04 March 2013

Daddy, Come Play with Me!

Come play with me Daddy!
"Daddy, come play with me" is a phrase I hear all the time and I love it! I have a 3 year old daughter who is so sweet and loving and yet, I don't always give her the time and attention she deserves because I have "obligations" that must be fulfilled. Now, there are certainly things I do that must be done like going to school, work, or religious duties, but there are also a number of other things I let get in the way of that valuable time with my daughter.

How many times do I come home to an anxious daughter, she literally runs to the door everyday to unlock it so I can come in, only to allow technology or work get in the way? I have found that she is only excited for the first 5-10 minutes and then she loses interest if I'm not able to devout some time to her. It is incredibly sad how frequently I let those crucial moments pass with without playing and enjoying her sweet kindness and love.

How frequently do we allow ourselves the opportunity to "play" with our students at recess? Are we too "busy" to go out and play? Now, I recognize that we can't always go outside and play at recess because as teachers, we legitimately have to use that recess time to prepare for lessons, talk with a colleague, or heaven forbid we need to use the restroom during the day! The question though, do we really need to do those things every recess break?

I am in my 5th year as a classroom teacher and I am embarrassed how infrequently I allow myself to play while at recess! I go out for my recess duty rotation as needed, one time you shouldn't play, but actually be vigilant for safety and concerns of the students, but do I go out and play? Not really and that bothers me. In my first year teaching, I went out to play at least once per week. Once a week! I haven't been outside to play at all this year, we are in March just in case you forgot. We are ⅔ of the way through our school year and I have yet to go out and play. I need to change that ASAP!

I think one of the best thing we can do as teachers is go out and play with our students. Show them we are not just there to teach them academics, but also how to have fun. We should spend time running and playing to show them physical exercise is good for us all, especially as adults! I am going to set a goal of returning to my once a week recess play time with my students for the remainder of the school year so they can see how much fun I really am!

Even more important than the play time at school, is the play time at home with my kids. I think the best thing to do in this case is to make sure when I walk in my lovingly unlocked front door that I am ready to give my sweetheart daughter a couple of my first moments home so she can see how much Daddy loves her!

"Come play with me Daddy" needs to be a phrase I continue to hear for many, many years from this little girl and the only way to make sure that happens is to actually do just that. Drop the work, the electronics, everything and just spend some time playing with my little girl!

Cross posted on Teacher-Dad.blogspot.com

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