Teacher’s Guide to Playground Duty: What You Need to Know

When the kids are at play, teachers take on other duties. Here’s our guide to playground duty for teachers and why it is an important part of leadership development in schools.

The life of a teacher is often misunderstood by the non teacher. Teachers are often in such a rush that they don’t have much time to relax during the day. During break times for morning tea and lunch, workers in industries other than teaching use this time to catch their breath and unwind. Teachers, on the other hand, are not always able to take a moment away their teaching and supervision responsibilities. Many teachers dislike having to do playground duty as they feel they don’t get a break. It feels like the day is going by too quickly and they don’t have any time to themselves.

The playground is a crucial location for children and young people to learn. Here, children may develop skills such as socializing, maintaining their health, and resolving problems on their own. It is the responsibility of every teacher to monitor their students during their rostered playground duty. It can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging if you’re not prepared for it. The responsibilities of a teacher during playground duty are far greater than simply providing a duty of care. There are opportunities to continue to make a difference to student learning. Here are a few tips to help make the experience easier for you and others!

  1. Teachers are responsible for monitoring their students during playground duty. If you’re not there on time the supervision of the students breaks down. Additionally, you might upset your colleague waiting to be replaced.
  2. It is important to be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you are constantly keeping an eye on the students, and be prepared to intervene if necessary. It’s also important to be familiar with the playground equipment. Be sure to know how to use each piece of equipment properly, and always supervise students when they are using it.
  3. Playground duty is an active task. You need to be present and attentive when you are at the playground. This means that you should watch and talk to the students. Building relationships with your students is one of the most important aspects of playground duty. Take the time to get to know them, and find out what they’re interested in. This can be a great opportunity for you to extend learning beyond the classroom walls. You might also want to try some fun activities with the students, like playing games or having a picnic.
  4. The playground allows us to engage with our pupils, observe them in a different light, discover about their hobbies, talents, and flaws – an understanding that is essential for developing professional expertise and informing practice. By taking the time to know our students, we can better assess and respond to their social, emotional, and behavioural needs.
  5. The playground is a very important place for children and teachers. It is a place where they can play and have fun. Play helps children learn in many different ways. Playing on the playground is a great way for children to learn about themselves, others, and how to act responsibly and kindly. Teachers can help children learn how to play. They can also help promote social inclusion and emotional support when needed. This might be as simple as putting on a band-aid on a small scrape to addressing complex problems like unfair play and bullying. The playground is at the core of the school community and a gathering place for children and teachers to play and collaborate in order to improve everyone’s well-being.
  6. Prevention of accidents and student incidents is a key focus your playground duty responsibility. You are being risk-conscious if you use a surveillance and intervention strategy. Risk-awareness should be prioritized by checking the playground daily, correcting ground and equipment hazards as needed, and focusing attention on the areas where accidents are most likely to occur.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to take on playground duty! It can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s important to stay alert, have a positive mindset and be prepared for anything. By following these tips, you’ll be able to have a successful experience while keeping your students safe! Have a great time learning with your students.

Author: Dr Jake Madden

Jake Madden (Dip Teach; B.Ed; Grad Dip: Leadership; M. Ed: Leadership; EdD; FACEL; MACE) Dr. Jake Madden is currently the Principal, St Edward’s Primary School, Tamworth. He has enjoyed a successful teaching and principal leadership career over the last thirty years building teacher capacity through the development of learning in the contemporary world, the promotion of flexible learning spaces to meet the needs of the 21st century learner and curriculum for global mindedness. Jake is a leader in the notion of teacher-as-researcher and is widely published in this area, authoring and co-authoring books and a number of journal articles showcasing his experiences and research into leading educational change.

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