OUR GOAL, as stated by one of my students last night!
"That was so FUN!"
She said this about something a "normal" student in a gymnastics class would say is "hard". She was trying to do chin holds for 5 seconds. First she got 1 sec... then 3, then finally 5 to earn her STRENGTH BADGE. Then she jumped for joy and asked to do it again!
If we, as teachers, are able to instill ANYTHING into the hearts of our students it should be this:
Working towards a goal, small or large, easy or hard, is something that can be ENJOYABLE and even FUN! Achieving that goal is great, but if the journey to get there is a drag... well, then, perhaps we, as teachers, missed an opportunity to make it otherwise.
Resilience, determination, grit... these are all qualities we STRIVE, as teachers, to bury into our students. But the truth of the matter is that if we can make JOY intrinsic to the experience of effort then we have taught something truly special. Our students hard work won't even feel like work! Everything will just be a game! And perhaps they even apply that mindset to the rest of their life...
This math problem? A game. Doing the dishes? A game. Sharing their favorite toy with their sibling? That's right... it's a game.
Imagine a world where every kid that came out of your beautiful business LOVED to do the work in front of them, no matter what it was. That they RAN at it with a smile on their face and joy in their hearts. Imagine them all grown up approaching their challenges with that same lighthearted excitement... and then, of course, mastering that challenge and saying "THAT WAS SO FUN!"
I like the sound of that world. Let's live there. We can build that world. We have that power.
Teach to the joy, and the work just falls away.
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