Saturday, September 9, 2017

Get Out and Play

As a principal, the one thing I can guarantee will make me smile is being with the kids.  And specifically, it's playing with the kids.  I try to get out and play with them on the playground every week.  Sometimes it's for selfish reasons.  If I'm having a rough day, a game of basketball will help improve it.  It clears my mind.  It makes me smile.

When adults take time to play with kids it builds relationships.  It shows them you care.

When adults play with kids, it can help model expectations and promote positive behavior.

Early this school year, there were some problems right away on the playground at lunch.  The meal duties were concerned that the kindergarteners and first graders were a little too aggressive out on the basketball court.  I quickly discovered that the situation wasn't because someone was trying to hurt another kid, but really it's because a couple kids knew how to play and the others were scrambling around just trying to grab the ball and run with it. 😀 So I hopped in, partly as the ref and partly as a player.

Yes, it was hot.  Yes, I was sweaty at the end. But guess what? The kids were learning the game.  The kids were having fun.  And I was having fun.  No problems on the court that day.  

Fast forward to the next day at lunch and one of the little first graders comes up to me with a big smile on his face and asks, "Hey Mrs. Peck.  Are you going to coach us again today?"

Melted my heart.  Made me smile.  Of course I was.

My challenge to principals, to teachers, to all staff working with children.  Get out and play.