Dawning of a new School Year

I am sitting at my computer at 10PM Eastern Daylight Time and pondering about the upcoming school year, which begins in 10 hours.  Entering my 13th year in education has brought some new challenges.  One of the biggest has been overcoming the mid life crisis I seem to have found myself in.  Second is a change in the focus of schools.  Testing, testing, and testing really seems to be all we are concerned with anymore.  It has its place but should not hold the level of prominence that is now claims.  Third, at 38 years old and having my entire teaching career at the same school, in the same room, but with many different people in the building; I am now becoming comfortable with the realization that many teachers look at me as a leader in the building.  They come for advice, they come for information, and they come for the occasional gripe session about the latest “non” educational task we have been asked to do.  All of these things are part of the process.  However, with all of those thoughts in my mind tonight, I am really excited to get this year running.  I am excited about using The Sims.  I am excited about using Making History for the third year(they have a new version on the way shortly).  I am looking for more ways to bring gaming to my class.  I am prepared to fight the good fight.  To convince the nay sayers that kids that game are not in a mind numbing activity.  (If you want mind numbing you should come and listen to my lecture about Ancient China).  It is not an activity for hermits or the unsocialized.  Gaming is a way to excite the unexcited, to engage the disengaged, and to educate those who fight education.  Some of my activities this year will fail.  They always do.  But one thing a student should never say about a teacher is that they didn’t try.  So for the 13th year in a row…..I am going to try.  Check back in twenty years and see how I did.

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2 responses to “Dawning of a new School Year

  1. Keep fighting the good fight Dave! The work you are doing sounds like the kind of practice that will resonante with learners from the ‘digital age’. I am hugely interested in your practice and enjoy reading about the innovative ways you bring gaming to the teaching and lerarning domain. I too am passionate about games and in my various professional guises, as a primary teacher, staff tutor, University lecturer in Scotland, I have attempted to demonstrate and encourage how gaming can engage, motivate and extend learners of all ages. I am currently working in a new position that will allow me to engage with research projects that will look at new technology/games and try to model, articulate, identify how learning can be enhanced by such tools. Your blog and others are inspirational to people like me. I look forward to hearing much more about what you do.

  2. Looking forward to more news.

    Maybe this would have been a better summer reading suggestion, as I know you’ll be very busy now with movements on the ground, but when you arrive at a new point where you have lots to think about and not so much to do, I’d be interested to see how you integrate theories of learning through play into your personal experiences as a teacher who uses games in a serious way. I found one site recently:

    http://www.theplayethic.com/pages/873322/index.htm

    which links to many others.

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