I started keeping this blog in January 2009, and it’s been an amazing experience. Through this simple little window I’ve met people all over – some of them even in person. And I’ve had the joy and privilege of talking play and playwork with some of the greatest minds around. I even got an award for writing about playwork! Bonkers.
At the same time though, I’ve felt frustrated by a couple of different things, which overlap.
The first is a murmured dissatisfaction among some members of earlier playwork waves that they don’t know what us young ‘uns are up to. This was paralleled by a similar grumbling among some younger playworkers that they didn’t necessarily feel ‘at home’ in the conversations happening around them at conferences and in the pub after – they wanted to air some of their own experiences, be helped in developing new conceptual frames, and be nurtured in their own personal, as well as professional, development.
Now, these are all pretty massive generational generalizations, and there are many, many tremendous playworkers at all points in the experience spectrum whose outlook and experience are not reflected by those statements. However, this problem does exist and it’s not unique to playwork. I should know, because before finding playwork my great love was feminist theory (we’re still very happy together, thank you) so I’ve seen a little of what wires being crossed between generations can do.
The second was my own sense of dissatisfaction, because I know that there are so many brilliant people doing incredibly clever things all over the place. I go to conferences but tend to present rather than listen, and this is limiting because I already have a fair idea what I think. I blog but tend to read the same handful of other blogs, and imagine that others do the same.
It seems to me that playwork is something special, and that writing about it in such a monumentally public fashion is something that’s new and unique and exciting to this generation of playworkers – no matter what their actual chronological age might be.
In blogging, we make our reflections transparent. We invite people into our view of children’s play, to examine and comment on what moves us, and this is a beautiful and sometimes frightening process. It also has the potential to expand our idea of “team practice” to include members on the other side of the world.
So, with this in mind and in the hope that this network will serve as a hub of awesomeness, I would like to present the Playwork Bloggers Network! It’s very much work-in-progress, as I’m still figuring out how this Facebook thingy works.
If you want to join in, let me know!
If you want to promote it, go right ahead!
But whatever you do, be sure that you check in frequently because I’ll be keeping it chockablock with delicious ideas for you all.
And as always, thank you for reading.