What is learning? Learning has tons of different definitions depending on who you ask. In my dictionary, learning is when you get to know something you didn’t know before and be able to take that knowledge with you later on in life. In order for this to happen, learning has to be fun. Why? For many different reasons, like the fact that in school students don’t even learn anymore, that students stress more than learn anything.
Despite of this, it is not the teacher’s fault that learning cannot be enjoyable. If learning is fun we will take risks, good risks that can benefit us in the long run because we will be introduced to trying new things. Students don’t even learn anything anymore and just stress about passing which is why learning should be fun. In Fires in the Bathroom, Kathleen Cushman states, “When people do tell tales of school-related success, the stories are usually about cramming for the big exam, or working hard to get a good grade. They are almost never about learning… No wonder school is stressful.” What Cushman is saying is that when there are talks about school you only hear the difficulties that had to be faced.
You hear what had to be done to not fail. They usually say that they’re glad they made it and got it over with, but rarely do they say that they have learned so much. Because of this, school doesn’t become about learning, it becomes a stressful nightmare that you just want to end. In my life, my aunt talks to me all the time about her experiences in school. She always tells me what I should do to pass.
For example, “Don’t procrastinate! You’ll regret it!” Obviously this is a skill that I need to work, but this has nothing to do with learning. What happened to, “Having fun at school” or hearing, “What did you learn?” from someone who isn’t a teacher? Now we cannot put any blame on the teachers for not making learning fun. In Freedom Writers, Vance states, “There was a lot of pressure on the teachers to just teach to the state test, because if we didn’t pass it they didn’t keep their jobs or something.” Vance is basically saying that the teachers are not at fault for this dilemma. They are only doing their job which is to teach what is on the big exam. I’m really glad that I cannot relate to this because I would really hate to be in that position.
Sadly, not everyone is lucky to go to a school where teachers make sure that learning is fun. I’m sure Vance would love to be a student at my school, so he can experience what it is like to be so engaged in a topic. “If you can read, you can do anything.” Once you are able to read and use your knowledge you can accomplish anything. Even take a risk, scary risk, big or small. In Fires in the Bathroom, Kathleen states, “Learning you were wrong about something is not so painful, and that taking an educational risk is worth doing.
” What is an educational risk? Well, have you ever been confused in a class, but you’re too scared to raise your hand and ask for clarification? If you raise your hand, even if you are scared, you are taking an educational risk, my friend. Taking risks can be so helpful in so many ways because you can get comfortable with trying something new. In college, work, etc. you have to deal with people that have different skills and abilities than you. But learning how to do differently or doing it cannot be so painful. As much as you may hate it, you may come to realize that you love it.
Being able to do this is a form of learning. Expanding your knowledge will surely be something you do on the road of learning. In conclusion, learning should always be fun. Students should not be stressing about failing. They should be able to go to school and know that they will have fun at learning new things.
We can’t forget that this is not the teachers fault for this, but something we can all fix together. Taking educational risks is also a huge part of being engaged in learning. Hopefully this will change over time because having fun learning can cause you to be able to do anything. Knowledge is power!