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Don't Save The FUN For Later... Rethinking Rewards For Teens.


You know that phrase, "Make a life you don't need to escape from"? Well, I've been mulling over this idea but in the context of the classroom. When I first started teaching, my teaching philosophy kind of went like this: grind through the week and, as a treat on Friday, we can play a game or do a team-building activity. Basically, it boiled down to "Hey, you survived the boring stuff, now let's have some fun!" But, honestly, that's been bugging me. Why was I practically telling my students that learning was something to endure until the real fun starts? Shouldn't the act of learning itself be enjoyable and rewarding?


Can Learning Be Fun All The Time?


More than ever, our society is obsessed with FUN and entertainment... I'm guilty of this!



high school education teaching teens


But maybe we need to refine fun..Because I don't mean every lesson needs to be a game and we need to become our student's entertainment each period... Instead, by fun I mean:

F - Fully Engaged

U - United in a Purpose

N - Nurturing Curiosity and Creativity


With that definition in mind, let's explore why relegating FUN to the status of a reward might not be the best approach.


The Everyday Classroom Can Be Engaging



I don't remember biology class looking like this for me in 10th grade..


Real talk: not every lesson is going to have students hanging on your every word, but there's SO MUCH opportunity to infuse our teaching with engagement and real-world relevance. Whether it's through projects that allow students to dive into their passions or discussions that connect with their lives outside school, learning can be something students anticipate, not just something they sit through waiting for the next "fun" day.


The Problem with "Fun" as a Reward


Rewarding students with fun activities reinforces the idea that learning is the broccoli you have to eat before you can have dessert. Maybe the whole meal doesn't have to be dessert, but it can be tasty and nutritious and explore new flavors. That's how learning should feel—rewarding in itself, not just a means to an end.


Let Me Make This Easier For YOU!


Trust me, I know how hard it can be to make all the lessons engaging.. I used to be a history teacher and I had the hardest time making the civil war interesting and relevant to my 8th graders... BUT when I shifted my mindset to FUN -Fully Engaged, United with a Purpose, and Nurturing Creativity, I started making simulations and plays out of the information instead of lecturing. This changed so much of my classroom dynamic.


Now.. I am FULLY DEDICATED to making resources that are FUN for teens. I have hundreds of activities and games that can enhance learning and become a part of your everyday curriculum.. not just your Friday reward.


Take a look at MY SHOP or TPT Store for ideas!


Teach On,

Katie



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