A good portion of being an educator is also being an entertainer. But let’s face facts, we are really just seducing minds. We are taking minds, flattering them, and convincing them that they really want… to learn. It seems like having a somewhat uncertain date. Asking those luscious brains to go just a little more, do a little more. You know it will be fun. Oh yeah! I know you can solve it! Give it to me, show me how smart you are. You’re the best.
Think about it… most of the time when someone stops studying math, it is often because of a bad experience with a teacher. Like a bad breakup, the whole experience will flavor the memories. It doesn’t matter that students will see the use for the subject matter, they will avoid it. And just as easily, a good teacher will show that math (or English, or chemistry, or…) can be fun. And interesting.
There are a lot of good reasons for keeping education entertaining: keeping the students interest, being able to keep them focused, and ultimately keeping them engaged in the material. Teaching doesn’t just take logos, it takes pathos. Engaging emotional interest will keep intellectual interest. I’m not knocking logos, give students reasons for learning math. Hell, I occasionally show them how to win bar bets with it. Wait, that is both…
So, the morning after a really good test, thank your students for showing how much they care.
And you know that I’ll be here in the morning. You know I’ll be here any time you want another equation to solve.
I’ve even got something harder if you want it. You up for it?