Every so often, teachers need to get on their hobby horses and lecture people. That's what teachers do. And today, it's my turn.
Do you ever watch children play? Really and truly play?
When I look back to my own childhood (I know that we all think life was best "back then"), I remember the simplicity of our games. Adults didn't have to organize us, create teams, or give us rules to play by. Our play didn't involve electronics, TV shows, or movies. We went outside, unless it was raining. Actually, I guess we spent a lot of time inside, in this rainy city. However, we played inside, too. Toys were pretty basic. The best ones had no batteries.
So many of my students spend most of their time at lessons, on teams, and in front of screens. And lots of them do homework ad nauseum. Free time is discouraged. Imagination is undeveloped. Their games involve Pokemon and Star Wars characters. Funnily enough, their writing is often uninspired, and features Pokemon and Star Wars characters. Hmmm....
We go on and on at school about the importance of play, but many of the parents smile politely and go home to give their children more homework. What they don't seem to realize is that children learn by playing. Imaginative play will make their children smarter. Maybe even geniuses!
Let them play!
How lovely it was today, while doing playground duty, to see a small group of grade twos playing with flower petals in a puddle. And teaching an ant to swim.
I love it.
Now my lecture is over.