All too often, I see teachers that neglect to notice the humour that goes on around them. As a teacher, I truly enjoy spending my day surrounded by children. They blurt out silly comments, make funny observations, pull funny faces and laugh at their own jokes.
FreeDigitalPhotos.Net / stockimages
Teaching can be very busy and stressful at times with so much to get through and so little time, however we can’t let that stop us from enjoying ourselves and as a result, encouraging our students to be happy. While I agree that there is a time and place for everything and the main purpose of school is to learn – teachers are able to build a positive environment and relationship with students if they laugh with them and let themselves see the funny side.
I realised how important this was to students when one of them said that I was always smiling and their previous teacher never smiled and in fact, they never heard her laugh. Now, this probably isn’t entirely truthful, but it’s what they all remembered.
I was surprised to see Australia’s position on the OECD’s latest PISA table, brought to my attention via this great post by Dan Haesler. It saddens me that children are unhappy at school. There are many reasons for this unhappiness; however, I believe that teachers can have a huge impact on a student’s happiness.
I’m not saying that students should be allowed to make jokes throughout a Mathematics lesson, however take a look at the list below for some of the things that I have found to be useful.
- Students should see their teacher smile and laugh.
- Allow students time to share a brain teaser or joke.
- Talk about something funny that happened to you on the weekend.
- Allow the students to share their funny moments.
- Be friendly (try saying good morning, have a good recess/lunch and good afternoon more often)
- Start the day with a song or some music as the students unpack their bags and sit on the floor. My grade partner had the great idea of playing Happy each morning! The students love it, we dance as we get ready and we don’t need to constantly tell them to hurry up.
How do you embrace humour with your students?