A few months ago, I found an old book of verse, long forgotten, on a bookshelf at my Dad's house. I remembered it from my childhood but in fact it’s much older than that; it belonged to my Mum when she was a child. It has her name and address written neatly inside the front cover and I can see that it cost six shillings.
I’ve never really looked at it much; but still I felt the urge to keep it with me, rather than put it into storage with the majority of our belongings when, realising a dream I’ve held close for many, many years, we moved to France three weeks ago. (More on that, no doubt, in future insights.)
Today, I picked the book up, and for some reason decided to start right at the beginning by reading the foreword. Who does that? Or is it just me that normally skips straight past those opening pages?
The foreword to my Mum’s book of verse was written by no other than Frank Roscoe, M.A, Dean of the College of Preceptors, Past Secretary, Royal Society of Teachers. No, I’d never heard of him either and to be honest, I was expecting some scholarly dirge that would either go over my head, or through it, without pausing to sink in.
But I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I thought the first paragraph was so powerful it was worth sharing:
“In a well-known essay, Francis Bacon says that ‘Studies server for delight, for ornament and ability.’ The order is important, since it tells us that in obtaining knowledge, we should find pleasure and acquire ease and grace of mind, instead of thinking only of gaining the kind of skill which will bring money.”
It’s a bit scholarly I grant you, and of course borrows from a wise scholarly chap of the past, but I think it makes an important point, and one that we can all relate to: Learning should, first and foremost, be fun.
As we approach Christmas, I think it’s a great time to remember that learning should bring us as much delight as a new jumper or a new pair of socks hand-knitted by Aunty Mildred – perhaps, dare I suggest it, even more.
When learning is fun, it sticks, it excites us, it energises us, and it motivates us to make changes. And focusing on the enjoyment of learning doesn’t mean we’re less likely to improve our abilities or skills; quite the opposite in fact. Learning we enjoy is much more likely to be used than learning we reluctantly but dutifully struggle through.
So, as we approach the end of 2020, and your mind turns to the type of training you’re going to deliver in 2021, why not give some thought to how you can ensure, first and foremost, that it brings ‘delight’ to your learners?
And remember, Trainers’ Library, and the whole team behind it, are here to help you achieve just that.