I haven’t used this blog as a platform for my thoughts in a long time. It has primarily been a glorified baby book for my boys.
But this TED talk really had me thinking this morning–even with the lack of sleep as of late.
Watch this video, especially if you have young, school aged boys in your life. It’s only 12 minutes.
Here are my thoughts:
My comic book loving, wrestling enthusiast, nerf gun using boys are wild in a good way–the boy way. They are 100% boy. They love to write said topics in comic book fashion. The books they have written are strewn from room to room here at our house. One of my sons even spent his own money to copy a comic he wrote at Kinkos so he could sell them–$2.00 for a copy, $2.50 for it autographed. They want to write all about boy things. Constantly. The zero tolerance from schools has not really squelched their desire to write about these topics, as we have been blessed with wonderful teachers who have understood their penchant for action filled writing as just that…writing. Nothing else.
The woman giving the TED talk is promoting better gaming ideas to help with keeping our boys involved and excited about learning. She brings up so many wonderful points about how we as educators are losing boys.
–There aren’t enough male teachers for our boys to look up to as a role model.
–The number of children with special needs is larger with boys than with girls. (I have a child with ADHD and sensory issues…I live that life, too. I’m one who sees things through the eyes of an educator AND a mom of special needs.)
–There is not enough movement in our classrooms. (Teachers ask students to sit and sit and write and write. I know I often feel like I can’t get everything I need to teach into my day and it stresses me out. But boys need to move. If that is incorporated into the day, things get a little bit better because my students are ready to learn.)
– And then she adds the part about better games that teach and entertain.
I do not think gaming is the complete answer. I think children get enough of that time at home, often without limitations or time constraints. But it’s hard to get the attention of my students in a world that readily hands them information and entertainment via TV, computer, or device. There are days when it doesn’t matter how many cartwheels I do in the front of the classroom, they still.don’t.understand the topic or skill. Teaching has changed so much in the 15 years I have been in the profession.
My point is this: There are other ways to engage our boys and girls in the classroom. Having students move, jump, and act out gets children involved in the lesson. Using music, small groups, and drama incorporated into lessons are also powerful ways of actively engaging students.
I did love this TED talk. I completely agree that we are losing the boys of our classrooms.
I just want my fellow teachers to understand that gaming isn’t the one and only answer.