Monday, January 23, 2012

Why I Won't Play Videogames with my Students

So... I'm still a bit of a gamer. A game that I had a very momentary excitement for was Super StreetFighter IV for the Nintendo 3DS. During recess, I talk to some of the students. And one of them also plays that game for the 3DS. He claims that he's good because he plays on the hardest level. Being a veteran gamer. I'm tempted to whoop his butt online. To do that, we need to exchange “friend codes.” A friend code is a 16 digit number. That's the only way that you can add people. I was tempted, but I decided against exchanging the codes.

Here's the deal. First off, he already talks a lot about videogames at school. That is, even though we don't play, he still talks about them a lot. I want to squash any conversation about videogames. He's really excited about videogames and I don't want to give him additional topics to distract him from class. If we were to play, that would just fuel the ammunition of his conversation for videogames.

Second, it brings me closer to his level. We become more like buds than a teacher to a student. It's easier to refuse directions from your bus than your teacher. Is there such a thing as a pupil who also spends quality time with his mentor? I would guess that there probably is such a thing. But, I don't want to take the risk of trying to control a relationship in which I am seen as more of an equal. Undeniably, intellectually, I'm not his equal. And, I don't want me playing videogames to overshadow that in his mind.

Lastly, it's my experience that kids tend to have big mouths. They will tell you that they will keep a secret, but it doesn't happen too often. They'll tell someone. What I'm worried about with that is that some students will get jealous. “How come you get to play with Mr. Auto? I want to play with Mr. Auto! So what if I don't have a 3DS. I can get one.” I would be giving this student personal attention that I would not be giving to any other student. I'm guessing that it would definitely appear unfair to some student. And, I can't afford to give that kind of attention to all students. So, since I can't give everyone that kind of personal attention, then to be equitable, no one can get that kind of personal attention.

And, those are the reasons why I cannot play videogames with my students. However, the morale is actually much broader than that. The morale actually concerns why no teacher can show any kind of particularly heightened interest for one student over another.

No comments:

Post a Comment