As the week, term and year goes on, it can be easy to get caught in the whirlwind of teaching. The displays, the marking, the gossip… all of this can quickly and once again take over our lives, and we are left wondering, ‘What happened to our holidays, to the fun, to that feeling of being free?’.
All of a sudden our feelings are taken up with the need to rush, to be busy, to feel like it never ends, and the lightness we felt in the holidays is long gone, a distant memory.
Now unfortunately, we can’t be on holidays forever, but what we want to try and do is keep some of those feelings around.
How do we do that?
No – your’re not too big to play, in fact you need it, it is essential to down time, to happiness, to relaxing.
Play shouldn’t just be saved for when you are on holiday. Play is essential to your wellbeing, and is needed more than every 10 weeks.
In an article on First Things First they report that:
The National Institute for Play (NIP) believes that play can dramatically transform our personal health, our relationships, the education we provide our children and the capacity of our corporations to innovate
And reported benefits of play to be:
- According to the NIP, play is the gateway to vitality. By its nature, it is uniquely and intrinsically rewarding.
- Play generates optimism, seeks out novelty, makes perseverance fun and leads to mastery. Additionally, it gives the immune system a bounce, fosters empathy and promotes a sense of belonging and community. Each of these byproducts are indices of personal health, and their shortage predicts impending health problems and personal fragility.
- It also enhances relationships. The NIP cites studies that indicate that play refreshes a long-term adult-adult relationship.
- Some of the hallmarks of its refreshing, oxygenating action are: humor, the enjoyment of novelty and the capacity to share a lighthearted sense of the world’s ironies. Other hallmarks are the enjoyment of mutual storytelling and the capacity to openly divulge imagination and fantasies.
- Playful communications and interactions, when nourished, produce a climate for easy connection and a deepening, more rewarding relationship – true intimacy. Who wouldn’t want this in a relationship?
So with this in mind, why wouldn’t you be longing for holidays again, especially if it is the only chance you have to play.
So how do you play? Well play is different for everyone – it is playing in a team sport and having fun (not competitive), rollerblading or surfing, it could be laughing and joking with friends or playing angry birds or candy crush or a good old fashioned board game . Whatever it is for you, make time to do it often, more than just in the holidays. Bring it into your classroom, the staffroom, even meetings could do with some play every now and then.
Sometimes it’s ok to play. Life is busy. We work hard, give time to others, our students, our family and children, our job, our routine. Days pass with familiar events. I challenge you to stop and play
We know for our students play is vital to their development, their well-being, their creativity, and truth is, it is the same for you.
Take some time to play while you can.
Amy – The Teachers’ Coach