In February, I started working as a counselor as part of the local Parks and Recreation Extended School Program. I got assigned to a fantastic elementary school. Top notch, in fact, a school with national recognition. A few months ago I posted about my after-school program kids and how they said the darnedest things. Last school year, I worked with 2 groups that included kids in the third, fourth and fifth grade. My assignment has since changed and I’m now working with first, second and third graders.
It didn’t take me long to learn their names since I have to call them down so much. They’re sweet kids, but are as rambunctious as all get out. Miss Nawtesha has long since been forgotten and I’m just Miss Tasha again. No kids asking probing questions, no one asking if I have a boyfriend, kids, etc. But man do the kids like to tattle-tell and complain about evey. little. thing.
I will give my kids one compliment, though. They sure are creative. They love coming up with new games or new ways of doing things. I love watching them play on the playground because more often than not there is a contingent of boys that love to play Star Wars. And even though the boys are the ones always talking about “The Clone Wars” the girls have been joining in on the play. “I don’t want to join the dark side!” I heard one girl say not too long ago.
The first week of school, we played a game called “Pirates Loot” where the object was to get as much of the treasure out of the hands of the pirates. We used small squishy balls (called Gatorskin balls) as our treasure since we didn’t have bean bags. The kids were divided into two teams and the Pirates were charged with guarding the treasure. One of my little boys, S, got into it. He bellowed, “Argh, if ye cross Cap’n S, you’ll have to walk the plank!” (Sadly that’s not the exact quote as I’ve fogotten exactly what he said.) The point is, he really got into the role.
Whether or not they’ve got a PHB or character sheet in front of them, they’re still role-playing. Playing doctor, house, etc, that’s all role-play and it’s a healthy way to expand one’s creativity. I used to pretend to be Geordi La Forge with my headbands when I was a kid.
My mom has always supported my geekiness. I’ll write about my own personal geek life later, but she called me up today and she said, “The geeks are fighting in the park again today.” A few months ago she called me and said she saw some people dressed up in costumes fighting. I assume they are a LARP group, which I think is just awesome. I would get my after-school kids some costumes and let them play if they wanted to. In fact, I might just do that.