I speak and write a LOT about the need for change in public education — necessary change because we haven’t yet met every child’s potential. That might be an unreachable target, but it doesn’t mean we should give up trying to be better than we are today.
I’m not naive to the notion that my desire for change might leave a perception of ‘doom and gloom’ about public education — that we aren’t doing anything correct at the moment.
And that’s simply not true.
I am proud of many things that we are currently doing in our schools, primarily due to the efforts from our teachers and administrators — true innovators in our system.
Being an administrator in the public education system has meant that I’ve had a few conversations with people where the content was difficult for me to share and, in most cases, even more difficult for the other person to hear.
Some examples …
- Meeting with a student who has not achieved to their potential;
- Conversing with parents about their child’s struggles;
- Debriefing with a staff member who was not successful in an interview;
- Sharing the tragic news of a student or staff member who has died. Unfortunately, I’ve had to do this a few times in my career.
“Skills can be developed through play.”
One guess. Where is this quote from? It’s not from a playground company, sportswear company or even a community rec centre.
If you guessed BC’s revised curriculum you’d be correct!
It’s a critical pillar of the learning paradigm for primary students within our current BC Curriculum. Play is recognized as a critical mode of learning for developing key skills — things like problem solving, collaboration, listening, teamwork, empathy and understanding. These things are essential if we’re hoping to help build our children’s opportunities for success as they enter into an increasingly complex world of inter-relationships.
Playing = Learning
The importance of play in positive mental health can also not be overstated.
Let me explain …