I have a deep love of learning. There’s nothing I enjoy more than discovering new historical details or burying my nose into a classic novel. Much of this can probably be attributed to my childhood, which saw something of a renaissance in the area of educational games. I learned algebra while scaling snowy peaks in Treasure Math Storm and reading while diving in Treasure Cove. Studied history and geography while hunting Carmen Sandiego, and developed my scientific inquiry skills alongside the ClueFinders.
These games taught me something I never learned from any homework assignment: to love learning. No matter what grade level or subject you teach, there is one thing that all educators hope to instill within our students, and that is a love of learning. If children can develop a passion for education it will take them farther in life than any given lesson on computation, US geography, or physics. But how do we do this?
Of course, there are many resources out there you can use to make learning enjoyable for your students. Games like the ones listed above can sharpen their minds while providing them with a fun pastime. Comic books and graphic novels are great outlets for a student who may be having trouble with reading. Above all, project-based learning gives students a chance to exercise their curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking while making a real difference in the world. But what if there was something you could do which would not only instill a love of learning within your students, but would have a side benefit of enhancing your life personally?
Well, there is, and it’s simple. Love learning yourself. Model the kind of curious, inquisitive citizen you want your students to be. I took up this challenge some years ago by reading 10 classic novels I had never read before. The experience wasn’t easy (War and Peace is seriously overrated in my opinion), but it served as a powerful accomplishment for me. What’s been even more compelling though is the response my friends and co-workers have had. Many of them have begun seeking out new things to learn or new ways to grow.
Sometimes we forget how naturally intoxicating learning can be. It’s a wonderful feeling to grow those little gray cells. So, indulge. What is it you want to learn? What will your students say when you tell them about it? I bet they will be proud of you, and it will show them that a love of learning should last a lifetime!
What about you? How do you inspire a love of learning within your classroom?
*Content for this blog was taken from the writings of Terra Tarango.