are: less fidgety and more on task, have improved memory and more focused attention, develop more brain connections, learn negotiation skills, exercise leadership, teach games, take turns, and learn to resolve conflicts, and are more physically active before and after school.