Using Humor in the Classroom

The Perfect Interview!

(Yes that really is Hugh Jackman)

I don’t know about you, but Hugh Jackman is one of my favorite actors. I thought he was great in this short clip. That is not how you interview! It’s funny and makes me think of how to incorporate humor into the classroom.

Humor is a great way to control your class!

Seriously, it is. According to SUNY at Plattsburgh’s Center for Teaching Excellence, teachers who use humor can help their students learn more. The site says this:

A little bit of laughter in a classroom can go a long way in decreasing anxiety, lowering defenses, fostering a positive student-instructor relationship, defusing tensions, provoking imagination, triggering interest and motivation to learn, and opening the mind.

As for myself, I like to use humor when things get a little out of control. I am strict and clamp down on misbehavior right away, but then to get attention back to the lesson, a quick joke or comment can get students to laugh and relax after the tension builds up.

How can you do it?

Rowan Atkinson shows us how to deal with delinquents in the library! While Mr. Atkinson, as well as other talented comedians can make us laugh, teachers can do it too!

  • We don’t have to have a background in comedy in order to lighten the classroom. Some of the funniest and most inoffensive remarks are self-deprecating, and they have the added benefit of showing the students we are human.
  • Give it and take it. It’s okay to tease students; as long as we know our audience and avoid personal insults, there are always some students who enjoy good-natured ribbing if we show we can take it, too.
  • Use humorous anecdotes as examples. This works particularly well mid-way through a class lecture that has hit a dry spot.
  • Keep the humor relevant. Control of subject and environment is still a priority because we need to teach and they need to learn.
  • Treat the students with respect.
credit: Google images

credit: Google images

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Filed under Classroom Management, Education, Humor, Teaching, Videos

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