Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shame on You!

Remember the good ol' days when you could convince your PE teacher to play Prison Ball in class? The you went out to recess and played tag until you thought your lungs would pop?

No more.

The other day my kids came home from school with the news that they are no longer allowed to play dodge ball, wall ball, or any variation. Tag is also taboo.

I'm sorry, what did you say? No tag?

Mmm hmm. That's right. No more fun. Apparently, during the game, kids are singled out and that's a bad thing. I talked with some of my colleagues here at the junior high, and they said that they were taught in teacher school that we shouldn't let the kids play "shame games." (I think I would have remembered this lesson. I guess I'm either too old, not certified in elementary, or was sleeping especially well that day)

According to the pundits, a shame game is any game that singles out a particular kid, thus creating the potential of lowering their self esteem. OK. So I'm trying to think of an athletic activity where that wouldn't happen. Baseball? No, nothing more esteem-deflating than striking out. Basketball? No, my esteem never made it past being the last one chosen. Track? No. Golf? Tennis? Badmitton? No, no, no.

What is going on? Can someone please fill me in? I've been in education for 10 years now, and it makes no sense.

I'm gonna stop before my veins pop.

Pastel Guy


Essentially Me said...

My kids love dodgeball. I play it with a twist ... if they get hit with a ball, instead of being out for the rest of the game, they have to go to the other side (the other team) along the perimeter of the wall and are allowed to hit those team members if a ball comes their way. If they hit someone, then they go back to their side of the gym. This way nobody is singled out and no one is really "out" of the game.

PastelGuy said...

That sounds like the game we used to call 'Prison Ball' when I was in grade school. You were in prison if you were behind the other team. We loved it!

Lucy said...

Here is what is so funny we work so hard to 'not' single a child out or deflate their self-esteem and yet when they enter the 'real world' they are unable to handle any situation that 'singles' them out. Isn't games a learning tool?
Also, my two children crack up at teachers who try to tell a kid they didn't get an answer wrong when they raised their hand and they got it wrong. My kids are like, "Oh my gosh, the teacher goes on and on on how that was almost right and they never thought of it like that but here is what they were looking for." My son said, " we would get through class a lot quicker if they could just say "nope, not right, here's the answer, next question."
I totally feel for you!

Anonymous said...

Wow, no tag?!! That was so much fun way back when. What about hide and seek? It seems that every game has to single someone out, someone has to win right? I think that all those games are great exercise, fun, and teach the kids a lot about social situations... shouldn't that outshine the negative aspect of them? As long as they are moderated and nobody gets hurt I think they are great :)