I talk about it all the time, but I guess I'll remind you, I have a Middle School Tabletop Club. They are my pride and joy. We have so much fun gaming together and building relationships and learning and just. . . it's amazing! We're a small family and we miss each other and we can't wait to see each other and it's like the highlight of our days. We laugh, we cry, we geek. . . it's wonderful.
I'm always talking about my club to people. I throw it out there all the time. . . yes, it's Middle School. . . we meet every day at lunch (for 45 minutes of gaming). It's hard, yet fulfilling. They are just such a great group of kids! I get to watch them grow and learn and develop into adorable little gamers. It does my heart proud!
So, of course, I use some of the really wonderful Web Series on games to help teach some of the games we play. I mean, seriously. . . I don't want to drone on every Monday or every other Monday about a game. So I look for neat and interesting episodes on the games we play. One of those shows is obviously Tabletop by Wil Wheaton and Geek & Sundry.
The kids just love him. Partly because they know him from The Big Bang Theory and some of them know him from their parents who watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. I mean, come on. . . he's a frickin' star and my kids know it! It also doesn't hurt that their teacher thinks he's da bomb diggity.
So on this average day at the end of the school year, the lunch bell was about to ring and I didn't have any students in my room yet, so I was checking my twitter. I saw a tweet from Anne Wheaton, Wil's wife, about how sick he felt. The bell rang for lunch and my game club students started coming into the room. I was like, "You guys! Wil Wheaton is really sick! Not life-threatening, just been sick for a few days and it sounds really bad." One of my kids said, "We should tell him to feel better." So I composed a tweet to Anne Wheaton wishing Wil well from my Tabletop Club. I usually don't expect tweets back and it's more about just sending happy vibes out into the universe.
Within a few minutes, though, Anne Wheaton had tweeted my kids back. OMG PANDAMONIUM broke out in the classroom. The kids were already composing responses and asking me questions. One of the kids said, "Let's take a get well picture!" So we all went into the back and posed with our Pathfinder board, since all but two of the kids were meeting for their second-to-last Pathfinder campaign today. Sadly, the whole club wasn't there to participate. Many kids were stuck doing last-minute work for teachers or wanted to quick meet up with friends. But the picture was pretty great.
We tweeted it over with a thanks.
The day went on and I had meetings and things to do. When I got back from my meeting with my principal, there was a message from my husband on my screen. "Wil Wheaton tweeted you."
WHAT?!?!? WHAT?!?!?! I had totally melted. Mine and my students Tabletop Idol just tweeted us back! It was the end of the day and I didn't get to see my kids, but I came up with a great idea for them. I'm printing out the tweets for them and. . . totes geek. . . laminating them. A gift for them to remember how nice they were to their idol and that he appreciated it. And, can I just say. . . what a way to end the year!
I spent most of the night having my little fangirl moment with one of my co-teachers and then my husband at home. Then came time to figure out how to respond. I know I'm probably over-complicating it, but I feel it is my responsibility to demonstrate my appreciation for these two amazing people taking time to make my students feel special. Because, let's be serious here, this isn't about me. This is about my kids and them having the opportunity for someone they love to acknowledge them. Think back to when you were a kid and your favorite sports person waved at you or you saw your favorite singer in person and they winked at you. Do you still remember it and cherish it? My club kids just had that moment. For being nice and caring, they received a special response and it can't be more rewarding than that.
So I tweeted back and my husband was all, "You know they're not going to tweet back again, right?" And I said, "So? I know I did it. I put the good out there and if they do read it, they know the time they took to respond was meaningful." That was that. Then, at lunch the next day, which consisted of a pizza party and final gaming, I shared the tweet with the kids and I let them decide what to tweet back. They all had so many short little burst messages to say, so I fit them all in. Even if they don't get them or they get buried under all their other response tweets, the kids feel good about getting their message out.
What a wonderful day and, like I said, an amazing way to end another great year of Tabletop Game Club.