At Sawyer we have the privilege of working with hundreds of inspiring educators around the country. Whether they teach virtual classes or in-person activities, the curricula always foster enriching atmospheres for children of all ages to discover their love of learning. We got the opportunity to chat with New York Society of Play, an online and in-person organization that, through play, hones social and problem-solving skills as well as mathematical and textual literacy for children of all ages.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! I’d love to hear a bit more about you and why you started your business.

As a child, I was fascinated by the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, trading card games, and Live Action Role Play. I had difficulty finding adults in my life who could relate or see those interests as valid. I feel like the scarcity of adults who shared my interests caused me to lose out on the many social and developmental benefits that come from having a mentor. I am pleased to see the New York Society of Play provide children with peers and mentors where they might otherwise be hard to find.

Can you describe an inspiring moment you’ve had as an educator?

Whenever I am struck with the inspiration to draft a new game for my students, I am given a second wind in every aspect of my life as an educator. Seeing the children interact with my games mentally and socially is extremely gratifying for me, and a large part of why I’ve dedicated myself to the profession.

What’s the most rewarding thing about teaching children?

I would definitely cite the many instances of watching my students as they grow and change through their young lives. By the time they are ready for college, you can look back on all the ways they changed and grew over the years.

What’s one time a child surprised you and made your day?

Getting a hand-drawn holiday card (usually with Pokemon on it) never gets old.

On a similar note, what’s the funniest thing a child has done in your class?

Dungeons & Dragons is a game of public speaking and theatrics. Some of the ideas that come out of these kids are hilarious.

Why is after school enrichment so important for children?

After school enrichment allows for a more natural setting in which to socialize with friends without taking away from academics. After school enrichment is also important in that it allows children to discover their passions, develop, and improve on skills and pastimes they might not have the opportunity to engage in otherwise.

Photo of after school enrichment

How do you think children can discover their passions when they’re not in school or your programs?

The Internet is such a powerful learning tool for this generation. YouTube has such a wealth of knowledge there for anyone willing to take advantage of it!

What's one trick you learned from another educator that you still practice?

Implementing a “shout-out circle” at the end of the day to applaud admirable behavior from peers as well as reflecting on any lessons learned that day. It is a great way to teach young children how to reflect, as well as lift each other up!

Thank you again for taking the time to speak with us! We can't wait for more families to discover your classes and get their games on.

If you are looking for online and in-person gaming activities, check out what New York Society of Play is offering. There are so many great kids activities in NYC and beyond, the world is your oyster!