Despite whispers to the contrary, there are times when teaching is fun. Genuinely, undeniably fun. Whenever I present to teachers, these are the times that are the subject of my presentation, because they are key to what makes teaching worthwhile.
The times in which teaching is fun generally have the following characteristics: 1) students are observably engaged in learning-related behaviors (examining things, discussing things, researching, experimenting, thinking, asking questions, comparing notes) of what clearly appears to be of their own volition, 2) they seem to be having fun, to be excited, enjoying, you know, themselves, and their intelligence, and their capacities and discoveries, and 3) the person who is purportedly teaching, occupying the role of teacher, also appears to be having fun, is also excited. And as long as this continues, the happy engagement in the world and in each other seems to build, until something else happens, like the ringing of a bell.
This is true of teaching anything. And vital for anyone who teaches fun – who teaches others about how to bring more fun to their lives or to other people’s lives, or to make work more fun, or healing, or living together, or to create games, or design playgrounds, or restaurants or public spaces.
If you teach fun, your success depends more on the fun you are having than the fun you are teaching about.
A playful path is the shortest road to happiness.
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