Saturday, July 28, 2012

Let the Humor Begin!

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” -Charles Dickens

Innovative educators are always trying to make each and every class as meaningful and relevant to their students as possible.  They create, they collaborate, they ask, they solve....they innovate.  It is clear to most of them that it is what they model, what they represent as a teacher and as a human that will impact students´ lives other than the content they could possibly deliver.

One great tool innovative teachers should use in the classroom is:  humor.  Yes, the kind that comes out spontaneously and actually creates a delightful atmosphere in the classroom.  Doesn´t mean you can´t practice some comedic lines in front of the mirror and try to look like Jim Carrey...

Laughter is so relaxing, it is even said it´s medicine to the soul.  Your students stare at you as someone they can take hand of in difficult moments some times.  They need to see you as a caring human being, as one that went through or is going through some of the same things they are.  Use your best charisma to approach them.  Tell them a little joke from time to time.  Make fun of yourself; nothing makes you more human to students than when you make mistakes and actually learn from them.

Here´s a secret:  Students will laugh at your jokes even if they are really bad.  There are two main reasons for that:
  1. They will laugh out of respect.  But it still works, they are laughing after all.  Too worried about mockery? 
  2. They will laugh harder at the fact that it is you, their teacher, actually telling a joke. 
Share an anecdote of your own experience.  Tell them about that embarrassing moment you had at the bus station with this person once.  Talk to them about that time when you were in second grade and the teacher had you in detention after school time and you  peed on your pants. Wait, that actually happened to me...

Don´t overlook the power of humor within your classroom.  Humor humanizes, makes you approachable and reliable.  It allows you to connect to your students at a more personal level.  Be spontaneous, be surprising, be fun.  In the measure of the possible try not to be the teacher students groan about at the knowledge their next class is with you.   May God help you as you try to bring joy, jolly, and happiness into your classroom using humor.  

So, a teacher walks into a bar....
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