Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Global School Play Day #GSPD

When I learned last week, in the middle of an ed chat, that today was Global School Play Day(GSPD), I was in before I even clicked the link.

Reading up on the movement (check out their website...), I learned that it was based on the idea that kids build their socialization skills through unstructured, face to face play time.

I talked with my students, and found out how right they were on the first part. So many hands went up when I asked how many students have more than one activity after school each day, then dinner, then homework, then bed. With music lessons, sports, martial arts, church, and so many other activities (and I'm not impugning any of these, they're all valuable), kids often don't have much time of their own during the week.

I thought about the face to face part - it made me think of a Louis CK bit where he mentions that kids don't learn empathy when they're on a device. If I say something mean to you in a text, or online, I don't get the sting of watching the pain on your face, I don't grow. If I say something awful to your face, and I see your face sink, it feels awful!

I was in - I love the GSPD idea that providing the students a chance to play together. I played the role of busy dad who doesn't want his kids on XBOX all day. "Go play, I'm busy," I told them. And while I made some videos for teacher friends of mine, I watched them. They played, they organized themselves, they included each other, they did problem solving, and they compromised. It was beautiful!

Of course, being a teacher, I want my kids to reflect, so tomorrow, look for some good blog posts about their Day of Play!

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