Wednesday, May 8, 2013

In the chair of a student: Minecraft learning reverses my teacher role!

Learning how to play Minecraft with the teachings of my 8 year old son has brought me back to my school days. I felt stressed and not sure about myself.

Minecraft CastleAs Aiden rattled off all these keyboard shortcuts, new lingo, how to do this and that all at a blazing speed of an 8 year old excited to show his dad the world he loves, I was out of my element.

Now, I am a nerd. I love computers and games and anything involving technology so it is not like I don't understand basic game mechanics. However, I needed him to slow down. I realized that his excitement was over the top. I loved it! He was so passionate about what he could create and do.

What I finally had to do was tell him to move on and just let me explore. I had another kid on the server help me at a much slower pace. I felt much better getting instructions from someone else. I felt bad about this, but this is when the light bulb clicked.

As parents, how many times has our children not listened to us, but hear the same message from someone else and it completely sinks in?

As teachers, how many times have we grown frustrated that a child cannot do this or that, but never give much thought to the fact that this may be their first time ever doing the task while we have done it for years?

Sitting in my computer chair I was reminded that I too, need to slow down. I must remember that not everyone operates the same way that I do. I was reminded that as teachers we can be the ones to deliver the same message that they are not hearing at home despite the family preaching it a million times or not at all.

I was also reminded that my brain operates much different. He lives by self teaching through YouTube. I had to download some books as I like to read, take notes, and then apply. Our brains and lifestyles have changed as technology has provided new ways of learning. I hate to say it, but I learn the old school way and he is part of the new school generation.

Despite feeling stressed about learning so much so fast in Minecraft by my son, I loved the experience. It reminded of what he goes through everyday. It reminded that I have so much to learn as there is so much I don't know. It reminded me to stay involved with the passions of my son and to be sure to share my own passions. All it takes is 5 minutes to listen, even if it stresses us out! It shows we care. And even more importantly he is excited about it.

Instead of harping on him all the time about playing too much perhaps I should embrace that he wants to share his passions with me. If all I do is harp at what point does he no longer share his passions with me anymore?
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