A Beginners Guide to School Esports
Are you a teacher looking to introduce esports to your students? Esports is a rapidly growing extracurricular activity that offers numerous opportunities for students to develop teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills, all while being social and having fun! Here’s a simple guide to help you get started and make the most of this exciting new world.
Embrace the simplicity
Getting started with esports is easier than you might think. Most students already enjoy gaming at home and have the necessary equipment to compete. All you need to do is encourage your students to participate and help them form teams. By tapping into their existing passion for gaming, you can foster a positive environment for esports in your school.
To get started in esports, simply do the following:
- Check with your school to see if you have an existing esports club or team
- Visit the New Zealand Secondary School Esports website to check the games on offer
- Talk to your students and see if they’re interested in competing and make sure they can make the time committment to play.
- Download your registration form, collect student information and sign up your team!
Once signed up, it’s a matter of communicating to your students every week who they are facing, or they can manage this process themselves or with a student appointed team manager through the competition Discord.
Discord is a secure and user-friendly communication platform, perfect for fostering collaboration and community among students in esports and other group activities. With customizable privacy settings and moderation tools, it enables a safe environment for students to connect, share ideas, and grow together.
Choose the right league
While there are various esports leagues available to students, not all of them have the same standards when it comes to protecting your students. NZSS Esports (https://www.nzesports.org.nz/nzss-esports) is the only official and protected league in New Zealand, designed specifically with student safety in mind and free of commercial interests.
We believe students safety and wellbeing comes first and actively discourage schools from competing in leagues by for-profit, unregulated and foreign companies. By choosing NZSS Esports, you can ensure a secure and enjoyable experience for your students that’s supported by Sport NZ, School Sport NZ and NZ Esports.
Foster a supportive culture
To make esports a success in your school, create a safe space where students can openly discuss their interests and experiences. Encourage them to try the various games offered by NZSS Esports and help them find their niche. By promoting a positive and inclusive environment, you can strengthen the sense of community and camaraderie among your students. A supportive culture is also the first step helping your students strike a healthy balance between their academic responsibilities and esports involvement. Encourage them to prioritize their studies while also enjoying gaming as a rewarding extracurricular activity. This approach will not only foster academic success but also teach students essential time-management skills.
Level up your involvement
Once your esports program gains momentum, consider investing in uniforms and a dedicated space for practice and competition, either at school or a local gaming club. This will help create a sense of identity and pride among your students, further boosting their engagement and commitment to the program. You can find a list of local gaming communities and NZ esport businesses on the NZ Esports website.
Emphasize the educational benefits
Esports can be a powerful tool for teaching valuable skills such as teamwork, communication, strategic thinking, and time management. Highlight these benefits to your colleagues, school administrators, and parents, emphasizing how esports can complement traditional educational methods and contribute to students’ personal development.
Connect with other educators
Reach out to teachers at other schools who have successfully implemented esports programs. They can provide valuable insights, advice, and support as you navigate the process. Networking with other educators can help you learn from their experiences and improve your own program.
Organize friendly competitions
Arrange friendly matches with other local schools or within your school to boost student engagement and foster a sense of community. These events can serve as both practice and motivation for your students, allowing them to showcase their skills and build confidence in their abilities.