By Samantha Levin
When students have fun in the classroom, they tend to become more engaged. More engaged students, in turn, tend to have richer learning experiences. Perhaps that’s why, according to Pixton’s Classroom Fun Report, 67 percent of responding teachers said administrators and students’ families agreed about the importance of fun in the classroom.
While most stakeholders agree, it seems that instilling a sense of joy in learning has become more difficult lately. While two-thirds of respondents said students had fun in class prior to the pandemic, fewer than half—just 48 percent—said they believed students had fun in class during the 2021–2022 school year.
If most teachers believe that administrators and parents share their belief in the importance of fun in the classroom, why is it so much harder to deliver an engaging classroom experience these days?
According to 54 percent of respondents, a lack of time to find or generate creative ideas was the biggest barrier teachers experienced when trying to create a fun classroom. Other top barriers included a lack of funding, cited by 39 percent of respondents, and low energy or burnout, according to 27 percent of respondents.
There was less agreement from respondents on factors that drain joy from a classroom, with only 44 percent agreeing on the top factor, which was unengaged or disruptive students. Demands from administration, such as testing or bureaucratic work, was the second-most cited drainer of classroom joy at 24 percent. Despite a drop in reported classroom fun from pre-pandemic years to the most recent school year, the only pandemic-related factor in the survey—learning loss—came in fourth, cited by just 10 percent.
More information about Pixton’s Joy Survey, including several anonymous quotes about the role of fun in the classroom from teachers themselves, is available on Pixton’s website.
Samantha Levin is an educator communication specialist at Pixton Comics Inc. and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.