Game club update

game club
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.

The lunchtime game club at Moomin’s school is going well. It’s chaotic. I expected there to be more kids who knew the basics of game playing. It’s astounding that out of such a big crowd of first and second graders, there were only three of them who knew the rules of checkers.

Is this spectacularly un-punk-rock of me to say? Rules and structure are important. Playing a game by its rules is important. Losing the game is important. Playing it again, and getting better. You can feel and measure your success. It’s competition on an individual level, in small doses that anyone can grasp.

It’s odd how schools seem to have lost this basic principle. Competition is not a bad word! Winning isn’t either! Kids should win and be proud of it. You’d be amazed how anti-winning the culture of public education has become.

I’m starting to learn the kids’ names and personalities. The shy girl who watched for two whole recess periods but wouldn’t play or even speak? It was a pleasure to watch her face finally light up as she double-jumped Moomin’s checkers! I was proud… and also was proud of Moomin’s aplomb, and of the kid who cried but then stuck with the game and had fun.

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