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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Walk Don’t Walk…

At the elementary school, yard duty is actually pretty boring duty. Be the adult presence in the yard. Walk around and keep the peace. Attempt to have the eyes in the back of your head to see that errant basketball before it hits you in the back.

“Walk! Don’t run!” is the order of the day even though it seems counter productive to not to encourage a healthy activity like running just for the fun of it.

Someone might fall and hurt themselves is the explanation. But we’re sending mixed signals, commanding kids to “RUN! Don’t walk!” laps during P.E. class. These are the same kids who would willingly chase after each other at tilt-a-whirl speed for the entire 20min recess if we let them.

The playgrounds we had when we went to school were all concrete or asphalt. Yea, there were some skinned knees and sore elbows, but it was part of the risk of having fun. You quickly learned the limits of your gymnastic ability.

Now the school playgrounds, where all the climbing bars, swings and slides are located, have a spongy rubber matted surface underlay to cushion any fall. Does this reduce the risk of injury? My informal observations seem to indicate that kids tend to jump off swings and climbing bars from much higher heights than I ever remember doing.

I guess I’m supposed to discourage jumping off things any higher than a foot or so but they don’t seem to be injuring themselves, so I let it slide. They’re having fun.

(…Why is that teacher with the horrified look running over here? Should blow my whistle and yell at her to “WALK, DON’T RUN?”)


Law and Order Teacher said...

I remember the asphalt playground and our games of smear. Tackling each other on the playground, ripping our pants, skinning our knees and elbows, but getting the sympathy from the girls. That's what it's all about. Oh yeah.

KauaiMark said...

I'll bet you even road your bicycle in cutoff jeans, flip-flops, no helmet, elbow or shin guards either.

I know I did!!