The Great Recess Duty Debacle Part 2

Wowie Wow Wow!  Your comments were so interesting to read about My Great Recess Duty Debacle!  I have decided that I am thankful for my 45 minute lunch but very very very sad that I do not have Specials. And I know about Specials because my niece and nephews live in Texas and they go to Specials.  And my old teaching partner moved to Missouri (and taught for a couple of years there) and her kids went to Specials.  And I have seen your Schedule Cards out in Blogland.  I know that Specials are P.E., Music, Art, and a combination of Computer/Library/Something time.  And all I can say is that I must be SUPER SPECIAL because you're LOOKING at the P.E. teacher, Music teacher, Art Teacher, Computer Teacher, ETC, ETC, ETC.   :)  I am a jack of all trades.

I feel that I need to clear a couple of things up AND ask a couple of questions.

For all of you poor, poor, poor teachers who ALWAYS have recess duty with their kids because, and I quote, "if your kids are at recess, so are you" ---- my question is when do you go to the bathroom??  I mean, really!!!  And my other question is ---- how do you eat lunch in 20 minutes??  I spend 20 minutes waiting for the microwave on some days!   And THEN my Lean Cuisine takes about 3 minutes . . . and then it's usually too hot and I have to let it cool down.  And I always have to talk to people!  20 minutes is just NOT enough to discuss The Bachelor Pad, The Housewives, Big Brother, this kid, that kid, Language Arts, the list goes on!

Okay, a couple of explanations:

I don't need recess duty for fresh air.  The longest I am in my classroom is 1 hour and 45 minutes.  To get ANYWHERE, I have to go outside.  See the fresh air????  It's everywhere!

 This picture is taken from the doorway of my classroom.  That's my view.  In order to go to the office, the bathroom, the library, the cafeteria, the computer lab, etc, etc, etc, we go OUTSIDE.  LOVE.  Here's another shot:
Last winter, those mountains had snow on them.  :)  The big building across from me is the Kinder wing and the little building to the right of it is the rest of first grade.

So we do not have hallways like so many of you do - with cute bulletin boards.  But I am okay with that.  Every once in awhile, I am super jealous of Hallway People.  But that's mostly when it's raining.  UGH. It is not a good day when it is raining.  I never get IN the building.  Just because I left my car and made it to my classroom does not mean I'm out of the rain.  I'm back in it every time I have to go to the office or the bathroom.  And try taking 31 first graders with you to the cafeteria in the rain.  JOY.  The umbrellas and galoshes flip flops are too cute!

Here's the front view of the first grade building:

My classroom is the one all the way to the right by the stairs.  Oh, those stairs!  Just love them.  The kids fall down them and I inevitably fall UP them once or twice a year.

And then, for extra good measure, and to prove that I don't need recess duty in order to get fresh air, here is a pic of the blacktop that is NOT the playground but will TAKE you to the playground.  Follow the yellow brick road blacktop ALL THE WAY DOWN THERE.  And then you'll arrive on the playground.

Can you see the fence down there?  Once you get BEYOND that, you're on the playground. I tried to take this picture standing by my door but I couldn't even SEE the fence.  So I went down the stairs and tried again.  Nope.  So I had to walk across the sidewalk and stand on the yellow line (the line that parents are not supposed to cross in the mornings) and THEN I could kind of see the fence that marks the playground.

Here is a zoomed shot:
I'm still standing in the same place but I zoomed.

Here's my point.  I walk all the way down there to pick up the kids in the morning.  And then we go back and forth like that for morning recess, lunch, and afternoon recess.  One of you commented about how you combined your two 15 minute recesses into one 30 minute recess because of the wasted instructional minutes of transitioning.  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I really wanted to take a pic of the playground but the gate was locked.  I didn't take my keys all the way down there with me and I wasn't going to walk it all over again.  Surely you understand.  :)  And to answer another question, we only have one GIGANTIC playground.  I will try to take a pic of it soon.  It is HUMONGOUS.  Grades 1-3 go out together and then grades 4-6.  Don't even get me started on the grass part of it.  Let's just say . . . well, it . . . there is no fence around it.  Yes, you read that right.  Our kids play on the grass which is surrounded by two streets and there is no fence around it.  I SAID - don't get me started on it!

My upper grade friends (yes, I have friends in upper grade even though they are very mad at Primary as a whole) are sort of closer to the playground but they are light years away from the office.  It's a long way away!

So . . . nothing has been resolved with the duty schedule.  It kind of got worse.  Rumors swirled.  The union was called.  It is really just so stupid complicated.  Deep breath.  Smell the soup.  I have to go work on it AGAIN.

Enjoy your duties tomorrow, whatever they may be!


  1. I'm sorry to hear about all of this mess! Your school SOUNDS so similar to mine in that it is all outdoors- we have recess duty (I only have one a week), we only have one playground and NO SPECIALS! I feel ya- believe me I do!!

    ❀ Christine
    {heart} to Reed

  2. Oh my goodness I didn't realize you all don’t have specials.... that changes everything! Between your looong Language Arts block and that journey to the playground, how do you teach anything else???

  3. Oh my goodness! You poor thing!! Please tell me you didn't take a pay cut, too!!! At least you don't have to pay for a gym membership because CLEARLY you get PLENTY of exercise sprinkled throughout your day. I'll be hoping for the best for you and your school!

    Marcy @ http://busybeesandcupcakes.blogspot.com

  4. Whoa this has gotten crazy! To answer your questions about 20 minute lunch...I usually don't take something to heat up so I'm not waiting. I go to the bathroom either right when I get in the staff lunch room or right before I pick up my kids from lunch. Then I have to wait until specials. It's not bad though. They break up the schedule in a nice way. I don't mind watching recess too much unless it's 90+ degrees out (which is has been and will be until the end of September). But they have a shaded tent and a bench so I can't complain. I really hope you get this all figured out soon!!

  5. Holy moly. I missed your first recess debacle post so I made sure to go back to get caught up! I'm still in awe about the layout of your school! I can't even imagine that! I am CONSTANTLY running all around(especially during my lunch) it seems like, I would not handle that well! Where do you make copies and laminate?!

    I'm one of those, my kids are outside, so am I. But it's preschool and I'm ok with that. We save recess for the end of the day. (I teach half day groups) that way if anything we have planned runs over and we don't make it out, it's ok. But even Kindergarten, the teacher goes out with the class! I've been in schools where all of the teachers simply rotated through duty for each day of the week. That always seems fair. That way EVERYONE is involved and taking their turn.

    The way I see it, you can't expect someone else to watch your class outside on the playground if you wouldn't watch theirs..

    Good luck getting all this figured out! You just can't catch a break can you?!

  6. Wow! I am in Florida so I understand RAIN. We've had lots of it. I am responsible for our recess although it's called SPA (Structured Physical Activity). Our kids are only allowed SPA on non PE days which means it only happens 2x's a week if we can get outside before it rains. The other issue with going outside is fire ants. Not only do they hurt but I am allergic to them. Our kids have PE, Music (30 min) and Art (45 min). Media and Computers are my responsibility. During a couple of our specials, we are in data meetings/grade level professional development meetings. Our lunch break is 30 minutes but that is not including the time taken off for any problems that arise, parent who calls etc. Restroom breaks happen before school, during our 30 min lunch, special break (if you are lucky) or after school. We also have a big school (1000 kids) so we spend a lot of time walking back and forth to different locations as well.

    Good Luck!

  7. Bathroom! What is that place? I usually have a teacher watch my class while I run for it.


  8. I go to the bathroom before kids start arriving in the morning, again during lunch if I need to, and at specials. If I have to go at some other time I'm pretty much out of luck. We only have one playground area too. And its pretty small. like 5-7 swings, and a play gym that has a slide. Thats it.

  9. Your school looks beautiful. At least you have a nice view during recess duty. Hang in there.

  10. Must be nice to have a union... Hopefully it gets figured out soon!

  11. I know this post is uber old and I don't know how I got to it again but I was showing hubby ( who grew up in Satna Ana CA and finds this normal) your pics. Just this year we had to move art out into a trailer and its been pandemonium on the 2 rainy days. It was decided that when it rains she has to come to our rooms to teach art (and I have to go elsewhere for my planning time). I guess all the snowy winter I'll lose my room once a week. I just can't imagine going out in the pouring rain or Santa Ana winds several times a day. (I used to live in Orange County and know there isn't months of rain but still...)