I was part of a conversation today during which a wise and respected colleague made a comment that I found quite fascinating. He said:
“People like to do things that are fun, but these activities are almost always fun because the person doing them is good at it. Unfortunately, getting good at something takes time, effort, and work – which are usually NOT fun.”
He was, among other things, implying that students face quite a interesting problem. I know many of you will comment (either her or to yourself) that the teacher can make the learning interesting and fun – and I would agree with you. The issue is not a lack of effort to engage students. The issue that my friend was speaking of is that ultimately some learning requires a desire to learn and the willingness to work at something new.
Effort is essential and does not necessarily eliminate the enjoyment of learning. I think it is important to remember that sometimes school is hard and requires some grit, determination, and effort to work through a difficult lesson.
In the end, what a student will become better at may not solely be the intended lesson. Instead, he or she may be better at appreciating the value of hard work and getting comfortable with hanging in there when doing something new.