Mary Poppins's words:
"In every job that must be done / There is an element of fun."
If I have been a successful teacher, it is because I have always believed that if my students are having fun, they will do whatever I ask of them.
I have learned many things and developed many strategies over my fifteen year teaching career, but the most important skills that I have acquired are the ones that make learning fun for my students.
When planning a lesson, I begin with the assumption that no one in my class wants to learn or even listen to me. Based upon that assumption, the first thing I ask myself is how I will make the lesson fun.
Until I can answer that question, I do not move forward with the planning. There is no reason for me to plan a lesson for my students that will not be fun.
Years ago, I attempted to get the word “fun” included in our school’s mission statement, only to be discounted and ridiculed for suggesting it.
If we want to increase learning and student engagement in our classrooms, the most immediate and effective thing teachers could do is make fun a priority in their classroom.
The most immediate and effective thing that colleges and universities could do is to train their future teachers in the planning and execution of lessons that are fun for students.
The most immediate and effective thing that administrators could do is make “fun” as a criteria for teacher evaluation.
Mary Poppins was right. We need to start listening to her if we want our students to succeed.