So how can teachers ensure that they will be feeling pleasure as well as giving it?
1.Pleasure means creating an atmosphere in which students enjoy learning. This is not to suggest that all lessons, all learning, can or should be pleasurable; the most lasting gains in knowledge,
2.the deepest understanding, arise from great toil. Yet when learning is tied to goals within students' extended reach, when it leads to what students themselves can see as an enhancement of their understanding of the world, when it gives them a glimpse into the mysteries of life, into new and alien realms of knowledge, then it leads to pleasures and satisfactions of the greatest sort. Learning then becomes infectious, and students will say in their engaging way that school is "fun."
Pleasure requires letting others' wit shine. As long as they are not employed at the expense of others, humor and fun are clarifying, relieving, and engaging. When it comes from the generous side of the spirit, humor ought to be encouraged and not dampened.
Serious classrooms need not be somber ones; they can often be filled with rollicking laughter. Teachers need feel no inhibition in encouraging wit and humor; they both serve as a holiday from the often necessary gravity of learning and as one of the many paths to a fuller understanding of life.
Pleasure leads teachers to reveal their own joys and pleasures in learning and teaching. This means, of course, that teachers must have command of the knowledge they are trying to convey to their students.Yet it also means that in trying to instill in their students an enduring love of learning, teachers must impart their own love of it to those they are trying to teach. Only masochists are drawn to learning that tastes like castor oil. Most people need to have the satisfactions of knowledge exemplified for them; most learn best when the exactions of learning are shown to lead not just to knowledge but to knowledge that satisfies the human thirst for understanding.
Teachers should not be self-conscious about revealing how knowledge has enriched their own lives and how their teaching is an expression of their desire to enrich others' lives too. On the contrary: they should try to exemplify the deep pleasure which their own continuing learning brings to them.
Pleasure means acknowledging the difficulties as well as the joys of learning.
Just as happiness is deepened by the experience of sadness, so pleasure is always all the keener in proportion to the demands of its opposite-painful effort. To gain the satisfactions of learning, students must be confirmed in their struggles, frustrations, and disappointments in learning-and led to see the rich gains that come from the risks and costs of their hard work in seeking knowledge. When the difficulties of this work are granted and confirmed, students can accept their difficulties and so more readily keep up the struggle to learn. They are also prepared for the joys that spring from overcoming these difficulties.
Pleasure comes from witnessing the successes of former students as the yearsgo by. Because all teaching is the preparation of students for their futures, some of the pleasure of teaching must be prospective: the anticipation of learning how one's former students have turned out. All teachers harbor the parental hope that they have contributed to their students' wisdom, happiness, and welfare. Teachers' greatest joys therefore originate in discovering that their students have done well, that their lives have been enriched by knowledge and understanding, and that they have been able to embrace life in all its fullness.
In its ultimate form,
teachers' pleasure arises from the knowledge that their students have learned something from them. Surely it is understandable, even forgivably egotistical, for teachers to hope that their students understand what their teachers have given to them and for students to recall their teachers with affection and respect. What teacher will not envy Louis Germain, the teacher of the young Albert Camus, to whom the latter dedicated his Nobel Prize acceptance speech in 1957? In a letter attached to Camus's posthumously published autobiographical novel The Last Man, Camus addressed Germain, who had identified the youth's genius and, plucking him from the circumstances of his working-class family in Algiers, had introduced him to the world of knowledge: "When I learned the news of my award, my first thought, after my mother, was for you. Without you, without the loving hand you extended to the poor little child that I was, without your teaching and your example, nothing of this would have happened. I do not make much of this sort of honor. But it at least presents an occasion to tell you what you have been and always are to me, and to assure you that your efforts, your work, and the generous heart that you offered me are always alive within one of your little schoolboys who, despite his age, has not ceased being your grateful student. I embrace you with all my strength." There being probably no greater satisfaction for a teacher than this kind of encomium, it is the kind of rare pleasure that should be savored.
Pleasure is the one element of teaching whose acknowledgment can be made to seem illegitimate by our otherwise justified emphasis on the seriousness of learning. Yet without denying teachers' heavy responsibilities for the welfare of others and thus the gravity of their endeavor, we must also accept
1.the place of enjoyment-both teachers' and students'-as an instrument of instruction as well as a goal of learning. A joyless classroom, a seminar of unrelieved sobriety, a cynical teacher of gloomy mien-all are impediments to learning, not stimuli.
2.It is laughter, playfulness, and wit that by contrast open doors to the mind as well as the heart, that are indispensable ingredients of the an of teaching.