“What we learn with pleasure, we never forget.” – Alfred Mercier
This quote by Alfred Mercier really hit me, as it made me think of many school experiences that were both positive and negative. As I’m considering the positive and negative experiences I went through, it makes it easy for me to think of the possibilities and impossibilities in education, through this quote. This quote is fairly obvious as to what it means, but to sum it up it is saying that we always take more out of the lessons that we enjoy being a part of. A large difficulty with education is that not all students are interested in the same things, or learn in the same way. This is not a bad thing, but it does make teachers struggle in order to find a way for all of the students to learn and enjoy what they are learning. Ultimately, teaching one idea to an entire class and having all the students engaged and enjoying it, is probably pretty close to impossible. Although teachers want to make a way to spend time with each student, teaching the idea in the way that the student will most enjoy it and understand it, it is basically physically impossible. This being said, this quote definitely does have impossibilities as not every student enjoys the same things, or learns in the same way. The possibilities however, is that most teachers most likely find a way to get most of the students engaged or at least a little bit interested in the material. For me, this quote opened up possibilities that I didn’t know existed. To begin with, I had never really deeply thought about this quote, so considering that, I didn’t know how to fix the issue. I still don’t really know how to fix the issue, however I am now aware of something that is a common sense to me. I am used to enjoying music, however, I know for a fact that there are going to be students that probably hate it and/or do not understand it, which makes them not learn anything about it. As my common sense would be that everyone loves and understands music, I am now aware that I would obviously have to find different ways to make it understandable and enjoyable for all students. This opens up possibilities because now I would be able to come up with ideas to help the students that are not interested or do not get it. Without the quote, I probably wouldn’t deeply think about the possibilities that myself, or other teachers could come up with in order to help students.
This quote could really help teachers think about this idea in a deeper context, which would help the student. While I was in school, I was never good at maths or sciences. However, I was always really excelled in music, art, English and social studies. It obviously helped that I was genuinely interested in music and art because I was always more engaged and then I would always take more out of the lessons. With math and science, I was never in a classroom where a teacher tried to make math interesting. Teachers can always find ways to make music and art interesting, math on the other hand is difficult to make fun and enjoyable. I think if I were shown an interactive and fun way of doing math or chemistry, I would have been more engaged, making it easier for me to listen to the material and take more out of it. This doesn’t mean that my teachers were bad because I didn’t really learn anything from math or science. It also doesn’t mean that the students are not listening to the material. Everyone just learns in a different way. Some of my teachers made large efforts to try and get me to understand math, but the lightbulb just never went off in my head. Thinking about this quote, it may come off at first as though the teacher is not doing their job because a student is not finding the pleasure in learning, but it does not mean that the teacher is a bad teacher or that the student is a bad learner.
Although throughout my school experience I became very frustrated with the fact that I was not always able to be taught the ways that I needed to be, I understand that it is also very frustrating for a teacher. I always blamed the teacher when I was younger because they taught it in a way that I was not able to understand it. However, I am now able to understand that teachers obviously have a hard time trying to find a way for all students to be engaged and understand the material.