Following Doctor’s Recommendations, Middle School Institutes Recess

Following a national trend, TMS students are allowed time to ‘play’ and let out energy


Alison mackie

middle school children playing in a field outside, not Triton students.

         This year the 7th and 8th graders have a new option to go outside once they’ve finished their lunches. It may seem unproductive for students schoolwork to spend time outside playing around rather than studying but it does have its hidden benefits.

          Students spending time outside helps give them a reset. When kids spend their whole day inside they get antsy and feel cooped up. It’s good for them to get outside and get a break running around. 

          Middle school student life seems to be changing every year whether its new teachers or new policies it always feels like a slightly different world from what it was when you were a student there. This year one of the newest programs is “middle school recess” when students finish their lunch they’re allowed to go outside and play in the softball field for the rest of the period.

“Some kids just stand in groups and talk, some kids toss footballs around some kids run around and play tag or chase or whatever we keep rules like keep hands off and stay away from the dugouts, and they respect the rules,” said Alan McRae, principal of the middle school who often chaperones students at play.

To current high school students it may seem like a new policy but according to McRae it’s really not new it’s just an old option that changed. When we were in middle school we were allowed to go out to the courtyard outside of the cafeteria.

Since McRae and other Triton Staff made the change to allow students done with their lunch to play in the softball field far more kids take the opportunity. According to McRae Teachers love the new idea because it allows the kids to get out energy. Lots of students get sick of being cooped up in a classroom all day so it’s a nice change of pace for them to get to run around outside and socialize. 

          In the article, “Give your child’s school a health checkup this fall” by the American Association of pediatrics it is made clear that recess “provides an opportunity for unstructured play that is fundamental for children’s  social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. The AAP recommends recess be a regularly scheduled part of the school day, and long enough for students to mentally decompress, be physically active, and interact with peers.”

Many High school students are probably used to a busy lifestyle of sports honors classes and part time jobs by now. However middle schoolers are coming from Elementary school it’s a big change and increase in work. Getting a break to relax and do whatever is necessary at that age and now it’s an option for middle schoolers here at Triton.