Power up your Recess Team

The recess team is the team of adults present at and responsible for recess periods at a school. The purpose of the recess team is to ensure that recess is running smoothly, there’s a plan and systems in place to effectively manage recess, and all adults at recess have clear roles and responsibilities, ensure safe and healthy play. The recess team improves overall school climate by reducing negative spillover into class from conflicts at recess. Classrooms benefit from the social and emotional skills kids learn at recess.

What are some of the typical roles and responsibilities of this team? Members of the recess team may be:

  • Recess coordinator is the person who leads the team
  • Recess coaches are adults and/or student leaders actively engaging in games with students at recess
  • Administrative representative helps make sure that recess is a priority

Members of the recess team facilitate or monitor specific game stations at recess, like foursquare or 3 line basketball.  They might be actively playing in the game or cheering from the sidelines. By participating in play, team members are helping supervise the playground by being able to check in with students and address issues before they escalate. Team members also play an important role by rotating responsibilities for game stations, managing equipment or student leaders.


What you can try this week:

Working as a team to create a thoughtful strategy for managing recess results in more engaged students and more positive relationships. One place to begin is setting up weekly or bi-weekly team meetings to check in with each other, gauge progress, and set goals. Here’s a potential agenda for your team’s first meeting:

  1. Discuss the state of recess. What challenges are occuring? What solutions might exist?
  2. Decide when and how often the recess team will meet
  3. Agree on roles and responsibilities. Who is responsible for what game or what area of the playground?
  4. Agree to a rotation for game station assignments, such as weekly or bi-monthly. For example, which adult would like to be responsible for foursquare versus 3 line basketball next week?

These meeting are an opportunity for thoughtful planning to create milestones for team building and for consistency and accountability goals, and to decide on rotating leadership roles for team members.


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