“Miss is this going to be a fun lesson?”
Students have asked me this throughout my career. My theory is that they only ask it when they’ve come from a lesson where they have felt it was fun and usually where they did no ‘work’. I may be wrong. Next time I’m going to ask them what they just did the lesson before. It’s never asked period 1 unless it’s the last week of term.
However my response to them is “My fun and your fun are probably two different things”. Being an RE teacher I want them to a)understand that there are different views of what is fun and b) I don’t deliberately plan ‘fun’ lessons. Fun may be a product of the lesson but not the purpose.
Some of you are probably thinking, ‘what a grump!’. Whilst I am a grump I think as teachers we should have it clear what our aims are. We are not entertainers we are teachers. There are plenty of times when students AND I have a laugh. Sometimes several minutes of hysteria when someone says a classic like “Miss, is Africa in Europe?” and “Miss, I’m impotent!” (We were discussing the omnipotence of God).
So fun isn’t avoided or stopped but it certainly isn’t planned for.
Sometimes people conflate ‘fun’ with ‘engaging’. I think I do plan lessons that I students can access content and engage with it. This comes from my knowledge and experience of children and how their brains process new material. I like to believe that I know what interests them and how I may ‘hook’ them in. However the value of the ‘hook’ must outweigh the use of time; it shouldn’t take more time to use the hook than the potential learning value of it.
I also suspect that in many cases when they use the word ‘fun’ they mean ‘no work’. That in itself is interesting. They often mean no writing or not using books. This is why I worry when people use writing as a punishment. Is it reinforcing negtivity around written work? I digress…
So overall if you come to my lessons, you will sometimes hear laughter, some times students say ‘that was a fun’ lesson but essentially my job is to ensure that they’re learning. They can plan their fun in their own time.