I came across the concept of Global School Play Day last week and was curious. On a quick glance it was obvious that it was a positive initiative to encourage more play in schools. I get that, all is good.
I listened to the podcast out of curiosity. I couldn’t help but feel sad afterwards. It’s not that I felt anything was wrong with the play day, I think I just realised how much of a different world I currently live in.
I really was surprised that the teachers were not more aware of how important play is. Why is this not essential knowledge for educators of children? This actually concerns me.
Then, the teachers seemed all on board about the idea of more play is a good thing, sharing so many positive things that had happened on play days. They also talked about how the ideas of Peter Gray’s TedX talk on The Decline of Play just makes so much sense…
But they still obviously had real trouble truly wanting to figure out how to prioritise it and apply it practically as they still felt all the academic stuff was too important to drop.
They did honestly seemed convinced that more play would lead to better lives for children, even their own childrens lives. But I think there is still that underlying fear and insecurity of ‘allowing’ too much play.
Honestly, this is understandable. I totally see where they are coming from and I’m not here to tell them they are wrong. Most unschoolers will go through a significant period of deschooling just to get to a place they can start rebuilding and figuring out how and what they want to learn.
I wonder if it’s even possible to help teachers deschool a bit? Or get the permission to make changes to their environment in a safe and positive way for the children, the teachers and the school. It’s such a hard position to be in, not one that I would personally choose.
My sadness comes from where I’m standing and how I see things differently. I wish schools were more aware and could easily implement play. I also realise this helps me see how far we have come and how deep of an unschooling journey we are personally on.