The sun broke through just in time for recess. It really felt like spring. Most of the lower grades were outside. Usually I stand with another teacher or two, scanning the yard and shooting the breeze, responding to the not too occasional gripes from the kids. ("He just took the four square ball and wouldn't give it to me when I asked him and then he kicked it into the mud.").
Today I walked a couple of laps, and tuned in more than I usually do to how the students were spending recess. It struck me more than usual how so many of the kids are just in constant, active motion for twenty minutes. And such a variety of playing modes. My kids' thing this year has been elaborate tag games, so there was a lot of chasing. The swings were full, and the play structures crowded and teeming with whirring limbs. On the basketball court, the action was more predictable and organized. The playing field has been to muddy for months now for football, but a multi aged group was playing some their own blacktop version with a blue nerf football next to the bark chip playground. In the covered area, a teacher was leading a large group in a jumprope game. I don't know jump rope games. In this game one kid started, then another jumped in, continuing until someone trips up.
But best of all were the three girls standing on two bales of hay, left over from the middle school Charlotte's Web production. They were joyously and enthusiastically performing their own, private song and dance number to a song about sushi.
The joys are there for the taking. You just have to stop and take them.