Jed Dearybury, author of The Playful Classroom and The Power of Play for All Ages joins us to talk about how bringing play into classrooms--no matter the age or level--leads to deeper, more engaged and more joyful learning.
Jed Dearybury’s webpage: https://www.mrdearybury.com/
The Playful Classroom: https://theplayfulclassroom.com/
Jed’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrdearybury
Jed's YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV4Y68wd0lR5kuIzghPGxCw
Ron Clark: Move your Bus - http://www.moveyourbus.com/
Improving Science Content with Choreographed Songs
00:01:00 Guest introduction: Jed Dearybury
00:03:45 How did play become your profession?
00:09:00 Play is when we feel best in life and in the classroom, it allows us to let go of self-criticism and fear.
00:11:00 What are the benefits of play in the classroom?
00:15:00 Sometimes our music teaching is not as playful as our math colleagues imagine it is
00:19:50 Deep play
00:24:15 Value of songs with movement in teaching in non-music areas
00:27:45 Play personalities & types of play (Stuart Brown’s research)
00:35:40 Types of Play
00:38:00 “Level Up” – when students begin to take a game and add a layer of difficulty on top of it
00:38:45 How do you create a culture that’s safe for play?
00:45:24 If you’ve had teachers who were playful, that gives you a model, but what do you do if you haven’t had a model of a playful teacher?
00:47:50 What advice do you have for teachers who may face naysayers when working to create a playful classroom?
00:53:10 What would you say to someone who wants to include play in their classroom, but is worried about still being able to cover all of the content?
00:59:20 Imagination, sociability, humor, spontaneity and wonder – elements of the playful mindset
01:03:26 In the history of educational psychology, we have lots of evidence that we learn through play. Why hasn’t this way of teaching become the norm?
01:09:00 Where can people follow you?
0:00:21.0 David Newman: Welcome to Notes from the Staff, a podcast from the creators of uTheory, where we dive into conversations about music theory, ear training, and music technology with members of the uTheory staff and thought leaders from the world of music education.
0:00:35.5 Greg Ristow: Hi, I'm Greg Ristow, founder of uTheory and associate professor of conducting at the Oberlin Conservatory.
0:00:41.8 Leah Sheldon: I'm Leah Sheldon, head of teacher engagement for uTheory.
0:00:45.4 DN: And I'm David Newman. I teach at James Madison University and I write code and create content for uTheory.
0:00:52.7 LS: And before we get started today, a quick thanks to our listeners for all of your comments and episode suggestions. We love to read them, so send them our way at email@example.com, and remember to like us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
0:01:07.1 GR: Our topic today is the power of play in teaching, learning, and life. And joining us is world play expert, Jed Dearybury. Uh, Jed, did I say that name right?
0:01:17.9 Jed Dearybury: It was close. It's Dairy Berry. Dairy, like a cow and Berry like a fruit.
0:01:21.9 GR: Great. Actually we can do all that again.
0:01:25.8 JD: No, you did fine. You did... You don't even... Don't even, David don't even edit that. He did great. You did great.
0:01:33.9 GR: So, yes, joining us is world play expert Jed Dearybury. Jed is the author along with Dr. Julie Jones of The Playful Classroom: The Power of Play for All Ages, of The Courageous classroom with co-author Janet Taylor, and of the forthcoming, The Playful Life, also with Julie Jones, which will be released in November 22. We'll remind you when that gets closer. As a classroom teacher, he was featured in GQ Magazine as Male Leader of the Year, met President Obama as the South Carolina honoree of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science teaching, and was named as a top five finalist for South Carolina Teacher of the Year. Since 2015, he's been leading professional development across the country, as well as training the next generation of educators through his work and teaching in higher education. Jed, thanks for joining us.
0:02:24.1 JD: Thanks for having me and thanks for that great intro. I mean, I think that we're just recording our voices though. So all your viewers can't see how adorable cute I am to know about that GQ award, right? I mean, they'll have to look me up online.
0:02:36.8 GR: I mean, I can just imagine the spread.
0:02:38.4 JD: I mean, just imagine how awesome I look, right?
0:02:43.5 JD: Oh, goodness. Yeah. I'm glad to be with y'all. Thanks for having me. I'll tell y'all, when I was listening to you do the intros, man, y'all all have classic radio voices. Maybe like a NPR vibe, I felt like, "Man, this is like serious business here. I don't know if they're ready for my Southern drawl to be on here." But anyway, here I am. Thanks for the invite.
0:03:11.1 GR: Actually, I think we're, but I don't know about you, Leah, I always feel a little jealous of David's resonant baritone.
0:03:16.8 JD: As soon as he started...
0:03:17.7 LS: Definitely.
0:03:18.5 JD: As soon as he started speaking, I was like, "Wow, that is like, David you that... I don't know what you, I mean, you'd said what you did, but you need to be doing that. It's full time. Like get you some gigs, man."
0:03:30.1 DN: I do so many things I can't even think.
0:03:37.9 GR: So Jed play... I was just thinking, how did you get into, how did play become your professional life?
0:03:44.7 JD: You know, I knew that you were gonna ask me that question, I had been thinking about that answer and I don't know exactly other than I was born that way. I guess, I was born with this playful spirit personality. I credit a lot of it to my mom. My mom is a very playful person. She had a hard life growing up, there was lots of bumps along her way, but I think that she embraced that and got through that by being, having a playful spirit. She loves to make art. She loves to dance. She loves to try to sing. She's not that great of a singer, but she loves to try. You know, I just think that my mom is probably the one that instilled a lot of that in me. And then when I took that into my classroom, people started noticing what I was doing in my classroom. I was just minding my business. I had a piano in my classroom, new music teachers will love that. I have a great story of how I got the piano in my first classroom. I was working in the building late one evening. I was the only one in the building and I was, I don't know, just in an adventurous mood. And I started going around and looking in the empty classrooms to see if there was anything that I needed for my room. 'Cause if it was in an empty classroom, it's fair game, right? Nobody's using it, you can put it in your room. And in the gym, in a supply closet, in the gym, there was a piano covered in about two inches of dust, and I was like, "You know what? It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission."
0:05:20.5 JD: And I just wheeled that thing right down to my classroom and cleaned it up. And the next day, of course, I started playing with my students and the principal came across the hall and she was like, "Where did you get that?" And I was like, "Oh, it was in the gym." And she said, "We had a piano in the gym?" And I was like, "Yeah, it was in the closet in the gym." And I said, "Do you mind if I use it?" And she said, "Nobody else is using it." [chuckle] She said, "I didn't even know it was here." And so that started the... That started my playful classroom, I think, right there is me having that piano because anytime, and let me just stop right here and say, I'm not an expert piano player by any means, I just know some chords and can... I read music obviously, cause I play the trumpet, and I read piano music bass and treble, and... But I just like to make up stuff. You know, you get a couple of chords and just bang it out and see what happens. And we would make up fun little songs in my classroom to different content that we were learning. One of my favorite ones that we did was, it was learning about the things that plants need to grow. And it was to the tune of bingo. You know, there was a seed down in the ground, how will it grow? Water, light, air, soil, space, water, light, air, soil, space, water, light, air, soil, space. That's what it needs to grow.
0:06:41.0 JD: And then the first year that I did that, I had this really amazing kid, his name was Zaelon. He is now a college graduate, but he was very gifted reader in first grade and he had just read a book about how bees help plants to grow. And so right at the end of that song, he would always chime and go, "And bees," and he would give his fingers like a little spirit finger wave, you know. And so we added that to our song and that was where play started for me, I guess, in my classroom. Fast forward to 2015, I met Julie around that time. I can't remember exactly when we met. I just know that we met and she and I are the exact kind of teacher. We just like to have fun and play with our students all based on the content that we're trying to teach. And both of us work in higher ed and we were trying to write something to help communicate to our college students what teaching should look like. What playful teaching should look like. And we realized about halfway through, this is a book that all teachers need to read, not just our students. We need everybody who's in education to read this, not just classroom teachers, but administrators, anybody who has an education role. So anybody who works at your institutions of higher ed, even if they work in the office, the human resources office, they need to read this book, because they're connected to playful classrooms across that campus. And... But not only those people, but anyone who's in a teaching type role.
0:08:14.2 JD: So I've done a lot of work with the 4-H Club, those leaders, they are absolutely teachers, the American Campus Association, the Special Olympics, all of those people connected to those organizations are in essence teachers creating playful classroom spaces, wherever they teach their participants. And so, next thing you know, people are asking me to come play with them and teach them about play. So here it is, this is my life. And I hate your viewers can't see me, but it's authentic. You see, this is my home office that you're looking at in the background. Maybe take a screenshot, you could put it out there in the world or something, I don't know. But this is what I do. I guess I do play for a living. But you know what? If you're a good teacher, you play for a living anyway, you just call it something different, you call it teaching, instead of playing for a living. But that's what you do, if you're good at it. That was a lot of talking.
0:09:14.5 DN: That is when I feel best in the classroom.
0:09:16.0 JD: Mm-hmm.
0:09:18.6 DN: Even, and yeah. Even with a room full of jaded college sophomores. [chuckle]
0:09:25.6 JD: Yeah, yeah. Look, I agree. Sometimes in my college courses, I bring what I think is one of the most fun lessons. And I just finally look at 'em I'm like, "Look, I could pull a PowerPoint up and just talk to you for an hour if y'all would rather do that. And they're like, "No, no, no." I was like, "Then get engaged with this. We need some participation, don't we," like you said, you know? So I fully understand that too, but you're right. I too feel at my best in the classroom when I'm teaching and it's playful like that, and not just with little kids, but I love teaching adults, and helping them to find their childhood again. Because I think the problem is in our culture, we have squashed that. We have forgotten the joy of childhood because the heaviness of adulthood is upon us. But I think if we were more playful as adults, that, that heaviness wouldn't be so large on our shoulders. And there's science to back that up. We're killing ourselves in essence, you know? I'm very open and honest about my own journey with anxiety and depression. And I have found that when I am in moments of play, that that releases itself, it lets go of me for a bit. I get lost in the flow of the playfulness. I let go of that self criticism that fear, play does that, it's 'cause all the things that are released, all the feel good chemicals in your brain that are being released when you're playing, it just makes you feel better.
0:11:04.0 GR: So beyond the feel good nature of it, what are the benefits of play in the classroom and learning?
0:11:11.9 JD: Well, being more playful, first of all, it helps you to have an emotional connection to the learning. So I could absolutely put a PowerPoint up and I could talk to you and you could take notes in a traditional format. And for some people that still is the way they wanna do it. But scientifically speaking, if you have an emotional connection to the learning, you remember it better and play helps us to have that emotional connection. If we took the time to ask each of you to share something that you learned through as a kid, I guarantee you it would be something that was connected to a playful event. The very first thing that most of us learn academically speaking, is our ABCs, right? We learn our ABCs, and how do we do that? We learn 'em through a song. Singing is playing. Music is playing. And so that right there should show you the power of play just that alone should sell you on it, I think, because it makes the learning stick. You have this emotional connection to the song. People cheer for you and you learn, "Yay. You sing all of it. Yay." Now I'll sing along with you. You know, like the end of the song says. And you have this emotional connection, music make the learning stick. You ask somebody to say their alphabet, nobody really says it. They sing it even as an adult.
0:12:39.4 JD: If you have to put things in ABC order, most people inside their brain are singing the alphabet, whether they wanna admit or not, even the business, the suits at the highest levels of the corporations, if they had to put something in alphabetical order, they're gonna sing it in their brain because that's the way they learned it. And imagine if you can take that into numerous aspects of the curriculum. So rather than just a song, maybe you created a piece of art that helped you remember the life cycle of the butterfly, or maybe you did a tableau to help you remember the sequence of events that led to the American Revolution. Or maybe you created a game that involved a piece of paper, balled up in a ball, aiming at a bullseye on the floor that you made outta tape that helped you to remember... I don't know, the physics of that piece of paper. You see, I went really deep there because I was trying to... I went from the life cycle of a butterfly to physics and hitting that bullseye, right? Because that is what, play is for all ages. It is literally for all ages. I get so frustrated when I hear people say, "Oh, that's great for early childhood, but I teach calculus." If ever there was a course that needed some playfulness in it, good God calculus is it, right? I mean, look, I took pre-cal and I honestly, follow this here, I thought pre-cal was what happened before the cal.
0:14:09.3 JD: Did you hear what I said there? I took precalculus, I still don't even know what it is. I took that course for a whole year in high school. Miss Inclen, God lover, she was, I'm sure she was a great teacher, but I didn't know anything. I didn't, I really, I still don't even to this day, know what pre-cal is. I still think it's, I think it's just what comes before the cal. [laughter] They're gonna revoke my adjunct teaching position after they hear that, they're gonna kick me out.
0:14:39.2 DN: As a fellow adjunct, I... But I've been doing it for 16 years and they haven't, they haven't not rehired me yet, so...
0:14:49.3 JD: Well, that's good to know. That's good to know. I've been doing adjunct work in some capacity since 2010. So I'm not far behind you there.
0:14:58.0 DN: This, that your talk about, pre-cal reminded me of... Greg and I were talking about the other day an article I had read and I found it, it's Lockhart's Lament and it's about teaching math. And of course they're, the first thing he does to say why we teach math wrong is to imagine a musician waking... Having a nightmare where instead of letting kids play music, they force them to just write down notes on a page and know their modes and scales. And we don't actually do music till we get to college. And we were talking about the problem that sometimes music teaching does look a little too much [chuckle] like that. But...
0:15:53.5 JD: Well, I think teaching in general can sometimes look like that, because what happens is and all of you are educators, there's a certain amount of fear that every educator has that they won't know the answer, that they won't know the right path, that they'll lose control of the classroom. And so in order to alleviate those fears, they find a box, they find their lane, they find their path and they get in it and they stay in it because it's comfortable. It's easy. And you don't know what you don't know if you don't get out of the, where you do know, does that make sense? You stay there. And I think that's the problem that we have is that we're just afraid. And some of the fears are valid, especially in public education world, there's a lot of testing going on, you're constantly being evaluated as a teacher, but I think if our administrators who are doing that would read our book and understand the brain benefits of playfulness, your scores are going to increase because your kids are going to be more engaged.
0:17:03.5 JD: They're gonna have these emotional connections to the learning. They're going to feel better about themselves, about each other. The playful classroom is also an empathetic classroom. It's a compassionate classroom. It's a classroom where people are not afraid to take risk with their learning, and maybe even not afraid to take risk with their own personal adventure, you know? Like in a playful classroom, maybe some kid will come to school with a crazy new hairdo because he just felt adventurous that day, and knew that in his playful classroom, he would be loved and accepted. So I will never understand why we hold so tightly to those fears when the evidence is so blatantly obvious, that this helps our students. And it helps you, the teacher. I think we need to address that too. You said it, David, you feel your best when it's that way in the classroom. Leah, Greg, what do y'all think? I mean, when the classroom feels more playful, how do you, as an educator feel?
0:18:11.8 LS: You can't match the level of engagement, no matter the age of the students that you're teaching. When everybody is involved in playing and those light bulbs are going off, whether you know it, whether they know it or not, that is just...
0:18:26.0 LS: The best kind of learning.
0:18:28.6 GR: Totally, and also the freedom to... You learn so much, so quickly about what students know or don't know when you're playing because you just... You see it, you see it in the choices that they make, and you can direct towards that in a way that's a lot easier than if you've got your fixed PowerPoint or whatever.
0:18:49.6 JD: Yeah, 'cause 99% of the time when you're delivering the PowerPoint, you're focused on the PowerPoint. Are your word spelled right? Are you flowing correctly? Did you advance the slide too fast? When the students are playing, that gives you a moment as an educator to truly just watch and to take it in and to listen and to sometimes participate alongside with your students? There's numerous times when I was in my second grade classroom when I was right there beside the students, playing with them, so it gave me a first-hand account of not only their academic ability, but their social ability, their mental ability, how were they... Were they able to handle if something went wrong and if they weren't able to handle it, what triggered them to go the wrong way? Why did they get frustrated? It's just... I just don't know why anybody doesn't wanna have a playful classroom, but they're out there, and that's why we have this podcast, and that's why we have this book, so we can help educate them.
0:19:54.5 GR: I think the reality is that a few of us were taught with a play throughout our learning, it's like... I remember a certain amount of play in some classes, physics class, where we'd be given a challenge and just the whole day to figure out a way to try and solve how far away are we from San Francisco based on the sun shadows or like... Those are some of the most formative learning experiences of my life where it was just like, Just play, just see if you can figure out a way to do it.
0:20:24.6 JD: Yeah.
0:20:26.4 GR: But it's certainly not how most of us were taught all the time, I was so struck reading the playful classroom by... This is gonna sound a little weird, but by what serious business play is, how much really interesting research there is around it in psychology and sociology. Could you talk a little bit about the concept of deep play?
0:20:46.8 JD: Well, you've all experienced deep play, whether you knew it was called deep play or not, think about those moments where you just were completely lost in time, where you started a project or you started a game, and then you looked at your clock and you're like, "Oh my gosh, it's been four hours. We've been doing this for four hours." I think of a deep play, it's very similar to like working a puzzle. Now, I know a lot of people are gonna hear that and they're gonna be like, Oh, that sounds horrible. Working a puzzle, because working a puzzle to some people is just boring, I get it, but if you've ever worked a puzzle, especially with another person, you can get lost in it very easily because your mind becomes fixated on finding that one little piece to make that connection and when you find that one little piece to make that connection, what happens in your brain, you're like, "Ahh, I did it, I did it. I found the piece." Right? You're so excited. And then guess what, you're ready to find the next piece, because what happens is all of that, those endorphins just are like, Ah-Ah-Ah, they got a hold of you and you like you found that piece.
0:22:00.5 JD: And maybe it's not, maybe it's not a puzzle for you, maybe it's being on the golf course and finally making an amazing shot from the bunker into the hole... Like like dude did on Masters a couple of weeks ago. Maybe it is decorating your house and getting that flower in the vase just at the right spot after hours of arranging. So the deep play is digging into that deep inner self of what satisfies you, what brings you joy, what brings you contentment and peace, and a lot of times, our mistake with play is that we think it's what little kids do in the yard with blocks, and it is that, but it's also much, much more than that. And I think that as we dig deep into our understanding of what play looks like as an adult, because I don't think that we talk enough about that. We have these fun cliches, work hard, play hard, and play hard usually means like go to the bar and have drinks after work or something, but I think if we learn how to bring that work and play together, that is what helps us define the deep play.
0:23:14.2 JD: For example, you've seen how some companies are. They provide play bikes during the middle of the day for their employees, they have foosball tables and ping pong tables and all that's great. I love a play break, but imagine if you could somehow figure out how to make the work itself playful. For example, if you're a Mason and you lay bricks all day... Right. Okay, you're scooping out the cement, you're laying the brick, you're scooping out the cement, laying the brick, if you can somehow make a pattern, Boomchik-Boomchik-chikaboom, you've turned it into a playful and next thing you know, you've laid 500 bricks and it was 'cause you were singing and you were playing and you got lost in the deep play of it all, and just that I turned it into music that just was bonus for your listeners.
0:24:05.4 JD: I just remembered where I was, all of a sudden, notes from the staff. That was some ideas for the staff right there.
0:24:17.7 DN: I don't know if you all know that I collaborated with the planetarium at JMU to write a bunch of science songs for their space camp, and because they were tracking... They were doing pre-testing and post-testing for this camp, we were actually able to publish a paper about the value of songs with movements in teaching these science concepts, and there is...
0:24:53.5 JD: I need you to send me that link. I would need to read that.
0:24:56.0 DN: I will send it to you. Yeah, there is a... The first year they actually had a loss of learning on this one topic, and then the year they introduced my song, it was very high, it was very high the next year, and it was only low the third year because the pre-testing was so high and you can't do better than a 100% on post-testing.
0:25:22.6 JD: Yeah, you guys know this because you are music experts and you understand how that is an emotional connection. Even for kids that don't like to sing, the music gets stuck in their head. It finds that little place and it rests there. That's why I like to write. Specifically, I like to write parodies instead of writing my own original music, because that way when they hear that song out in the world, it connects back to learning. I love it when a kid... I had a kid of mine... I wrote lots of parodies too. It's a small world.
0:25:58.5 JD: Because... I did, to the same, to the same tune, because number one, the kids knew it, number two, I knew it, I knew the chords, I knew the basic chords, and I can just go over and play it. Right? And so I wrote parodies to "It's a small world," and I would have kids go to Disney World and ride "It's a Small World", and they would come back and they'd be like, Mister Dearybury, they were using your song.
0:26:19.5 JD: They are thinking it was a my song, and I would try to tell them, No, this is not my song, I didn't write this. I would set it up, but then they would go down there and parents would come back and say, Mr. Dearybury, we were at Disney World and we were riding the ride, and it's a small world was singing, singing, singing, and all my kid was doing, "There are seven continents, there are seven continents" and they would let me run through this amazing ride, but my students were singing about the seven continents that we had learned. Music is essential to the playful classroom, you gotta have it in some form or fashion.
0:27:02.1 LS: And that applies to adults as well. I watched the snippet on YouTube from one of your professional development sessions where you used "It's a Small World" and "I'm so glad I get to teach" has been stuck in my head for the last week.
0:27:12.5 JD: I'm so glad I get to teach. Yeah, I'm glad you watched that. That's fun. I gotta ask you this, Leah. Was I dressed as a squirrel?
0:27:24.4 LS: No.
0:27:24.5 JD: Or was I dressed just in normal clothes?
0:27:26.5 LS: Normal clothing.
0:27:26.5 JD: Okay, so what you saw, that video that you saw was the very first time I ever sang that song. So it's gotten so much better since then, and now sometimes I dress as a squirrel when I sing that, and it's a whole big production of a keynote that I do, but maybe one day you'll get to see it live and in person. And I'll sing that song and be dressed as a squirrel and you're gonna remember our time together here, you'll be like, I remember him singing that. Oh.
0:27:54.9 GR: So, there were so many things that really struck me in reading the playful classroom. The one that I think just absolutely bowled me over was the idea of play personalities and also of the 16 types of play. I wonder if you could dive into those a bit because I think they're, especially maybe helpful if we're thinking about how to make our contents more playful.
0:28:19.0 JD: I wish that I could take credit for that research and those words... It's just amazing, Dr. Stuart Brown, if you all don't know who he is out there in the listening world, look him up, he's America's leading play researcher that he's like our play guru that we go to and ask questions. Julie and I both had read his work for several years, and then we got involved with the US Play Coalition based out of Clemson University, and they have a conference every year the first week in April. And we go to the conference and there's Stuart Brown, there he comes and we just were blown away that he was at this conference and that he just... He's like milling around, just like hanging out, there wasn't a line a mile long to see him, he was just out and about. And we had this moment where the conference led us in this big group dance, and they were giving us all these different ways to dance and we were... Every time they changed the dance, we had to find a new partner, and one of the ways that we dance was like Spider-Man, and Julie and I did the Spider-Man dance with Stuart Brown, and we were like freaking out. And so we got to know him and he wrote the forward for our book, and the play personalities and the types of play. Those are... That's his work.
0:29:47.8 JD: The play personalities, I think is so beneficial for educators because it's basically helping us get a glimpse into who the student is, to understand who they are and understand how to craft experiences for them. For example, there are eight different play personalities, and I'm going to try to name them all, but I have a little help here. The viewers won't see this, but we have these little posters that we made to help us remember them all, they're out there in the world on my webpage somewhere. Storyteller, Kinesthete... Yeah, Storyteller, Kinesthete, Competitor, Director, Explorer, Joker, Collector, Creator. And in the book, Julie and I came up with a very non-scientific quiz to help you identify yourself a little bit. Think of it like one of those quizzes you used to take in the Teeny Bopper magazines back in the '80s. I don't know what the age group of your listeners are, but surely, they'll know what I'm talking about, but that's what we based it off of. So it's not scientific, but I will tell you almost everybody who has done the quiz has been like, Yeah, that's kind of me, or they say, Well, I got two or three different personalities.
0:31:06.6 JD: Well, that's true too. And depending on your mood, you can be all of these, and I think being aware of the different play personalities is the most important thing as an educator, so that you could craft experiences over time that hit on all of these. Storyteller, I think that's obvious as somebody who likes to tell a story, but also likes to listen to stories, likes to build stories. I thought that Storyteller was gonna be my highest one, because I am very much a storyteller. Public speaking is what I do for most of my work when I'm not in the adjunct career, so I thought storytelling would be mine, it wasn't. We'll get to mine in a minute. Kinesthete, the person who likes to move. A little bit of behind the scenes about that. When Julie and I were writing the book, we kept typing the word Kinesthete into our document and Google wanted to correct that to kinesthetic. And we were like, No, this is Kinesthete is the noun, the person who likes to move and it's in Stuart's work, and we kept using it and it wouldn't even find it anywhere, so we Googled it, and the only place we could find it was in Stuart's work.
0:32:18.1 JD: It wasn't in the dictionary, it wasn't in encyclopedia, it wasn't anywhere. So when we saw Peter, I mean saw Stuart at the play conference, we said, Hey, tell us about this word. He was like, Oh, I made it up. I just made up that word. [laughter] And I guess if you're America's leading play researcher, you can just make up words, so we rolled with it, and that's what we use. Competitor, obviously, the person who likes games, wants to win. Director, think of the director as the person who is behind the scenes organizing, organizing the podcast, getting everything set up, inviting the guest Greg to be on the show. Maybe David is the person who does all the editing, that's very a Director job too, I think.
0:33:05.2 JD: Next up is the Joker. And no surprise, maybe after this podcast, listening to me, this was the one I scored the highest on. I was a little bit shocked, but I think Joker and Storyteller do go hand-in hand, because if you're a good storyteller, you gotta be able to make people laugh in the middle of that, to keep them involved and engaged. And so the Joker is somebody who loves to laugh with others, not necessarily to tell jokes or to be the butt of the joke, but that's...
0:33:36.2 JD: The next one is Collector, which was also very high on my list, and at first I was like, I don't think that's accurate. But if you could see my home office for the benefit of you all... Okay, look over here. Do you see those rainbow cans?
0:33:53.3 DN: Yeah.
0:33:53.9 JD: Every one of those has a different... Every one of those has a different set of pins in it, pins are markers, so I guess I am a little bit of a collector, I don't know. Then there's the Explorer, and this is not just a person who likes to travel, but it's also somebody who likes to try new things, adventurous, just walking around the neighborhood and looking at the world through a fresh lens, but of course travel is on that list. And then there's the Artist Creator, which also was on my list, I think the top three for me are Joker Collector and Creator. Now, why is that important for me as an individual? Well, it helps me to know better what I like and what's gonna connect with me the most. Taking that into the education world, if you had all that information about your students, then when you're sitting there planning your idea, you're not gonna put some kid who hates competition in a game, in a leadership role.
0:34:55.9 JD: You're gonna come up with a different path for that student and you say, Oh well, I don't have time to come up with all these different ways and ideas. Sometimes the ideas just unfold themselves, so if it's a game that you are wanting to do, then why not let the kid who hates the game maybe be the Director of the game. Maybe while the kid is watching the game, he can sketch note or doodle what's happening in the game, so he's still participating in the game, but it takes the competition part out and it's very simple to do, and that you just give that kid another path, but is the learning still happening? Yes, because whatever his play personality is, he's connecting to it in a way, he's connecting to the learning in a way that's meaningful to him.
0:35:43.2 JD: You also mentioned the different types of play. They're 16 different types of play, I won't go through all of those because it would just be boring to listen to me talk about them, get the book, read it. But knowing the different types of play, there's a poster that we have in the book that's also on the website. I encourage teachers to have that poster handy just so they can look at it and think, Oh, how could I drop this kind of play into my classroom? How could that be a director or a artist creator or a storyteller in my classroom? Because what this does, it broadens your teacher toolbox, but it also broadens it in a way that brings meaningful relevance and fun into your classroom.
0:36:29.8 GR: That's awesome.
0:36:30.0 JD: And I hope all that makes sense.
0:36:33.4 GR: Yeah.
0:36:33.4 JD: If it doesn't make sense, I'm available to come and do professional development in your school and we can make it happen in person.
0:36:41.1 GR: Jed, I have to tell you, after reading about the play personalities, like the very next day, I was in the classroom and working with a group of kids, and we were doing this ball game, which involved one student partners, one student bouncing the ball to another student as that student tossed another ball, and it was not going great, and this is a very competitive class, and I just said, Oh, wait a second, I said, Let's make this a game. I say... As I said, Okay, so we're gonna do three rounds as we sing the song, and the group that can keep going the longest without their ball flying all over the room wins, they were so into that game, I couldn't leave that exercise, it was like... They said.
0:37:22.0 GR: Okay wait. Let's do it faster. Okay wait, what if we did it... I was just... I scored lowest on the competitor. It's not where I think at all.
0:37:31.2 JD: Yeah, me too. Me too. I mean... Not me.
0:37:34.6 GR: But wow, did that induce the class.
0:37:37.9 JD: I have some deep seated trauma from one year in little league baseball... And when I was in sixth grade, it was traumatic. And so that did me in with competition. But it's amazing how you saw the impact just immediately. Just a little tweak of the game... Or the experience into a game, and then what happened was the student started coming up with ways to level it up.
0:38:02.8 JD: One of the things I talk about a lot in my work with just... I call it level up. And it's just taking something just one little step from where it is to an upward space. And 99% of the time those kids were... Once you give them that freedom and permission to know that they don't have to do exactly as you told them, that they can level it up just a little bit... That's what happens.
0:38:29.8 JD: And they had ownership of it then... It sounds... They said, "Let us do this. Let's try this." And thankfully, you had sense enough to give them that freedom instead of being like, "No, you have to do what I say." You know... Of course, you have to have safety parameters and make sure they're staying on content, but within that parameter, you gave them the freedom that they needed. And it sounds like... You said you couldn't pry them away from it.
0:38:53.4 LS: So how does a teacher, no matter the age that they teach or the subject that they teach... How do you create this culture? How do you get your classroom and your students to a place where everyone feels safe and free to play?
0:39:08.7 JD: Well, it starts prior to even the first day of school... Or the first day of the semester, whatever you're doing. It has to be... And this is why we wrote the follow-up, the playful life. It has to be a part of who you are to some extent. I don't think you can manufacture this. I don't think that you can force it. I think it's something that has to be... You're willing to cultivate it in your own personal life... Daily practice.
0:39:42.3 JD: I will be honest with you, there are some days I am not in a playful mood... Okay... That just happens. We're just in a grumpy mood... Maybe something happened that upset us. That is where you have to dig deep into your own personal play history and who you are as a playful person to get through that in your... So it can come into your teaching. If not, it's gonna crash and burn. You're gonna let that mood get into your classroom.
0:40:08.7 JD: So I think a lot of just personal practice is the first thing that you have to do. Second of all, I think that it's something that you model to your students on a daily basis. And it doesn't have to be just in the way that you deliver content, it's the way that you... If you teach at... The age group where kids have to line up to leave the room... Just in the way they line up. Create a playful way for them to do that. Create a playful way for materials to be passed out.
0:40:41.8 JD: One of the things I loved in my classroom was to create a playlist geared to students in the classroom... Ask them what their favorite song is... Okay. Ask them what their favorite songs, and then create a playlist of just their favorite songs. And whenever their favorite song comes on, that is three minutes for them to dance, to wiggle, to go give their friend a high five... Whatever. It's a great way to introduce a brain break. It builds a culture of play. It gives them freedom to understand that, "Hey, those moments are coming where I'm gonna get my turn to play." And it sets the ground work for you to invite play into the other areas.
0:41:22.1 JD: So I have been in classrooms where a teacher is very strict. Sit in your seat, face the front, in your rows... And then all of a sudden they say, "Oh, now we're gonna play a game." The kids don't know what to do because they don't... They don't know if they're allowed to get into the game... Are we allowed to make noise? And the teacher's like, "Oh yeah. Yeah. Get into it. Get into it. But the teachers never invited them... Never modeled for them how to get into it. Does that make sense?
0:41:51.7 JD: You can't just flip on the switch, and all of a sudden they play... I was in a kindergarten classroom one time... This was heartbreaking to me. I was in a kindergarten classroom and I was doing this lesson with tin foil. Y'all may call it... Look at me, I'm code-switching with y'all. I said foil. It's tin 'foal'. That's the way I say it down here. Tin 'foal'. Y'all might say aluminium foil. But anyway, I was doing... Doing a lesson with foil, and I passed out a piece about a foot long to each kid. And instinctively kids should wanna touch it to make noise with it, maybe even wrinkle it up before hand. These kids were terrified and they sat there and they did...
0:42:40.1 JD: They wouldn't even touch it. Even after I gave them permission, they didn't know what to do with it. They were like, "What do you want us to do?" I was like rip it up. Ball it up. Twist it. And they were just... Kept flattening it with their hands. And one of them said, "We don't wanna mess it up." And I began to think in any other kindergarten classroom I'd been in that wouldn't happen... What was going on in that classroom was so structured. The kids were afraid to experience that.
0:43:05.3 JD: So when you think about how do you... Your question was, how do you start this in your classroom... You have to give kids the freedom that they need. Kids instinctively have this play drive in them... You can go anywhere in the world, and regardless of the kids' social status, economic status, racial status, sexual... Whatever their sex... Kids all around the world have an ability to play instinctively. But when they're in an environment where that is controlled and squashed, they're reserved.
0:43:42.4 JD: And that's what was happening in that kindergarten classroom, is that the model hasn't been set... The freedom wasn't there, and it wasn't part of the teacher's daily practice in her own life. And I knew that teacher personally, and it definitely was... The reason I was even in that room is 'cause she thought that I was just saying a bunch of hog wash and she said, "I need you to come to my room and show me. My kids can't do this."
0:44:06.4 JD: So I went down there. And she was right. They couldn't at first, but by the time I was done with them, they were making little trees and nests and birds and eggs. And we had a great lesson on where do birds go at night... And it was all focused on sculpting with tin foil while we were learning.
0:44:24.5 JD: And a great story, a year later, after that experience, I was at the grocery store... Literally across the street from the school that I had worked at... And a little girl came up to me and she said, "Are you Mr... " She was... First grade and she had a little problem with 'R'. She said, "Are you Mr. Dearybury?" I was like, "I am Mr. Dearybury." She said, "You're the bird man." I was like, "The bird man?" And she said, "Yeah. You came to my school and taught us about birds."
0:44:53.8 JD: A year later, she remembered me being in her kindergarten classroom talking to her about birds. And it's because... I'm a firm believer... It's because we had this emotional experience where we connected with the tin foil. And probably it was probably the first time they had gotten to play in a while based on their reaction there at the beginning. So... I hope that answers your question Leah. Three tip there. Personal practice, modeling and freedom for the kids to explore... And I'm gonna write that down 'cause I liked it.
0:45:31.0 DN: I do... I tell people that... I tell my students that any good thing I do as a teacher is based on me just trying to channel all of my best teachers that I had. And so I guess if you've had a teacher who was playful, then that gives you a model. And if you haven't... What do you do?
0:45:56.8 JD: Do the opposite of everything that teacher did... I don't know... You know what I think about my own teaching career. I had a... And maybe this was why I was drawn to second grade... I don't know. My second grade teacher was not great. She was... I had her the year that... Remember when the Challenger tragedy with the space shuttle... That was the year that I had her.
0:46:25.0 JD: And every second grade classroom was watching the Challenger that day. Now, we didn't know how it was gonna end up. Nobody knew what... The traumatic event that was about to happen. But our second grade class wasn't watching that day, 'cause we had work to do. She was just a mean teacher. She wouldn't call me... My initials are JED and that's how I get Jed. My name is John Edwin Dearybury III. And she refused to call me Jed.
0:46:55.1 JD: She would say if... She said to me, "If your momma wanted you to be called Jed she should have put that on your birth certificate. Now have a seat John. Have a seat."
0:47:05.2 DN: Oof.
0:47:05.7 JD: She was just horrible. Call the kids by the name they wanna go through... Let them be a part of the grade level experiences... That teacher was just... I think back on all the things that she did. She had us sitting in rows, whereas other teachers were starting to experiment with groups during that time.
0:47:22.9 JD: I mean, I get it. It was the mid-80s, so grouping wasn't exactly a popular seating at that time, but they were starting. We didn't do anything fun in her classroom. I remember there was this other teacher down the hall, you'd go by her room and she had stuff hanging from the ceiling and they were out in the hall making stuff. And what were we doing? Sitting in our desk facing the front. And I can't remember anything learning wise from second grade. So if you had a teacher like that, just do the opposite of everything she did... Just opposite.
0:47:55.9 LS: I was just gonna say, do you have any tips or any advice for teachers who face naysayers? Teachers who are inherently playful, and... I think back to when I started teaching and it was an elementary school and there were chairs and desks in the room, and I wanted them gone. And I was looked at like I had three eyes and a horn sticking out of my head.
0:48:19.2 JD: Oh yeah... Look, I have been there Leah, many, many times. I have faced the naysayers... And I'm not gonna lie. I'm not gonna pretend like, it's not difficult. Those naysayers are hard because sometimes those naysayers are teachers that you thought that you loved and respected in the profession. They are people who've been doing it for a long time, so there's definitely a... I always give credence to those who have been teaching longer than me. But I also know that teaching is very evolutionary and that it changes over time, because society changes over time.
0:48:58.2 JD: Kids today are not the same in many ways as 50 years ago, but in many ways, they are... So we have to be evolutionary in our teaching so we can reach the students that we have. And so it's hard to face the naysayers. But I will tell you that's why... If you read the book, I wrote the specific section on the excuses that we have. And one of the excuses was my admins won't like it, or my colleagues won't like it. All I can say to you is that usually naysayers respond to data. They respond to scientific research. They value those things.
0:49:42.9 JD: So carry this book around with you everywhere you go, highlight it and mark it up... Put tabs on it, so you'll know exactly where to flip when somebody says something... There's a specific story in the book where I talk about an instructional coach coming to watch a lesson that I was doing... A sample lesson... A Skype in the classroom lesson... Where we Skyped with an Arctic expert... A Penguin expert who was in an Antarctica. Her name's Jean Pennycook.
0:50:17.5 JD: And it was... Amazing experience. We spent a whole hour with Jean, learning about penguins on Antarctica. And the very first thing that instructional coach said to me when we walked out of that room... She said, "You know at our school, we like to focus on the standards and penguins aren't really standards for third grade." And I said, "No. But this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this." I rattled off like 10 different standards that we had covered during that experience, but she was so fixated on penguins that she forgot of all the other things that we were doing. So I think in order for you to respond to the naysayers, you have to be aware of what you're doing. Don't try... If you know that naysayers are around you, don't try to fly by the seat of your pants. Arm yourselves with knowledge.
0:51:06.9 JD: Know what's best for your kids. Know what's best for their curriculum. Know that you are doing a great job in spite of what they say. Because sometimes those people look with a very narrow lens. And I hate to say this, but sometimes administrators look with a very narrow lens. They look at their checklist and not at this big holistic picture. And because they didn't say two or three things on their checklist, maybe they think, "Oh, well, that teacher didn't do what she was supposed to," or he was supposed to. And I think if you are armed with the knowledge of what you're doing, then that's gonna help fight the naysayers.
0:51:41.2 JD: Another thing too, I'm gonna tell you... You have to ignore some of the naysayers. I don't know if you all have read on Ron Clark's book, Move Your Bus. Have y'all ever heard of that book? Do you know who Ron Clark is? You should look... Look Ron Clark up. He has an amazing school in Atlanta. He's got a book called Move Your Bus, and he talks about in that book how there are different types of teachers.
0:52:06.7 JD: Some of them are go-getters. They're the ones... Think of the bus being like a Flintstones bus with everybody's feet dangling at the bottom... You know... And it's those feet that are moving the bus forward. There are some feet that run, there are some feet that walk, but there are some teachers that have their feet up in the seat and they're not giving anything to the bus. And guess what, they're never gonna put their feet down.
0:52:31.5 JD: And every time you try to get them to put your feet... Put their feet down to power the bus, you are taking energy away from yourself, from your students from the colleagues who are invested and you're giving them too much attention to put their feet down when they've already made up their mind... They're not part of it anyway, and they don't wanna be.
0:52:49.6 JD: And so there comes a time where you have to just ignore some of the naysayers and say, "You know what, the evidence is here. I'm gonna go this path, you do your path, and I wish you well." Because if not, the naysayers can suck life out of you and take away from your playful life. Trust me. I have to tune out naysayers a lot. They comfort me sometimes on Twitter, and I just have to just put my ear muffs on and tune them out.
0:53:18.3 GR: Jed, I have to say, as you were talking about the checklists I recognize a bit of myself in that description. That I often think, "Oh gosh, I really have to get through these things." What would you say to someone like me... I want to involve more play in my teaching, but I'm really worried about losing out on time to cover everything I need to cover.
0:53:39.2 JD: Well, I'm gonna free you up right here. Give yourself grace and give yourself time. Grace and time helps a lot because this is not something that you can go into your classroom tomorrow, Greg, and totally upend everything that you've done for decades. And not only that you've done for decades, but probably... Like you said earlier, that has been modeled for you by your teachers. I would gather to say that most of you when you were in your higher ed institution as a pre-service teacher, you were taught in a very traditional way, how to be a teacher.
0:54:13.8 JD: So we're undoing a lot of years and decades of training. So give yourself some grace there. But also give yourself some time. Because what will happen as you become a more playful teacher, you will begin to look at those things that you have to do with new eyes, with new lens of, "Hmm, maybe I could try this to make that more playful." Right now, you might have to keep doing it like you've been doing it. But over time, as your playful spirit grows... We talk about it in the book, the playful mindset.
0:54:48.8 JD: The playful mindset begins to grow and helps you start to see things in your everyday life that can become more playful. A prime example of how the playful mindset grows... Used to when I would come on a podcast like this in the morning and I would get my tea ready... I would be frantically trying to get my tea ready, but now I've turned it into a game. I know exactly how many seconds I have from the time I close the curing lid until the time tea is ready. So I know that I can come in here, get my computer turned on... Log in... And I've got my timer set. I'm like, James Bond around the house.
0:55:26.8 JD: That didn't happen at the beginning... To make the connection to what you're saying... As a teacher, I fully understand that we all have those checklists of things that we have to get done. Don't try to flip your classroom completely upside down and just play all day every day at the onset. You have to give yourself grace and time to grow into this, to understand this.
0:55:53.7 JD: Think about your first year of teaching. Were you good your first year of teaching? No. Nobody was. Anybody who says they were... They're lying. They don't even know... Maybe a third year teacher would say, "Oh yeah, I was so good." They don't know what they don't know yet. Give it 10 years and then look back and you'll be like, "Oh my God, how did any of those kids survive my class, right? But you did the best you could. And over time, you have grown in that practice. Playful teaching is the same way. It takes time for you to begin... Like if you're looking... If you're an algebra teacher and you have to teach the quadratic formula... I don't even know if I said that right. Quadratic formula... Equation. I don't know.
0:56:34.0 JD: I taught elementary school. Anyway, whatever you're having to teach, you may have a very set way that you have to teach it for now, but as that playful mindset grows, you'll begin to look at it in a different way and maybe come up with an idea that who knows is revolutionary, and you put it on YouTube and go viral, and everybody wants to copy you, and the next thing you know, people are inviting you to your school to teach that playful way of how to teach that quadratic formula equation, whatever. Time and grace, Greg. Time and Grace.
0:57:04.4 GR: Another thing I've started to realize is the things that if I teach them in a very traditional way, if I ask the students about those two weeks later, they don't remember them. It's like we never did that.
0:57:17.8 JD: They don't know anything, they don't know. They don't know. Look, I remember more about the American Revolution from a rap that my student teacher wrote than I ever learned in any textbook, any class that I ever took about US History. Because she talked about the Stamp Act, the Tea Act, she talked about all those things, and she wrote it to a rap. And the rap was so good, then we put it in our class musical that we did, our grade level Musical, we taught it to the other kids, it's just... I don't know, you've got to think of non-traditional ways to deliver the content, you've got to. Because look, you're competing... As much as I hate it, you're competing with YouTube and TikTok, and look, I think... Look, if you really wanna be a great teacher, figure out a way to put every bit of your content into a TikTok. I'm serious. Figure out a way to put all of your content into a TikTok. Your kids will nail the test, I promise, if you can figure out... 'cause that's where they're at. That's where they're at. They're swiping through those TikToks, those reels. If you could figure out how to... Now, you don't have to really put it on TikTok unless you'd want to, but if you could figure out how to deliver look and just those little bits.
0:58:37.4 JD: That's where the minds are, give me little bits, little chucks. And guess what? TikTok is playful. 'cause there's dancing going on. There's this, the fun ones where the little things pop up on the screen.
0:58:51.3 JD: I hate that people aren't seeing me 'cause I'm giving some really good motions here. [laughter]
0:58:56.5 GR: We can put some clips up, actually. It might be...
0:59:00.0 JD: It might... I mean, please put some clips up because I do better in person. People are gonna listen to my voice and they're gonna be like, Lord, he's just a southern redneck from South Carolina, he didn't... I'm better when people can see me.
0:59:15.8 GR: That's great. You mentioned the playful mindset. Early on in the playful classroom, you quoted Dr. Anthony Benedet, who identified imagination, sociability, humor, spontaneity and wonder as elements of that mindset, I highlighted that and I wrote... I wrote in my book. I wrote this is a recipe for play, 'cause it really... I just... I...
0:59:38.9 JD: It is. It is a recipe for play that came from his book, playful intelligence, it is a recipe for play, because each of those components is so vital to the playful spirit and in the playful mindset. So the more you cultivate those specifically like spontaneity in the classroom invites playfulness. I'll give you a classic example of what spontaneity in the classroom looks like. Several years ago, I was... Someone nominated me for the Presidential Award for excellence in math and science teaching. You all mentioned that at the beginning of the show, I got to meet Obama, so you know that I won the award. But as part of the award, I had to record a 45-minute video of my teaching. 45 minutes in second grade, it might as well have been a marathon y'all. I'm just telling you, that was an incredible amount of time, and I was like, There's no way there's that it's gonna be 45 minutes of me lecturing from the board, obviously. So there was about five minutes of that and then I let them go with their Lego Robotics, they had a challenge that they were doing. This was actually when I taught third grade.
1:00:45.4 JD: And so they were doing their robotics, doing their robotics, and right in the middle of the lesson, there was this huge splash in the pond that was right outside of our classroom window. We had one of those ornamental goldfish ponds that had been sponsored by our PTA and there was this huge splash, and I'll never forget it. One of the kids said, "Mr. Dearybury, it's a bullfrog, it's the bullfrog." And we knew that there was a bullfrog that had been living in the pond because we often heard him splash going into the water, and we never... So we would run over there and never saw him, but this particular time he was jumping out of the water. So right there in the middle of the video, all the kids leave their robots, run across the room to... They're all glued to the window, and I had this moment where I was like, I can freak out, I can get them back on task. Or I can be spontaneous and we can roll with it. And this particular group, I knew what they had learned in second grade about the amphibians, and so we just had a little pop-up lesson about amphibians right there at the window, we went through the characteristics of amphibian, we sang our amphibian song, and then we went back to our robots.
1:02:06.2 JD: Now, we did have to repair one of the robots that got trampled when all the kids ran to the window, but every single judge for that award, on my feedback, every single judge, there was 10 of them, I think, commented on how the spontaneity of that moment added to my classroom experience, and that was a very playful moment. I could have... My second grade teacher would be like, "Get away from that window. Get back to your work... And that's what a lot of teachers would have done, that's what they would have done because they were so focused on the goal of the robotics lesson that they missed that spontaneity. What else happened at that window? There was some wonder, kids were in awe of the... And yeah. I'm telling you that was the biggest bull frog I've ever seen. I'm trying to think of something in the real world, but like, I'm showing you all about how big it was. It was as big as my head. It was as big around as my head, it was the biggest bullfrog I'd ever seen, and he sat there forever and just let us look at it and it was just amazing. There was... It was just a beautiful moment of play, and it captures like what you said, the recipe for play. I like that, I like that you named it that.
1:03:22.2 GR: This is great, I feel like it gives me a lot to think about. Maybe just one sort of last curve ball question, as I was thinking back on my own Music Education Training and Educational Psychology, I think about reading Pasulotsi and POJ and Ria Montessori and it seems like all of them kind of come from this mindset, and this is not a new thing.
1:03:51.0 JD: It is absolutely.
1:03:53.2 GR: Why do you think it hasn't taken over?
1:03:57.3 JD: Well, I don't wanna go to the canned answer, but it's the right answer, testing. The testing culture of our country squashed this. I think if you look back, the early childhood years really really embraced that POJ and Montessori life, even though now we call it a Montessori classroom or a Montessori school. Back in the day, I think a lot of what happened, and when I say back in the day, I mean when I was a kid, and before... I was a kid in the '80s. My kindergarten classroom was very playful. I remember the kitchen center and the Block Center, and the alphabet Center, and the Play door Center. I remember those things and a lot of that has been taken out of kindergarten, but... And the reason that those upper grades are even more fearful of the playful classroom is that we have developed this culture where test scores are the only thing that matter, and they think that the only way to get those test scores is to cram it all in there. You cram it all in there. Cram, cram, cram, cram, cram. It kills me when I hear a teacher say, Oh, I have to cover this. You are not a coverer, you are a teacher, your job is to teach that not to cover it. But what they're doing is operating on that checklist that's based on the standards, which leads to the test.
1:05:21.0 JD: And I get it. We're under a lot of pressure as teachers, so I'm not... I'm not faulting those teachers, but the question was, why has it not caught on? It's because somewhere between when POJ and Montessori and all that wrote their pedagogical beliefs, we've interjected it with this testing culture, and I don't know that they knew we were going that route.
1:05:46.1 JD: I don't think any of us did, but even in the '80s, I remember taking a BSAP test, we took a test called CTBS test. We used to have these rallies where they would psych us up for the test, you can do it, you can do it, you can beat that test. And it was ridiculous that we did this. So I think that's the number one answer. Number two, our American culture has a lot to do with it. Our American culture is very much work, work, work, work, work, work, work. And anything that's not, work, work, work, work, work cannot be... Lead you to success. I think that's why a lot of older people, and I'm gonna lump myself into that 'cause my generation is kind of becoming an older generation. I'm mid-40s now, that's why they look down on kids who make the TikToks and make the Instagram posts because they don't understand it, they think, Oh, they're just playing.
1:06:47.2 JD: But man, some of these kids have developed multi-million dollar businesses because of... They're just being silly and playing on their Instagram and their TikToks. I think some of these old people are jealous is what it's really... They can't make the millions of dollars. Right? I think our American culture has really distorted what play is and its benefits, I think if you look at cultures that there's always these studies that come out, or cultures that are the happiest around the world, the cultures that are happiest are the ones that don't focus so much on the work, work, work, work work. They have a good balance. And I think one of the ways for us to find that balance here at the beginning is by infusing more play into our work, that's why we want the playful classroom, that's why the playful life is coming. We want you to be playful everywhere, not just in little isolated pods, but we want you to learn that play can happen anywhere at any time with anybody. We... In the next book, we even talk about how you can play with strangers at a coffee shop. One of my favorite things to do is just look at a stranger in the coffee shop and throw up my rock, paper, scissors.
1:07:53.7 JD: Just throw it up, and... Rock, paper, scissors shoot. And sometimes you might have to do it two or three times before they catch on, but I promise you, if you do it, nobody can turn it down. Nobody can turn it down. Even the grumpiest old curmudgeon of a man if he knows the game, he is gonna throw up a rock... He's gonna play with you, I promise. Next time you're at a coffee shop, give it a try. Leah, I know it's a little scary to think about, you're going to have to... Look, you're gonna have to be vulnerable.
1:08:24.6 LS: You saw my face.
1:08:25.9 JD: I saw you, I saw you. You're gonna have to be a little vulnerable there, remember spontaneity part of the recipe, maybe just maybe just try it at a faculty meeting then. If you're sitting at a faculty meeting and just look, make eye contact, look. And this is all you have to do. You don't even have to bet, you don't have to go... All you have to do is like this, and then go and then mouths go, "One, two, three." Just mouth that one, two, three and then, "One, two, three." And then see how many times you win. Oh, let's make it fun, see how many times until you get caught. And then when you get a caught say, "Hey. Everybody, lets play rock, paper, scissors." A little bit of play even in the faculty meeting. Right. What do you think, David, are they gonna fire you if you do that?
1:09:05.2 DN: Possibly.
1:09:06.4 JD: You're an adjunct, you don't have to go, have to go. Wait, do you have to go to faculty meetings David?
1:09:11.6 DN: No, I don't. I don't. It's the blissful perk.
1:09:12.8 JD: Yeah, that's the best part of being an ad job. It is a perk. It is a perk. They pay us pennies, but I'll take those pennies so I don't have to go to that faculty meeting.
1:09:26.6 GR: Chad, this has been just wonderful. If people wanna... Sorry, if people wanna read the book or follow you, where can they find you?
1:09:35.7 JD: Well, I'm on social media, @Mr.Dearybury is my handle on Twitter, Instagram. Those are the two I'm most active on. I try to make TikToks, I'm trying to get better at it. But I'm not consistent, I think. But TikTok is another platform that you could connect with me with. Mr.Dearybury dot com is my consulting website where you can read about the consulting options I have, you can also order a book straight from me on the website. Of course, you can order on Amazon. You can pre-order the playful life on Amazon. I haven't got the pre-order up on my website yet, but should be soon, we'd love for you to order... If you order it straight from me, you get an autograph copy and you get some stickers. Amazon and... Amazon Abaser's, they don't have all that, and you just get a... Just a random copy that's sitting in some warehouse. But from me, you get one filled with love and my signature and Julie's and find a little sticker for your water bottle. Also if you wanna learn more about the playful classroom and see what resources we have out there, theplayfulclassroom.com is full of resources.
1:10:41.6 JD: Also, I wanna mention this, Julie and I do have an online course that goes with our book, it's through the company advancement courses. If you go to advancement courses, we have a... You type in Jen Julie in the search, type in The playful classroom. The official title of the course, I think is Let's Play, creating a playful classroom. You can get renewal credit or you can get grad credit, and you interact with Julie and I through the process we're your assessors. And it's a lot of fun. Our students are giving us rave reviews, and we would love to see some of you pop into the course there.
1:11:22.6 GR: Awesome. Well, thanks so much for joining us. This has really been a playful fun hour together.
1:11:29.3 JD: Yeah, it's been a lot of fun for me too. A great way to start my day. And let me tell you all this too, I didn't mention this, but a couple of months ago, I started a little YouTube series called a Dearybury of a day. It is where you join me on a zoom call, just me and one other person, and we start our day with a moment of play, it's about 10 or 15 minutes. I come up with a game or an arts experience, or a dance or something that we can do together via Zoom. And then I record it and drop it out there in the world, and you can find it on my YouTube channel, which is also Mr. Dearybury. But if anybody out there wants to be a guest on my show and start your day with a moment of play, if you go to my Instagram, there's a link there where you can sign up for a date. I start as early as 6:00 AM. And my last one, is at 9:00... Yeah, I do look... And people have signed up for 6:00 AM. We get up and it's still dark outside, and I always show my phone what time it is so that people will know that we're starting our day with moment play. But my first recording... I record Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays.
1:12:39.2 JD: First recording is at 6:00, the last one's at 9:00, and I have 30-minute blocks that you can sign up for. So I would love to start the day with a moment of play, if anybody's out there wants to join me, I'd be happy to have you.
1:12:52.1 GR: Awesome. Very cool. Did we miss anything that we should have talked about?
1:12:57.1 JD: This was fantastic. I thought you all had some great questions... This was so much fun, thank you for allowing me the opportunity. I'm so tickled that you reached out and that the book is resonating with you all. And if you all ever need me again, let me know.
1:13:14.9 GR: Thank you.
1:13:15.9 LS: Thank you.
1:13:20.5 LS: Notes from the this stuff is produced by utheory.com.
1:13:22.1 GR: UTheory is the most advanced online learning platform for music theory.
1:13:26.8 LS: With video lessons, individualized practice and proficiency testing. UTheory has helped more than 100000 students around the world, master the fundamentals of Music Theory, rhythm And ear training.
1:13:38.1 GR: Create your own free teacher account at utheory.com/teach.
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