I’m glad that I’m gifted with a sense of humor. A simple act of posting a funny quotable quote on the bulletin board can cause laughter. However, it should make sense. But I’m not a class buffoon. I inject it with perfect timing. Besides, there should be reasons why should I use humor in the classroom.
My sense of humor just comes out naturally and it evokes laughter and happiness in whomever I’m talking to, especially my students. For me, a day without laughter in the classroom is a gloomy day.
So, why should I use humor in the classroom? Absolutely, I want my students to experience an edge of the beauty of the world – the world of laughter.
In my teaching years, I noticed that students love to be in a fun learning environment. My students listen eagerly when I incorporate funny jokes into the learning process. They love it.
For me, a teacher’s sense of humor will encourage students to listen and participate. It excites them whenever I start the discussion. Using humor in the classroom will make students feel comfortable and at home. For this reason, they will not get intimidated to participate and share their ideas. It’s a great advantage for us too.
If students are comfortable learning with you, rest assured that positive student interaction flourishes.
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Why Should I Use Humor In the Classroom? 7 Crisp Reasons to Instill a Happy Learning Environment
Cracking up jokes in the classroom is a great talent because many others try it but fall flat. However, with your strong desire for creating a positive and comfortable learning environment, you just can’t be a serious teacher all of the time.
You can laugh and have a fun day with your students. It doesn’t require you to be a great comedian. You just have to cause laughter among your students naturally. For you to be more inspired to create a fun learning moments with your students, consider these reasons.
1. Students can easily connect with the learning material
Using humor while taking up a selection, for example, will help students comprehend the story and appreciate the characters. In other words, through the fun learning activity, the students are guided very well in the instruction as they connect fiction to real-life events.
Subsequently, you can ask for the sharing of experiences and you can begin with yours. This gives you the opportunity to tell your own funny story. This will be a rewarding experience for your students because your strategy evokes positive emotions and fun.
Humor in the classroom has lots of great benefits. Aside from intensifying our student’s retentive memory, they can understand the concepts because they can relate it then directly to their real-life experiences. This is because of the creative application of humor by the teacher. By doing this, learning will become enjoyable and less stressful.
By making our students laugh, they will enjoy the light atmosphere in the classroom, and thus, they are more interested in learning. Remember, our students have to stay with us most days of the week, so we should take out the pressure and let them enjoy every learning encounter.
2. Reduces student anxiety
I remember a certain scenario with a Grade 7 learner during the first day of classes. Student G didn’t like to stay in the classroom because for her introducing herself in class was daunting and she’s too shy. “I just don’t want to be in that room, I better stay in the playground and wait for the time”. And she cried! Right at that moment, I could feel her anxiety.
I was thinking. There must be something in that classroom that would make this student get attracted to come in. So, I invited her into the class and assured her that it would be a lot of fun. I made her comfortable by letting her choose where to sit. I went on with my self-introduction. By and by, I saw her smiling.
What did I do? I injected humor into my dialogues. My gestures, my facial expressions, and my funny dialogues created a world of fun in my classroom. Then, I did apply a fun getting to know the activity that evoked laughter.
I know that we can use a lot of stimuli when we are using humor in our class. We can use jokes, fun games, and interactive activities where everyone is involved. This is to remove students’ fear of teachers and to lessen the pressure. I know that there are students like that. They feel anxious about their teacher which can affect their performance.
3. Improves student learning
The fun ambiance in the classroom because of humor will make students feel relaxed. When students are at ease, they are more interested in working together, participating, asking questions, and learning. Hence, using humor in the classroom improves learning, and will make students perform at their best.
According to R.L. Garner, an associate dean at Sam Houston State University, in his article entitled “Humor in Pedagogy: How Haha Can Lead to Aha!”, which resulted in his study in using humor in the classroom, concluded that ‘humor is a powerful tool when used in the classroom.’ Furthermore, he stated that students in his experiment were able to recall information and retain knowledge from the lectures given.
This only proves one thing about humor in the classroom. Humor can increase students’ eagerness to learn. Hence, it improves student learning.
4. Builds a good teacher-student relationship
When the teacher and the students are happy in the classroom, what do you expect? Aside from making the students relaxed throughout the learning process, a good relationship between the teacher and the student blooms.
Since they get along well in class, a good student-teacher relationship will be established. That’s because of using humor in the classroom. It doesn’t always need to be funny though.
But at least the students are aware that you are capable of making them laugh and be at ease in the classroom. When they know that you can make learning easier and effective through your fun stimuli, they are more motivated to study and to participate in the discussion.
5. Makes the learning environment fun and attractive
Most of our students enjoy the discussions and activities when we evoke laughter. One thing I noticed is that students will gladly choose teachers who are cool yet result-oriented than those who are very strict in class.
If the teacher uses humor in helping students remember the concept of the learning material, I can say that he or she is an effective teacher. This strategy increases students’ interest and eagerness to learn.
Furthermore, studies revealed that students increase retention of the course material if humor is used to illustrate a concept, especially complex ones.
If we incorporate humor in presenting the material, more likely, our students will find us very approachable and accommodating. Hence the classroom where we occupy seems very attractive to the students and they always want to be in that classroom.
Humor just brings students together and works for a common goal in the classroom – to learn most effectively. It is a learning environment where humor goes far beyond making students laugh. Though it’s fun, it’s purposive.
To get more insights on the rule of humor in teaching and learning, let’s have the inspiring take of an innovative educator, David Low.
Humor in the classroom makes students feel comfortable and relieves pressure. Thus, learning becomes an exceptionally fun experience for students and its effects are lasting.
When applied in the classroom most appropriately, it helps students learn. When I say appropriate, ‘hurting humor’ should be excluded for it insinuates discrimination and bullying.
What is being referred to in this article are the fun activities the teacher creates for the students. It can be done by using funny anecdotes as motivation, fun games, dialogues related to the materials, and the jolly attitude of the teacher. Of course, there’s a great difference between a smiling teacher and a frowning one. As simple as that.
How do you incorporate humor into your class? What are your reasons for doing so? I’d love to hear from you. Drop them below and I’m very excited to read them all!