One of my least favorite duties as a teacher is making sure that kids are not running…even when they are outside. I understand. We are trying to keep kids safe. Less kids in the nurse’s office for skinned knees and collisions means more time for learning.
But is it worth the price of crushing the visceral needs of a kid’s soul?
Yeah, that sounds dramatic.
But have you taken the time to watch kids run?
At work, because I’m in a portable, and walk to and from the main building all day, I witness kids running all day long. Kids just run. They run to deliver papers. They run to get back to class. They run to the bathroom. They run to get a drink. They run to escape to recess. If kids have a chance to run, I believe most of them will without even thinking about it.
It just makes me smile to see kids running at full speed, especially for no specific reason at all. They have so much energy and it seems to be an enjoyable and freeing experience for them to blast off to wherever they are headed.
I remember having a lunch detention in elementary school because I ran to get out of the lunch room for recess (completely and utterly forgot the severe warning we had received minutes earlier). I was just so happy to get up and go. But then the whistle sounded and I was pulled to the side as a shameful rule-breaking runner. Sadness.
Even as an adult I find there are times that I really need to run to get someplace quickly. I have to look around to make sure no one is watching because I don’t want to set a bad example.
All of this thinking about running gave me an idea. How about we have running or jogging lanes inside the school building ? I don’t know exactly how this could work, but I like the sound of it. Oh, and I’d love it if we could just let kids run outside on the blacktop, sidewalk, and grass. I like having options and kids usually do too. If you happen to be at school where an idea like this can be implemented, I hope you give it a try and let me know how it goes.