Adlerian reflections on children resuming school
Schools in many parts of the world are opening or will be opening soon. Three questions for students that seem pertinent: 1) What did you do during the pandemic? List everything that you can think of that you did, 2) What did you do for the very first time? and 3) What did you learn during the pandemic? Few schools teach how to play video games or access information on a mobile phone or double-Dutch or ride a bicycle or roller skate or fly a kite and children learn some or all of these skills.
"What did you do during the pandemic?" invites reflection on daily activities, recollection of events, recognition of management of time, and an opportunity to review and revise activities.
"What did you learn during the pandemic?" assumes that all of us learn, explore, imagine, create, and evolve both inside a classroom and in our homes and communities. Exploration of how and where they learned provides us with information about potential strategies for enhancing education. Educators may want to help students realize that we are gathering, processing, and applying information as we live each day.
"What did you do for the very first time during the pandemic?" invites risk-taking, trying new activities, and risk failure, and learning from mistakes. If the child liked the activity, who did they teach to do the activity? What did they learn about themselves?
Yes, many kids played video games. Alfred Adler theorized that if you want to understand children watch them play. He and others indicated that play is to children as work is to adults. Adler and others emphasized the positive aspects of play.
Here are some of the skills and attitudes that may have been developed through playing video games: 1) I am working in an environment that invites me to set and achieve goals, 2) I can start over when I make a mistake, 3) I can start over as many times as I want, 4) I can take a break if frustrating or discouraged and return to the task, 5) I work in an environment that invites problem solving and solution seeking, 6) I can work alone to seek solutions and solve problems, 7) I can work with others to seek solutions and solve problems, 8) I work in an environment where I use my eyes, ears, and hands at the same time, 9) I can control the speed and direction and volume of the game, 10) I can teach others the skills that I have learned, 11) I can encourage others as they set goals, solve problems, and seek solutions, 12) I can empathize with others as they face challenges and overcome them, 13) I can seek new directions, I can accept the challenge of adaption and adjustment in an evolving environment.
Students, staff, educators, families, and the larger community will adapt and adjust hopefully in the spirit of creating a better world for themselves, their children, and their children's children.
Take care. Stay safe. You are not alone.
Thank you for reading this essay, Wes Wingett, PhD, LMHP
for Dr Wingett's details click on the doc file below