And we mean “play” in the best sense of the word. Fiddle. Tinker. Explore. Discover. Try. Fail. Reengage.2
“Play” doesn’t sit easily with some of the teachers that I work with, nor with several the administrators that I’ve explained the project to lately. And that’s too bad. But I understand it.3
There’s an intense pressure to perform right now, to be successful in all that we do with students. So “playing” seems unprofessional. Wasteful.
But it’s not.
To play on purpose is to take risks. To challenge what you know. To ride the edge between what is and what might be, what never was and what should’ve been. To admit that there’s stuff worth doing that you don’t know the outcome to. To get silly. To be engaged with the world. To dare to fiddle with the unfiddlable.
And we need teachers to be in regular, thoughtful, and purposeful, play.4 How are you making time for play in your learning?