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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Laugh and learn

"Mrs. Vicki, stay at the front of the class, I love to watch you laugh."

The others chimed in,

"Yes, we love it when you laugh."

We had a few minutes at the end of class the other day and my students wanted to see a funny video I often quote ("need more cowbell" SNL skit with Will Ferrell.) They begged and because they'd had such a good week, I said ok. (When we have a problem we can't figure out, I'll say -- 'I got a fever, and the only cure is more cowbell.' We then laugh, and move on to figure it out. I know it is strange, but I call it my 'culture lessons' so they can communicate w/ me.)

Then, as I started it and began to move to the back of the class, that was when they begged me to stay at the front. I did.

It struck me that I do laugh - quite a bit - but that my students "love it" when I laugh. They love it when they laugh.

Your students love it when you laugh.

Laughter and learning are good friends. While usually we're working hard, it is the laughter that makes the classroom and learning fun.

I know an amazing Calculus teacher with a 100% pass rate on the AP exam- they laugh in her class. Her students write a hilarious song that they perform each year at the Christmas assembly. They make fun of how hard they study in Calculus and of her lovely bangs (which often stick up.) She laughs and they laugh - but they learn a lot.

I think that many great teachers have an undercurrent of laughter - it makes the hard work more palatable. Like sugar in your coffee, laughter makes the strong brew of learning more palatable.

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