Teach How to Play

In teaching, it’s easy to get caught up in the demands of the day and the district, and your principal, and the pacing guide … it can feel like too much sometimes. If you feel like that, as an educated adult, imaging how it must feel for your students. I think it’s important for a teacher to know how to have fun. I know teachers who do it through giving out MnMs. I know others who show a science video once in a while and have their kids write about it. I know a few games I like to play with my students to help them learn their multiplication, and then of course, there’s kickball. The point is, these little guys don’t know how to have proper fun. They look to you to not only educated them but expand their thinking through play.

Take the time to have “fun” things to do in your classroom. When you come back from an assembly and have 20 minutes until lunch, you should have something on hand. How about “heads up 7 up?” I can hear some people saying that kids shouldn’t play in school. Well, how will they rest their brain? How will they develop problem solving skills if they are always on the spot with academics and testing? I think the teacher should be the one in their life who shows them fun things to do. These should be seen as ways to “lower the affective filter.” This helps them to trust and take risks with their learning more. A professional should know how to teach academics but also how to show kids what fun is in an acceptable time and space.

Author: Damien Riley

Having been a public school teacher since 1997, I've gained valuable classroom experience. Sometimes a great tool is a dynamite lesson plan. These posts are from a real teaching journey. I hope they inspire you. Thanks for reading!

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