On July 15, we held our first Bay Area Community of Playfulness and invited all of the teachers who had participated in our 2009 and 2010 trainings. The teachers were excited to see each other again and to connect with teachers they had never met, and everyone brought delicious food to share. We were also thrilled to have Ant Skype in!
We started the group with a game of newsball and as each teacher spoke, we found that many of the centers were being faced with big budget cuts and layoffs and that morale among the staff was low. We all agreed that during times of crisis it is even more important to be aware of our own playfulness and to stay positive. Ant shared that, “when one door closes another opens, and that this is the game of life and we are all playing to win”. The teachers were comforted by the fact that they were all going through similar hardships at their centers, but that the Community of Playfulness was created to provide a space for them to come together to support one another,and to play and have fun! We brainstormed ways to boost positivity at the centers, and decided that every few months we will hold an “open” Community of Playfulness and invite our families, friends and co-workers so that they too can feel supported and playful. We are confident that our growing group of Bay Area playmakers will become ambassadors of play and joy in our community.