School Recess? What an Idea! [OPINION]
The affluent town of Medway, Massachusetts has hired a Director of Wellness. His name is Ryan Sherman. Mr. Sherman is being hailed by town officials as being a pretty sharp guy. He gets it.
Mr. Sherman, whose salary and benefits package is probably dazzling, has come up with the groundbreaking conclusion that school kids who get a recess break after lunch will be better able to concentrate on their studies during the after lunch session.
Whoa! Stop the presses!
It's true. Thanks to the genius of Mr. Sherman, seventh and eighth graders in Medway now get 10 minutes of "me time" after lunch. Grade school kids get 25 minutes.
The theory is that when kids are cooped up in a classroom for long periods of time, they get restless. They get bored and lose focus. Mr. Sherman was able to figure out that if the kiddos are allowed to run around like maniacs for a little while they will burn off a whole bunch of energy, they would be much less likely to be rambunctious in the classroom during the afternoon. Brilliant!
Why didn't we think of that back in the day? Oh wait, we did. We had recess, and then another Mr. Sherman-type came along and took it away from us. Liability issues. Kids could get hurt with all of that energy releasing going on. Schools could get sued. And what about all of that wasted time running around? Kids could be getting extra MCAS preparation.
Maybe all school districts need a Mr. Sherman. We can make him the Director of Common Sense, and he can go back and look at all of the dumb things we've done over the years, like turning our schools into social experiments, and focus instead on common sense learning with some old school dodge ball breaks tossed in just for fun.
Because after all, kids are kids, and should be allowed to stay that way for as long as possible.
Three cheers for Mr. Sherman. I bet he had recess as a kid.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.